How To Disable Sensi-Temp Burners On Newer Stoves

GE Sensi-Temp Electric Stove
Photo Credit: Curtis Adams

My parents have been using their old electric stove for over three decades and last year it finally needed to be replaced. I hopped onto the internet and helped my mother order a new GE stove from Lowes to be delivered in a few days and life was good.

And it was, until my mother started cooking on her brand new stove only to find it kept on turning on and off at the higher temperature settings. She complained that the stove wasn’t working correctly and it was taking forever for her food to cook.

What Is Sensi-Temp Technology

It turns out starting in 2018, UL regulation requires all new electric ranges with coil burners or elements to have temperature limiting capabilities to reduce the risk of fires. GE and Hotpoint’s name for this feature is called Sensi-Temp technology.

How new Sensi-Temp burners work is they use a sensor to detect the temperature of the cookware. If the pot or pan gets too hot, the coil shuts off until the temperature drops to a safe level. This feature seems like a good idea for forgetful people who also leave their iron on all day.

The problem with Sensi-Temp stoves is many people hate the feature. GE states that for the burners to work correctly the sensor need to be clean and your pots and pans need to be completely flat so the sensor can contact the bottom. For some people, it meant replacing all their cookware and their stove still did not work normally.

How To Bypass The Sensi-Temp Technology

If you are tired of the Sensi-Temp coils and how they disrupt your cooking, there are two solutions:

1) You can replace the burner with traditional burners without the sensor, or

2) You can disable the sensor itself

People who contacted GE have been told there is no way to disable the Sensi-Temp safety feature by replacing the coils or disabling them.

This is not the case.

If you were to unplug the burner from the receptacle by lifting the end of the burner directly opposite from the receptacle up about an inch and pulling straight out, you will see the Sensi-Temp burner uses two plugs like the older burners. The new burner elements do not send any signals back to the stoves to regulate the temperature. It is all done on the element itself.

How To Replace Sensi-Temp Coil Burners

For best results, you should replace the burners with ones with a similar number of turns, wattage, and size.

Our new GE stove (model #JBS160DMWW) had 6” coils with 4 turns (part #WB30X31058) that were 1350 watts / 240V, and 8” coils with 5 turns (part #WB30X31057) that were 2400 watts / 240V.

Our plugs were the loop type that are about 1 5/8” from the bracket on the burner. Measure yours to make sure you are buying ones that are similar in length to your originals. I tested a spare burner that had the flat plugs and the type of plug did not affect the burner plugging into the receptacle on our GE electric range.

We decided to replace the front two burners; one 6” and one 8” since they were the most commonly used ones in our household.

The best deal for GE / Hotpoint compatible replacements is from Amazon for a burner coil set of 4 by Kitchen Basics for about $39. They are made in the USA, are UL/CSA approved, have the same wattage, but have an extra turn. This should be ok since a longer heating element means more resistance, less current at the receptacles, and better heat distribution for your cookware.


Traditional Coil Burners

However, I went with a different set of 4 coil elements from Kitchen Basics with accompanying four spare ceramic high-temp terminal receptacle blocks for $37 (or the same set without the extra receptacle blocks) since the bigger 8” burner was 2100 watts. This is a little lower wattage than the originals, which hopefully will reduce the chances of the wiring or receptacles burning out.

The smaller 6” burner from Kitchen Basics is 1500 watts, which is slightly higher wattage, but I assume all the wiring in the stove is rated for up to 2400 watts.

These replacement coil elements from Kitchen Basics are listed as compatible with Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Roper, and Kenmore electric ranges. 

I took a chance they would also work for GE / Hotpoint stoves, and it turned out they did plug into the receptacles and heat up, but did not sit level. Comparing the new burners with the originals, the OEM GE ones had feet that were 3/8” high where they sat on the inner lip of the drip pans. This Kitchen Basics set had feet that were 1/2”.

Modified Burner for GE Stove
Photo Credit: Good Money Sense

Five minutes with an angle grinder (or a Dremel) to grind down a notch on two of the feet (at 10 and 2 o’clock if the connectors are considered 12 o’clock) for each burner fixed the problem.

How To Disable Sensi-Temp Burner Sensors

You can disable the temperature sensing technology on the new burners by bypassing the sensor. The sensor is the round button at the center of the metal cap.

