The Lexicon of Oven Electronics: Control Board, Relay Board, and Touchpad

Well versed in the language

The vast majority of home ovens these days are controlled by electronics.  Generally, a system of various electronic components are employed in unison to get the job done.

Lets take a look at the heavy hitters in these systems.

Electronic Control Board

aka: Electronic range controller (erc), electronic oven controller (eoc), Clock, Timer, controller, control module, control assembly, printed circuit board (pcb), Printed circuit Card (PC Card)

This is the kingpin.  Aptly named, the electronic control board controls the whole system.  Almost all of them take input from the keypad and have a display with the clock, temperature, etc.  Most of the time, they also directly sense temperature and control the heating elements and other apparati.

Control Boards have a pretty high failure rate.  If you need to get yours serviced, find your part on our site to get started, or send us an inquiry if it’s not listed.

Sometimes, control systems split the task between a few different boards.  When there is a board that appears to have little more than the clock, it can be referred to as Display Board, Display Head, or Control Head.

Relay Board

aka: Power Relay Board (PRB), Appliance manager

This board generally handles the oven apparati (elements, door locks, etc.) in the instances where the control system is split between different boards.

They are most readily identifiable by their bulky, boxy, typically black components called relays.  Relays are electronically controlled switches.  In this application, they are switching high voltage power onto the heating elements, or energizing lock motors, or passing electricity to the cavity lights, etc.  Relays are awesome.

Sometimes, the relay board and the main control board are assembled together in a module, but they are frequently separate as well.  Even when they are separated, the boards still work with each other, and thus are connected to each other by a bunch of wires and wiring harnesses.

If you’re experiencing oven control failures, be sure to send both boards in for repair.


aka: keypad, touch panel, panel assembly, membrane switch, membrane panel, control panel, membrane assembly

This is merely a keyboard.  It’s where all the buttons are that you press to make the oven do things.  The control board is constantly sensing state of the buttons on the touchpad and will kick into gear when a button is pressed.

The touchpad almost always connects to the control board via ribbon tape conductors.  These cables are wonderfully flexible, lending themselves to component swapping.  However, they are also extremely fragile and irreparable when damaged – handle with care.

In general, touchpads cannot be repaired when they fail – replacement is the only option.  Unfortunately, this gets extremely complicated by the fact that many touchpads are obsolete.  Occasionally, you can find original touchpads available on sites like eBay, but these are very risky to purchase.  They are probably used and already broken.

Luckily, we have developed some great tech that gets around this problem and saves you form scrapping your entire appliance in the event of touchpad failure.  ApplianceBoardRepair and BoardFruit, Inc. have partnered together, exclusively offering the BoardFruit LinkBox to get you out of these dilemmas.

That wraps up the language lesson for today! Don’t hesitate to ask questions or send an inquiry if you’d like to know more.