Kitchen oven problems

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by Matthew, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Symptom: GE electric oven bake element does not heat.

    Removed bake element. Visual inspection looks OK. Meter shows about 17 Ohms. I inspected the connectors and they are shiny, no corrosion, no indication of anything wrong.

    Broil element works.

    I have not yet: pulled and inspected the temp probe or the control panel.

    Oven is approx 25 yrs old. We are planning to remodel and replace it real.soon.now but want to get it limping along until then.

    Any ideas where to look next, or what to look for?
     
  2. asicer

    asicer Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Have you checked for voltage at the element yet? (I suspect not)
     
  3. Kevin Holbrook

    Kevin Holbrook Pre-Flight

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    17 Ohms is about right for a good element.

    Do check for voltage at the element.

    Ovens tend to have, in addition to the temperature control thermostat, a limit thermostat which opens if the temp gets too high. Some of these auto reset, some have a pushbutton to reset, some are one shot and you replace the control... But... in almost all cases, if this limit trips, it will take out the broiler as well.

    Almost all appliances have a plastic pouch on the back or bottom with a wiring diagram. This is your friend! Find it and you can trace voltages / continuity / resistance.

    Amazon even has an appliance parts finder now.
     
  4. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have not done that. I was assuming that since the broiler element worked and the bake element did not, and the bake element had continuity then there would be no voltage at the terminals.

    I did find the model number and will have to go online for a wiring diagram or other troubleshooting manuals.

    It’s a wall oven so I can’t easily get to the back.
     
  5. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’ll check for voltage, looking for what, 220? It’s just on/off at some duty cycle?
     
  6. kmacht

    kmacht Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Check the 220 plug to make sure you are getting 110 to each leg. 9n alot of ovens the clock and switches use one leg of the 220 line and will still work even if the other leg isn't providing power. The heating elements usually won't work without both legs working.
     
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  7. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I am getting power to the broiler element but the baking element on the bottom of the oven is dead so I think I am getting both legs. I have to pull the whole oven out of the wall to get to the power outlet or check at the breaker box. The electric dryer does heat and I think that’s 220.
     
  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Most likely. But also most likely on a different circuit.
     
  9. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah it is, but at least I have it coming into the house, I guess the AC wouldn’t be working either. But wouldn’t the broiler element be needing 220? It does work.

    I might have time to check the voltage going to the heating element tonight, otherwise it will be tomorrow. I’m going to try to find schematics and some service manuals.

    There is a temperature display on the front panel. I am assuming it’s getting fed from the same temp probe inside the oven that feeds the temp controller.

    I think there are ways to test that at room temp. I could also set it under hot water and look for any resistance changes. But it seems to follow the actual oven temp. That’s something I can test using a thermocouple probe on my meter. I’m pretty sure that it’s reading properly.

    I’m saving the control board as a last resort.
     
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I would think that if the broiler is working, you have power. I would think. But I ain't no A&P.
     
  11. asicer

    asicer Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    In my box, it's 2 breakers ganged together going to the my oven. Is it possible that you have a split-breaker situation (one leg tripped while the other leg didn't)?
     
  12. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just pull out the elements and use a good organic lump charcoal for heat. Everything will taste better.
     
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  13. Greg Bockelman

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    220 breakers don’t work that way. They aren’t split.
     
  14. asicer

    asicer Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Mine seem to be. The two 50's tied together are oven and the two 30's tied together (look closely for the rod joining the two levers) are dryer.
    upload_2021-9-8_16-58-48.png
     
  15. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It looks like I do have a couple breakers tied together somehow. I did reset them, and since one of the elements does work just fine, I don't think that's the problem.
     
  16. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    9838F6D5-D2C2-4EC7-8AB7-8A6FC57EDD88.jpeg
    Looks like that’s a 40A circuit feeding both the oven and the ceramic cooktop. The cooktop works, I just used it.

    So things are pointing to something inside the oven.

    I haven’t been able to find schematics, and have only found some limited parts lists.

