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Old 10-14-2014, 02:43 PM   #1
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Help with 240v electric range outlet.


Okay.. for 4 years ago my families electric range stopped working except the lights and clock. The only thing that would not work was the heating elements (oven and stove burners). I feel more confident to have a look at it now that I'm older but I had no luck. Here's what I did. I shut off the power to the house, unscrewed the face plate to the wall outlet so i could see the back. there was a red wire, a black wire, a white wire, and a bare copper ground wire. Everything looked right from what I could see there were no burn or melt marks on any of the wire sleeves. The screws holding the wires in place were loose so i tightened them and put the face plate back on and that was that. THE OVEN AND STOVE WORKED!!! for the first time in 4 years they worked seemingly because i tightened the screws holding the wires to the outlet. It worked for 2 days I made bacon and eggs and baked cookies. THEN all hell broke loose again as the heating elements stopped working and the range reverted back to serving as just a clock. We have never smelled any burning coming from the range or wall outlet. how could i stop working for 4 years then work again for just 2 days? PS dont just tell me to hire an electrician. i would have done that in the past 4 years if it was an option.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:51 PM   #2
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What have you been eating for 4 years? Sorry had to ask.

You need a multimeter to test to see if you have power to the receptacle.

In the meantime, turn the power off again and open the receptacle and see if a wire has come loose.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:53 PM   #3
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#1 Should have been shutting off the breaker before touching the wires with a screw driver.
Are they aluminum wires?
Should be checking for incoming voltage with a volt OHM meter, a cheap one is less then $15.00.
If one of those wires is loose or corroded your only getting 110 volts not 220, that's the reason the clock, not the oven works.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:16 PM   #4
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@joecaption i shut off the power to the entire house before touching anything. the wires are copper. i have a Sperry voltage tester but i dont know which holes of the outlet to stick the prongs in. it is getting 120v the lights and clock work. the heating elements do not because the outlet is not giving full 240v I just dont know why.



@rjniles I have looked at the outlet and tightened screws.. that made the stove and oven work again for 2 days only. I dont know why. Now its back to the way its been for 4 years. we have a black and decker frying thing its like a giant frying pan but havent cooked in an oven for 4 years.

Last edited by Jay1029; 10-14-2014 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:23 PM   #5
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Help with 240v electric range outlet.


Figure out what breaker feeds the outlet and check the connections there as well.

Double check outlet connections to make sure you don't have a bad screw or that a new issue didn't crop up there

Last edited by clw1963; 10-14-2014 at 03:25 PM. Reason: added to post
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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This is a 4 prong plug?

Something is open, a loose connection on one of the hots. Could also be a misapplied breaker if tandems are involved assuming something was changed.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:30 PM   #7
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@clw1963 the outlet seems fine i mean.. ive never seen any other 240v oulet except this one but it looks fine wires are in and secure, screws are tight, everything looks good at the outlet. tightening the screws holding the wires in even gave me full power for 2 days then boom.. stopped working again. I dont know what a breaker is but i have a box in the basement with round fuses and these black rectangular things with little metal handles on them they look like they might be able to be pulled out. but i dont know what they are for and nothing is labeled correctly. all the wires at the box are encased it doesnt look like i can get to the actual connections in there. i dont understand how it can work then all of a sudden stop with no reason. then after 4 years start working again for 2 days! makes no sense to me.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:31 PM   #8
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@jump start yes its a 4 prong plug but as i said ive already look at all that and made sure the wires are in the holes and the screws are tightly holding them in place, both hots the neutral and the ground are snug in the outlet.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1029 View Post
@jump start yes its a 4 prong plug but as i said ive already look at all that and made sure the wires are in the holes and the screws are tightly holding them in place, both hots the neutral and the ground are snug in the outlet.
Good start so far. All that leaves is the panel, or a junction box somewhere. If the outlet hasn't been tested it could be the range itself.


Reading a prior post, you said tightening the screws made it work... could be the outlet. Any pics just to see?

Last edited by Jump-start; 10-14-2014 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:40 PM   #10
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its not the range... sadly... we threw out a perfectly good one thinking it was and got another one off our neighbor and we all cried when that wasnt the problem lol x.x that was 4 years ago tho so we have had this new'ish stove for 4 years and its never worked. just 2 days last week it worked when i fiddled with the outlet. i dont know what a junction box is. by pannel you mean fuse box? i have a pannel thing in my basement but inside is a bunch of those round fuses no switches like i thought. just 1 main switch at the top that shuts off ALL power. house was built in 1965-1970 i think.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:43 PM   #11
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could i test the outlet with this? if so could you tell me how Ive never used one.
(im pretty sure the outlet gives 120v not 240v but i dont know why and im not 100% sure because i havent tested)
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:47 PM   #12
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You should read 240 volts between black and red; 120 volts between black and white & red and white.

Range outlets aren't that expensive. I'd probably just pick one up, cut back the old wire and replace the outlet. With the power off remove the panel cover and inspect the connection at the breaker. Same guy probably terminated both ends of the cable and it may be loose at the breaker.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:09 PM   #13
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Ok, fuse box. The issue may be there. But what makes me double take is that it was working for 2 days after playing with the outlet. Perhaps the issue is there?
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:34 PM   #14
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I agree, cut back the wires and install a new outlet. If the old one failed due to a loose connection the terminal and the copper wire may be corroded. Tightening the screw may have temporarily fixed the bad connection, just not good enough. That neon light tester will show 240 volts if any connection is there, but it won't help diagnose a high resistance in the connection.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:37 PM   #15
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i could try installing a new outlet. i already cut back the black wire because it was messed up but the other wires look pretty fresh. would i still have to cut them back? i'd be nervous doing anything at the panel. all the round fuses i see in there are screwed into breakers right? i don't know which one is for the range, no one has touched it in years. here's a pic of it.


also, sticking 2 metal prongs of the voltage tester into the hot leads wont electrocute me? i only ask because sticking metal into electrical outlets goes against my code lol
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