My stove/oven may have bit me-surprise!!

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  #1  
Old 08-26-14, 12:49 PM
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My stove/oven may have bit me-surprise!!

I had a pot on a burner. In the pot was wet spare ribs. I was handling them with my left hand. My kitchen floor is wood. With my right hand I had just finished cutting them and was placing the knife on the counter of which was laying a piece of aluminum foil where I placed the knife on; at that moment I believe I received a slight shock from my left hand still holding the spare ribs. I know the stove is hooked up the old 3 prong with SE wire and I have been waiting to change the wire to SER #6 once I change over the fuse box to a breaker box. Presently the SE cable goes to a fused disconnect. Is it possible that I received a shock just by chance because of the aluminum foil? It is an older stove and just moved in here; own the house.

What is the best way to check to see if there is leakage of current to the stove/oven without repeating that last stunt

Have a digital multimeter.

Thanks
 
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Old 08-26-14, 12:55 PM
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You have discovered the reason that a four wire connection is required for appliances. A dedicated ground in the four wire cable gets connected directly to the appliance frame.

In your three wire connection... the frame of the stove shares a neutral/ground connection to the panel. You can take an AC voltmeter and check from the frame of the appliance to the sink faucet or plate screw on a nearby receptacle. Try the measurement with at least one burner on.

Post back what you find.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 01:35 PM
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Okay; my stove with one burner on if I put one probe to a bare spot (no paint) on the stove and touch the drain (wet area) of the sink I get 117 volts (thereabouts)
 
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Old 08-26-14, 01:54 PM
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That is NOT good. You have a lethal problem there !

Be extremely careful if you must use the range but I highly recommend fixing the problem first.

You'll need to check the neutral/ground connection at the back of the range. That would be the center post connection. I would turn the power off and do a visual check first. Then you can check from there to the drain area again with the power on.

If you are comfortable opening and working in the panel then you may also need to check the wiring at the panel end. Visually check the wiring first.

You can always post pics here of uncertain items you find. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 08-26-14, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for reply

I live by myself so no problem with someone else touching it and having problems.

Will be mindful of situation until weekend when I will have time to open up the back (feel comfortable with that and panel; been there done that)

Yup; we all know now why the 4 wire system now. I did see that when I took it apart before in the back of the stove to replace the broiler element and bake element that the neutral coming from the incoming SE wire is connected to the frame of the stove where the stove is grounded to the same point.

I kinda figured this was the problem when I felt it but just surprised!!
 
  #6  
Old 08-26-14, 02:08 PM
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That is NOT good. You have a lethal problem there !

Be extremely careful if you must use the range but I highly recommend fixing the problem first.
If he 'must use the range'? I think you meant, "promptly turn that circuit off until the situation can be resolved'.
 
  #7  
Old 08-27-14, 08:28 AM
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Okay, tried to get a steady voltage going from bare spot on oven (no paint) and drain (wet area) and meter was reading randomly between 36-90volts (would not hold steady on a particular voltage). Anyway, shut off power. removed back cover. Saw that the grounding strap was not attached to the neutral lug. Connected it, put cover back on. Connected power again. Now the meter is only reading steady .004-.006 volts steady.

Planning on upgrading to the SER copper #6 3 pole 4 wire along with NEMA 14-50R and replacing existing harness with the NEMA 14-50P. With a two pole 50amp breaker. That old NEMA 10 is for the trash.

Have to work on the panel first though. The guy that owned this house before me made a hodge-podge of the electrical system and I have to replace it all from the triplex (house connection-arial) to the meter box, to the new breaker panel (replace existing) and get rid of all the fused disconnects he had including the main. I will be watching this and understand the importance of bringing all up to code. Just waiting for the money for parts.

Thanks for the help and any suggestions appreciated.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 08:32 AM
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Saw that the grounding strap was not attached to the neutral lug.
You were lucky.

The reason you were getting a shock is because the frame was not grounded and an element is starting to go leaky. The elements start leaking to ground internally and when it gets to a certain point the element will completely short.
 
  #9  
Old 08-27-14, 08:43 AM
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I know I was lucky.

When I first moved in the broiler and bake elements were missing. I bought new ones (models suggested by GE). But I guess the burner elements are going now to. Have to watch it carefully. Was going to replace the stove but decided to keep it to save some money so I can put the money into other things in the house (it is a foreclosure); have so much to do around here and money is running really short faster than I had thought.

Appreciate the help and of course the concern - all.
 
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