Do Oven Elements Glow Red? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’ve ever wondered why your oven’s heating element is glowing red, you’re not alone. Oven heating elements are responsible for heating up the oven to the desired temperature, and they do so by converting electrical energy into heat. One of the most common ways to tell if your oven heating element is working is by checking to see if it’s glowing red.

While a red glow is a good sign that your oven heating element is working, it’s not the only way to tell. In some cases, the element may still be working even if it’s not glowing red. However, if the element isn’t heating up at all, or if it’s only heating up in certain spots, then it’s likely that it needs to be replaced.

Should Oven Elements Glow Red?

Yes, oven elements should glow red when the oven is in use. The element is designed to get hot and provide the necessary heat for cooking. The red glow indicates that the element is working and producing heat.

It’s normal for the element to glow at all times, even when you’re not cooking. This is because the element is designed to maintain a certain temperature in the oven. The element will cycle on and off to maintain the desired temperature, which can cause it to glow intermittently.

If the element is not glowing, it may indicate that there is a problem with the oven. It could be a faulty element, a wiring issue, or a problem with the temperature sensor. If you notice that the element is not glowing, it’s best to have a professional inspect the oven to determine the cause of the problem.

What are Oven Elements?

If you have an electric oven, you have oven elements. They are the coils that are located on the top and bottom of the oven and are responsible for heating up the oven to the desired temperature. Oven elements are made of metal and are connected to the oven through terminals and wires.

Types of Oven Elements

There are two types of oven elements: bake elements and broil elements. The bake element is the one located at the bottom of the oven and is responsible for heating the oven for baking. The broil element, on the other hand, is located at the top of the oven and is responsible for heating the oven for broiling.

Bake elements are usually larger and thicker than broil elements. They are designed to heat up the oven to the desired temperature and maintain that temperature throughout the baking process. Broil elements, on the other hand, are smaller and thinner. They are designed to heat up the oven quickly and provide high heat for broiling.

How do oven elements work?

When you turn on your oven, the heating elements are responsible for producing the heat that cooks your food. Here’s how they work:

The heating process

The heating elements in your oven are made of metal coils that are heated by electricity. When the elements are turned on, an electrical current flows through them and they begin to heat up. As they heat up, they radiate heat out into the oven and cook your food.

Temperature and glowing

As the heating elements heat up, they begin to glow red. This is because they are getting very hot and are emitting light in the visible spectrum. The temperature of the elements can reach up to 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the setting on your oven.


When you preheat your oven, you are allowing the heating elements to heat up to the desired temperature before you put your food in. This ensures that your food will cook evenly and at the right temperature. Preheating can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, depending on the temperature setting and the type of oven you have.

When to Replace Oven Elements?

Signs of a Faulty Element

If your oven isn’t heating up or taking longer than usual to reach the desired temperature, it could be a sign of a faulty heating element. Another sign is if you notice that the element is not glowing red when the oven is turned on, or if it’s only glowing in certain areas.

Testing the Element

To test the element, you can perform a continuity test using a multimeter. First, turn off the power to the oven and unplug it. Then, remove the element from the oven and use the multimeter’s probes to test for continuity. If there is no continuity, it means that the element is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Replacing the Element

Replacing an oven element is a fairly simple process that you can do yourself. First, make sure that the power to the oven is turned off and the oven is cool. Then, remove the screws that hold the element in place and carefully pull it out. Install the new element by connecting the wires and securing it with the screws.

Overall, it’s important to replace a faulty oven element as soon as possible to ensure that your oven is functioning properly. If you’re unsure about how to replace the element or test for continuity, it’s best to consult a professional or refer to the oven’s manual for guidance.

Maintaining Your Oven Elements


To keep your oven elements functioning properly, it’s essential to keep them clean. Regular cleaning will help prevent buildup of grease and food particles that can cause damage to the elements. Make sure to clean your oven after every use to prevent buildup.

You can clean your oven elements by wiping them down with a damp cloth or sponge. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the elements. If you have a self-cleaning oven, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the elements.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your oven elements can extend their lifespan and prevent costly repairs. Here are some tips for maintaining your oven elements:

  • Check the elements regularly for signs of damage, such as cracks or breaks. If you notice any damage, replace the element as soon as possible.
  • Test the elements periodically to make sure they’re heating properly. Turn on the oven and observe the elements to make sure they’re glowing red. If they’re not, there may be an issue with the element or the power supply.
  • Replace the elements as needed. Over time, oven elements can wear out and lose their ability to heat properly. If you notice that your food isn’t cooking evenly or the elements aren’t heating up as quickly as they used to, it may be time to replace them.


Now that you know what to look for, you can easily tell if your oven element is working properly. If the element is glowing red, it means that electricity is flowing through it and it is hot enough to cause an incandescent reaction. If it’s not heating up or even glowing red while you’re using your oven, then there’s an issue with your burner assembly or with its connection to the main power supply.

Remember to always test your oven element to make sure it’s working properly. If you suspect that it’s not, it’s best to replace it as soon as possible to avoid any potential safety hazards. And don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing a new oven element to ensure that it’s done correctly.

Overall, understanding how your oven element works and what to look for can help you maintain your oven and ensure that it’s working properly. By keeping an eye on your oven element and taking care of it when needed, you can enjoy delicious meals and baked goods for years to come.

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