Troubleshooting an Oven: Broiler Doesn't Work

man fixing an oven door with a drill
  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 45
What You'll Need
Boiler element

Troubleshooting oven problems can help to correct various difficulties that you are experiencing with your oven. There are a number of problems which can affect electric ovens, one common problem is that the broiler doesn't work.

As the broiler is one of the most useful components of your oven it can be very annoying when it doesn't work correctly. However there are a number of different things that you can try to resolve this issue.


When working on electric ovens you must switch off the power. Failing to switch off the power will be very dangerous. Disconnect the power at the circuit breaker in your homes main electrical panel. Check that the circuit is completely dead by trying to turn the cooker on before working on it.

Never attempt to work on an electric cooker without first turning the power off.

Broiler problems can also affect gas ovens but this troubleshooting guide is only designed for electric ovens. Gas ovens are very different and you should not attempt to follow the same guide.

Reseating the Element

The broiler element of an oven is the one attached at the top of the oven box. If the element or the wires have become loose from their terminals or plug-ins, it may not provide good contact for the element to heat-up. Try to reseat or tighten the terminals but before doing so you must ensure that the electricity is turned off.

Testing the Element

The element is what heats up and cooks the food in the broiler. Over time the heat can damage the broiler element. These elements are supported by stand-offs and if the element burns out or becomes damaged then this can be a common reason why the broiler isn't working.

The easiest way to test whether this is working is to turn the broiler on and look at the element. If it is working correctly then the element should be glowing red.

Another slightly more complicated test for the broiler element is to remove the element from the oven and disconnect it. Then use a multimeter to check the continuity of the element. Set the multimeter to measure resistance and then put it either side of the element. The normal measurement should be between 20 and 40 ohms. If the element is infinitely resistant then this means it's broken and will need to be replaced.

Testing Oven Controls

Another reason why the broiler will fail to work is because of problems with the oven controls. A control switch is used to turn on the broiler element and should be turned on to see whether the broiler is working properly. If not the controls can be removed and tested using a multimeter. Check the outputs to ensure that the controls are working correctly.

These can also be replaced if required by fitting a replacement part designed specifically for your oven.