How to Fix a Non-Heating Surface Element in Your Maytag Range

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A non-heating surface element can put a real damper on your nightly dinner preparation. While a burned-out surface element is often the cause of the issue, there are other components in your Maytag range model MER550AAA that when malfunctioning can lead to an element not heating up. Two very likely culprits are the element receptacle and the infinite switch. If you believe one of these components is the reason your stove’s heating element isn’t working, continue reading for step-by-step replacement instructions.

Range Safety Repair Tips

  • Always unplug your range or turn it off at your home’s circuit breaker before starting a repair.
  • Protect your hands and eyes while fixing your range by wearing work gloves and safety goggles.
  • Ranges are complicated appliance’s, meaning if at any point you don’t feel you can safely complete the repair, please stop what you’re doing and contact a professional appliance repair technician.

The Element Receptacle

The surface elements in your stove connect to element receptacles. The receptacles link the surface burners to the stove’s internal wiring. When the burners won’t heat up, there’s a good chance the receptacle contacts have burnt out, meaning the surface element is not receiving power. A visual inspection of the element receptacle contacts will help you determine whether the component is the cause of your non-heating surface element.

How to Replace the Element Receptacle in Your Maytag Range

  1. Remove the surface element from your stove by lift it up and pulling it out. Next, take off the burner’s drip pan.
  2. Using a quarter inch nut driver, unthread the screw securing the element receptacle to the cooktop.
  3. In order to properly uninstall the receptacle, you’ll have to lift up your range’s cooktop. To do so, open the oven door and take out the two screws securing the cooktop to the range, and then shut the oven door.
  4. Before you lift up the cooktop find a long piece of wood or metal to act as a support beam. Then, pick up the cooktop and position the support beam so it’s safely holding the cooktop in an upright angle.
  5. A heat shield is attached to the underbelly of the cooktop. Before you can access the element receptacle, you’ll have to uninstall the shield by unthreading the screws that secure it to the cooktop. Once the screws are out, slide the heat shield off the cooktop.
  6. To uninstall the faulty element receptacle, you’ll need to cut off about four inches of its attached wire. After the wire is cut, remove the receptacle from your stove.
  7. The wires attached to the new element receptacle are a bit longer than needed, so place the old receptacle next to the new one to measure the correct length. Because you will need to strip the new wire, add an extra inch to the measured length before cutting it.
  8. Strip off the ends of the new wires, and then head back to your range to strip off the ends of the wires still attached to your appliance.
  9. Hold one wire from the new element receptacle next to one of the wires still connected to the stove. Then, install a wire nut to hold the two ends together. Repeat the same process with the other two wires.
  10. With the cooktop still in an upright position, install the new element receptacle to its spot under the burner opening.
  11. After the element receptacle is secure, grab the cooktop heat shield and slide it into place. Then, add the shield’s mounting screws to hold it down.
  12. Take out the cooktop support beam and lower the cooktop. Once the cooktop panel is centered on the range, open the oven door and rethread the screws that secure the cooktop to your appliance.
  13. Replace the drip pan, and then insert the ends of the surface element into the element receptacle.
  14. Plug-in your range or turn it back on at your home’s circuit breaker. Once power is returned to your appliance, turn on the surface burner to ensure the new element receptacle has fixed the non-heating surface element.

The Infinite Switch

Located on your range’s control panel, the infinite switch controls the power that runs to the surface burners. A faulty switch can either stop a surface element from heating up or it can cause the surface element to remain on high heat at all times. Replacing the infinite switch is a straightforward repair that shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two.

How to Replace the Infinite Switch in Your Maytag Range

  1. Pull off the burner knob that controls the non-heating surface element.
  2. Before removing the upper, back access panel, you must take off the lower, back access panel. To do so, unthread the screws that secure the panel to your range, and then pull the panel off your appliance.
  3. Next, using a quarter inch nut driver, remove the screws holding the upper, back access panel to the range. After the screws are out, pull the bottom of the panel towards you, and then slide the top of the panel down to take it off your appliance.
  4. Locate the infinite switch that controls the non-heating burner. You will need to disconnect the four wires attached to the switch terminals. If you’re unable to remember which terminal each wire runs to, please take a picture so you won’t encounter an issue when it comes time to reconnect them. Using needle noise pliers, detach the wires from the infinite switch.
  5. Now that the wires are disconnected, head to the front of your range and unthread the screws securing the infinite switch to the control panel. Once the screws are out, remove the infinite switch from the back of your appliance.
  6. Install the new infinite switch by inserting the switch shaft through the hole in the control panel, and then secure the component by rethreading its mounting screws. Next, reconnect the switch wires to the proper terminals.
  7. Replace the top, back access panel followed by the bottom, back access panel. Once both panels are in place, head to the front of your range and reinstall the surface burner knob.

If the element receptacle and the infinite switch are not behind the non-heating surface element on your stove, please contact us today, and we’ll help you diagnose and repair the malfunction.

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