burn, baby, burn

I've been making some mop (base) boards out of Saltillo tile and even though I seal them before cutting my tile saw spits out so much water that the tiles get pretty wet and take forever to dry. To speed up the drying I bake them in an oven with the door slightly ajar.
I had just removed one batch and was fixing to stick in some more when the heating element started burning. Lit up like an arc welder. I turned the oven off, element still was burning so I flipped the circuit breaker. That stopped the burning but it took quite a while for the hot spot to cool down.
My questions...
1. Why did the element start burning? The only thing I can think of is that there was a thin spot which ultimately couldn't stand the current. Right? Wrong? Other reason?
2. Why didn't the burning stop after shutting off the oven, why the necessity to flip the circuit breaker.
3. A new element is on its way, looks to be an easy fix. Is there anything else that might have been messed up?
Thanks
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

They just go bad. It always starts with a hot spot, then the hotter it gets, the hotter it gets. (that ohms law thing)

It may have just been carry over heat and you did not wait long enough. Check the voltage across the element and see if the switch is bad.

Not likely. I have replaced the bottom element in my oven a couple times now. We seldom use the top one at full heat (broil) although it does run at low heat when baking.

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