Opinions on what happened to this 220v Plug
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    SulleyBear's Avatar
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    Opinions on what happened to this 220v Plug

    Wanted to get the opinions of a couple of electricians who I know are on this site. Recently, Mrs. Bear's electric in wall oven and microwave combination found the oven stopped heating. All of the controls worked and the microwave worked fine, so I assumed it was something with the Kitchen Aid oven. The element in the oven would't heat, but the rest of the oven controls, timer, clock, etc all worked without interruption.

    The appliance guy came out and said he was not getting 220v at the appliance. I called an electrician and he checked the breaker first and then pulled the oven out and check out the inside of the plug.......

    The oven has been plugged in now for about 22 years and never moved, never unplugged. I am wondering how the tabs ended up as bent as they were, those things are stiff......I can't bend the tabs where the prongs insert by hand, at all........

    Curious as to what you guys think happened with this. Did someone damage the tabs when they plugged in the oven when it was installed and finally, with the oven door slamming or something else, the tab finally gave up the ghost?

    He replaced the plug and everything works great. I wasn't here when the electrician was and didn't get to speak with him at all, otherwise I would have asked him his opinion. Mrs. Bear just wrote the check and was glad her Oven was back as it should be, she loved to cook her chicken wings and needs the broiler to do it the way she prefers........
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    Quote Originally Posted by SulleyBear View Post
    Wanted to get the opinions of a couple of electricians who I know are on this site. Recently, Mrs. Bear's electric in wall oven and microwave combination found the oven stopped heating. All of the controls worked and the microwave worked fine, so I assumed it was something with the Kitchen Aid oven. The element in the oven would't heat, but the rest of the oven controls, timer, clock, etc all worked without interruption.

    The appliance guy came out and said he was not getting 220v at the appliance. I called an electrician and he checked the breaker first and then pulled the oven out and check out the inside of the plug.......

    The oven has been plugged in now for about 22 years and never moved, never unplugged. I am wondering how the tabs ended up as bent as they were, those things are stiff......I can't bend the tabs where the prongs insert by hand, at all........

    Curious as to what you guys think happened with this. Did someone damage the tabs when they plugged in the oven when it was installed and finally, with the oven door slamming or something else, the tab finally gave up the ghost?

    He replaced the plug and everything works great. I wasn't here when the electrician was and didn't get to speak with him at all, otherwise I would have asked him his opinion. Mrs. Bear just wrote the check and was glad her Oven was back as it should be, she loved to cook her chicken wings and needs the broiler to do it the way she prefers........
    What I think happen was it was a little loose in the beginning as it aged and was used heat developed in the pinch connection and over time the heat cause the spring tension to get worse till it corroded and broke the connection with carbon deposits. Looks like one screw was getting hot? Aluminum wire not inhibited or not tight in the beginning will cause this also over time. Closer looking it appears the Plug Prong could have snagged the female side and they just palmed it in and damaged the connection and over time the plug corroded up and lost its contact. Looking at the screws they may have been tighten way to tight also and twisted the part the wire is held by. Be sure to look at the cord too to see if there is signs of overheating. The plastic would melt away from the prong a little or discoloring of the prong. If you see any of this change the cord too.
    Last edited by JD4044M; 06-25-2019 at 10:34 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD4044M View Post
    What I think happen was it was a little loose in the beginning as it aged and was used heat developed in the pinch connection and over time the heat cause the spring tension to get worse till it corroded and broke the connection with carbon deposits. Looks like one screw was getting hot? Aluminum wire not inhibited or not tight in the beginning will cause this also over time. Closer looking it appears the Plug Prong could have snagged the female side and they just palmed it in and damaged the connection and over time the plug corroded up and lost its contact. Looking at the screws they may have been tighten way to tight also and twisted the part the wire is held by. Be sure to look at the cord too to see if there is signs of overheating. The plastic would melt away from the prong a little or discoloring of the prong. If you see any of this change the cord too.
    When my wife told me the guy was coming back out to pull out the oven out of the wall to check the plug and cord, I told her if he replaces one, to replace the other and he did. He put a new cord on it as well.........

