Jun 11, 2023

Should You Repair or Replace Your Broken Range?

CR’s interactive tool leverages product costs, depreciation rates, and survey data to help you make the right choice. Plus, expert advice on what to do next.

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Ranges are the workhorse of the kitchen, and when they fail, it’s a problem.

Our interactive tool can help you figure out if it’s worth paying a pro to repair your range or if you’re better off buying a new one. Below, we’ll also share tips on the next steps to take, from finding a dependable repair person to tracking down a new replacement that will stand the test of time.

“Whether you should repair your range depends on how old your range is and how much the repair will cost, balanced against the cost of a new model,” says Martin Lachter, research program leader at CR, who helped develop the tool, above.

Generally speaking, the data tends to point to repairing your range. Many range repairs are simple and inexpensive, and some problems don’t need to be addressed immediately. After all, if a heating element on your electric range stops working, you probably have at least three more. For more expensive models, especially pro-style ranges, which cost thousands of dollars to replace, it almost always pays to make a repair. And of course, a repair is infinitely better for the environment. In 2018, the most recent data available, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that 5.3 million tons of waste were generated from large appliances, with 2.1 million tons ending up in a landfill.

Sign CR’s petition for the Right to Repair in your state.

Obviously, a repair makes sense if your range is under warranty. Contact either the manufacturer or store, depending on where the warranty is from. The typical warranty lasts one year and covers all parts and labor for the time frame. But some may provide additional coverage for broken parts if you pay for the labor, and many pro-style ranges offer longer warranties. If your range is no longer under warranty, you might still have a few money-saving options.

Based on our 2021 survey data, 24 percent of ranges that were repaired were worked on by the owner or the owner’s friend or family member. And while most repairs are simple and many are fairly inexpensive, only a small number of range repairs are feasible for most owners to do themselves. Knob and grate replacements are easy and straightforward, as is cleaning out a clogged gas burner with an uneven flame. If a burner on your gas range won’t light, replacing the igniter is also a fairly DIY-friendly job. But remember that it’s essential to unplug your range before attempting any repair to avoid the risk of shock.

For more complex problems—for instance, an oven that won’t heat up or a control-panel failure—hire a pro. You may be able to find a repair person by contacting the manufacturer or the retailer, or by trying an independent repair shop. In our 2021 survey of ranges, roughly two-thirds that were worked on by a repair professional were fixed on the first attempt. However, your chances for success may vary depending on your range type. Here are the success rates for different range types, as reported by our survey respondents:

Making Greener Choices• We compiled strategies to save more—and waste less—all around the house.• Repair vs. Replace: Dishwashers, Dryers, Microwaves, Refrigerators, Washers.• See our Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings.For more, see CR’s Guide to Sustainable Living.

The median cost for parts and labor to repair a broken range is $206, based on our 2021 survey. Again, prices will vary depending on the type of range you have. If the numbers below sound low, keep in mind that they reflect only the prices paid by people who went ahead with a repair. (Anyone who got sticker shock from a repair quote and decided to replace their range instead isn’t included.)

If you know the exact problem with your range—like a shattered glass door or damaged cooktop—you can search online for average repair costs using sites like Angi or Home Advisor.

If you’re unsure of the problem, some newer ranges with WiFi connectivity can self-diagnose when paired with a compatible smartphone app. The range will typically use WiFi to send error codes to your phone. Opening the compatible app will tell you what the problem is and usually provide some basic troubleshooting steps to try before calling for service.

Otherwise, describe what you’re experiencing in a web search; include the brand and model number. This way, you’ll improve the quality of your results and you’ll be more likely to connect with other range owners who have experienced your exact problem, find a fix on video or social media, or get some sense of what the repair might cost. Problems often occur in clusters within a brand. For example, our most recent member surveys found that a staggering 23 percent of Bluestar pro-style ranges experienced ignition problems, compared with a median of only 10 percent for all brands.

If you end up needing a technician, ask friends, neighbors, and local groups on social media for recommendations. If you’re flying blind, try services like Angi or Thumbtack, which can refer you to a local pro for a diagnosis. These pros are generally vetted and background-checked, and you can see ratings and reviews from other consumers in your area.

Once you decide on a repair service, expect a charge for a visit just to diagnose the problem. This will typically be deducted from the cost of your total bill if you use the service to complete your repair, but that’s not always the case. So always review the costs and terms before hiring.

If you’re not sure what a repair would cost (or even exactly how much you paid for your range), here’s a simplified, big-picture look, based on averages. In general, for example, electric-smoothtop ranges that cost more are worth repairing because the cost of a typical repair is a smaller proportion of the value of the range. In other words, a $212 repair on a low-end electric range rarely makes financial sense after the first few years; you’re better off putting the money toward a new $800 range. But for, say, a more premium $1,250 range, the $212 repair is often worth making for at least a decade.

If you’ve decided to replace your range, avoid simply hauling it to the curb to be taken to the landfill. Instead, try to recycle it. With Earth 911’s search tool, you can enter the type of appliance you own and ZIP code to find recycling centers near you.

Once you’re ready to shop, remember that it’s easiest to choose a new range of the same type. Going from an electric range to gas, or vice versa can take more work and money because that process usually involves installing a new gas or electric line in your kitchen. However, there are certainly other advantages to switching from gas to electric.

Take measures to ensure an easier repair experience in the future. For instance, besides checking our range ratings, check user reviews with the Better Business Bureau and on retailer sites (not on the manufacturer’s own site, which will tend to be overly favorable) for any red flags, like a critical mass of people with the same unresolved repair issues. Read the warranty’s fine print to see how comprehensive the coverage is for future repairs. Once you’ve selected the right brand and model for your needs, seek out a retailer you trust. Our appliance store ratings are a great place to start. Below, we’ve highlighted three stellar ranges from some of the most reliable brands in our surveys.

For insight into how well a range will hold up over time, use our comprehensive range ratings. We factor reliability into the Overall Score for every range, and we also provide a stand-alone rating for the predicted reliability for the brand of the range.

Paul Hope

Paul Hope is a senior multimedia content creator at Consumer Reports and a trained chef. He covers ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens, as well as grills, drills, outdoor power tools, decking, and wood stains. Before joining CR in 2016, he tested kitchen products at Good Housekeeping and covered tools and remodeling for This Old House magazine. You’ll typically find him in his old fixer-upper, engrossed in a DIY project or trying out a new recipe.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Broken Range?Sign CR’s petition for the Right to Repair in your stateCheck the manufacturer’s website. Check other sites for user comments.Gas ranges: 70 percent Electric ranges: 69 percent Pro-style ranges: 62 percent Making Greener ChoicesGas ranges: Electric ranges: Pro-style ranges: