When I heard my wife calling desperately for me from the kitchen, I dashed in to find sparks sputtering from the open oven. I immediately shut off the control switch, but the sparks kept flying, so I ran off and killed the breaker. The sparks stopped.
I found the problem right away -- a cracked upper heater element was arcing to its metal hanger. But why did it still arc when the knob was turned to the off position? Either the switch was shorted on one side of the 220V, and I needed to replace that switch, or a single-pole switch was being used on the 220V circuit.
I asked the manufacturer if both sides of the 220V were being switched, as they are on the stove-top elements, but they would not tell me. I asked for a schematic and I was told that it was not available.
I found a schematic to a similar model online, and only one side was being switched. So I traced the circuit in mine and it was the same case -- there is still 110V on the element when the oven is turned off. That could be bad for someone cleaning the oven, or for a curious child poking around a cold oven, if it has a cracked element like mine did.
This entry was submitted by Noor Khalsa and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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