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Frequently asked questions

Get fast answers to questions about electric range questions here!

Electric Ranges

If your electric range is not performing properly or producing the cooking results you want, there are things to check before you call for service.

Often manufacturers' websites will offer suggestions. GE Appliances and Frigidaire have extremely comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions information on their websites. Here is information from those two sites.

From Frigidaire website:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FRIGIDAIRE

Ranges - General

Click on the problem statements below to get answers.

Baked goods burn on bottom.
Baked goods burn on top.
Drip pans are pitting or rusting.
Drip pans turning color or distorted out of shape.
Entire range does not operate.
Oven does not operate.
Oven door will not open after self-clean cycle.
Oven light (some models) does not work.
Oven smokes excessively during broiling.
Poor baking results.
Range not level.
Surface element does not heat.
Surface element too hot or not hot enough.
Surface units will not heat.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FRIGIDAIRE

Click on the problem statements below to get answers.

Electric Range with Ceramic Smooth Top

When I used my oven for the first time there was an odor and some smoking.
The top elements keep turning off and on during cooking.
My range makes a noise when I use the oven. Is this normal, or is something wrong?e
My oven door has a soft spongy feel when closed, is there something wrong with the door seal?
My oven temperature seems too hot for some of my recipes and not hot enough for others. Do I need a new thermostat?
The door latch hook on my self cleaning oven is extended preventing the oven door from closing.
On models with an electronic oven control, the display has an error or "F" code displayed. What should I do?
On my glass or ceramic top range the food takes a long time to cook and it takes too long to boil water. The burners seem to cycle off very frequently during use.
The time of day does not display on my electronic oven control. If I push the CLOCK pad on the control panel the time will display for a few seconds and then it goes blank again.
What is the easiest method to keep my smoothtop glass clean?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FRIGIDAIRE

Click on the problem statements below to get answers.

Electric Range with Coil Elements

When I used my oven for the first time there was an odor and some smoking.
The cooktop surface seems too hot to touch while using the surface elements, and/or oven.
The left rear surface element gets warm when using the oven, although the element is not being used.
My range makes a noise when I use the oven. Is this normal, or is something wrong?
My oven door has a soft spongy feel when closed, is there something wrong with the door seal?
My oven temperature seems too hot for some of my recipes and not hot enough for others. Do I need a new thermostat?
The door latch hook on my self cleaning oven is extended preventing the oven door from closing.
On models with an electronic oven control, the display has an error or "F" code displayed. What should I do?
The time of day does not display on my electronic oven control. If I push the CLOCK pad on the control panel the time will display for a few seconds and then it goes blank again.

From GE Appliances website:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - GE Appliances

Cooking Products Electric

Click on the problem statements below to get answers.

My electric burners do not heat or only partially heat
My oven and burners do not heat
My oven does not heat, but the burners heat.
My oven temperature is not correct.
My range surface seems too hot.

ANSWERS

Baked goods burn on bottom.

  • Aluminum foil on oven bottom or oven racks.
  • Check air flow.
  • Dark utensils absorb heat.
  • Use bright utensils.
  • Improper circulation.
  • Check spacing of utensils side-to-side and front-to-back.
  • Oven flame too soft (on gas ranges).
  • Increase air supply.
  • Utensil too large - blocks air flow. Use smaller cookie sheet, etc.

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Baked goods burn on top.

  • Electric range left on preheat (older models).
  • Check selector switch.
  • Improper placement of food in oven.
  • Try to keep items in the center of the oven.
  • Oven flame too hard (on gas ranges). Decrease air supply.

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Drip pans are pitting or rusting.

  • Houses along sea coast are exposed to salt air. Protect pans as much as possible from direct exposure to salt air.

  • Spillovers in/on drip pans.
  • Foods with acid, such as tomatoes, if allowed to stand in/on pans will cause corrosion.Remove and wash drip pans as soon as possible after spillover.

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Drip pans turning color or distorted out of shape.

  • Bottom surface of cookware extends beyond surface element and touches range surface. Using cookware of this type can cause high enough temperatures to discolor the drip pans.
  • Do not use cookware of this type.
  • Replacement drip pans may be purchased from your dealer.

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Entire range does not operate.

