Cooktops Problems

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Cooktopelement won't turn off

Element Switch

If the top element won’t turn off, the switch is probably defective. When the switch fails it often fuses internal contacts together, and then the top element won’t turn off. The only solution is to replace the top element switch, they can’t be tested or repaired.

Coil Cooktop Element

If the top element won’t turn off, the coil top element might be shorted out. If there is any kind of break, crack, or hole in the coil top element, replace the element. If it won’t turn off it can cause a burn hazard, disconnect power to the stove until the element is repaired.

Radiant Cooktop Element

If you’re radiant top element won’t turn off it may have an electrical short circuit. If this happens, the radiant top element will need to be replaced, they are not repairable.

Solid Cooktop Element

If the solid top element won’t turn off, it might be at fault. Although the switch is usually the defective part in this situation, it’s possible that the solid top element has short circuited. If this is the problem, replace the solid surface element, they are not repairable. Inside the steel outer shell is a heating element – similar to a light bulb, that provides the heat. Sometimes these short out halfway through the element which causes them to stay on.

Cooktop burners spark all the time

Spark Ignition Switch

If the burners spark all the time and won’t stop, one of the burner spark ignition switches is probably defective. This is a common burner spark problem. Mounted on each burner control valve is a small switch, as the knob is rotated to the “Lite” position electrical contacts in the switch are pressed together and provide power to the spark module. If the spark ignition switch is defective the contacts may stay pressed together, causing the burners to spark all the time. First determine which of the switches is defective and then replace it. Spark ignition switches are not repairable.

 

Spark Module

If the burners spark all the time, one of the spark ignition switches is probably stuck. However, in some instances a bad spark module can cause this problem. After checking each of the burner switches, if the burners still spark all the time consider replacing the spark module.

Cooktop element won't work

Cooktop Element Switch

If the surface element won’t work, and there is another element of the same size on the stove, try switching the elements. If it still won’t work, the surface element switch is probably defective. The surface element switch can’t be tested or repaired, it will have to be replaced.

Cooktop Element Board

If a surface element won’t work the surface element board might be defective. Each burner is switched on and off with the help of a relay on the surface element board. If one or more relays has failed the surface element won’t work. If two or more burners fail at the same time, this is likely the problem. If only one surface element won’t work and the element itself checks out to be good, the surface element board might be defective.

Incoming Power Problem

Although not as common, if the surface element won’t work it is possible that the appliance is not receiving proper voltage. Electric ranges require 220 volts of alternating current. If for some reason the appliance is receiving significantly less, the surface element won’t work. Check for proper voltage using a volt meter at the socket where the appliance plugs in.

Coil Surface Element

If the surface element won’t work, the coil surface element might be burned out. Most coil surface elements can be pulled out of their socket and checked with an Ohm meter for continuity. If the surface element won’t work, check to see if there is any visible damage to the coils. Also, check to be sure the element is pushed all the way into the socket.

Radiant Surface Element

The most common cause when the surface element won’t work is the radiant surface element itself. The radiant surface element – or heating element – can burn out similar to a light bulb. If the surface element won’t work and it doesn’t have continuity, it will need to be replaced. The radiant surface element is not repairable.

Element Receptacle and Wire Kit

If a surface element won’t work, there may be a problem in the element receptacle. The surface element plugs onto a terminal block type receptacle. Over time the terminals in the receptacle can have a bad connection and overheat. Look at the receptacle contacts with a flashlight. If the terminals look burnt you will need to replace the element receptacle. also make sure the element prongs are clean and not burnt. If the prongs are burnt bad the element will need to be replaced also.

Cooktop burner spark problem

Spark Module

The spark module provides power to each surface burner spark electrode. A common burner spark problem that occurs when the spark module fails is when there is a very weak spark, or the spark happens intermittently rather than the steady, continuous spark it should have. If the burner spark problem you’re experiencing is that one of the spark electrodes is not sparking and the others are this could be due to a problem with the module although it is more likely to be a problem with the individual spark electrode.

Spark Ignition Switch

If there isn’t any spark when the burner is turned on, but there is a spark when one of the other burners is used then the spark ignition switch is probably defective. This is a common burner spark problem. Mounted on each burner control valve is a small switch, as the knob is rotated to the “Lite” position electrical contacts in the switch are pressed together and provide power to the spark module. If the spark ignition switch is defective no power is sent to the module and there is no spark. This burner spark problem is easily repaired by replacing the spark ignition switch for that burner.

