The infinite switch on your stove burner is the type that turns continuously from the highest to the lowest setting rather than clicking between three to five pre-set temperatures. While almost everyone has worked with burner switches more times than we could possibly count, the naming scheme is not something that is universal from household to household. You may think of it as the burner knob, the burner switch, the stove switch, and so on. But in the repair world, these are called an infinite switch. Sometimes a surface element infinite switch. But whatever you call the thing, when it breaks it’s bad news for your ability to use your stove. Whether your favorite burner has stopped working or an essential secondary burner often used to cook the veg or garnish, you want that thing fixed.
The good news is that replacing your infinite switch is surprisingly easy to do. If you can get behind your stove, that is. The hardest part of this repair will be moving your stove away from the wall. Let’s get started.
Gather Your Supplies
The first thing you’ll need, of course, is a replacement infinite switch controller. You can find this by researching your stove’s make and model of your stove and locating the correct replacement part number in the manual. Once you’ve ordered the right infinite switch replacement, gather the rest of the needed supplies.
- Nut Driver, 1/4 inch
- Work Gloves
- Cardboard (stove sized sheet) or towel
- A Friend (optional)
- Replacement Infinite Switch
Pull the Stove Away from the Wall
– Place Towel or Cardboard on Floor
Start by laying down a wide piece of cardboard in front of your stove, ready to receive the feet. This is to protect your floor from potential scratching as you move such a large and heavy object. If you don’t have a large piece of cardboard, a towel or two can fill in. Get help from a friend for this process if necessary.
– Lift and Pull
Carefully, lift and pull your stove forward, being sure to set the front feet on the carboard. The cardboard will then slide, making it easier to pull your stove out the rest of the way.
– Slide Stove Forward
Slide your stove out until you will be able to stand behind it for the access-panel half of this repair.
Disconnect the Power
Now that you can access the back of the stove, pull the plug. As this repair involves an electrical component, it’s necessary to cut the power in order to make sure you do not get shocked. Even wearing work gloves is not safe. The power must be pulled. If you still can’t reach the stove plug, you can switch the breaker that powers the stove instead.
Removing the Old Infinite Switch
– Pull Off the Switch Knob
Now you’re ready to start the replacement. Begin by removing the knob of the infinite switch that has stopped working. Set the knob on the stove surface. Now is a good time to soak and clean it if the knob has gotten dirty over time.
– Remove the 2 Screws Beneath the Knob
Removing the knob will reveal two mounting screws holding the switch in place. Unscrew these two mounting screws and set them aside next to the knob. You’ll need them later.
– Remove the Top Back Panel of the Stove
Now step behind the stove. Use your nut driver to remove the nut screws around the perimeter of the upper back panel. Set the nut screws aside and then carefully lift and pull away from the back panel. Be sure to be wearing your work gloves, as the edges of this panel or the compartment it protects can be sharp.
– Remove the Wires From the Old Switch
The old switch will be easy to identify. Not only is it in the matching location from the knob, but it will also be hanging loose because you already removed the mounting screws. Grab your new switch and prepare to transfer the wires. Remove the wires from the old switch to fully uninstall it from the stove.
Installing the New Infinite Switch
– Transfer Wires Onto New Switch
Holding both switches, transfer the wires you just disconnected to the new switch in exactly the same way they were connected to the old switch. This is the easiest way to ensure that the wire components are connected exactly.
Note: If you aren’t comfortable holding both switches at once, take a quick phone-picture before removing the wires of the old switch and use this as a reference when installing the wires onto the new switch.
– Set Switch Into Place
Making sure the switch is upright, push its post through the hole in the front panel, then hold it in place.
– Secure with Front Two Screws
Hold the switch in position as you reattach the two mounting screws. Your friend can hold the switch in place if holding and securing is difficult to do at the same time.
– Return the Switch Knob
Once the new switch is mounted and secured, you can return the new switch knob. Pat yourself on the back for completing the switch replacement and get ready to push your stove back into place.
Returning Your Stove to Its Place
– Plug Stove Back In
Before you close the gap in your cabinets, be sure to plug your stove back in while you can reach the outlet. Then tuck the cable in a way that won’t get in the way of pushing the stove back.
-Slide Stove Backward
Carefully slide the stove backward on the cardboard and fit it into the slot between your cabinets.
– Fit Feet Into Bracket
As your stove gets close to ‘in position’, make sure that the feet slide into the foot brackets that have held it securely in place for years. Line up the feet so that they naturally slide back into the grooves as you shove.
– Nudge Stove Firmly Into Place
Use your hips to nudge the stove fully back into place. The lower focus of force will help move the body small amounts as you get your stove locked into the brackets and firmly secured in position.
Test Your Success
Finally, you’re ready to test your new burner switch. Switch it on and see if your burner glows. If it glows, enjoy cooking yourself a victory snack to make sure the temperatures are still what you remember them to be in correlation with the numbers on the knob.