I bought a Whirlpool Electric Range Model: WFC150M0EW from offerup since my old stove was giving up. I connected the four prong 40 AMP 125/250V from old stove (HotPoint) to the one I bought Whirlpool. Put the over on the back and plugged it in, it turned on (clock and everything) but when I was pushing it closer to the wall it sizzled and went out (the breaker was triggered). Made sure the breaker was set to off for the stove, disconnected the Range Power Cord etc.

Took off the back and part of the terminal black (the red) broke off and wire was hanging there while the plastic piece broke off.

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As you can see the red wire is on its own and slightly charred look. I don't know if I should replace the red wire along with a new terminal block or if the whole stove is now unsalvageable? Also I don't know if it had to do with the power cord being a 4 prong instead of a 3 prong. I took a pic of the models info just incase. Should I buy a different range cord?

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Currently at a lost, but I did order a new terminal block which will come in a week depending. Hopefully before Christmas dinner making. If you have any input, that would very much be appreciated.

  • looks like the connection was not tight enough, which caused the bolt to get hot, which caused the terminal strip plastic to become brittle, etc. etc.
    – jsotola
    Dec 14, 2021 at 2:27

2 Answers 2


Looks like the black terminal block broke, allowing the red wire's terminal to contact the chassis behind it. What caused it to break is hard to say. Maybe it was broken when you received it, and just loosely held in place or maybe you broke it. Maybe the back cover was put on incorrectly and pushed on the terminal block when it hit the back wall.

Replacing the block is good. If the red wire can be purchased pre-assembled with the correct terminals on both ends, and just replaced that would be best. If not, and if it's long enough, crimping an appropriate new terminal onto it after removing the damaged part might be ok. You might find the wire is fine, just the insulation is charred. Then you could just wrap it.

When you replace the back cover of the range, look for signs of why it might have impinged on the terminals.

Unlikely you damaged the range further. Unlikely that the 4-wire cord is the problem ... the range seems to be designed for it. Hopefully it's plugged into a 4-prong outlet that is correctly wired?

  • 1
    Thank you for your advice! I got the new terminal block, new 4 prong cord and now its up and running. Did get new bolts since two were charred.
    – vangiekay
    Dec 21, 2021 at 2:52
  • Why did you get a new cord? It's not the cord that was burnt, it was an internal wire in the stove, no? Also did the new cord come with a strain relief clamp and did you use it as suggested in @Freeman's answer? I think he's right, that seems like the most likely reason the thing broke in the first place.
    – jay613
    Dec 21, 2021 at 11:58

It looks to me like there isn't proper strain relief on the cord. There should be something holding the cord as it goes through this hole in the metal box, or, at a minimum, just outside this hole.

Closeup of OP's post showing where strain relief should be

Any movement as you push the stove against the wall could pull directly on the connectors and that could be what caused the terminal block to break.

In the next pic down in the question, the ground wire makes a tight bend where the bare wires go into the ring terminal and it appears that the wires just disappear into the sheet metal - it's only when looking at other pics that you can see how this wire is terminated. Without proper strain relief, the ground wire could end up breaking, leaving the oven ungrounded.

  • Well spotted. Probably the problem. Indeed, if the ground wire were to break it would only be AFTER the red breaks first because the ground has some flex. OP was lucky last time. Red broke, probably from being yanked, then it snapped back or was pushed back by the loose cord into the chassis where it made ground. Next time if red breaks, then green breaks, then red touches chassis .... not so lucky! Curious why someone downvoted this.
    – jay613
    Dec 21, 2021 at 12:03
  • The DV was probably because this doesn't address how to fix the terminal block, @jay613, but instead addresses the root cause of why the block broke in the first place. My guess...
    – FreeMan
    Dec 21, 2021 at 14:08

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