Why does my electric range trip the circuit breaker when the oven and all burners are used? This behavior is new.
I have an early 80s GE electric oven/cooktop range (approximate parts diagram
) on a pair of dedicated 50 amp circuits of the same vintage. The range is marked 10.6 KW @ 120V and 8.2 KW @ 120V. Pretty much everything in the house is the cheapest imaginable, but I haven't found any safety issues.
I used to be able to use all four burners and the oven at the same time. Recently if I turn on everything, after a minute or so the breaker trips. I have also had this happen with only a couple burners and the oven at the same time. It does *not* happen with just the oven, even if I leave the oven at 500F for an extended period. Resetting the breaker is always sufficient to turn things back on.
Thinking a short caused by thermal expansion was the most likely cause, I checked all the burners (including the oven element) where they connected to the wiring, and everything seemed in excellent shape. Pulling out the panel with the knobs, there was a lot of wiring but all the terminals looked fine and I didn't see evidence of scorching like you would expect with a short. This model comes with a mechanical timer that could be an issue, but I wasn't about to take it apart.
Since Thanksgiving is an 11 course cornucopia, every burner (and the grill) are strictly scheduled. Ideally, I would take my handy multimeter and diagnose this problem. If y'all advise, I'll call an electrician instead. Replacing a built-in range at T-day minus nine days is not on my list of fun, but we can do it.