I fixed my oven

I fixed my oven

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August 2011
A while ago, my electric oven stopped working. More recently, I noticed the lower / bake heating element was in two pieces, so I figured that was why. I looked up the part number, and ordered a replacement element from Amazon for half what everyone else was charging, shipped.

I heard there were useful youtube videos. I forgot to watch them.

I knew 220 volts was nothing to mess with, but thought if the oven was turned off, there was no way there would be voltage running to the oven. I am very thankful for how little that lesson cost me.

I knew you were supposed to unscrew the two bolts holding the element in, pull it out carefully with the wires still clipped on, so you'd have something to clip the new one to. The left wire arced to the oven liner. Melted the tab that went into the clip right off, burned a small hole in the edge of the oven liner. 220 volts unexpectedly arcing in your face is unnerving. I managed to not even give myself a concussion or break a hand when I jumped. I flipped the breaker off (and verified the oven didn't have power). Then I pulled the other end of the element out, without the clip on it. I couldn't even feel the clips up in the insulation. I was very displeased. The piece of metal between me and the wires I wanted to connect to I'll call the oven liner. The other option was going in through the back of the oven - at first glance that didn't look useful.

I tried to find youtube videos for my situation, but there were none. I did find the video on replacing the oven element, and
a couple videos on how to remove oven doors. Basically, they all have some kind of clip that prevents the hinges from folding, so you can lift the door up and out. Eventually figured out which bit was that clip, and got the door off pretty easily.

I started taking screws out of the oven liner. After they were all out, it still didn't want to budge. So I tried the back. There was an access cover with 5 screws. And easy access to the wires I needed. I put all the screws back in the oven liner, and decided to bolt the element in place, and make the connections through the access panel. I have a feeling, with my oven, it wouldn't work any other way - not enough slack in the wires. So I didn't actually screw up when I didn't manage to pull the wires out with the element - just when I burned the tab off the old element because I didn't shut the power off.

Got everything back together, and it works. I just did a test heat to 350°F, and my analog oven thermometer says 375°F. Don't know which is closer, but the thermostat is at least doing something still.

I think I probably saved a nice chunk of money, didn't actually die, and didn't actually destroy anything.

My oven is a GE JBP68WD1WW, and the element is part WB44T10010.

My motivation for this was wanting to try making bread. Did you know you can culture yeast from wheat? Isn't that awesome?
  • even if i didn't flip the breaker, i'd have unplugged the thing :)

    and a DVM or something... mmm, which reminds me, i'm old now, i can afford a FLUKE :>

    yay for not dying.

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