After 2 years of normal operation, my Kenmore range's clock/timer shut off and oven elements don't heat. Surface burners work fine. I replaced the clock/timer board, but that was no help. I hired an electrician who told me my 30amp 240V range circuit should be 50amps, but told me nothing else. After 3 weeks, and exasperated, I bought a different range thinking it was a problem with the old range, but the new range has the same problem. Would this problem be caused by a range rated for 50amps that's operating on a 30amp circuit? If not, would there be another problem with the house wiring?

  • What is the make and model of the range(s)? What size breaker is used to feed the range (the ampere rating should be printed on the handle of the breaker)? Do you have a multimeter?
    – Tester101
    May 18, 2015 at 10:27
  • Yes I have a multi-tester, and was getting almost no voltage from hot to neutral. See comment below. Also, I found out the line was also too light 10/3 on 30Amp breakers, wired for a single oven unit, not a combination range. So I had an electrician put in a proper 50Amp 8/4 line. May 19, 2015 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


I had always wondered why a range outlet needed a Neutral wire. I could understand the need for 240V for the elements but why would we need the neutral to make the 120V loads. Apparently you need the 120V loads for the clock and for the 120V outlet that some stoves have. So it sounds like your 240V loads aren't having a problem but your 120V load (clock) is. It would be interesting to know what readings you are getting on your receptacle of your plug. Thats definitely the first place to start.

Doing all the possible combinations you should get all these readings

Hot to hot: 240V Hot to Neutral : 120V Other Hot to neutral : 120V Hot to ground: 120V Other hot to ground: 120V and Neutral to Ground: 0V

First check by sticking your meter in the front of the plug. Did you get those readings? If so its probably the prongs themselves inside the plug. Sometimes they get loose. So when you stick your range plug in, they just aren't getting good enough contact. A new range plug ($10 will help that). If you don't have a meter, and you don't wanna buy one, I would probably just change the plug (the electrician would have let you know if funny voltages were going on I am sure). Second, if you did not get those readings check the back of your plug, where the wires connect. Are the screw tight? Did the readings come out properly or are they still wrong? IF they are wrong, Its back to the panel to make sure the neutral and both the hots are not loose in the panel.

Please be as sure as you can the circuit is off! Always make sure there is an indication its on (stove light or element on- than turn off the breaker checking that it turns off). I like the follow up by testing with a meter too, if you have one!

  • Thank you Janessa for your answer! You were indeed correct it was the 120V load that was the problem. The electrician, after more careful inspection, found that the neutral wire had been inexplicably cut off at the service panel by whomever wired the original oven unit. There was no 120V current to run the clock. Not sure why the range actually worked for almost 2 years like that! May 19, 2015 at 19:53

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