To bypass the sensor, you simply need to hotwire two wires together by following these steps:

1) Looking down at the top of the burner, you will see there are small metal brackets that hold the cap on at the top of the three feet.

Sensi-Temp Element Brackets
Photo Credit: Good Money Sense

2) Using a pair of needle-nose pliers, bend two of these brackets to the side to remove the cap. If the plugs to the receptacle are at 12 o’clock on the burner, the two easiest pieces to bend are the feet located at 10 and 2 o’clock.

Bending GE Element Brackets
Photo Credit: Good Money Sense

3) Once you lift off the cap you will see two wires that are connected to a couple of prongs on the underside of the sensor.

Sensi-Temp Sensor Wiring
Photo Credit: Good Money Sense

4) You need to join these two wires together. You can twist or solder them together, but an easier way would be to push the two prongs down towards each other until they touch.

5) Replace the cap and bend the brackets back to their original spot.

Congratulations, your burners will no longer turn off once the temperature gets too high.

Should You Disable Sensi-Temp or Replace the Burners

The reason I replaced the burners is because on some online discussions, people who had disabled the sensor mentioned that their burner elements eventually stopped working because the extra heat or current draw without the temperature limiter burned out the receptacles. One workaround mentioned was avoiding using the stove on the highest heat setting for too long.

Since my mother boils water often for tea and soups, swapping in a lower wattage 8” burner might be the best course of action for the stove’s longevity. The set of Kitchen Basics burners w/ receptacles I purchased from Amazon cost only a few dollars more than a single universal replacement coil from Home Depot and it also came with extra receptacles for future replacements in case the originals go bad.

If you are a renter, swapping in a set of replacement coils lets you easily return the stove back to original when you move out.

Disabling the sensor makes sense if you want to avoid spending even more money after buying a brand new range.

Closing $ense

The new temperature regulating Sensi-Temp stoves are a good idea that was poorly implemented. They are so bad some people are considering replacing their new stoves with used stoves that do not have the feature. If people were more careful, we wouldn’t need more government regulations to keep us safe from ourselves.

After putting in the replacement coil burners without the annoying nanny feature on my mother’s new stove, the stove has been performing like a traditional stove. It no longer cycles on and off during cooking and my mother is a lot happier with her purchase.

Be sure to get the GE compatible replacement set if you do not want to do any modifying of your new burners.

Disable the safety feature on the new electric ranges at your own risk. I’m not responsible if you burn your pasta while trying to cook it!

Do you have a stove with the new temperature sensing technology? What are your experiences and do you have any tips or advice? If you bought a replacement set, let me know how it turned out.

43 thoughts to “How To Disable Sensi-Temp Burners On Newer Stoves”

  1. These sensors are the most annoying and ridiculous things ever. I’ve cooked and canned on an electric stove for over 50 years and have never had a fire. Now I can’t even use my canner because the burner shuts itself off while I’m cooking. I called and complained to the company but got nowhere. Whoever came up with this idea is a total idiot.

    1. My mother hated them too. Made cooking on the stove take much longer. They also interfered with frying foods too

      1. Thank you for this information! In short, I have had all of the same problems and have been so frustrated I can’t say. My question is, have you actually tried to just connect the two wires together to bypass the sensor? I don’t have the money to buy new burners because I’m on disability and that doesn’t even cover my cost of living. Being that I’m on disability, I have nothing much to do other than to cook. I’m not a fancy cook, but I can’t stand listening to the Burner start ticking (“Tick, tick, tick-tick- Tick, tick) ARrrrgh!! … Anyway, with caretaking not to keep the heat I’m too high for too long of a period of time, do you know that this will actually work?

        1. Yes, joining the two terminals or the wires will bypass the sensor. Bending the terminals together might be a better choice should you need to reverse the hack in the future. Feel free to come back and post an update

        2. Just an FYI I did attempt to disable the wires in one of my six-inch burners and I twisted them together. When I turned on the burner there was a spark and a pop and now it doesn’t work at all. So this was not a good option for me.

