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I was using my electric oven last night baking something inside it and also using one burner to cook some food. The stove has 5 burners that I could use but I was only using one. While I was standing next to the oven, seemingly out of nowhere I heard a loud humming sound. This humming continued for about 5 seconds and got progressively louder. Eventually we heard a loud pop, the oven turned off immediately and then we smelled a burning smell. I saw a little bit of smoke and my girlfriend claimed she saw a small poof of fire momentarily when we heard the pop. Currently nothing works on the stove, not even the time display.

I was wondering if this could be a blown fuse within the stove. If it is a blown fuse, does that always mean that there is something else which caused the fuse to blow in the first place? Or could the fuse have gone bad by itself and simply replacing it would fix the issue.

Edit - The model number of the stove is is PLEFMZ99ECA.

Also as a side note, I have noticed that a GFCI outlet that is somewhat next to our stove seems to trip randomly over the past few weeks. We use a coffee maker on that plug and that seems to trip it and shut off power to the outlet. Not sure if this might be related.

Second Edit - So I just checked the circuit breaker panel and found that the range circuit tripped at the main panel to my house.

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  • Model # of oven would help. Jan 20, 2022 at 17:53
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    Providing the brand that model number goes with would be super helpful, too.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 20, 2022 at 18:12
  • Classic blown element. I happened to see mine making happy yellow volcano action on itself after hearing the pop, and I turned off the oven (nothing tripped.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 20, 2022 at 18:37
  • Coffee maker tripping GFCI means almost definitely bad coffee maker. If you can use it for a while in a different GFCI receptacle (do NOT use it in a non-GFCI-protected receptacle) and it trips then coffee maker and if it doesn't then the first GFCI should be replaced. Jan 20, 2022 at 18:43

3 Answers 3

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There are actually three ways (besides "pull the plug") that an oven can shut off in an emergency:

  • Circuit breaker in your breaker panel. This trips if the oven uses too much power for too long - typically a short circuit, which can happen due to faulty components but more often due to components that wear out over time, including switches and heating elements.
  • Thermal fuse. Many ovens have a thermal fuse so that if the heating element runs for too long (e.g., controls stuck "on") or if there is a break in the oven such that heat can get from inside the oven to the outside, power shuts off.
  • Electrical fuse. All ovens should have electrical fuses protecting both the heating elements/entire oven and often also in the control panel to protect the electronic components separately. These fuses can blow if a heating element goes bad or a bad switch or (in the case of the control panel fuses) any component in the control panel fails.

So what happened here? The symptoms sound very much like a heating element burning up. That usually finishes fast enough that it will not trigger a thermal fuse but may result in a short circuit that triggers either an oven fuse or your circuit breaker. To figure it out:

  • If nothing works - control panel "dead", no digital clock, no burners work, etc. then this is either the circuit breaker or a main oven fuse (i.e., that protects everything in the oven + cooktop).
  • If some parts still work then you either have a blown fuse for part of the oven or you simply have a bad heating element. If broil works but not bake (or vice versa) then it is just the element.

Assuming nothing works:

  • Check the circuit breaker. If it has tripped then you definitely had a short and want to do some prep work first before turning it on.
  • If the circuit breaker did not trip then your oven circuit is still "live", but the problem is more than just the element, so turning off the breaker while you troubleshoot is a good idea.

Aside from fuses, which could be "anywhere" depending on design of the oven, the key thing is most likely the heating element. In most ovens the bake element and the broil element are easily accessible with at most a couple of screws holding them in. However, ovens with a flat bottom have the bake element underneath the visible bottom of the oven and additional work is needed to remove and replace it. However, if that's the case you generally wouldn't see the fire (but you'd still smell the smoke) when the element self-destructs.

More details will depend on the model #.

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  • Awesome answer! I never thought to check the house circuit breaker panel. I found that it has tripped. I will keep the circuit off until I can find out where the short is. Are there any common areas where shorts occur in stoves? Would the bottom "bake" heating element burning out cause a short in and of itself? Jan 20, 2022 at 18:34
  • I'd start with pulling out the burnt element and inspecting around it for damage. If everything else looks basically OK (wipe off the soot and no visible cracks, etc.) then safe to turn breaker back on and see if the rest (control panel, clock, cooktop) works. If all OK then turn off breaker, replace element and hopefully done. Jan 20, 2022 at 18:35
  • Awesome thank you! If I pull out the burnt element and test it with a multimeter, should I be able to test for continuity? If there is no continuity then that would mean that the element needs to be replaced? Jan 20, 2022 at 18:50
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    Fair points. I am going to pull the circuit board out of my oven and see if this was indeed the issue. I'm planning on seeing something burnt up on the board. If I do find that, I think I'll give this repair service a try and see what happens. Jan 20, 2022 at 21:48
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    Awesome. Thank you so much again for the help. I think I will try to get the control board repaired since it is so cheap and then if that doesn't fix it, we will get a new stove. Jan 20, 2022 at 23:13
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It's most likely the heating element in the oven blew. It's not going to be a blown fuse, they don't pop like that. A heating element in an oven can fail with dramatic sound effects! LOL. If you're comfortable working with live circuits, remove the oven heating element and test for voltage at its connections. If you have 240v or so, the element blew and you'll have to replace it (they are not expensive), if not, something else blew. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but I"m not an appliance expert! The "something else blew" will probably need a pro to fix.

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Even if the element has continuity that doesn't mean that it's okay, I would error on the side of caution and discard an element that made a loud noise before smoke/fire came flowing out if it! They are not an expensive item, I would inspect the connection where it is attached to the circuit, where it is physically mounted and ensure there are no signs of damage or other causes for concern I would process to the next step of turning the circuit back on and checking to see if anything is working or if a portion or all of it is out of service. Please remember to always ensure the both the circuit breaker is turned off and then unplug the uni from the wall before looking for possible other causes such as blow fuses etc. Unless you have a lockout device to ensure the breaker can not be energized by anyone until you remove your personal padlock it's absolutely imparative that you also unplug the device to be 100% sure you won't suddenly be working with a live wire! At 240 volts a 40 amp circuit will easily provide enough current to fry you like a small fish in a big pot of boiling oil! In other words it's a shock you won't soon forget if you live to talk about it!

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