Broil element acting weird

Hi there,
Help! My New Year's Day diner is in jeopardy...
I have a Frigidaire oven (Model: FEC55EB-1) that is acting up strangely as of late. On this model, a selector knob allows for the use of the bottom (bake) or top (broil) element and a separate knob controls the temperature. When using the bake element, all is fine and the oven keeps precise temperature. When using the broil element, if it is set at, let say, 450F, the element kicks in and becomes red and the temperature starts to rise. Then, at about 350F, the element stops working and the temperature stops rising. You can wait all you want, the temperature will start to slowly decrease and the element will not work again. The heating led does stay on. If you slowly turn down the temperature knob, it will reach a point where the heating led goes off; I believe that would be the temperature of the oven at that point. Pushing the knob at higher temperature, or even all the way up, will not start the broil element again, but, opening the door for a while will. If you shut down the oven and start the broil element at 450F again, the behaviour is the same (it will work for a while and then stop before reaching the set temperature). If you switch to the bake element at any time, the oven works perfectly and keeps its temperature.
I'm a bit puzzled because I can see the broil element is not shorted and becomes red hot when it starts. Also, the temperature probe and control seem to work fine since the bake element can keep the temperature constant. I was told it could be the door not closing well. I can see the seal might not be in perfect, but wouldn't that make the oven heat constantly?
I wouldn't mind opening the unit and testing stuff, I'm just wondering where would be a good place to start?
Feeling inspired?
Sylco
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I'll make a guess here. There is nothing wrong with oven, operating procedure might be the problem.
My recollection of only electric oven I have used is:
Broiling (top element active) is supposed to be done with the door open. The food is cooked with radiant heat from a constantly active element.
Keeping the door closed allows the oven to over heat since during broiling the element stays on constantly.
Try broiling something (a couple of hamburger or chicken breasts) with the door open.
Also I believe on the temperature knob there is a "broil" setting at the very high end of the temperature range.
To broil you must set the "mode" select knob to broil as well as the temperature knob to broil.
These comments are based on the recollection of the electric oven in my mother's house. All of my house's for the past 25 years have had gas ovens.
Good luck. let me know if this helps Cheers Bob
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On 12/28/2004 12:31 PM US(ET), Bob K 207 took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

I have a Kenmore double wall electric oven (made by Frigidaire) which was installed Thanksgiving day. Although we have not used the broil feature yet, I just read the user manual and you are correct about the door having to be partially open when broiling. From Page 22, "Setting Broil" "Make sure the the oven door is in the broil stop position (See Figure 4)", and figure 4 shows the door being partially open.
If you pull open the oven door slowly, there will be a position where it stays open by itself about 6" from the closed position.

--
Bill

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Bill- Thanks for checking in your oven manual, it's been awhile since I used an electric oven in broil mode.
I vaguely remember a similar problem.
cheers Bob
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On 12/28/2004 2:47 PM US(ET), Bob K 207 took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

No problem, Bob. My oven is new enough so that the manual was still handy. :-)
--
Bill

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Hehehe!
I can't wait to tell the wife when she returns. We had a little argument about all this.
The whole thing revolved around the temperature knob NOT having a "Broil" setting. My position was that, no matter what, you always leave the door opened while broiling (...adding that my mother always did it that way did not help much... To the contrary...). My wife was to the opinion that when the temperature knob does not have a "Broil" setting and when you have a second knob for choosing the element, it should be possible to broil at whatever temperature. She believed that opening the door was only for the highest setting. All the ovens we owed before this one had a "Broil" setting on the temperature knob. This particular one came with the new house.
Before posting, I read the manual in French (our first language at home) and it is true that the instructions were really difficult to understand. Since I don't cook, I thought I would go with the wife's version (...sorry mom!). Now that I read it in English, it is a little clearer, but still confusing. It is one of those manual where they try to cover like 17 different models in one book.
So, I'm pretty sure you guys are right and I will be showing my wife how to properly use an oven tonight. Pushing my luck? Sure, but she didn't have to bring my mother's bad cooking in the mix!
Thanks
Salivating Sylco...
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yes! even when you're right & your wife is wrong..........you'll turn out to be wrong.
how about just getting the thing to work without rubbing her nose in her mistake
btw, aren't you supposed to always listen to your mom?
Is suggest you spend some time on your delivery od this new info, not "I told you so!"
cheers Bob
Sylco-
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Sylco,
I never use my broiler so I may be wrong but what you describe sounds reasonable. Broiling is not normally done with a thermostatic control. Normally the oven door is partially open and the broiling element remains red hot. The food is placed closely under the element and is seared on the outside. It is a quick method of cooking. Check your owner's manual for advice on how to use your oven.
Dave M.
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All the North American style electric ovens we have encountered one 'broils' (i.e. radiant heat from above cooks the food) you keep the door open. Other wise the oven goes overheat and cuts out! Until it cools down somewhat and depending on what over-heat safety devices it has. Now retired we ran a catering company for 34 years and occasionally when catering in different locations with all kinds of different model cooking stoves, we would have had a problem when someone unknowingly would turn the oven thermostat all the way to the end (Maximum). This in many models turns 'off' the lower-roasting element and turns 'on' the broiling element). Then perhaps they would turn thermostat back to the normal cooking temperature of say 350 deg. F, and would then try to cook the food in the normal manner with the door closed. This would cause the oven to: a) not heat properly and b) Keep cutting out. The correct 'broiling procedure' is probably described in the Owners Handbook? 2 cents from here
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Hi,
**FEC55EB-1**
Model# won't come up for me....possible too old for online stuff or Canadian model??
**When using the broil element, if it is set at, let say, 450F, the element kicks in and becomes red and the temperature starts to rise. Then, at about 350F, the element stops working and the temperature stops rising. You can wait all you want, the temperature will start to slowly decrease and the element will not work again. The heating led does stay on.**
Bad temp control or possibly the oven is shutting off on a built in safety device ( -might- look like a dryer thermostat )....eps if broiling with the door closed.
Just an idea ;)
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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