    2. I bought a new G E stove in May but unknown to me I had no idea what the censor was all about. But soon found out when i went to make hard tack candy and when i turned down the burner it didn’t go down but instead the candy went out of the pan and all over the stove even by turning the burner down to almost off. Then when my husband was canning he found out what i was talking and complaining about as he had the same problem. I kept telling my family i am going out and get a new stove this summer. I complained enough that my son finally decided he would tear it apart to see how he could undo it. He told me i might have to buy new coils so i just type in looking for new coils when i ran across this page. THANK GOODNESS I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON THAT GOT SUCKERED ON SOMETHING THAT IS A VERY BAD IDEA. i agree with the other people.
      Thanks for letting me complain about the bad idea.

    3. I am looking to buy a new stove and I don’t know what to do. I went to an appliance store today and the salesman told me I would have to buy a glass top stove if I want to do canning. I don’t want a glass top. I have heard a lot of negative about the glass top stove. These manufacturers need to listen to the people buying the products.

      1. Glass top stoves do have their own pluses and minuses. I don’t can, so I can’t comment there. I do like that they are easier to keep clean. But I don’t like how they tend to look scratched up after a while, and also the possibility of breaking the glass top if something drops on it

      2. I hate to say this, but the manufacturers don’t care what the consumer thinks. We are just supposed to take what they dish out and say nothing about it. Just like the government…..

    4. I’m 69 and live with other people in a collective setting. The other day I left a burner on for the first time in my life. I was happy to have it.

  2. What if your house catch’s fire and the insurance company won’t honour you policy because you bypassed the sensor or replaced the element with a regular one. Just asking.

    1. Yes, you could run the risk of your insurance company not covering the damages if you modified your stove and your food caught on fire because you left it unattended while cooking. Modify your stove at your own risk. If you don’t want to take the chance, you can either replace the stove with a used one without the sensors or hire someone to convert your home over to a gas stove.

      Personally, I prefer to not leave food cooking unattended and turning off the stove or turning down the heat if I need to step away from the kitchen.

    2. How can this be an issue for insurance? What if instead of one of these stoves you have a gas stove? Your choice of stove shouldn’t be an issue. If it is, it doesn’t make any real sense and is an awfully arbitrary consideration as far as your insurance would go. Get a more reasonable insurance company.

  3. Was this designed by a freshman engineering student?
    The radiant heat from the element trips the thermostat rather than pan temperature. I follow every guideline and it still cycles on and off while trying to boil water. I would have been fired if I proposed this design as a final product (I’m a Mechanical Engineer).

    1. Yes, ours would cycle on and off even when nothing was sitting on the burner. I think the original idea was the temperature of the cookware was supposed to reduce heat to avoid tripping the sensor until the pot or pan got hot enough. This explains why they tell people they need cookware that is completely flat on the bottom so the sensor can make contact.

  4. We have a bad 6-inch burner on our GE 2019 stove, model JB258DM1WW. That’s unacceptable, and on top of that the GE sense temp unit sell for $71. I found a replacement on Amazon, part WB30M1 for $13.08, from Partsbroz. It installed without any need for altering the support legs, as described here. It’s 1350 watts, matching the original. Problem solved. As an aside, our new GE gas dryer motor went out after only 10 months, replaced under warranty. Thanks GE.

    1. Yes, I’ve noticed the genuine replacement units with the sensi-temp from GE are pretty expensive to replace, which is another downside. The WB30M1 you found is GE compatible, so no need to modify the feet. The listing for ours did specifically mention not compatible with GE ranges, but I took a chance since I was looking for lower wattage ones, they came with spare receptacles, and they also cost less than the GE version at the time.

      Bummer about the dryer, but at least it broke before the warranty was up. I don’t know about your household, but I can’t imagine you used the dryer that often in the 10 months. I always hear they don’t make things like they use to in the past, but there is always the possibility of things dying in the early stages of the lifecycle. I do recommend buying electronics with a credit card offering an extended warranty just in case.

  5. As a follow up, I bought a set of 4 on Amazon, Kitchen Basics WB30M1 and they have the notches at 10 and 2. They fit fine. The Partsbroz item isn’t exactly level. I checked it with a gauge. However, all these elements are a bit wonky. Given the drawbacks (drip pans that look gross and can’t be cleaned), we should have bought a glass top electric.

    1. Good to hear your new set of elements mostly worked for you. We have always covered our drip pans with aluminum foil to make them easier to clean. When they get too dirty, I remove the old foil and cover with a new layer.

