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Tim Alan
Tim Alan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  Amana, A&E (Whirlpool) ,and Maytag factory service
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Here is a question regarding a residential electric oven (full

Resolved Question:

Here is a question regarding a residential electric oven (full size):

How hot (in terms of temperature) should the electrical wires connected to the oven's bake/broil elements become when the oven's heating elements are at full temperature?

Background - I just replaced the bake element in our oven. While removing the element one of the connectors on a electrical wire connected to the element broke off. The wire then fell back through the oven interior wall. Consequently, I had to remove the rear exterior panel to gain access to the wires that supply power to the elements. There are 2 wires for a broil element and 2 for a bake element in this oven, all 4 wires are 14 gauge and fabric insulated. The fabric on all 4 of the wires is slightly browned in several spots which I am assuming has resulted from heating of the wires.

I replaced the female connectors for the 2 wires that supply the new bake element and then tested the oven with the rear access panel off so that I could monitor the temperature of the supply wires (yes, I realize the hazard of working with exposed electrical wiring and take appropriate precautions).

I tested each heating element individually, heated to 400 F. The supply wires for the new bake element (with new supply wire connectors) remained cool to the touch but the supply wires for the old broil element rose to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Is it normal for these wires to ever become so hot? (There is a ton of insulation stuffed around these wires) Could aged connectors on the 'old' broil element be causing enough resistance that they are heating up the wire?

This oven is approximately 30 years old. All the interior wiring appears to be original. I doubt that either of the heating elements were original when I began this repair.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 6 years ago.
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Tim Alan :

You will get some residual heat through the element which will warm up the wire a little. The brown brittle insulation is quite common and your right that is actually due to a poor/loose connection. A poor/loose connection does increase resistance which leads to heat I allways cut off the burned portion of wire and installed a new connector. If its a real bad connection the the wire will melt off right at the end of the connector and fuse to the element. So replace it know before you have a real problem. Hope this helps if you need further assistance let me know or press the accept button and leave a comment. thanks, Tim

JACUSTOMER-ecvyv4pu- :

Thank you Tim. Your response was in line with what I was hoping, but since was a potential safety issue, I wanted some 'expert' advice on the matter. I will replace the electrical connectors on the 'old' element and test again.

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