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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  7+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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I have an "older" (Manufactured November 1980) GE Range, Model

Customer Question

I have an "older" (Manufactured November 1980) GE Range, Model JBV42G Rated at 9.5KW (240V). The "Oven Bake Unit" (Lower Oven Element) burned out last night. The "proper" replacement for this element is the WB44X205 which retails for $107 (plus Sipping, Handling, & Tax) from GE. "Wholesale," I am still looking at $75 to $80.

There are several similar elements (same shape & dimensions) available, starting at about $10 to $15. (See, for example, the GE WB44X5082.) Try as I might, I cannot find any details about the ratings on these elements -- either the WB44X205, or the others I might be able to install physically. On the one hand, I am well aware that choosing an element with the wrong voltage or wattage rating might cause problems; on the other hand, I can buy ten (10) of the the less expensive elements for the cost of one (1) "correct" one.

Is there any way, short of ordering "samples" that I can get the actual operating specifications of the various elements available for sale?

Thanks!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

So first, WB44X5082 is a 2300 watt element which means it has a resistance of about 10-11 ohms resistance. Part number WB44X205 is a 2585 watt element, so it's about 13 ohms resistance. Now that's not a big enough difference to create any problem, so if it mounts up the same, I would order the WB44X5082 since it's significantly cheaper. It definitely will have a slightly different shape so I can't say if it would cause a problem. In reality, if it mounts properly, the only thing that you'd notice is that it might take a minute or two longer to preheat since it's a lower watt element.

Please remember to rate my service before you leave. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. You can continue asking follow-up questions until you have all the information you need even after rating my service. Thank you!


Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 58355
Experience: 7+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
Tyler Z. and 7 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tyler,

Here is a quick follow-up note. I have several items of interest;

1. You still owe me an answer to my original question: Is there a place where I can look up specs on oven elements?

2. The replacement element arrived. As I predicted, the resistence was in the "mid twenties" -- 25.2 ohms to be precise.

3. Modifying the stove took about an hour with a round file, a three-cornered file, a half-round file, and a magnet in a baggie (to clean up metal filings). The plate on the new element covered all of the holes from the old element. After some careful filing, and drilling four (4) new holes in the new mounting plate, my stove will now mount either its original $80 element or the $15 replacement version. While I was at it, I took a little extra time and tapped out the stove holes so that I could use some stainless cap screws. That should make the next change-out, (sometime in 2023?) a wee bit easier.

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4. If you are interested in the process, I have pictures.

As I type this, I am enjoying supper -- the first meal cooked in the oven (with the new element) since the old one blew out. For what it is worth, the new element actually brings the oven up to temperature a wee bit faster than the old one -- perhaps because the old one was a bit "long in the tooth" as it were.

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If you have a minute to provide an answer to my original question, or if you would like to see pictures, I'd love to hear from you.

Sincerely,
Larry Perkins


Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry, I did my math wrong. That is why it didn't work out even close. So there is no website that tell you specs for the oven on a unit this old. The units weren't even recorded digitally. But that being said, you can look up specs of the elements on various websites.

Lets take for example the element you ordered. Below is a link to the part and you can see they listed the specs.

http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Bake-Element/WB44X5082/3358

The part you have received was 2585 watts. How if you use the equation Voltage = Current * resistance (V=IR) and Power = Voltage * current (P=VI), you can figure out what the current is because the power was given at 2585 and the voltage is a constant 240 volts. 2585 / 240 = I (current). I=10.77 amps.

Now going back to the original formula V = IR, voltage you know is 220 volts and I is 10.77 as was found from the second equation. That means that the resistance of the element should be 20.43 ohms.

That being said, you measured 25.2 ohms which is definitely higher than what the equation comes out to, but still nothing ridiculous that would cause a problem.

