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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 59637
Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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Hi, The subject is electrical insulation on a 1972 vintage

Customer Question

Hi,
The subject is electrical insulation on a 1972 vintage drop-in General Electric electric range & oven combination. It works well but has started emitting a low level unpleasant smell when the oven is on. The oven, range top, and inner spaces are very clean, so that's not the problem. I took the control panel off and found that the sheet of insulation over which the wiring goes (it bridges some sheet metal edges) has become very charred, but the wiring itself is in good shape. I believe that this is due to long term thermal breakdown of the sheet material because it is located just outside the top oven shell where it gets heat from the broiler elements just below it. The other wiring within the range top also looks good. I have done lots of other DIY appliance maintenance and wonder where I might find replacement material for this boundary/edge protection material. Do you have a suggestion on the material or repair?
This is a narrow 27 inch drop-in that's relatively expensive to replace and is in otherwise good condition, so I'd like to keep it going. Thanks.


Gary
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.

Since the unit is quite old, there isn't going to be a digital reference to what you're seeing. I there a way you can take a picture of the insulation you're talking about and use the button over top of the text box that looks like a paper clip to attach the picture so that I can see what you're seeing? Only Firefox and Internet explorer will show this button so if you don't see the button, you can upload it to some place like Flickr.com and give me a link to the image so that I might see what you're seeing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


there will be bit of a delay while I transfer the photo to the pc .......

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
OK, just send if over when you can.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I tried sending photo but transaction was strange - let me know whether you received it. I can edit file size down if needed. Good insulation to the right (light brown material) with burnt black at my fingertip on the left.


 


Gary

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
OK so that really is quite an old oven because that material isn't used anymore. Ovens now use sheet metal shielding to reflect the heat because that cardboard type material didn't hold up over time. This shielding is called "refractory paper" and the problem is that it really only comes in a large roll if you wanted to buy it and it's usually only sold commercially. The closest material that you can get is probably Mica Waveguide material which is normally used for microwaves, but you can use it for this application as well to prevent the wires from touching the direct metal and melting the insulation on the wires.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


That sounds good - do you have any idea of where to look for a piece of that material? Otherwise, now that I know better I'll probably ask someone like an "All Appliance Parts" store for some mica plate.

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
So my shop buys the stuff in bulk, but outside of that I'm not sure where you could get just a little that you need. I see that Ebay sells a sheet about the size you'd need, but it's being shipped from China from a reputable seller. Below is a link to that if you wanted to order it from them.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-pcs-Microwave-Oven-Repairing-Part-150-X-300mm-5-9X11-8-Mica-Plates-Sheets-/181067827940?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a287bcae4

Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 59637
Experience: 9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
Tyler Z. and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Having worked for a former Westinghouse manufacturing division for a long time, I saw lots of mica go by. Have a great day.


 


Gary

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.
Interesting. Most people have no idea what the stuff is, but if you worked for Westinghouse in their manufacturing facilities you would have likely seen this product before. Either way, not a problem helping, and I wish you only the best.

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Tyler Z.
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Appliance Technician
59637 Satisfied Customers
9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.