  6. Glad I found this website. I am not happy with the new government electric coil idiot system. My wife likes to can tomatoes so a newfangled glass top unit would not work for us. We’re getting a new GE electric range this month. When we were at the appliance center the salesman said we could buy a non sensor coil. For a extra $50.00 each. The salesman said most people were getting one or two for their stoves. So I’ll grab some needle nose pliers and fix our new stove. We never leave the stove top unattended when cooking.

    1. Hi Rob, glad that you’ve found this post useful. That’s a pretty big markup for coils without the sensi-temp technology, but I guess people are paying for convenience and not needing to worry about whether new burners ordered off Amazon might fit their stove. Enjoy your new stove.

  7. Thank you for the tips to disable the stupid sensi thing. How can you pan fry anything when the heat will shut off for a minute in the middle of cooking process! And then takes another minute or two to reach back to the desire temperature.

  8. I am glad to find you post that slove my sensi-temp problem.
    It makes good safety sense to protect over heating but this device just design poorly!
    You can’t cook when the elment turn of half into your cooking and will take another minute or two to reheat!

    1. Hi Patrick, thanks for your feedback. Yes, it might work better if the stove can maintain 450 F consistently rather than taking so long to come back on after it shuts off.

  9. Thank you Mr. Money!
    We moved into a rental which has this stupid new stove. As others have said, it’s nearly impossible to boil water in a pot, or the old style glass percolator coffee pot. This “bending of the wires” trick to bypass one burner is the method I’ll use which can then be restored to factory junk when we move out.
    * And yes, when cooking anything on high setting, the stove is always attended.

    1. Hello Mike, Thanks for your comment. Let us know how it works out after you’ve modified the stove.

      1. Well I didn’t get too far into my fix. Using needle nose pliers, while bending the first retainer out of the way (not just the top pin, but the whole exposed end) it started to fracture the metal, so I returned it to its original position and quit right there.

        1. Sorry to hear your attempt at the hack didn’t work out as planned. When I bent mine over, I did just the top pin with the nub that sticks out over the cap (where the pliers are pointed in the above photo). It does have to be bent almost 90 degrees to clear. I can imagine doing it too often or in the opposite direction in subsequent attempts could result in the metal weakening and the pin breaking off.

          Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of one bent out of the way. In the last picture above, you can see the bracket with the pin bent over in the bottom right. Due to the perspective, it looks like it broke off, but mine didn’t break

  10. Oh my gosh, I am so glad for this blog. I just got my new stove yesterday. I went through hell cooking my food. It took forever. I hate this sensi tempi technology. Whoever came up is an idiot and should never be allowed to design anything

    1. Hello Jyoti, thanks for your feedback. Hope this post was able to solve your problem. I’m glad the sensing technology is easily defeated so those who hate the feature can go back to cooking normally.

  11. You are my hero! We have been searching for a new stove. I can year round & was totally sad when we found out the way that stupid button worked. You’re my hero!

    1. Hi Heather, glad that this post was able to help and you’re able to keep on canning year-round.

  12. So frustrated at these ridiculous designs!
    The glass tops are induction heat and so do not work well with cast iron, copper, and even some aluminum. Not to mention the mess it makes of the decorative glass tops to try to move pans as you do when cooking some food, (swirling, shaking, etc ) . All form, no real function. Does no one actually cook anymore?
    Then the gas stoves with all sorts of indoor air pollution warnings.
    And now these idiotic ‘sensi coils ‘ if you try to opt for non glass top electric. These actually that interfere with cooking. Whose bright idea was that?
    Someone needs to let these manufacturers know. It seems stoves these days are not actually made for cooking. Perhaps they’re meant to look nice in the kitchen while we all go out to eat?
    So unhappy.
    I need a new stove, and there’s nothing out there that will work as it should.

    1. Look on the bright side. At least the coil stoves on the market now use a sensor on the element. The elements are easily swapped out for ones without the sensor or re-wired. One day in the future, they could integrate the feature into the stove’s circuits and new purchasers will be out of luck.

    2. I feel the exact same way. My appliances don’t match, and my glass stove top is ancient and doesn’t work well sometimes. After days of research, we’ve decided to try to nurse it along as long as we can.

  13. Hi, thanks for this info! How do you find out the wattage and voltage of your particular coil burners?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sadie, you can find the wattage and voltage for your stove by finding the model number of the stove and googling that. You will usually end up with a bunch of sites selling the stove or replacement parts. It will be there somewhere. I found mine on geappliances.com. Good luck.