Either way, it sounds like you did a fine job tapping the holes for the new element mounting plate so I high doubt you'll see problems in the future. Do make sure that the terminals aren't going to touch the back panel behind the oven. Sometimes these elements will have longer terminals so when you put the back plate on, it might get close enough to spark out if you don't have them insulated.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tyler,

Thanks for circling around and wrapping up the loose end. I may not like the answer, BUT I do appreciate the effort expended in providing it!

> ...So there is no website that tell you specs for the oven on a


> unit this old. The units weren't even recorded digitally.
That's too bad. Back in the 60s & 70s when I started tinkering this way, a fellow could go to "Sam's Photofacts" (now https://www.samswebsite.com/ ) and get schematics, specs, et cetera for most anything "electronic." I still have some of the stuff I bought from them, but I haven't found an equivalent for appliances. :-(

Since your curriculum vitae indicates an [aerospace?] engineering background, I am sure you will understand when I say that this is not the only "project" on my [hot] plate (so to speak). Since I do like to eat, the kitchen oven did become the most pressing for a time, but it is by no means a one-and-done situation ;-)

For example, I have a couple of ovens I plan to "sew together" when I get some spare time. (Make them side-by-side units, common heat chamber, common controls, dual elements.)

I do a bit of custom machining from time-to-time, and an old electric range is an excellent way to cure powder coatings; but I need something a bit larger (physically) for some of the stuff on my docket. Being able find element (and control) specs would actually let me "design" the finished oven before I start -- instead of engaging in multiple rounds of "trial and error" (or, as I call it, "burn & learn.") Oh well...

> But that being said, you can look up specs of the elements on


> various websites.
Been there; done that; the element I want to look up always seems to be the one I can't find :-)

One of the local guys said he had a cross-reference; but, he wanted to do the work, not just look up numbers -- or charge on a look-up-by-lookup basis. Unfortunately, having someone else do the work is not something I can afford -- monetarily or otherwise. I am willing to pay to have things looked up for specific repairs; but, for a ground-up design project, that would be cost-prohibitive...

> The part you have received was 2585 watts.
Yup, and as it turns out, the old one was rated at 2585 watts, too ;-)

> That being said, you measured 25.2 ohms which is definitely
> higher than what the equation comes out to
Actually, it is not.


 


[The equation I prefer is "(Voltage Squared) / Wattage = Resistance.]


 


The new element, according to the fellow who "has a cross-reference," is rated 2585 watts at 250 volts. That makes the expected resistance 24.18 ohms. (250*250=62,500 / 2585 = 24.18) That's well within a 10% tolerance.

> Do make sure that the terminals aren't going to touch the
> back panel behind the oven.
Good Advice!


 


As it turns out, the new element's terminals are 3/8-inch *shorter* than the old element (I checked before I started modifications ;-) ). They were also 1/4-inch closer together, too. (As mentioned, I took pictures.)

> Sometimes these elements will have longer terminals so when you
> put the back plate on, it might get close enough to spark out if you
> don't have them insulated.
Oh for the days when a fellow could just grab a sheet of asbestos (typically chrysotile) paper and cement it to the part that needed protection. They kind of frown on that, now ;-) These days, exhaust manifold gasket material (available at NAPA) makes an okay substitute.

-----------------------

If you do happen to come up with an "appliance" equivalent for "Sam's" let me know; I'd pay additional for that answer ;-)

Regardless, thanks again for everything.

Sincerely,
Larry Perkins


 


 


 

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
Interesting. Either way, I'm glad you have it all taken care of. So just for reference, GE does have information on these really old units, but they put them on what they call microfish slides. They rarely if ever actually look this stuff up and when they do it takes hours on the phone with them and you must be in the customers house, but there really isn't a point. That being said, there definitely is not a cross reference for the element, but many times you can bring the element into a parts store and since they carry so many, they will sear around for an element that has the same mounting style and rough dimensions as your existing element. I suppose in the future that might be an option you can do, but you'd still need to know the original wattage to make sure the element isn't a completely different resistance.

I'm glad it's all wrapped up one way or another. Enjoy the oven!

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