Just google for appliance parts. There are plenty of them online and
they should have the element, as it's a common part. However, as
others have cautioned, based on everything you've said I would NOT
just replace the element, without checking all the wiring, switches,
etc in the oven to make sure it's safe.
What caught fire its all metal. Google to see if those have a record
of catching fire. Replacing the element wont make it safe that is not
the cause, or what burned, you have to take it apart to find the
cause. For most it would not be worth the trouble. With a fire there
is likely hidden wiring that is fried.
On Wed, 8 Oct 2008 03:30:31 -0700 (PDT), ransley wrote:
What irks me is I don't understand how this COULD have happened!
I mean, it should be pretty simple, right? It's just a big resistor with
220v on one end pushing electrons through it.
Given it's such a simple circuit, I just can't comprehend how this fire can
happen. For example, there is a half-inch gap in the element as shown here:
My question, in general, is ...
Q: How can an open resistor arc to the oven metal and how can it arc even
when the switch is turned off and why didn't it blow a fuse if it really
was shorting and what possibly could have been burning when there is
How can all this possibly happen to a simple 220v resistor circuit?
It doesn't make any sense. That's why I'm asking here for answers!
Does anyone know the theoretical answer to this question?
If your in the US, your house is most likely fed 240 volts from a
transformer that is center tapped (neutral) and there is 120 volts from the
neutral to each hot and 240 volts from hot to hot. The neutral is tied to
ground in the breaker box. When the element fails, sometimes it burns
through the insulation to the outer casing which is grounded. Apparantly the
oven contol just removes one hot leg from the circuit while the other is
still connected. normally this opens the circuit and the oven is off, but if
there is a short to ground, like with the bad element, it can continue to
arc since one leg is still connected to hot and there is a short to ground.
I've seen this before when the oven control is set to off and it keeps
arcing when the element burned out.
By Mr. Murphy's law. Respect him. Arcing can occur thru carbon trace.
How old is the thing anyway? I have all GE appliance in the house.
Only trouble I had was a thermostat going bad in ~10 years time.
Wonder you had a power surge??? You have to know what the element is
made of. There maybe some mineral component which can spark like fire
The short didn't draw enough current to throw the breaker; the breaker
has to be able to handle the oven with all the burners on. Your
switch didn't turn off because there was so much current being drawn
that the contacts stuck (or maybe welded) together. I'd get the oven
checked before I turned the power to it back on.
On Thu, 09 Oct 2008 08:36:55 -0500, Chris Hill wrote:
Thank you for explaining that because it makes sense and all I'm trying to
do is make sense of this simple GE Spectra oven fire.
I tried to clean up the ABC fire extinguisher powder as shown here:
But it was such a mess that I asked a neighbor to help me move the oven
outside where I doused it for 20 minutes with a garden hose as shown here:
I'm learning all the time because, only afterward, his wife warned me I
shouldn't have soaked the oven because, she said, the water will remove the
insulation on the 220volt wires.
Should I take any extra precautions now that the oven was basically under
water other than letting it dry out in the sun?
No, it's not. It is a big resistor surrounded by a metal jacket. The
resistor is supposed to be insulated from the jacket by a
high-temperature mineral insulation. In operation, the resistor is
connected to 240 VAC, while the jacket is connected to ground. In North
America, ground is also connected to the supply transformer centre tap,
so there is *also* 120 V from the ends of the element to the element's
You seem to have a lot of misconceptions about things you think you
understand. If the element is physically open with a large gap, the
normal current path through the resistor is no longer available. But
both sides of the remaining element are still "hot" with respect to
ground, and you can get an arc from element interior to its jacket.
Electrical arcs do not require anything flammable to "burn"; the
electricity provides the energy. Arcs have resistance and limit the
current, so there may not be enough current to blow a fuse (plus there's
probably part of the element still in the circuit). Finally, the switch
should have opened both sides of the 240 V circuit, but maybe it did
It makes perfect sense when you consider the actual situation with the
grounded jacket around the element.
If the oven caused a fire severe enough to justify calling the fire
department then replace the oven, it's not safe. And have someone who
knows what he's doing do the replacement to make sure that the
replacement is installed properly and doesn't start another fire.
On Wed, 8 Oct 2008 22:52:00 -0400, Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
They might be simple but I just realized there are THREE (not two) ends to
the GE Spectra JBP24B0B4 upper broil heating element WB44T10009.
See this picture please
QUESTION: What is the purpose of that THIRD end of the heating element?
Do the two 120 volt hot wires go to the two ends while the neutral goes to
that third end of the broiling element loop???
On Thu, 09 Oct 2008 07:47:27 -0600, Tony Hwang wrote:
There is no wiring diagram on the back of the oven:
But, I didn't know that until I just now asked a neighbor to help me move
the destroyed oven away from the wall. He was kind enough to move it
outside before having to go to work.
I was hoping there was that wiring diagram on the back of the oven but all
there was was this picture.
Notice the 3 wires on the back of the oven do not correspond at all to the
4 wires in the inside of the oven!!!!!!
Just put new one in the way the old one comes out. That sensor has
nothing to do w/ the broil element per se, and altho it's different than
in range here so don't know for absolute certain, it may actually
separate from the broil element when removed and only be mounted via the
Either way, the replacement element will just reconnect where the old
one comes off.
Ah, it's a SENSOR ... not a self-cleaning heating element. That makes sense
because it seems to be made of copper or brass and not aluminum like the
oven heating element was made up of.
See this picture of the broken fragile aluminum oven heating element!
Everything I touch brings up MORE questions!
People said there was a "jacket" around the "heating element" but this
aluminum jacket appears to have NOTHING inside of it (contrary to what
You just can't see it in the damaged state. Clean up and polish and end
back to where it doesn't have the damage and inspect that end w/ a
magnifying glass and you _might_ find it.
talks about about resistance heaters in general -- the oven elements are
basically calrods -- the actual resistance element is quite small and as
this article notes, probably Nichrome. I've not tried to dissect one or
polish an end as mentioned above so I don't know just what the size of
the wire is but it'll be pretty fine. The rest of the element is
essentially there for support for the heater itself.
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