Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 8, 2014 05:56 AM

What would cause the bottom coil in a circa 1988 electric oven (Kenmore) to "dip down" in a deformation about 3-4 inches long?

I just noticed this for the first time the other day. Nothing has impacted the coil, and it was bent down to nearly touching the bottom of the oven floor.

I tried to bend it back a little and maybe it did bend back a little, but I am curious:

1. what would cause this bend down in the first place (not being touched by something else)?

2. is it dangerous to use in this state?

3. should i try to bend it back more?

4. can i just replace that coil myself (or does a pro need to do it?)

Anything else I should know?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Does it have little "feet" holding the coil up?
    My old electric oven had little metal thingies that held the coil off the oven floor. There were (I think) 3 of them - one on each front corner and one in the front-middle. They were not attached, but just slipped under the coil. Somehow, the middle one disappeared. I was able to get a new one at an appliance store. If you have the 2 corner feet in place, but the middle one is missing, the middle of the coil would sag as you describe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: onrushpam

      it does have feet, but the sag is actually not far from a foot.

    2. Is this a coil ( I think coil when I think electric stove) or a "rope" about 1/2" thick

      If it is the latter , in my case the rope for my broiler sagged then later caught fire and separated.

      I was able to replace the rope, cost about $50 plus $50 labor, was a 1976 unit in about 1990.

      While I used mine after it sagged it did cause a flame when it burned through. I did not touch it

      Nothing else caught fire, I was watching as it was burning and shut it off, I keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen as well as baking soda, they were not needed.

      I found three parts places in my area, one of the three had the part. After I got home , I remembered the advice the bathroom remodel contractor gave, he said he subs out electrical work, electrical could kill him and if done wrong could kill me. Later I wondered if there was some sort of law (licensing) or liability issue that caused him to out source. So I called a mobile appliance repair man

      The replacement unit was plug in with a wire (ground?). Turn off circuit breaker, use a nut driver to remove a mounting plate, pull the old unit out, disconnect wire. The replacement came in a plastic bag and no instructions

      3 Replies
      1. re: Alan408

        it is a "rope" i guess -- a skinny snake.

        sounds like i need a pro, because i don't want to mess with electrical replacements (though we did put in our overhead fans).

        the catching fire thing freaks me out. and i too keep a fire extinguisher nearby. but still…just the thought of needing to use it!

        1. re: alkapal

          No pro required. The electric coil in an oven, at least an old style one that is exposed, is simply pluged into the rear of the oven. The most you will need is a 1/4" or 3/16" nut driver to remove two screws at the back of the heating element, it could just need a screw driver. Take out the screws, take out the old element, plug in the new element and replace the screws. You can get new elements either on line with make and model number or go to your local appliance parts store. It's just a little more difficult than sticking out your toung.

          1. re: mikie

            That is what I did, but my replacement had a wire attached to the base of one of the two prongs

            Is there a left-right/right side up vs down. My prongs looked the same

            It took the repair guy longer to write up the invoice than it took to replace the element

      2. Hi, alkapal:

        What mikie said. Replacing that bottom element should be very easy. Sears can get you a new one PDQ, I bet. Will come with instructions.


        1. thank you everyone who replied. i appreciate your advice, and feel confident i can do this!