This stove has not been heating well during the last week, so today we opened it. A rusted wire was to blame; we fixed it and the stove is as good as new now. But I do not quite understand its inner workings, hence this question.
I am attaching a photo and my take at a circuit scheme. I will also describe how it operates outwardly. I hope for an explanation of the function of its parts and an overview of the circuit.
There is a handle on the side of the stove that rotates smoothly in the range of about 300 degrees. There are markings on it: "off" on 0 degrees (counter-clockwise limit) and then from "1" onwards with "5" at 300 degrees (clockwise limit).
There is an orange light source beside the handle. When the handle is at "off", it is never alight. Otherwise, it lightens and darkens alternately (in a discrete fashion) in intervals at the scale of a few minutes. The farther the handle is to "5", the longer the intervals of it shining and shorter the intervals of it darkening, but even at "5" it goes dark for about a minute every five minutes or so.
There is a large flat metal spiral on top of the stove that kitchenware is placed upon for heating. While cooking, it heats up, often so much as to shine dark red. It appears that the spiral heats up when the orange light is shining, and cools down when it is dark.
My idea is that there is a thermistor somewhere in the spiral that is joined in series with a potentiometer controlled by the handle, and the presence of the current in the spiral depends on the current through that potentiometer-thermistor series. But I cannot quite place this hypothetical thermistor-potentiometer series on the circuit scheme.