Our stove has recently tripped the breaker at the outdoor box when turned on high heat. This happened twice and both times I went out to the box and flipped the breaker and it began to work fine again. Both times I found that the breaker was loose so I was thinking it was a breaker wiring issue. However, yesterday the oven and stovetop stopped working in the middle of baking something. It just stopped heating. The strange thing is the breaker was not tripped and the clock and lights on the i oven were still on. So does this mean it is definitely a problem with the oven itself?

  • 3
    Add/edit a picture of your breaker panel to the question. Loose breakers are very bad. It might be a problem with the stove breaker/panel together. Stoves use a lot of amps, so tripping of their breakers is a bigger problem than tripping of an breaker for outlets by using a toaster and kettle at the same time. If you are not comfortable with checking/working on electrical circuits, getting an electrician in is a good idea. We can also help if you want to check them yourself, but need more information/pictures.
    – crip659
    Apr 18, 2023 at 11:58
  • Sounds like a loose connection somewhere.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 18, 2023 at 12:52

2 Answers 2


Stoves have 3 supply wires (and optionally, a safety ground). They areL1, neutral, and L2 - supplied in the North American split-phase style.

Clock and lights are powered between L1 and neutral. Heating elements are powered between L1 and L2.

So loss of the heating elements (but not the clock or light) indicates a failure of the L2 hot (and it doesn't really matter which hot). That is likely a loose or burned connection at any of several places:

  • The plug/socket
  • The cord and its terminals
  • The wiring connections in the panel
  • The bus stab where the breaker engages to the service panel bus.

The "loose fitting" breaker certainly suggests a misfit between breaker and bus. Note that on major brands of 1" space-width panels, the breakers will seem to fit each other, but will not engage the bus stab or hook properly. We frequently see so-called "alien breakers" where a breaker of a type not approved for the panel has been used. This can result in bus stab burn-up, rendering the breaker spaces on both sides of the bus stab useless. That can be a real blow to a panel that is already full.


If the outside breaker that tripped is the main breaker for your panel, you should get this checked by an electrician because there's no way to disconnect it unless you pull the meter. If it's the breaker that just feeds the stove, then you can do some further investigating if you're comfortable doing such. Check in the back of the stove to see if there are any loose, broken wires. The clock and lights would still be on if you lost one of the hot legs at the panel or in the stove so check that with a volt meter. A heating element burned up would also keep the lights and clock on but not heat on "bake". Try switching to "broil" just to see if that element heats up. If it does, then the problem is probably the "bake" circuit. If it doesn't, then it's probably the stove feed line.

  • Thanks so much. It’s the breaker that feeds the stove only. This helps to answer my main question of could the lights still come on if it were a wiring issue! 😀
    – J White
    Apr 18, 2023 at 14:49

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