Basic advice for an oven bake element house fire (GE JBP24B0B4WH)

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The top element of my 6-year-old General Electric GE JBP24B0B4WH oven went on electrical fire and the top bake element broke open when the fire department put it out.
Pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl
I need advice since this is the first time my oven went on fire all by itself.
The fire department said replace the oven.
Coworkers told me I can just replace the burned out top bake oven element. Whose advice should I follow?
Can I just replace the bake element (or is the oven really kaput)? Can anyone tell me what actually caused the fire (it wasn't food)? http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845906 /
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On Tue, 7 Oct 2008 21:47:47 -0700, Donna Ohl wrote:

I have a whole bunch of questions I hope you can help me answer.
Q1: What caused the whoosh sound when the GE oven fire first started? http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845898 /
Q2: How does a broken oven heating element cause a fire anyway? http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845892 /
Q3: Why is the GE oven heating element all blistered in the fire spot? http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845900 /
Q4: Why didn't the fire go out when I turned off the oven switch? http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845890 /
Q5: Should I replace the heating element or replace the oven? http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845896 /
Q6: Where can I find a replacement upper bake heating element? http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845906 /
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I'll let others get into your questions, but the upper element is the "broil" element. On some ovens with a "preheat" feature the broil element will also come on to help bring the oven to the "bake" temperature you have set more quickly, at which time the broil element will shut off.
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On Tue 07 Oct 2008 10:10:56p, PanHandler told us...

Some ovens, including GE IIRC, cycle the broil element while on the "bake" setting, not just to preheat.
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Wayne Boatwright
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Wasn't aware of that. My 6 month old Frigidaire doesn't.
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On Wed, 8 Oct 2008 00:38:04 -0500, PanHandler wrote:

I thought it was bake but I can easily be wrong. It's certainly the upper heating element though, as can be seen by this picture. http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl
Do you know WHERE to buy the upper element for the GE JBP24B0B4WH?
The General Electric http://www.geappliances.com/ web page doesn't even list my six-year-old oven model
Here is where I looked for GE oven element parts: http://www.geappliances.com/service_and_support/parts /
Do you know where I can find the part number for the GE JBP24B0B4WH oven heater upper element?
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On Tue 07 Oct 2008 10:38:04p, PanHandler told us...

"bake"
It depends on brand and model. I had a Whirlpool a few years ago that did this. I thought it was a problem with the range, until I read further into the owner's manual. :-)
--
Wayne Boatwright
(correct the spelling of "geemail" to reply)
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It was all just metal.
As you can see from the pictures, the element is blistered just in one six inch spot ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845900/ and you can see the GE oven heating element is broken in another spot not far away ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2923845906/ )
How could the oven element be "arcing" if it was an open circuit?
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Donna Ohl wrote:

Hi, Not open yet but cracked. It could arc. Element is easily replaceable and even HD or Lowe will have universal type one. Just make sure get one with same kind of connector.
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Comments said "SOME" ovens (use the broiler element to bring the initial baking function of an oven up to temperature more quickly). Over some 48 years, two homes and various makes of cooking stoves, we've had both types.
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Just replace the element. I wonder if those firemen replace their car when a headlamp burns out? Hmmmmmmmmm
s

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On Wed, 8 Oct 2008 00:13:06 -0500, Steve Barker DLT wrote:

I was hoping I could replace the element!
I'm not sure if it's a bake element or a broil element but it's the top element as shown in this picture ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl ).
Do you have any idea what caused the fire?
I'm confused because, if an element is just a resistor, opening it would just cause it to stop heating. But even with the oven switch turned off, the fire was still going until the fire department closed the oven door and shut off the electricity to the house.
What caused the fire?
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The element is replaceable and available online. Google appliance parts. However, whether that's the only problem and the only thing that needs to be repaired depends on what else may have been damaged as a result of what happened.

It's the upper element, which is commonly referred to as the broil element. However, some ovens may use it to pre-heat or cycle it during bake, etc. too.

What exactly was burning in the fire? If the element failed, I could see it getting very hot, arcing, maybe some small flames around the element itself. But beyond that, for there to be any substantial fire, you need a fuel source.

It shouldn't have taken the fire dept to figure out to close the oven door and cut off the electricity. Were you planning on toasting marshmallows? And again, the question here is exactly what do you mean by fire and what was burning?

My guess would be a failed heating element.
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On Wed, 8 Oct 2008 04:35:32 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I couldn't find the oven upper element part number at the GE site ( http://www.geappliances.com/service_and_support/parts/ ).
Maybe they don't make them anymore because I couldn't even find the model of the oven (JBP24B0B4WH) at that GE applicance parts web site.
Do you think they don't make parts for this GE jbp24bob4wh oven anymore?
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Donna Ohl wrote:

The "wh" at the end probably refers to color (white?). I did a search on just "jbp24" and got lots of hits for "Quick Clean" model........did you try a google search on the part number?
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You;ve figured it out. It wasn't a fire, it was the "Quick Clean" cycle. Cleaned it out real nice with no scrubbing!
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That is a darn good question. Turning the switch to off should have killed the power just as effectively as shutting off power to the house. It did for me when my broiler element started arcing a few months ago.
You probably only thought you had the switch off... But if you are certain you did, then you have a bigger problem than a failed element, and it might be prudent to replace it.
Just in general, it would be a good idea to have a fire extinquisher in the house. We have 4. Never used them.
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On Wed, 8 Oct 2008 09:05:16 -0400, jack wrote:

Hi Jack, That's the wierd thing. Not only did turning the switch off not stop the burning but you can see from these pictures that the oven element actually has a half-inch gap in it.
I don't understand how this element works. If it's just a "resistor", then why don't we get electrocuted when we touch it and how can it arc with a half inch gap opening the 220v circuit?
And, why didn't a fuse blow? I know it's a three pronged grandfather plug because that is what the firemen said when they yanked it out of the wall.
Does anyone know the answer to these questions? Donna
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Donna Ohl wrote:

Hi, If you understand how welding rod works. Heating element by nautre some times has weakest spot where usually failure occurs like you just experienced. Weak spot having uneven resistance it can over heat and start melting the element. It thins the spot and over time it will start breaking up causing arcing on and off. Finally it will go open. Again if it was grease fire ignited by the hot element... Grease does not need electric power to burn. It'll just burn off.
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Mine was arcing to the oven; the oven is grounded, so you have a circuit. Mine failed at the support that holds it up, so it just went to the support. You are right; it can't arc over a half inch gap.
You don't get electrocuted (mainly because you don't touch it when it is on) because the oven wiring is a much better ground than you, so essentially all the current goes down the wiring and none down you.

Why would it? The fuse will only blow if it the current exceeds the rating, and there is no reason it should have. An arc fault breaker would have popped, but you don't put those on your stove.

These questions are easy; the one I can't answer is why it didn't stop when you turned it off.
The fire extinquisher was ineffective because nothing was going to stop it until you cut the power.
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