  • Cord/plug not installed and/or connected. Not supplied with range. Contact your dealer, installing agent, or service.
  • Cord/plug not plugged into wall/floor receptacle. Make sure it is plugged tightly into outlet.
  • House fuse blown or a circuit breaker tripped. Check/reset circuit breaker and/or replace fuse. Do not increase fuse capacity. If the problem is circuit overload, have corrected by a qualified Electrician.
  • Power outage. Check house lights. Call local electric company.
  • Short in cord/plug. Replace cord/plug.

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Oven does not operate.

  • Automatic timed oven (some models) set incorrectly. Follow steps under Time Bake in owner manual.
  • No power to range. ollow steps under "Range does not operate".
  • Selector not set properly. Set selector for desired function.
  • Temperature control not set properly. Make sure the temperature control is set at the temperature of your choice
.

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Oven door will not open after self-clean cycle.

  • Automatic locking models (models without locking handle). Door is unlocked electrically. Check owner guide for instructions on unlocking door.
  • Manual locking models (models with locking handle). Set selector switch to clean and move the handle manually.


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Oven light (some models) does not work.

  • Burned-out light bulb. Follow instructions in Owner's Manual to replace bulb.

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Oven smokes excessively during broiling.

  • Grid on broiler pan wrong side up. Grease not draining into bottom pan.
  • Always place the grid on the broiler pan with the ribs up and the slots down to allow grease to drip into pan.
  • Meat not properly prepared.
  • Remove excess fat from meat. Slash remaining fat edges to prevent curling, but do not cut into lean.
  • Meat too close to element.
  • Reposition the rack to provide proper clearance between the meat and the element. Preheat broil element for quick searing operation.
  • Oven door closed.
  • Door should be opened to broil Stop position for Electric models and closed for Gas models.
  • Oven needs to be cleaned. Grease has built up on oven surface.
  • Refer to proper cleaning instructions in your Owner's Manual.

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Poor baking results.

  • Does oven burner or element turn on and cycle?

  • Check burner.
  • Is there aluminum foil on oven bottom or oven racks, blocking heat flow?
  • Remove foil.

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Range not level.

  • Kitchen cabinets misalignment may make range appear to be not level.
  • Be sure cabinets are square and have sufficient room for range clearance. Contact cabinet maker to correct problem.
  • Poor installation.
  • Place oven rack in center of oven. Place a level on the oven rack. Adjust the range leveling legs until the level indicates that the rack is level. When oven is level, cooktop may not appear to be level with countertop.
  • Weak, unstable floor.
  • Be sure floor is level and can adequately support range. Contact carpenter to correct sagging or sloping floor.

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Surface element does not heat.

  • Bent terminals on surface element.
  • Turn control to OFF. Be sure element is COOL. Lift out surface element. Straighten terminals. Position unit properly and replace.
  • Elements not seated properly in terminal connection.
  • Turn control to OFF. Be sure element is COOL. Lift out surface element. Straighten terminals. Position unit properly and replace.
  • Incorrect control turned on.
  • Be sure to use correct control for unit to be used.
  • Low heat setting.
  • At extremely low heat settings, the surface element indicator light may come on before the surface element starts to operate. Turn the control to a slightly higher setting until the element comes on.
  • No power to range.
  • Check steps under "Range does not operate".

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Surface element too hot or not hot enough.

  • Incorrect control setting.
  • Adjust control setting. Raise or lower setting until proper amount of heat is obtained. Dial markings are an indicator of "relative" heat settings and will vary slightly.
  • Lightweight or warped pans.
  • Use only flat, evenly balanced, medium, or heavyweight cookware. Flat pans heat better than warped pans. Cookware materials and weight of the material affect heating. Heavy and medium-weight pans heat evenly.

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Surface units will not heat.

  • Bent terminals on surface element.
  • Check elements.
  • Elements not plugged in properly.
  • Check elements.
  • Incorrect control turned on.
  • Check switch.
  • No power to range.
  • Check power.

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When I used my oven for the first time there was an odor and some smoking.

  • It is possible to experience some odors, and/or a small amount of smoke from your new range. This is generally from the fiberglass insulation that contains a binding agent to hold it together. The odor will diminish after first using your oven.
  • Before cooking in your oven for the first time, we recommend that you turn the oven ON at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. This will allow for an initial burn-in period.
  • You can also add extra room ventilation by opening a window.

