If you have noticed that your food is either taking longer to cook in your oven or is not cooking evenly, you may start to suspect that there is a problem with the heating element. If so, look for the following signs that your electric oven's heating element is starting to go bad.
1. Oven Takes Longer to Preheat
Besides noticing that your food is taking forever to cook, another sign that indicates that the heating element in your oven is going out is when it takes longer to preheat to the specified temperature. You have to wait longer to even start cooking because the internal temperature of the oven is still too cool even after waiting for 15 to 30 minutes.
To double-check whether the issue is the thermostat on the oven or the heating element, turn your oven on to preheat. After about 10 to 15 minutes, open the door to see how the temperature feels. If the oven feels hot, the problem may be the thermostat that is not sending a signal for the preheat indicator to turn on. However, if the oven is still not hot, the issue lies with the heating element.
2. Elements Are Not Glowing a Bright Orange Color
When the elements in your oven are working properly, they will glow a bright orange color while they are heating up the oven. However, if there is a problem with them, you may notice areas that are dull or even black. This change in color could be a sign that a wire is broken somewhere inside the element and is not getting the proper amount of electricity to it.
If you are unsure as to which element is affected, you can do a simple test to check its color. First, set the oven to bake, then check the bottom element's color. Then, turn off the bake setting, and set the oven to broil to see if it is glowing bright orange. If either or both of the elements are not the right color, the affected ones will need to be replaced to get your oven working properly again.
If you notice either of the above signs, the heating element in your electric oven is most likely going bad. If you suspect that this is the case, contact a business that offers appliance repair services to discuss your options for replacing the bad element and fixing the issue.