Oven Blew Up at Connector with Element

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by cynthiap, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. cynthiap

    cynthiap New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Hi there,

    I don't know if this a question that can be answered here or not, but thought I'd give it a try.

    The heating element in my Peerless Premier Oven stopped working on Friday night. It had no heat.

    Last night before I took it out to take it downtown today and get another one I thought I would make sure everything was connected tightly and give it another try. So I pulled out the connectors and made it sure it was connected properly and turned the oven back on. There was no heat and I was about to turn it off when suddenly it blew up inside the oven. The element itself did not blow up, but it blew up where the element connects to the connector. Sparks blew everywhere, a big puff of smoke, the electricity flickered off and back on in the house and it smelled a little like firecrackers.

    It was really scary and we were really lucky both my son and I had literally just pulled our heads out of the oven when it blew up. If it had been seconds before our face would have been burnt.

    Now in the hole where the connector and it's wire come into the oven there is another smaller hole that got burnt into the metal of the oven and it is all black like there was a fire in there.

    So my question is this. Was this the result of the element going bad, or was something in the wiring and the connector causing the element to go bad? I've replaced elements several times in my life, but I don't know if it's safe to put in a new element or not.

    I've had elements go bad before and usually there is a visible break in the element itself. But there is no break in it this time.

    Would appreciate any words of wisdom if anyone has any.

    Thanks
    Cynthia:)
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    It sounds like the wiring going to the element connector has shorted to the frame of the oven. I don't think a new element would resolve this. The wire is probably burned off and hanging there, and could energize the chassis of the oven. If the breaker didn't trip, turn it off. The harness and connector may need to be replaced. You can't solder those connections since the heat would likely melt it and compromise the connection, so unless you can get a new harness and bolt it in, you probably can't fix it. Then again, I'm not an oven repairman, so take this with a grain of salt...
  3. Igor

    Igor New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Oregon
    It's possible that the failure is right at the end of the wire where it connects to the element. If you're lucky, there may be enough slack in the wire to cut off the damaged end of the wire and crimp on a new connector. The usual Faston-type connector that you can buy at a hardware store won't last very long in this application--be sure to get a high-temperature connector, whcih you should be able to find at an appliance parts store. Be sure to inspect the wire and make sure that there's no damage to the insulation that could short to the frame of the oven. If you're not comfortable with this kind of work, it would be a good idea to get a professional appliance repairman to do the job.
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    No better advice could be given than the statement above.
  5. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    Also be aware that ranges use special high heat rated wire. This stuff costs nearly $3.00 a foot and can be purchased at appliance stores. Not sold at the big box stores (in my area).

    I've seen older ranges which did not have the "new" high heat wire and the insulation had "shrunk" back a few inches in many places exposing bare wire. The thing to do for this is re-wire with new high heat range wire.
  6. cynthiap

    cynthiap New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks everyone.

    I called the manufacturer of the stove to order a new element and talked with them about what happened. He told me that I touched metal to metal and created an arc. He said all should be fine after I put in the new element. Unless if it doesn't work then I may need to replace connector and thermostat. So problem solved.

    I appreciate your taking time to offer you thoughts.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
  7. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Things are not adding up here unless you had been poking or moving something just before the arc. Yes, your element is likely bad, but it is now very possible you need something more than just a new element. You really should get a technician involved to be sure your wiring and connections truly are still good.
  8. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    When this happened to me, I had to replace the thermostat switch as well since the high current damaged it.

    In my case the element wasn't removable, but the insulator broke.
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