Spark Ignition Switch and Harness

If there isn’t any spark when the burner is turned on, but there is a spark when one of the other burners is used then a spark ignition switch is probably defective. This is a common burner spark problem. Mounted on each burner control valve is a small switch, as the knob is rotated to the “Lite” position electrical contacts in the switch are pressed together and provide power to the spark module. If the spark ignition switch is defective no power is sent to the module and there is no spark. This burner spark problem is easily repaired by replacing the spark ignition switch for that burner. Or if it is a switch and harness assembly replace the assembly.

Spark Electrode

If there is a clicking sound when the burner knob is turned on, but the burner being turned on doesn’t light, the burner spark problem might be caused by a bad spark electrode. The electrode is a small device that sits right next to the burner. It functions like a spark plug. As power is applied to it a spark jumps from the spark electrode to the burner, igniting the gas. If the electrode is broken or worn out the spark may not occur or may jump to a different metal surface. This burner spark problem is easy to correct by replacing the spark electrode.

Dishwasher Doesn't Clean

Water Pump Belt

Although few dishwashers have a water pump belt, if the dishwasher won’t clean dishes there might be a worn or broken water pump belt. Remove the lower kick panel and the motor will be in the front, the water pump belt is on the bottom of the motor.

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Water Inlet Valve

If the dishwasher won’t clean dishes, it might not be getting enough water. There is an electrical valve called a water inlet valve which opens to allow hot water into the dishwasher. If this valve has failed or is clogged the dishwasher won’t clean the dishes properly. The valve cannot be cleaned or repaired and should be replaced.

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Center Wash Arm Assembly

If the dishwasher won’t clean dishes, check the center wash arm assembly. If the center wash arm isn’t getting water, all of the dishes in the upper rack will come out dirty. Check to be sure the center wash arm assembly is mating properly with the water supply nozzle in the back of the dishwasher. Also check to be sure the little holes in the center wash arm aren’t clogged or blocked.

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Lower Wash Arm Assembly

If the dishwasher won’t clean dishes, check the lower wash arm assembly. If the lower wash arm isn’t getting water, all of the dishes in the lower rack will come out dirty. Check to be sure the lower wash arm assembly spins freely. Also check to be sure the little holes in the lower wash arm aren’t clogged or blocked.

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Upper Wash Arm Assembly

If the dishwasher won’t clean dishes, check the upper wash arm assembly. If the upper wash arm isn’t getting water, all of the dishes in the upper rack will come out dirty. Check to be sure the upper wash arm assembly is intact. Also check to be sure the little holes in the upper wash arm aren’t clogged or blocked.

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Circulation Pump

If the dishwasher won’t clean dishes the circulation pump might have failed. If there is no noise coming from the circulation pump after the dishwasher has filled, the pump itself might be burned out. Unfortunately, there isn’t any easy way to test the circulation pump. If other components have been tested and they check out OK, the circulation pump might need to be replaced. This job is somewhat difficult but many DIY’ers are successful replacing the circulation pump.

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Pump and Motor Assembly

If the dishwasher won’t clean the dishes the pump and motor assembly might be defective. Once the dishwasher fills with water, the pump forces the water through the wash arms in order to spray the dishes. If the motor is defective, the pump impeller is broken, or some part of the pump is clogged, the dishes won’t be clean. If the pump and motor has power to it and will not run it will need to be replaced.

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Wash Impeller

On some models there is a small, replaceable impeller on the pump motor. As the motor spins, the impeller forces the water up through the wash arms. If the impeller is missing some of its fins or is broken it may not be able to produce the necessary pressure. The impeller can be replaced independently of the motor and pump assembly on most models.

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Circulation and Drain Pump Motor

If the dishwasher won’t clean dishes the circulation and drain pump motor might have failed. If the motor isn’t making any noise after the dishwasher has filled, the motor itself might be burned out. Unfortunately, there isn’t any easy way to test the motor. If other components have been tested and they check out OK, the circulation and drain pump motor might need to be replaced. This job is somewhat difficult but many DIY’ers are successful replacing the motor.

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Upper Wash Arm Spinner

If the dishwasher won’t clean dishes, check the upper wash arm spinner. If the upper spinner isn’t getting water, all of the dishes in the upper rack will come out dirty. Check to be sure the upper spinner is intact. Also check to be sure the little holes in the spinner aren’t clogged or blocked.

