DIY How to Replace a Cooktop Range

02.15.12 By //
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I decided to replace my cooktop about a month ago. The one I had was twelve years old and was a pain to clean. It had the old coil burners and was starting to give me a few problems. I wanted one of the new, sleek smooth cooktops but I ran into one problem… When I remodeled the kitchen, I based the cutout for the cooktop on the one I already had. In other words, I thought that all cooktops needed basically the same cutout dimensions and therefore, I did not allow for “future expansion”! Most of the smooth cooktops are bigger and require at least a half-inch more in depth. I didn’t have that half-inch to spare. This is where the research came in. Not only did I look at a ton of cooktops, I looked at the installation manuals at the cutout requirements until I found one in my price range that would fit in the opening without too much modification. In fact, I didn’t have to modify the opening at all! I am thrilled with the new cooktop and installation was a snap! It took less than 30 minutes from start to finish!

Replacing a kitchen appliance doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, the installation is the easiest part! There are several pre-installation steps involved that will make the replacement a success.

First, do your research. If you find something you like, take all factors such as cost, the life of the appliance, efficiency, etc. into consideration. Read reviews that others have posted about that particular appliance and let that aid in the decision making process!

Next, as in the case of the cooktop, measure the cutout in the countertop and make sure the new one will fit. Some companies will not accept returns unless there is a manufacturing default in the appliance. Making sure the new one will fit is THE most important step!

Read the installation instructions that came with the cooktop. My dad has a saying, “If all else fails, read the instructions.” This is another very important step and really only takes a few minutes. I like to study my instruction manuals so that I know exactly what I’m getting into before I start a project.

Last, if in doubt about installation, ask for help. Its really not hard but if one is nervous about working with electrical connections, it would be best to consult a professional!

Go to the breaker box and shut off the power to your cooktop or range. It should be on its own breaker and be easy to locate.

Locate the junction box. Remove the cover and disconnect the wiring.

Remove the old cooktop and any brackets that may be installed with it.

Measure the cutout and adjust if necessary. My cooktop came with support brackets to keep the cooktop from moving around in case the opening was a little too big. My opening was not and the cooktop fit in perfectly (whew!!).

Reconnect the wiring. Match the wires color for color (read the manual if you are unsure) and cap them off. Take both black wires for instance (the one from the new cooktop and the one from the existing wiring), insert them into the wire nut and twist the nut until it won’t turn anymore (remember righty-tighty!). Tape the wire nuts to the wiring and make sure none of the wiring is exposed. Do this for each set of wires and make sure it is properly grounded (again, consult the manual). Carefully put the wires back into the junction box and replace the cover.

Turn the breaker back on and test your appliance. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

If in doubt, consult a professional!

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