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The top elements keep turning off and on during cooking.

This is the normal operating mode of the top elements.
  • They stay on longer for higher temperature settings and less for lower temperature settings. This cycling will even occur in the high setting because there is a temperature limiter built into the burners to keep them from getting too hot.

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My range makes a noise when I use the oven. Is this normal, or is something wrong?

This is normal.

  • Changes in temperature can cause metal to expand and contract.

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My oven door has a soft spongy feel when closed, is there something wrong with the door seal?

This is normal.

  • The soft feel is normal and the seal will give slightly as the door is pushed inward against the oven's front frame. The spongy feel is due to the door gasket design that ensures proper sealing.

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My oven temperature seems too hot for some of my recipes and not hot enough for others. Do I need a new thermostat?

For peace of mind, your oven thermostat has been factory calibrated and tested to ensure an accurate baking temperature.

  • For the first few uses, follow your recipe times and temperature recommendations carefully.
  • Be sure to read the Owner's Guide for: baking, roasting and broiling suggestions, proper utensils and their use, causes and cures of common baking problems, safety measures and cleaning, what to check before calling for service, as well as all the other valuable information prepared to help you. Also, if you use dark-colored pans, they tend to absorb heat and can make the bottom of whatever you cook darker or cause it to overcook or get done faster.
  • If you feel your oven is too hot or too cool, some models allow the oven temperature to be adjusted to your liking. Consult Owner's Guide for adjusting temperature.

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The door latch hook on my self cleaning oven is extended preventing the oven door from closing.

To retract the door latch hook:

  • Look on the front face of the oven at the top left corner for the oven light switch button.
  • Push and hold the button with your finger for 30 seconds to see if the lock motor will open the latch hook.
  • If the hook does not move continue to hold the button and press the clear or cancel.

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On models with an electronic oven control, the display has an error or "F" code displayed. What should I do?

To clear the error:

  • Unplug the range or turn the power off for one minute to reset the microprocessor in the control.

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On my glass or ceramic top range the food takes a long time to cook and it takes too long to boil water. The burners seem to cycle off very frequently during use.

Make sure the cookware is flat and smooth.

  • On glass or ceramic top ranges the cookware must be absolutely flat and smooth on the bottom. There should be not grooves, ridges, or embossed designs.
  • If the pan is not flat it will not conduct the heat from the burner to the food inside and the glass top will overheat. This can cause the temperature limiter on the burner to turn the burner off to protect the glass cooktop from damage.

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The time of day does not display on my electronic oven control. If I push the CLOCK pad on the control panel the time will display for a few seconds and then it goes blank again.

  • On many ranges with electronic controls the time of day display can by turned off or on by holding the CLOCK keypad down for 15 seconds.
  • Push and hold the CLOCK keypad.
  • The time will appear for a few seconds, and then disappear and finally it will reappear and beep.

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What is the easiest method to keep my smoothtop glass clean?

For light to moderate soil:

  • Apply a few drops of CookTop® Cleaning Creme directly to the soiled area.
  • Rub the soiled area using a 3M Scotch-Brite® Blue Multi-Purpose No Scratch Scrub Sponge to clean the entire cooktop surface.
  • Make sure the cooktop is cleaned thoroughly, leaving no residue.

For heavy, burned on soil:

  • Apply a few drops of CookTop® Cleaning Creme directly to the soiled area. Rub the soiled area using a 3M Scotch-Brite® Blue Multi-Purpose No Scratch Scrub Sponge, applying pressure as needed.
  • Do not use the sponge you use to clean the cooktop for any other purpose.
  • If soils remain, carefully scrape soils with a metal razor blade scraper, holding scraper at a 30 degree angle to the surface.
  • Remove loosened soils with the cooktop cleaning cream and buff surface clean.
  • Caution: Damage to the ceramic glass cooktop may occur if you use any scrub pad other than a 3M Scotch-Brite® Blue Multi-Purpose No Scratch Scrub Sponge.

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When I used my oven for the first time there was an odor and some smoking.

It's possible to experience some odors, and/or a small amount of smoke from your new range.

  • This is generally from the fiberglass insulation that contains a binding agent to hold it together. The odor will diminish after first using your oven.
  • Before cooking in your oven for the first time, we recommend that you turn the oven ON at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

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The cooktop surface seems too hot to touch while using the surface elements, and/or oven.

