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Author Topic: Replace your oven element
Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2016
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 05-07-2018 07:25 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have a standard-issue electric stove (Kenmore brand actually) and four years ago almost exactly I replaced the oven element since it quit. I made a note on the instruction manual and it says April 28, 2014.

Today my wife cranked the oven up and the element actually caught on fire! Leapin' snakes! It didn't burn anything but about four inches of the element but when I dismounted the element it snapped in half at that point.

So I've made a note to change that element every three years as a preventive measure in the future. It's one thing if it quits and just dies, but when it's on fire that's something else.

I'm pretty sure that the last time I changed it when it just quit. But apparently these things are a fire hazard if they get too old as well.

I'd rather spend $30 on an element every few years and spend twenty minutes changing it than have a fire in my kitchen, thanks.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 868
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 05-07-2018 08:18 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good idea. We've had one burn up a but too but not quite that bad.

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Michael Gonzalez
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 790
From: Grand Island , NE USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 05-07-2018 10:20 PM      Profile for Michael Gonzalez   Email Michael Gonzalez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I as assuming that the issue wasn't just the element, but I had an element somehow turn itself on and just got hotter and hotter (past even the max temp setting) till it burned a gap in itself. This happen just out of the blue even though the oven was set to OFF. Thank god I was home and could feel the heat coming from the kitchen and was able to unplug it from the outlet.

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Alexandre Pereira
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 126
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jan 2016


 - posted 05-07-2018 11:07 PM      Profile for Alexandre Pereira   Author's Homepage   Email Alexandre Pereira   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Was this the Fifth Element?

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5200
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-09-2018 06:48 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good one, Alenandre! [Big Grin]

If this were even a remote potential danger, you would think Kenmore (isn't that Sears?) or whoever imports these from China, would have a very visible warning in the manual that the element should be replaced every such-and-such years.

You should really report this to the manufacturer -- although they tend to want to keep facts like these, you know...that their products can set your home ablaze -- under raps. Definitely also report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission -- the guys who initiate product recalls. At least there was such an agency before we decided that it was bad for business to regulate stuff...like household appliances that burst into flames. I'd also email Consumer Reports as well; let them know -- you really want to get the word out if there is even a remote possibility that this is a product design flaw.

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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1112
From: Hampton, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-09-2018 08:33 AM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think the CPSC would be the right regulatory agency for him to contact...since he's from Canada.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9470
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-09-2018 08:43 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well Sear's went bankrupt here last year most likely your unit is a fridgadare rebranded

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

Posts: 3014
From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 05-09-2018 10:17 AM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank, I think the agency in Canada would be "Health Canada" , their equivalent of the CPSC. (IIRC CPSC also shares data and reports with Health Canada and vice-versa.)

Sears/Kenmore ranges of "millennial" vintage have some serious safety and design flaws: Video of control panel violent failure as well as elements turning on by themselves as Michael Gonzalez mentioned. Element turning on by itself

I am dreading having to replace my fridge with a new one after my 30+ year old one fails. (I have to get the shallow counter depth due to space limits when I do, since my upcoming remodel has a galley layout and tight aisle.) The new ones won't last anywhere near 30 years, and I have heard only 5-10 years max is typical of the new ones. (And spending close to 2 grand doesn't help. The old one costs about $450)

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2016
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 05-09-2018 11:15 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The part that was on fire is a third-party oven element that I bought at the hardware store four years ago. So who knows where it came from or who made it.

I guess the thing to do is to change it every few years as a preventive measure.

The fire did go out as soon as I switched the oven off and all that was burned was part of the element.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 05-09-2018 04:00 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had an oven on fire about 4 years ago. The fire started at the "top" heating element used for the "grilling" functionality which was enabled at the time.

Although grease buildup is the most common cause for a fire around such elements, the oven was thoroughly cleaned just a day or two before the fire. The heating element was also cleaned and afterwards I suspect that this could've been the trigger.

Since the oven was built-into the kitchen, the only way to turn it off was by flipping a breaker. I've extinguished the fire with a fire extinguisher. It was an assurance for me that those things actually work as intended.

