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After 20 years the stove blew the breaker.

The Home Warranty Company sent an appliance guy out. He said it was the breaker. Home Warranty Company sent out a electrician. He put his gauge on it and said the stove was drawing 57 amps and wanted to replace the 50 with a 60 amp breaker. He didn't check anything else.

Please verify that this is ok.

I don't think so, rather a retired electrician found the wires loose & tightened them and it then was drawing the 40 amp current.

Please confirm that replacing a 50 amp breaker with a 60 amp breaker could actually do more harm and could literally set me house on fire as the breaker wouldn't trip if it drawing an over currant.

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    What make and model is your stove, and what size is the wire running to your stove? Also, what was the stove set to when that 57A reading was taken? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 29 '19 at 1:26
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    We need to know if the wiring in question is #8 copper, #6 copper, #6 aluminum or #4 aluminum. At these large sizes aluminum isn't that bad, so don't panic. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 29 '19 at 1:29
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Loose connections can cause a lot of problems, including:

  • Higher power usage - which turns into heat - which can cause a fire (though in this case, the breaker did its job and stopped that)
  • Arcing - which can cause a fire

So if tightening the connections solved the problem then you should be all set.

In addition, as you suspected, simply replacing a breaker with a larger breaker is not to be done on a whim. It should only be done when:

  • The wires are able to support the additional current (which is likely NOT the case)
  • The equipment will be protected properly even with the larger breaker

With a 20-year track record plus tightening connections solving the problem, all indications are that upsizing the breaker would be a very bad thing to do.

The appliance guy blaming the breaker (or more likely "appliance is OK so this must be something in the electrical system") is actually reasonable. An electrician looking at it and recommending replacing a breaker with a larger one based on an overcurrent trip after 20 years is being irresponsible.

Anecdotally, I suspect the appliance guy and the electrician are both getting relatively underpaid by the warranty company - they (generically, not one particular company) are known (at least in my area) to be a bad deal all around - and therefore likely to end up with the "low bidders". Who may not be quite as qualified as you would hope. Just saying...

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  • I agree. I hesitate in calling. I definitely won't be using that company again! – JOANNE Aug 29 '19 at 15:29

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