Design & DIY

How to fix a blown fuse on your stove

Four electric elements on a stove with one turned on Photo by THPStock/Shutterstock

Somewhere in the guts of your old range, there’s a series of fuses that protect the circuits. If the clock, the oven light, the receptacle, or a range-top element stops working on your stove, often the problem is a blown fuse. Before checking the range fuses, go to your electrical panel and turn off the breaker (or pull the fuse) that serves the range. The range’s own fuse panel could be in a variety of locations. Check the owner’s manual, if you still have it. You don’t? Look for a removable panel, usually near the stove controls or near where the power comes in.

Most ranges use plug fuses, the type found in old electrical panels. They have a threaded base, like a light bulb, and a flat, glass top marked with an amperage rating. If a fuse is blown, the metal fusible link under the glass will often be broken and blackened. If a fuse is not visibly blown, you can check it with a multimeter. Set the meter to continuity test; place one test lead on a fuse’s threaded base and the other on its metal tip. If the meter shows continuity, the fuse is good. Swap out a blown fuse for a fresh one, and always use the same amperage. If the fuse keeps blowing, call an appliance repairperson.

Electrical multimeters are invaluable for troubleshooting, but many of the good ones are expensive and overly confusing. Look for one that measures AC and DC voltage and tests for continuity. ’Nuff said.

Pro tip
Fuses hide in many places on your vintage range, including: under a flip-up lid, near the controls, and beneath the stovetop.

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