Electric Stove question.

My Frigidaire Mod FEF368cctb stopped working a few weeks ago. What it did was attempt to come on (The burners) and after a few seconds, it would shut down. The oven didn't work either, but the clock and light did. This morning I turned it on and it began working fine. Could such a problem be due to low voltage? The reason I ask that is because at about the same time, I bought an electric power washer and it wouldn't work correctly. I returned it and the next one wouldn't work right either. Could such problems be attributed to load reduction by the power Co? TIA Mike P
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Husky wrote:

Power companies don't do 'load reduction', but they may do voltage reduction to balance loads in the system. This might affect some appliances if it is severe. In your case, it could be your electrical system is in trouble and you need a good electrician to nail the problem. As part of the diagnostics, call the power company and ask for a voltage check on your line. They will likely be happy to do it as it could be an early warning for them of a possible equipment problem. HTH
Joe
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Buy a modest priced meter and check the voltage yourself at different times of the day over a few days. Don't trust the power company.
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I rather doubt that a brownout or power dip would cause such problems with the stove or the possible power washer problem he mentioned.
If it's enough to cause noticable problems with "simple" devices (eg: resistive heaters or dumb devices like pressure washers), it'll be _extremely_ obvious with the house lighting or other devices. Like, they go out completely.
I'm wondering if there's a problem with 240V in his house. Like a loose connection on one phase (in the stove, in the stove circuit or more generally), that only appears with load causing the connection to heat up. Normal operation of the stove clock suggests that it's one phase only with the problem.
To test this with a voltmeter, he has to get access to 240V (preferably right at the stove plug) and watch it while the stove "does its thing".
If the stove does its thing, and the voltage hasn't dropped, it's the stove's fault. If the voltage does drop, he's got to figure out why, and I highly doubt it's the utility.
This measurement could be mighty dangerous to someone uncertain about what they're doing/dealing with.
A simpler first step would be to turn on every light in the house, and watch what they do when the stove does its thing. Chances are there are at least some of them are on each phase. If the stove does its thing and some of the lights dim (or go out), it's likely a general problem with his wiring - eg: main panel. If the lights are unaffected, it's the stove or the stove circuit.
With that bit of diagnostics out of the way, it would help focus tracing the wiring to open boxes and check connections for char or looseness.
[In Canada with its split-duplex kitchen counter reqt. (see other thread ;-), this is particularly easy to do - plug lamps into both halves of a single kitchen outlet. Voila - dip detection on both phases.]
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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