I never claimed to be an electrician, but we are moving into our newly
built home and (by code) the electrician put in a 4 wire connector for
the range. I bought a 4 wire cable and rewired the oven (there we
instructions on the back of the oven). I tried plugging it in and
sparks and a pop occurred on the back panel of the oven. Probably
fried the oven, but that's another matter. Pulled off the oven panel
and the wiring looks correct. They have a diagram where each color
wire goes, an I have them installed in the correct place and tightened
securely. The only thing I am not sure of is I didn't check for a
bridge connection between the white wire and the green wire (ground)
which I read should be removed in a 4 wire configuration to meet code
(although I doubt it is causing the sparks). Am I complete idiot here,
or could the electrictian have messed up the wiring. Is there a way I
can test it or since the breaker is off, pop the wall cover and make
sure the leads are connected in the wall correctly?
a) are you SURE that you didn't hear the sparks because you introduced
a short somewhere? Did you somehow hook up one of the hot wires where
a ground or neutral should have been?
b) if you think the original electrician is to blame use a $3 volt
meter to ensure that each plug on the 4 prong outlet has the right
voltage (240 volts between the two hot plugs, low resistance between
neutral and ground, etc)
Hope this helps,
Then set the $3 voltmeter to "ohms" mode and check the resistance
between each of the four pins of the new range plug. There should be
infinite resistance between the ground pin (the round or half-round
one) and the neutral (the middle flat one). If it's low, you've left
the frame-to-neutral bridge connection on, and it needs to be removed.
This is actually the whole point of moving to a four-wire system. But I
agree it should not be the cause of your sparks.
There should also be infinite resistance between the hot pins and
ground, always; and with all the switches set off (including the oven
light) there should be infinite or very high (if there's a clock or
something) resistance between the hots and each other, and between the
hots, neutral and ground.
You didn't mention whether the breaker tripped when this happened. If
it did, you've got a short somewhere.
I'm not sure what you mean by "probably fried the oven". The oven
element should be able to take any voltage and current that that outlet
can produce. Was the pop from one of the range's internal fuses?
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