    GE model number JTP15W0A1
     
  17. Kevin Holbrook

    Kevin Holbrook Pre-Flight

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    Sorry to be a broken record, but if you want to diagnose it or fix it, it's got to come out of the wall. You will almost certainly find a circuit diagram on the top of the oven.

    Usually a couple of screws holding it to the cabin. If you remove the door first, the oven is much easier to move in and out. But you want a helper. If there is hardwood flooring in the kitchen put cardboard or a rug down to protect the floor.

    The problem is clearly not with the breakers or the wiring to the oven. Or the broiler would not work.
     
  18. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, it's looking that way. I'll have to see when I can get the time to do that.
     
  19. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think I can find the wiring diagram behind the control panel. I'll see what I can find.
     
  20. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    things that can go squirrely - connection where heater element plugs in, thermocouple or wiring thereof, limit switch, thermostat or relay.
     
  21. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I pulled out the lower element, one of the connectors pulled off. I though, maybe, it had been loose all these years and then somehow came off. I had to dig it out of the insulation, but I did fit pretty tight when I re-connected after testing the element for continuity. There was no heat damage or corrosion, it all looked bright and shiny, like it was new and not 25 years old.

    I did make sure the reconnection was tight.

    I will pull the thermocouple next, it's easy to get to. From what I've found, I should expect about 1 kOhms at room temp.

    The rest of those items are on the control board, aren't they? If the thermocouple tests good, then I'll get on to that next.
     
  22. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    On my old oven, the oven and broiler relays were off-board, but this was a pretty old oven/range, nothing fancy. If you know the model you may be able to find a schematic online.
     
  23. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Before you take everything apart, check for voltage at the element as others have suggested. It's possible for a connection or crack in a conductor (like the element) to expand open up as it heats up, then contract and close as it cools, so the resistance check looks good. If there's no voltage at the element when it's calling for heat, then start working away from the element.

    But if one of the connectors pulled off when you pulled the element, there's a likely place to look for the problem.
     
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  24. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did make sure it was tight on there when I put it back together, but I'll pull it again and check for voltage. It would be nice if it were that simple.
     
  25. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I used one of those cheap hydraulic platform jacks from HF to get mine in and out.
     
  26. PaulS

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    It looks like they are not making the control parts for your model anymore. Usually if the element and all the connections are good, it's something like a relay has gone TU. This model looks like it has a control board that they don't make any more, you could try ebay if that's the problem, but I would probably just buy a new oven. I have a similar unit, it has convection mode, which works great for cooking and roasting stuff.

    If it turns out to be the control board, it's probably a relay, you might be able to find the part and solder it on, but like I said, sometimes it's just easier and more reliable to buy new.

    I would check the limit switch, but I doubt that's it, the broiler wouldn't work either, but if it is, replace that, otherwise I'd punt.

    I think you can get the control panel off while the oven is installed. The wiring diagram should be in there.
     
  27. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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  28. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    If everything in your oven is that bright and shiny it sounds like no one cooks in it. That's where oven messes come from. None of the parts move, they just conduct electricity. If you cook that little can't you just do without an oven for a bit? Maybe bake in a toaster oven?
     
  29. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    :yeahthat:.

    We're "between ovens" right now, old one is out, new one not ready yet (long remodeling project) so we're using a very large toaster oven ($100) which is enough for nearly everything.
     
  30. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We use(d) the heck out of that oven. The heating element connects behind the back of the oven wall, maybe 2-3 inches back, inside or behind the insulation. The connections are well away from the interior, they show no signs of corrosion, arcing, carbon, or anything else, they are as shiny as new.
     
  31. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That might be an interim solution. We are thinking of a slide-in range next, so a new wall oven would only be used until we do the remodel. One of our local appliance shops does, sometimes, carry used items so we might be able to get a trade-in later.
     