The oven was a total loss, as was the separate microwave appliance positioned above it. The heat coming out of the burning oven was not only sufficient to melt the entire front of the appliance itself, but also that of the microwave oven.

In the end, the damage was pretty confined, but it could've easily burned the place down if it went on unnoticed for a few minutes. Since then, I'm pretty reluctant to leave something in the oven, without actively supervising it.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7130
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-09-2018 08:14 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have gas heating for the stove, oven, and clothes dryer. I don't like to leave either running when I'm not keeping an eye on them, because I figure that an AFCI at least stands a good chance of stopping an electrical fire in its tracks (we have combined AFCI/GFCIs on every circuit breaker on the panel, apart from the 240v one for the HVAC condenser unit), but it can't do anything to prevent gas from igniting. A small arc/spark that causes an AFCI to trip could be big enough to ignite leaking gas.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12296
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-10-2018 06:12 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow Leo. I'm amazed you can live with AFCI/GFCI on everything. Nuisance trips are a PITA and AFCI are easily fooled, particularly for gas appliances. The igniters make the kind of noise that AFCI is looking for (high frequency noise in the 200KHz region). It is a case where they found something that CAN be an arc but not necessarily and burden society with a protection that probably has a 1000:1 (or more false trips).

GFCI isn't as bad as its trigger is more than 5mA disparity between line and neutral. There more things you have on either on any circuit (including the distance between the device (breaker or outlet) greatly affect nuisance trips.

In our kitchen, EVERY receptacle is its own GFCI and that had dropped nuisance trips to zero. AFIC on a branch circuit is okay if they are on GP outlets where typically one or zero things are plugged in but the more you have plugged in, geometrically, you increase your chance of false trips. And if you do have gas appliances with their igniters, if it is code in your area/year of building to have AFCI, you're probably better off to use a dedicated receptacle for each of those devices than to use a breaker that is likely some distance from the device. The real goal of the AFCI is to prevent in-wall arcs from slowing working their way into a fire. Dedicated/designated circuits are rarely going have that opportunity (washer/dryer 120V receptacle). An oddity of the NEC code, though I believe they updated it in 2017 to cover it, the washer outlet does not need to be GFCI unless it is within 6-feet of a sink. Isn't the washer sort of a sink in and of itself? Even a front loader, the odds that you have wet hands are reasonably high. Our house, recently built and due to when permits were filed and when the locality adopted NEC codes, has a laundry closet for the washer/dryer and that outlet has no GFCI because, for sure, in the 2012 NEC code (the prevailing one on construction permit) does not require it. Laundry areas, like kitchens, have/had separate designations in the code.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7130
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-12-2018 10:09 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We occasionally get a nuisance trip provoked by the toaster oven, but even then probably only about 2-3 times a year.

I suspect that the GFCI/AFCI combos installed on our main breaker panel rather than individual outlets were the result of a combination of California electrical code(s) gold plating the NEC, and the builder (in 2007) wanting to do things as cheaply as possible.

Still, given that SoCal is full of wooden-framed buildings in the middle of bone-dry vegetation, and a high earthquake risk area, I can see the reason why arc fault protection is required.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 05-13-2018 02:27 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
AFCI isn't mandatory around here, but GFCI/RCCB is. While GFCI/RCCB can give you some random searches for bad equipment or faulty wiring from time to time, I think it's a necessary evil, especially in the advent of cheapskate, non-grounded appliances with metallic surfaces that can easily kill you due to crappy internal wiring or non-regulatory cheapo PCB designs where high voltage and low voltage are running just a few milometers apart from each other.

AFCI seemed like a great idea at first, but I've since given up on it, because it triggered far too often. Even using a power drill was practically impossible. Maybe if I could redo the electrical wiring in my home and in the office, I would consider separate circuits for "temporary" equipment that's prone to trigger the AFCI/AFDD switch.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16270
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-13-2018 10:54 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All gas here, I had an electric stove at my last house and really hated it.

Mark

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