Posted 12-10-2003 at 23:17:28
[Reply] [No Email]
This gets a bit complicated, but here goes.
First- Turn off the circuit breaker feeding the stove receptacle before preceeding! Then, unplug the stove. If already unplugged, then this is not an issue.
The stove may need new wires. The insulation may be frayed or cracked. Careful inspection is necessary & partial disassembly of the stove is needed. Also, inspect the elements for a smooth surface. If a real rough area or hole is noted, it will need replacement. If your stove has 'curly' shaped wires for elements, make sure these wires (elements) are not broken or touching the steel cabinet. The 'curly' wires are supported by insulators. Usually round ones are donut shaped in the oven and a solid type at the burners. Make sure these insulators are not missing or cracked. The oven also has feed thru insulators to route electricity to the oven element(s). Check these as well for cracks. The insulator center feed screws must be tight as well.
For wire replacement, you can buy high temp replacement wire at an electrical supply shop. The wires use crimped connectors. They are usually fork or ring shaped. The best tool to crimp the wires is a Thomas & Betts crimper. About $38, but will last a life time. The end of the crimping tool has a handy wire cutter.
After inspecting and replacing the wires as necessary, I would use an ohm meter and set the ohms to the highest scale. First, if an accessory sush as a clock or light is on the stove, this must be disconnected before the next step. Measure the wires at the burners and connect the other meter wire (probe) to the stove steel cabinet. I would look for an unpainted item such as a screw head.
To find a good ground point on the cabinet, measure between two cabinet points. If the ohm meter guage 'needle' (pointer on the scale) moves to zero, you have two good ground points- use one of them. (If digital type meter, the meter should read 1 ohm or less). Also, careful not to measure resistance through your fingers touching the meter probes (meter wires).
Now, measure between each electric element and that cabinet ground point. Do this with the burner switch on high heat position. You should measure nothing. Repeat for each burner and the oven element(s) as well. If you measure resistance, the stove is not fit for use. A qualified electrican will be needed to find the short circuit.
Next, I would replace the power cord and the plug. After this, reconnect the accessories such as a clock or light. Turn off the circuit breaker that feeds the stove power receptacle. Plug the stove in. Turn on the circuit breaker. If the circuit breaker snaps off to a center position, the stove is shorted. If no shorts, try each burner and oven for heat. When testing the stove, wear good & dry shoes. Do not stand in water or an a damp floor. Do not touch any other appliance, or any metal item that is plugged in to a wall outlet, Also, no touching sinks, water pipes or faucets.
If all the items heat up, you are getting close to a good functioning stove. Now, set that ohm meter to 600 volts AC. Touch one probe to that screw used for testing the burners and the other probe to a steel water pipe (not a gas pipe). If you measure more than a few volts, the stove is hot with some short (highly unlikely). If so, get an electrican & turn off that circuit breaker. The final test is when the burners are hot, make sure the curlie elements if so equipped do not touch a pan when placed on the burner.
If this is too much, get an electrican or papas credit card & drive down to Circuit City for a new electric stove.
BTW- I have a 1932 General Electric electric stove.