  32. strangebird

    strangebird Pre-takeoff checklist

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    look online there are several appliance websites that sell parts even the older models, google the model and go looking,
    Y tube, has a lot of appliance repair videos,
    Could be the control panel, as I had in my wall oven that would not fire up, bought the control panel online and put it in, back to normal

    if you are going to replace there is a real shortage out there on appliances, I was told by a retailer if you see something today buy it, no deals

    https://www.genuinereplacementparts.com/
    lots more on the web
     
  33. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ok, got a chance to tear into the oven again.

    Later tonight, more likely tomorrow, I’ll pull the control panel and get a look at the wiring diagram and control board.

    Here’s what I found and verified (and I have photos if anyone cares - they are a pain to add since iPhone pix are always rotated):

    1) lower element (the one that doesn’t heat) shows 17 Ohms

    2) thermocouple reads 1.1 kOhms at room temp. Resistance does increase when I held it under hot water.

    3) with the breaker off: voltage at the heating element connector shows 40mV (basically 0V)

    4) with the breaker on: meter shows 27.3V

    5) with oven temp set to 350: I can feel the top element heat. I can hear relays opening and closing, and voltage at the lower element connectors switches between 27.3V and 34.4V.

    #4 and #5 don’t sound right.
     
  34. ColoPilot

    ColoPilot Line Up and Wait

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    Are the top and bottom elements the same? Can you swap them and see if the problem moves with the element?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
  35. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They are a different shape, but probably can be swapped. I'm probably not going to go to the trouble, there's only 30V +/- going to the lower element, and that element ohms out just fine anyway.

    I'm thinking something in the controller is out of whack. I can hear the relays switching, trying to heat the thing up, but the lower element isn't getting any power. And it's also getting 27V or so even when the oven is turned off (with breaker ON).

    I didn't pull the broiler element and see what voltage goes to it when the oven is ON and OFF. I probably won't do that either. At least we can use the broiler, and so far the grill and toaster oven are getting a workout.
     
  36. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I haven't looked at the wiring diagram, but it's not unusual for some ovens to only switch one side of the element. Maybe they all do. Remember how a US house is wired - that 220v element is fed by two halves on the 220v circuit. Or in other words, both are hot, compared to neutral, 120v, 180 degrees out of phase. So if you are incredibly careful, you might find that one side is switching on and off with the relay, but that the other side is open. To do that, check each side to ground with the meter. Can't stress how important it is to be careful with this. If one side is 0, and the other is switching 120v/0v with the thermostat, then the relay sounds ok and you have something wrong on the other side.

    But to jump on what everyone else is saying, I think you may need to pull this thing out of the wall. If you have a loose connection, you want to make sure you fix it securely. Opens aren't so bad, and an intermittent connection can lead to arcing, and that's not good. Can lead to overheating and perhaps fire.
     
  37. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My experience is in the world of 5-24Vdc, getting into 240AC is above my pay grade. Yeah, when you have 2 legs of 120, it may be the voltages I was reading were simply the differences between each leg. I'm not going to start looking for a ground to hot connection unless I pull the whole oven out. At that point, it's probably best to start looking to buy another.

    I'll see what I can find when I open the control panel and peek inside. Maybe the wiring diagram will show something useful.
     
  38. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Careful is the word. What I was getting at is that the 30v or so that you measured across element terminals may not have been 30v at all, but rather 120V hot on one side, and a very high impedance on the other. Technically still 30v with the meter, perhaps, but still very much full line voltage on one.
     
  39. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm over my head when it comes to the AC world - I saw 40mV with the breaker open, then 27V with the breaker closed and the oven turned off (cold). When I set it to heat, I hear it switch on and off and voltages changed from 27v to 34v and back whenever I heard relays click.

    4786138B-8060-4ADE-A8CD-43067F2E3C45.jpeg 5542AB8E-1FE3-4A12-A47D-415EB1AEB647.jpeg FB6FC6DF-5AFF-44FF-AC11-694DC7F8E107.jpeg
     
  40. ja_user

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    Sounds like you have your first "next job" figured out. At least the scope of the work, if not the solution.