During operation, the cooktop surface will increase in temperature. It's normal for heat to reflect from your cookware and the surface elements that heat the surrounding area. There is additional heat when the oven is in operation.

  • Consult your Owner's Guide for proper pan size and oven vent location.
  • Read the Cautions and Warnings throughout the Owner's Guide.

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The left rear surface element gets warm when using the oven, although the element is not being used.

The oven vent is located under the left rear surface element. During oven operation warm air rises through the vent for proper air circulation in the oven and good baking result.

  • Do not line the burner drip bowl with aluminum foil, doing so will block oven venting.
  • Also, it's not recommended to leave empty pans or utensils on the left rear burner during oven operation; they will get hot to touch.

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My range makes a noise when I use the oven. Is this normal, or is something wrong?

This is normal.

  • Changes in temperature can cause metal to expand and contract.
  • Back To The Top



My oven door has a soft spongy feel when closed, is there something wrong with the door seal?

This is normal.

  • The soft feel is normal and the seal will give slightly as the door is pushed inward against the oven's front frame.
  • The spongy feel is due to the door gasket design that ensures proper sealing.

Back To The Top



My oven temperature seems too hot for some of my recipes and not hot enough for others. Do I need a new thermostat?

For peace of mind, your oven thermostat has been factory calibrated and tested to ensure an accurate baking temperature.

  • For the first few uses, follow your recipe times and temperature recommendations carefully.
  • Be sure to read the Owner's Guide for: baking, roasting and broiling suggestions, proper utensils and their use, causes and cures of common baking problems, safety measures and cleaning, what to check before calling for service, as well as all the other valuable information prepared to help you.
  • Also, if you use dark-colored pans, they tend to absorb heat and can make the bottom of whatever you cook darker or cause it to overcook or get done faster.
  • If you feel your oven is too hot or too cool, some models allow the oven temperature to be adjusted to your liking.
  • Consult Owner's Guide for adjusting temperature.

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The door latch hook on my self cleaning oven is extended preventing the oven door from closing.

Look on the front face of the oven at the top left corner for the oven light switch button.

  • Push and hold the button with your finger for 30 seconds to see if the lock motor will open the latch hook.
  • If the hook does not move continue to hold the button and press the clear or cancel button on the control panel.
  • If the latch hook remains in the locked position contact a servicer for repair.

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On models with an electronic oven control, the display has an error or "F" code

To clear the error:

  • Unplug the range or turn the power off for one minute to reset the microprocessor in the control.

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The time of day does not display on my electronic oven control. If I push the CLOCK pad on the control panel the time will display for a few seconds and then it goes blank again.

On many ranges with electronic controls the time of day display can by turned off or on by holding the CLOCK keypad down for 15 seconds.

  • Push and hold the CLOCK keypad. The time will appear for a few seconds, and then disappear and finally it will reappear and beep.
  • Release the keypad and the time should continue to display.
  • Follow this same procedure to turn the time display off.

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My electric burners do not heat or only partially heat.

To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.

  • See if the burner could be loose. Some GE ranges have plug-in burners and the burners can become loose in the socket.
  • Unplug the burner, then reinstall to fully seated position.
  • Make sure the correct burner is selected, matching the correct burner to the proper switch.
  • Make sure your pan has a flat, smooth bottom.
  • For smooth-top radiant ranges and ranges with solid disk surface burner elements, it is essential that your pan have a flat, smooth bottom for proper operation. If the pan is not flat, the heat sensors built into these elements will prematurely cycle and turn off the heat to the element.
  • Check circuit breakers/fuses and power cord. If none of your burners work, but the oven works partially, it is likely a voltage problem. Pull the drawer out on free standing & slide-in ranges to access to the plug. Make sure it is connected securely. For your safety make sure the circuit breaker or fuse is disconnected before checking the power cord for a loose connection.
  • Check the burner. If one burner doesn't heat, remove it and plug it into another burner receptacle of the same size. Then, turn on that element. If it still does not work, the element will need to be replaced.
  • If none of the burners work, but the oven bakes and broils, you will need to arrange for service.

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My oven and burners do not heat

To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.

