Stove plate and element regulator switch Seibe

Stove Repairs in Port Elizabeth South Africa

Regulators control the temperature of a oven or stove plate by switching it on and off. This is done by means of a bi-metal strip that makes contact points open and close on set periods.
Seibe energy regulator
Siebel Energy Regulator is an Infinite switch that turns electric stove plates/ elements/ burner on and off. By turning the rotary knob to various setting it controls the temperature of the heating device (stove plates).

How an Infinite Regulator works

Inside the Regulator is a bimetallic strip that heats up when electricity passes through it. After a few seconds the bimetallic strip bends (warped) causing a spring-loaded control to open (cutting the power flow). Once the power is cut the bi-strip starts to cool down then returning to its original position (Shape). When the bimetallic strip is back in its original shape the whole process starts over again.

The abovementioned mechanical actions is done on very petite scale and it cannot handle the heavy current of a stove plate or heating-element. The simmerstat (fancy name for regulator) needs the help of contactor or a more robust spring loaded switch that mirrors the actions of the little guy mention in the first paragraph.

Now who says the little guys has no control?

By turning the knob to its highest setting it will take longer for the little guy (bimetallic strip) to reach "cut-off (bend) and the heating device gets hotter


Mechanical switches/regulators generate a spark (arcing) everytime it make contact or switches on/off which can cause interference on a radio and electronic gadgets. However if this situation should ever occur it is easy-peasy rectified, with the help of suppressors.

Manufacturers use the seibe regulator because its reliable switches at a cheap price. Defy appliances use them in most of their cooking appliances.

Regulator points are closed
Unfortunately like most things these switches also only has a lifespan before the go on the blink. The two main symptoms that will tell you it's your regulator that is faulty;

  1. The range or element stay on all the time and overheat.
  2. The element unit does not turn-on at all.

As you can see from above picture the switch contact points appears to be closed and should let the electric current through to the elements to start heating up. But in this instance there is a slight build-up of carbon fiber (white spot) on right hand side of contacts, and its just enough  to prevents the two points from making contact. This carbon buildup happens because everytime the contact points open and close there's a little spark
Regulator switch in open position

I hope this has given your a better insight to the operation of your cooking equipment. Should you require more information feel free e-mail or leave a comment below.

PS. For more information also see; Energy Regulators