Dishwasher Leaking

Water Inlet Valve

If the dishwasher is leaking water the water inlet valve might be defective. If the water inlet valve sticks open, it will allow water to fill the dishwasher continuously. Some customers report that they see clean water filling the bottom of the dishwasher after it’s been sitting all night or for a couple of days. If this happens, turn off the water that is supplying the dishwasher. This is normally a valve under the kitchen sink. Then, replace the water inlet valve, it cannot be repaired. The water valve needs at least 20 lbs pressure to shut off properly. If your water pressure is too low replacing the valve may not solve the problem.

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Center Wash Arm Assembly

If the dishwasher is leaking water, the center wash arm assembly might be cracked or split. This can allow a jet of water to spray toward the door seal, causing a leak. If a crack or split in the center wash arm assembly is found, replace it. There isn’t any glue that will hold the part together inside the dishwasher.

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Lower Wash Arm Assembly

If the dishwasher is leaking water the lower wash arm assembly might be defective. If the lower wash arm has a crack or split on the end, it can force water to spray directly toward the lower part of the dishwasher door. Then, the water can be forced under the door and onto the floor. Check the lower wash arm for any cracks or splits and replace it if necessary. Also make sure the screws are tight in the wash arm support. If the screws are loose, water can spray out the side of the pump and cause a leak.

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Upper Wash Arm Assembly

If the upper wash arm assembly is broken or cracked it can cause water to spray very forcefully toward the seams of the door, causing a leak.

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Door Seal

Every dishwasher door has a door seal. If the dishwasher is leaking water, it might be that the door seal is defective or worn out. Try closing the dishwasher door on a dollar bill and see if the door seal is making good contact all the way around the door. If not, replace the door seal. If the door seal is good or has been replaced and there is still a leak check the door hinges. If the hinges are bent the door will not close properly and the hinges will need to be replaced.

Microwave Not Working or doesn't heat

Line Fuse

Every microwave oven has a line fuse. This fuse is designed to blow if too much current is drawn through the microwave circuitry. The fuse can be replaced, but the underlying issue should still be investigated and resolved. Otherwise the new fuse will blow also.

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Main Control Board

If the microwave is not working the main control board may be defective. This is not common. When a microwave stops working the problem is usually the line fuse or within the high voltage circuit; either the high voltage capacitor, diode, transformer or magnetron.

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Thermal Fuse

If the microwave is not working the thermal fuse may have blown. It can be tested for continuity. Watch our fuse testing video for more information.

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Thermoprotector

If the microwave is not working the thermoprotector may have tripped. This is a safety device to prevent the microwave from overheating. It can be tested for continuity to see if it’s blown.

Diode

The high voltage diode converts the A/C power output of the transformer to D/C, doubling the voltage to nearly 5,000 volts. This high voltage powers the magnetron which emits the energy that cooks the food. If the diode burns out, a lower A/C voltage reaches the magnetron, which is not sufficient to power the magnetron. When the diode fails it is often visibly burned out. If it appears to be good, it can be tested with a volt-Ohm meter capable of testing diodes. High voltage diodes frequently fail and are one of the most common points of failure in a microwave oven. A regular meter with a diode checker will not work to check these diodes. You have to use a meter with a 9 volt battery or put a 9 volt battery in series with the diode to check it.

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Door Switch

If the microwave does not heat, one of the door switches might be defective. Microwave ovens normally have three door switches, if any of them fail the microwave does not turn on and does not heat. Check the switches for continuity with an Ohm meter.

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Magnetron

If the microwave oven doesn’t heat the magnetron tube might have burned out. The magnetron uses high voltage, high current DC power to generate the microwave frequency that cooks the food. If the microwave oven is turned on when it is empty this can cause the magnetron to burn out. Once it is burned out it has to be replaced, it’s not repairable.

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High Voltage Capacitor

If the microwave doesn’t heat the high voltage capacitor might be defective. The high voltage capacitor works with the high voltage diode to convert the output of the transformer to DC voltage and to double the output voltage. If the capacitor is burned out the entire high voltage circuit stops working properly. The high voltage capacitor can be checked with a special VOM meter which has a capacitance testing capability. Be aware that the high voltage capacitor can retain a charge of more than 3,000 volts and can injure or kill a person if not handled properly. Only trained technicians should perform this type of testing.

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High Voltage Transformer

If the microwave does not heat, the high voltage transformer might be burned out. Microwave ovens produce a very high voltage in order to power the magnetron antenna, which emits the energy that cooks the food. When a high voltage transformer fails it will usually arch and have a burning smell.

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