    1. Hi Patricia, I imagine you should be able to replace the temperature sensing elements on a Frigidaire stove since they look pretty similar to the ones on our stove.

      There are two different types of burners listed in this post – GE/Hotpoint and Whirlpool/KitchenAid/Maytag. Once you get the new stove, pull out one of the burners and measure the height of the feet to see which one is likely to fit. The GE/Hotpoint ones are 3/8″ tall where they sit on the inner ledge of the drip pan. The Whirlpool/KitchenAid/Maytag ones are 1/2″

      If the new elements are able to be plugged into the receptacles, it should work. It would then be how they fit/sit on the drip pans.

  14. The Sensi Temp burner is actually not something new. I have a 1962 GE Americana stove that boasted an 8″ Sensi Temp burner. But it works differently, is more complicated, and is actually useful. It was not a safety feature. You can choose the size of the coils that will heat (4″, 6″, 8″, or griddle) by pushing one of four different buttons. But then there is a separate thermostat dial that lets you set the temperature of the pan continuously from warm to 500 degrees. So the central sensor measures the temperature of the pan and somehow cycles the burner off and on to keep the pan set to the temperature you have set. So you can choose a variable size element and variable temperature on this one single burner. But I don’t know how the sensor communicates with the thermostat. (Question just either on and off or does it cause variable power to the element based on some resistance coming out of the sensor which is based on its temperature). My burner is now not heating properly (either not at all or minimally warm). I assume it is a broken sensor. I had to replace it once before when this happened. But the part is no longer made. Do you think shorting the two wires coming from the sensor will make the burner work (albeit at full power without the ability to adjust the temperature?) The 8″ element has three separate coils so 6 electrical contacts.

    1. I don’t know about that specific burner, so I can’t say whether you should short the wires. If you could upload a picture of the burner and the plugs/prongs somewhere and post the link, maybe someone might be able to help.

      Are “contacts” the same as what I call plugs or prongs as to what plugs into the stove? Last time it went bad, did you replace the sensor or did you replace the entire element? Do the burners on your 1962 GE stove use 4 plugs? I did some searching and found two different elements with 4 plugs on Amazon for vintage GE stoves. Maybe one of them will fit:

      https://amzn.to/2PZE9fD
      https://amzn.to/31MtmIy

      1. The contacts are what you call plugs. They don’t push in to the connector like a modern element but instead are screwed to the wires and then covered by a ceramic connector. My particular element has 6 plugs because it is made up of 3 coils. I might be able to connect just 4 of the 6 wires to use a 4 plug element. The 4″ button on the stove sends current to the inside 4″ coil. The 6″ button sends current to inside coil and also to the middle coil (making it 6″). The 8″ button sends current to the inside coil, the middle coil and an outer coil making it an 8″ burner. The griddle button just sends power to the outer coil. The other three burners on the stove have 4 plugs whether they are 6″ or 8″ burners. But I’m not sure if the lack of a sensor (which has 2 additional wires going to the thermostat that controls the sensi temp burner) would prevent power from going to the plugs. The last two times I fixed this, I just replaced the sensor not the entire element. I assume the sensor has variable resistance depending on the temperature. And the variable resistance somehow controls the amount of power going to the coils.

        1. Hello Rog, I did some looking into this.

          People say if you are having issues with the heat, maybe the sensor or the responder went bad. Here is a post on how to test them:
          https://www.doityourself.com/forum/electric-large-kitchen-home-appliances/477531-how-test-responder-ge-sensi-temp.html

          There were a couple Sensi-Temp sensors back then with the following part numbers:

          WB21X5054 – Has white leads – 10 ohms
          WB21X5207 – Has yellow leads – 17.5 ohms

          If it’s a bad sensor, everywhere I’ve read, those sensors have been discontinued for years, so they are hard to find. You can try checking eBay and see if one pops up.

          The below site has a long thread about those old stoves. From the discussions there, you can ditch the sensor by replacing the responder with an infinite switch. Another person mentioned he had disconnected the sensor and connected the leads to the responder to bypass the sensor, which was what you were hoping to do.

          https://www.automaticwasher.org/cgi-bin/TD/TD-VIEWTHREAD.cgi?51797

          Good luck and hope you solve it. Lots of people love their vintage stoves. They don’t make them like they use to.

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