  • Check the fuse box or the breaker boxes to be sure the breaker(s) are "On" or that the fuse is good. If fuse has failed,it will need to be replaced. Reset breaker for range by turning it to the "Off" position, wait one minute, then turn it back to the "On" position to reset the breaker. You should do this even if light and/or the clock on the range is working.
  • Try resetting the electronic control. If there is power to the unit and it has an electronic control, disconnect power for 15-30 minutes and re-try. If this fails, call for service.
  • Check the power cord to make sure it is plugged into the wall outlet. The power cord might be unplugged or loose. Pulling the drawer out on free standing & slide-ins will provide access to the plug. For your safety make sure circuit breaker or fuse is disconnected before checking power cord for a loose connection.

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My oven does not heat, but the burners heat.

To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.

  • Make sure that oven controls are set correctly for either bake or broil.
  • Check oven door on Self-Clean ranges to make sure it is in the unlocked position.
  • Check the oven knobs to make sure they are in the correct position. If the range has knobs for oven temperature and oven function and if the control knobs were removed for cleaning, make sure they were reinstalled in the proper location.
Electric Ranges only:
  • Check the bake element. Turn your range "Off" and remove fuses or turn breaker "Off", then unplug the range. Carefully inspect the bake element (lower element) for cracks or breaks. If cracked or broken, it will need to be replaced.

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My oven temperature is not correct.

To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.

  • Make sure your oven preheated. Your oven needs time to preheat before baking. Most pies, cakes, biscuits, etc., have such short cooking times that failure to preheat the oven can make a significant difference in your cooking results.
  • Check the type of cookware you are using. Your cookware may be having an effect on your baking results. The type of cookware you use can have an effect on your baking results. If you are using dark baking pans, be sure to reduce the oven temperature 25 degrees. These pans retain heat and at the regular baking temperatures some foods may burn or overcook.
  • Make sure heat is not blocked from circulating in the oven. If you use aluminum foil on your oven shelf, never cover the entire shelf. This will block the circulation of heat in your oven. You should always allow 2" around the back & sides of the oven shelf for heat circulation.
  • Check the placement of pans in your oven. Pan placement may be affecting how your oven heats. How and where you place pans in your oven will make a difference. Make sure that you leave at least 1-2 inches between pans and between the pans and the side/rear walls of the oven to ensure proper air/heat circulation.
  • Check the rack position. Rack position can also be critical to proper baking. See your Use and Care Manual for details.
  • Make sure the oven door was not opened during cooking. Opening the oven door frequently when cooking can increase the cooking time.
  • Also, check the oven gasket for rips or tears. A torn gasket will need to be replaced.
Electric ranges only:

Turn your oven on and make sure that the bake element (the one in the bottom of the oven) glows in the bake cycle. Then set the oven control to broil and watch the broil element (the one in the top of the oven) to see if it glows. If not, there may be a malfunction in the element.

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My range surface seems too hot.

To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.

Electric range:

  • Make sure the oven vent is not misplaced or covered. On ranges with Calrod coils (not smooth top cooktop), the oven vents from beneath the right rear burner. When the oven is in use, heat is exhausted under that coil. If the offset vent is misplaced, heat from the oven will divert under the cooktop, rather than out from right rear burner. For help in positioning offset vent, refer to the Use and Care Booklet. Ranges manufactured after 1992 have the oven vent tube mounted directly under (not offset) the right rear Calrod element.
  • Avoid covering the right rear Calrod element with a decorative burner cover. This will cause heat to build up under the cooktop when the oven is in use.
  • Make sure the burners are uncovered. Covering the drip pans with aluminum foil will transfer more heat to the cooktop.
  • Check the pan size. Oversized pans will trap heat between the bottom of the pan and the cooktop; this will transfer a lot of heat to the cooktop. Your pans should not hang over more than 1" on each side of any surface burner. (e.g., on an 8" burner the maximum pan size should not exceed 10 inches. On 6" burners the pans you use should not be larger than 8 inches.)
  • Check the type of burners. On ranges with cast iron solid disk burners, the transfer of heat from those burners to the cooktop can be significant and the cooktop can become very hot. Caution should be used with these type burners.
  • Check the type of drip pans. Dark or porcelain drip pans can conduct more burner heat to the cooktop than bright aluminum drip pans under your Calrod coil surface elements.

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