Oven Tripping Breaker

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by molo, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    Hello all,

    The oven has worked well for years on this circuit, now it has tripped the breaker 3 times in the past 2 months.

    it is a 50 amp breaker and a 6 AWG wire.

    Also, it is clear that the oven casuses it to trip and not the stove.

    edit: One of the wires going into the breaker appears burned .Where should I start with this?

    Thanks for any replys!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,798
    Location:
    New England
    I'd look at the oven's heating elements. The lead and insulation could be breaking down, and occasionally shorting out.

    CB also can fail. I'd look for a loose connection at the CB. Look for signs of overheating - discolored wiring insulation, metal color changes.
  3. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    Upon closer inspection it is a 50 amp breaker and a 6 AWG wire.

    Also, it is clear that the oven casuses it to trip and not the stove.

    More info..........

    One of the wires going into the breaker appears burned
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,798
    Location:
    New England
    If the screw clamp at the breaker isn't loose, I'd lean towards the breaker needing to be replaced or you may have a burned buss bar. I'd pull the breaker and look at the contacts.

    When the oven is on and working, feel the breaker and see if it is getting hot. If it is, I think I'd replace if, but check the bus bar first.
  5. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    As a matter of fact the breaker is at the top left of the bus bar. About 1.5" up from this the bus bar is burned. along the top edge. All things considered this has worked for years since the bus bar was burned.
    The upper screw on the breaker has some browning around it, but very little. It was a bit loose.
    Perhaps I could relocate the breaker to a point further from the burn spot on the bus bar and reinstall the wires?



    Thanks for any replys!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  6. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    Another interesting development.

    I moved the breaker to another place on the bus bar.

    Turned the oven on and it worked for 10 minutes then stopped.
    BUT It didn't flip the breaker and the stove still works!!

    Prior to moving the breaker it was flipped when the oven was on for a few minutes.

    ????????
  7. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
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    Maybe, you just baked one too many cookies, and time for a new stove.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1 what brand of box is it?

    #2 First I would turn off the main breaker and test to be sure it is off...then remove all breakers and inspect the bus bars and breakers

    I would at very least replace the 50A breaker and inspect closely the cable ends going to it for any evidence of heating regardless of how minor.

    Lastly I would pull the meter and inspect the main breaker.

    I recomend you have this done by a licenced electrician...

    Breaking the meter seal in some jurisdictions can cause problems that you will not want.

    Is the breaker box in a damp area?
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,226
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    oven

    The oven uses a lot more current than the burners. IF the circuit breaker is "burnt" that usually means a loose connection, and if so that loose connection WILL overheat the breaker and trip it even without a short circuit. Replace the circuit breaker because it is probably damaged by this time.
  10. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,460
    Location:
    MD
    Measure the voltage drop across the closed breaker contacts while its carrying the rated load current.
    >100 mV = bad contacts.
    <30 mV = good contacts.

    You might also have a loose connection at the breaker. Clamped connections should have voltages way smaller than 30 mV while carrying rated current.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  11. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    How do you explain this:

    I moved the breaker in the box.

    Now the oven turns off after about 10 minutes but doesn't trip the breaker and the stove still works!
  12. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    I assume this is a range (cooktop/oven one unit)??


    New breaker, new location.

    Next step is to check terminations at wall JB behind the range.

    Next, open the access panel to the control wiring and look for burned terminals.
  13. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Then a trip to Sears. :D
  14. Keep doing this so you can come back and tell us you burned your house to the ground, and you just had to let us know!
  15. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    Yikes.............
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008



  16. You're taking a huge chance and thinking just because it's worked "all those years" beforehand makes it okay to keep testing the waters? Absolutely not.


    Any time you see wires heating back to the panel, you've got a problem at the device it's hooked to AND the breaker that serves as the interrupter when things go awry.

    If the stove is older than 8 years, replace it and get a new breaker in that panel, all of which should be done by a licensed electrician.
  17. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    I was thinking... Replace everything damaged (and the range as well if you don't know what the trouble is).

    Everything damaged to me would be the section of damaged wiring, the breaker and the breaker bus or panel.

    Of course if I had a problem like this I would think Ohhh No! Then start thinking of ways I could just "mend" the problem and avoid a big expense and a lot of work.....

    Then I would think about it...

    Then I wind up doing it right and get it fixed once and for all.
  18. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,460
    Location:
    MD
    Lift the roof
    put a new house under it
    lower the roof

    You might want to borrow a clamp-on ammeter and check what is really happening with your wiring.

    The worst outcome is that you buy a new stove/oven/breaker/breakerpanel and after one day of honeymoon you have exactly the same symptoms.
    That is a bad day.
  19. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    .
    The honeymoon is over when you figure out she doesn't care if the oven or stove works, or you eat. :D (If I marry again, I am holding out for a chef.)
  20. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,296
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Go back to the basics. There are just 3 things that can cause a breaker to trip. 1) an overload (not likely on a dedicated circuit)
    2) a short in the wire or loose connection
    3) a defective breaker

    Look for and do the obvious. Look for blackened wires that would indicate a short and check for loose connections. Replace the breaker.

    If there is nothing obvious, you need to call a qualified electrician as the problems is almost certainly in the wiring that an electrician can test. Then repair or replace the oven.
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