    She said the guy was quite small and thin and needed help to pull the oven from the wall, so he returned the next day with his helper and completed it. I wasn't around either day or I could have pulled the oven from the wall. She said the electrician said there was nothing wrong with the old cord and it really didn't need to be replaced, but since we asked him to, he replaced it. Heck, the total bill for both service calls, the plug and the cord was only $200, which I felt was fair. He came out later the same day we called and back the next day in the afternoon with his helper......

    As a result, now he is working on matters at the neighbors house. Since I was pleased and felt treated fairly, I referred him to two other neighbors already....

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    Just a guess but it looks like the plug prong didn't go between the pinch connector on the left but caught the one and bent it down. Heat build up over time until it finally gave out.

    Funny how something like that works for years and finally craps out leaving you wondering what was the tipping point.

    I agree with you the fee he charged seemed reasonable for two guys to be on site.

    We also have a kitchen aid double oven, a superba, that we like. The clock display on ours hasn't worked since a nearby lightning strike a few years ago. We don't need a third clock in the kitchen to be different by a minute or two so we never worried about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titleist1 View Post
    Just a guess but it looks like the plug prong didn't go between the pinch connector on the left but caught the one and bent it down. Heat build up over time until it finally gave out.

    Funny how something like that works for years and finally craps out leaving you wondering what was the tipping point.

    I agree with you the fee he charged seemed reasonable for two guys to be on site.

    We also have a kitchen aid double oven, a superba, that we like. The clock display on ours hasn't worked since a nearby lightning strike a few years ago. We don't need a third clock in the kitchen to be different by a minute or two so we never worried about it.
    The appliance technician did tell us that when something does break on the oven unit, it's likely going to have to be completely replaced. He said the boards and other parts are no longer available. Then the very next words out his mouth were " I wish the new units were made as well as these older units are made." He works for a Factory Authorized Service Technician company for Whirlpool (and all of their companies). He said the new units are often replaced at 7 years due to massive failures which aren't cost effective to replace.

    The other thing he showed us, which I already knew, is that although our in wall combination of the ovens and the Microwave appear to be one unit, there is actually a facade over the front which when removed, exposes three separate units. The microwave is actually setting in the recess area and is a stand alone, plug in unit and the ovens are separate from one another also.

    Technically, if the microwave failed or one oven broke, you could swap out the one unit as long as the service parts are available. The new units are all "integrated" and when the microwave breaks, the entire unit must be replaced if it can't be repaired, which results in wasting a very expensive oven unit (or even two).......Once again, not a step in the best interest of the consumer.
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    I'm going to agree with the others, it appears as if the plug blade caught one side of the female receptacle, folding it back. As a result, there would be less contact area between the blade and receptacle as well as not being snugly contacting the other one. During normal operation, this wasn't likely an issue. Was this issue preceded by the oven(s) being ran through a self-clean cycle? When self cleaning, both the upper and lower elements are active and for a prolonged period of time. So the current draw is at maximum and extended.

    My bride, I love her dearly, but some days.... A few years ago, my social bunny bride was having a house full and a half over for Christmas dinner. So Christmas morning, she is up at 5:00AM to get things rolling in the kitchen. For whatever reason (she is an education administrator), she decides it would be a good idea to clean both of the independent unit, built-in ovens first, utilizing the self clean cycle. This, of course, usually takes well over an hour, if not two, all by itself. Not to mention making the home awfully warm. (In my bachelor days, I only did it when it was well below zero.) About 30 minutes into it, she decides it is taking too long and cancels the self clean and then moves on to preheat the ovens. Neither oven was getting warm. Full scale, no, a wildly panicked women is at my study door nearly hysterical, as now she is down to one oven, in the beach house, which had designated for all the pies, not the main courses. I finally calm her down enough for her to explain what had transpired. This time, I listened to the Cheerios box and kept my mouth shut rather than inquiring what ever possessed her to decide run the self clean cycle. I had a pretty good idea what had occurred, since it was an identical failure on both ovens. So I grabbed my tool belt and VOM and pulled the first oven out of the cabinet. Yup, just as I expected, the high temperature limit sensor, at the rear of the oven enclosure, had tripped. They are a one-time device and do not self reset. I fabricated a jumper, with mating terminals, to bypass the high limit sensor. Re-installed the oven and tested-OK. I did the same on the other. Crisis averted. I'm a hero for the day. (I figured it was worth hero status through New Year's, at least.)

