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Old 03-04-2013, 11:26 AM
 
1,339 posts, read 2,769,332 times
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Hi:

I replaced the burner infinite switch (from Sears) on my Kenmore electric stovetop two months ago since turning it on was not heating the coil (the red power light would not come on). But after that, everything was working fine. We have been cooking on that heating coil element since then, but yesterday while my wife was cooking using a non-stick pan, suddenly sparks started coming out of the heating coil element. My wife quickly turned off the burner switch and the sparks stopped.

When I inspected the hetaing coil element, I could see severe damage and there was melted metal on the floor where the sparks touched the floor. Even the bottom of the non-stick pan was damaged. I removed the heating coil element and haven't used it. Two things to note:
  1. The burner socket for that particular heating coil element was replaced by the earlier seller. I know that because I can see the new socket connected to the old wires using connectors.
  2. The other three heating coil elements work fine which is what we are using for our cooking.
Please tell me what's going on. Did I wire the infinte switch incorrectly, but then why am I seeing the problem after two months? Is the entire electric stovetop unsafe for use?

Thanks,
K
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,416 posts, read 49,588,200 times
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Nah. You simply had an element burn out. They spark when they do, and the sparking sometimes acts like an electric arc. Aluminum pans have a low melting point so they can be damaged easily.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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A new burner should cost less than $20. replace it and keep on cooking.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
4,096 posts, read 19,114,886 times
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You really should replace the element AND the socket. When they burn out and arc, the connections get pitted and continue to arc and affect the new parts.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,416 posts, read 49,588,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
You really should replace the element AND the socket. When they burn out and arc, the connections get pitted and continue to arc and affect the new parts.
I disagree. Unless the element burned out at the socket, this is superfluous. Do you replace your light sockets every time a lamp burns out? Do you replace your shop outlets after using an arc welder?

The stove element connectors can pit, but the failure of the element would rarely make any difference. For there to be pitting caused by the arc of a breaking element, the current to the burner would have to be near or on high, and the arc intermittent enough to reduce the resistance of the element by significant cooling. Then, in addition to that, the socket would have to already have a poor connection unable to handle the added current. FWIW, I've struck the huge carbon arcs used in drive-in theatres and xenon arcs in indoor theatres thousands of times and never had issues with downstream connections failing.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
4,096 posts, read 19,114,886 times
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Harry,
This is when there has been arcing for a while and the surfaces inside the socket (or element) are pitted/damaged. I replaced an element once and in a short time it was arcing as well. Because the socket was pitted badly, there was not a good connection, so the element started to arc right away.

A light bulb rarely, if ever arcs, inside the socket, so the socket is not damaged. Obviously a properly plugged in arc welder will not damage the socket. Not sure I see your point here.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,416 posts, read 49,588,200 times
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I understand your specific situation, and agree with you there, but the OP simply had an element fail. Commonly that happens somewhere on the coil itself. Example: I had an oven element go out a couple of years ago. The break was about ten inches from the end of the element, and it did some impressive sparking. The connector - ten inches away - was not affected in the slightest. I've had similar breaks in stove top coils. While examining a failed part and connections is good practice, it doesn't always mean replacing all connector parts.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:40 PM
 
1,339 posts, read 2,769,332 times
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Hi!


Update! I tried replacing the burner socket and the heating element, but no luck! I went to HD and bought the following for my Sears/Kenmore electric stovetop:I followed the directions in this youtube video: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L78y6v1rRVQ]. I wasn't able to get porcelain wire connectors so I am using the plastic ones that came with the burner socket.

When i turn on the burner switch, the red light comes on but the heating element just does not get hot. My other 8-inch element had stopped working years ago and i never bothered to fix it, so i tried to fix that as well by replacing the burner socket and used the old heating element. same results: the red light comes on, but the heating element doesn't heat at all! What am i doing wrong? The wires of the previous burner sockets that the previous owner had replaced were soldered as opposed to me using wire connectors for the socket that I am replacing. Other than that, I would expect this to be a simple job!!

Now I only have the two 6-inch ones working. Any help before my wife talks me into calling a technician? :-)

Thanks,
K
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,416 posts, read 49,588,200 times
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If you have two working burners and a light going on, You have ruled out most of the power to the unit problems. I looked for wiring diagrams, but Sears has them grayed out and says there are no parts. It looks like you will need a tech to come out.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:55 PM
 
1,339 posts, read 2,769,332 times
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Harry:

Here's the exact model number: Model # 9119344190 | Parts.Sears.com

Thanks,
K
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