For the second time in several years, the 40 A double breaker for my
kitchen oven tripped. Oven didn't work when I turned it on. Voltmater said
no voltasge at circuit breaker. Reset breaker. Oven seems to work ok.
Now what? See if it trips again? Replace breaker (looks hard and dangerous
for a very old man to do)? Other?
You know it's time to clean the refrigerator
when something closes the door from the inside.
Take a good look at the oven heating element. Use your fingers to feel,
too. You are looking for any sign of a crack or break or depression.
When oven heating elements "go", they go spectacularly...lots of sparks
and smoke. A bit like an incendiary bomb. Actually, more like an arc
welder; essentially, that is what happens. Forunately, they are very easy
to replace and - if you look - relatively inexpensive, $20 or so.
If it wuz me, I would:
1. Trip the stove breaker off. (This will be a double breaker.)
2. Pull the oven away from the wall and remove the stove's back cover.
3. Look at the wires going to both the bake element and the broil
element and see if there's any signs that they're starting to burn at
the connection terminals. Follow these wires to the console switches
and see if there's any sign of the wires burning off at those
4. If you don't see anything odd at the bake and broil element wires and
connection terminals, replace the double breaker to the stove.
Agreed with your first three items, but not so sure about this. He said
it was years since the breaker tripped. Could be his incoming power had
a big temporary voltage drop and it caused the amps to come up tripping
the breaker. Or maybe he turned the oven on just as the AV compressor
started taking a big load. Or some other odd ball happening.
If it tripped frequently for unknown causes, then yes, I'd replace the
For an almost 80-yo, may be quite a lot to ask, but not terrible advice,
I was thinking of a thermally-sensitive breaker (had one on the A/C
disconnect just a year or so ago) but would note also had a partial
failure of a heating element just last year -- first ever experienced of
just losing one side in an element instead of the (often spectacular)
complete failure. Didn't trip the breaker so didn't think of it in OPs
case initially. Symptom was only that oven wouldn't reach full temp if
thermostat >275 or so...so if OPs "normal" operation includes reaching
temp for the pizza, it's not the problem. Just mentioned in passing as
it was somewhat unusual (ime, anyway).
Shouldn't lower the current either.
Every electrical panel is rated at a certain amperage, and the
electrical panel should be able to handle any amount of current right up
to the panels rated capacity.
As long as the combined starting current to the AC compressor and the
current to the stove bake and broil elements doesn't exceed the panels
rated amperage, it should be able to supply both appliances with the
amount of current they draw.
PS: I would also look for burnt wires going to the surface elements on
the stove. It's easy to check the sockets that surface elements push
into. Just unplug the range (or trip the breakers to it). Pull the
surface elements out and remove the drip pans under them. The surface
element sockets are held in with a screw. Take out that screw and you
can inspect the socket for burnt or otherwise damaged wiring.
On Sunday, August 10, 2014 4:08:46 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:
Of course the sudden turn on of an AC unit can lower the current in
an oven. The power grid can't instantly react and supply more amps,
so there can be brief, slight drop in voltage. In homes you can sometimes see
it happen with lights briefly dimming when a heavy load cuts in,
particularly in older homes. Even in newer homes, with a heftier
service, the effect is still there. Voltage drops by evem a volt
and the current to the oven drops. Not by a lot, but the point is,
it can go down, but not up.
Unless you believe a power system into a house is an ideal
Thevenin source or similar, it will absolutely happen.
Handle doesn't mean there is absolutely no effect, even a very brief one,
from large loads kicking in. And I'd be surprised if you fully loaded
that service if the voltage was exactly the same even steadystate as it
is when the service only had a 1 amp load on it. Wire isn't a perfect
conductor, there is resistance. There is some tiny resistance at connections,
etc too. Big amps times even a small resistance and you can easily get
voltage drop, per ohms law.
Sure it can supply it. But by what law of physics or man does that
equate to the voltage not dipping, by even 1 volt?
Do you mean like in that movie "The Green Mile" starring Tom Hanks...
the lights dimming in the cell block when they were electrocuting Dale?
To be truthful, I have never once noticed the ceiling light in my
kitchen dim when I turned on my oven. My kitchen light has two 60 watt
bulbs. My oven has a 6000 watt bake element. I'm thinking I shoulda
seen them lights dim, no?
I have seen the lights in my apartment dim on occasion, and I understand
that the power delivered by my electric utility can vary substantially
in voltage, but I have never seen any co-relation between such light
dimmings and the operation of large electric loads, like my oven bake
element. Maybe I'm just not observant enough.
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