    The following week I replaced the sensor and added a vent grille to the bottom of the cabinet openings, so the circulating fan could better discharge the warm air.
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    To take a step back on this. When you are doing wiring you always want to size your wire to the load needed. If you use too thin of a gauge of wire the wire heats up and starts melting the insulation and it is a fire risk. In general terms a fuse/breaker is sized to the wire installed. It is there to protect the wiring.

    The same principle is going on here in the socket. I agree with others. Someone was plugging in the appliance. The blade didn't line up properly and rather than unplugging and trying again the issue was forced. Slamming the oven door wouldn't have done this unless it wasn't plugged in properly to begin with. Much like with the wiring scenario above. Because the blade of the plug wasn't properly seated it wasn't in full contact with the conductors in the outlet. This is just like using too thin of a gauge of wire. All the power is trying to squeeze through that small point of contact and it starts heating up. Plastic in the outlet starts to melt. As it heats and cools it works into the small gaps and making things worse because plastic is an insulator not a conductor until you no longer get 220V. This is the type of stuff that can cause a fire.
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    When I commented about the slamming of the oven door, that was meant to clarify what finally caused it to fail, not what originally caused the damaged to the plug. Basically, the question was why did it work 20 years, was never unplugged or removed from the wall install and suddenly it stopped working. I think something might have finally been the proverbial "straw" for the camel's back with the plug and perhaps that was the straw.

    I don't recall who installed the oven as that was a time when I was rarely around. Running 4 different companies and traveling a ton, for the first several years, I didn't do anything at home. In fact, my 455 Deere sat for one entire year and wasn't even started. I was having a lawn service mow and even plow snow. Times change and so do we.........

    Same with the Self Clean function on the oven, it's never been used. Somehow, the appliance service tech could tell that also as he asked why it's not used. (And no, it's not the condition inside the oven which made him comment, because I asked.. the boss didn't like that at all..)While the broil function is used often as Mrs. Bear makes steaks that way for her (I don't eat them very often at all, not a red meat fan....) it's limited to probably 10 to 15 minutes or less. But the actual Self Cleaning function has never been used. I am the one who manually cleans the oven. I will warm it up, spray the nasty stinky cleaner and clean it the old fashioned way. I am not a fan of "burning" the crud out of the oven, which is essentially what the "Self Cleaning" cycle does.

    But she has her "systems' of doing things and like you mentioned, around the holidays when everything is in production mode and she is getting everything ready, I swear she can use every pot, pan, utensil, etc. I used to say something about it, but It isn't worth the aggravation factor. She always replies "Well, I always clean everything up don't, I? So let me do it my way...." Yes, dear...."


    You guys are married, right? So you know what I am talking about.....

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    The outlet may have been damaged when produced or the initial plug in. The many cycles of just current flow, no flow, may have, due to the limited contact of the one terminal caused the failure

    At least it was only the oven quit verses a house fire
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    to me ....as mentioned previously the plug clip was damaged when the stove was originally pluged in....i also agree that heat cycles over time caused heating,carbonization and tension loss....no telling how many heat cool cycles that plug went through......

    there was a mention of a cleaning cycle.......our stove unit has two ovens and 5 stove top burners in one appliance i imagine that running all 7 devices at once would draw more energy than a cleaning cycle and create more intense heat cool cycles.....i did caution my Female Unit of the possible issue of running them all at once on high temps.......microwaves by code are normally wired totally separately on a dedicated 120v circuit even if built in.
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