When your Cooker trips the Circuit Breaker

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When your Cooker trips the Circuit Breaker

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When your cooker trips the circuit breaker, you need to follow this guide to fix it.


This usually happens when one of the cooking functions like the grill or fan oven are used, and one of the elements for that function has a short to the oven body, that will be earthed. ALL CHECKS BELOW MUST BE DONE WITH POWER OFF. ENSURE THAT THE CIRCUIT-BREAKER IS IN THE DOWN (OFF) POSITION, AND FOR FLOOR STANDING OVENS, THE COOKER ISOLATOR SWITCH IS OFF TOO


The FIRST thing to check is the OVEN LAMP! Strange as it may sound, I have known these go short circuit inside the metal base. A sure sign this has happened is that you cannot remove the lamp by hand. The momentary high current when it first went short usually “welds” the base to the holder. It is usually not possible to get tools in the holder to remove it, so you may have to open up the casework to remove the holder, and try to loosen the lamp. Take care not to damage the glass-fibre protection sleeve that is usually covering the wires to the holder. The lamps are usually 15 to 25 Watts, E14 size, but will have high temperature QUARTZ glass especially made for ovens and grills.


The grill element is usually the easiest to remove, as they are often held in by a simple sprung bar or clip arrangement, that allows it to drop down slightly, then pull forwards out of its socket. It can then be checked with a test meter, to see if there is a reading between the middle pin (usually earthed, or connected to the metal outer body of the element), and either of the other two pins. It is best to try on the higher resistance ranges, as a small leak at meter voltages could rise substantially at mains voltage. If there is a reading on either outer pin to the element body or the centre pin, then the element is suspect, and should be replaced.


The above also applies to the fan element. This is more difficult to get to, as the rear cover plate will need to be removed. You may find that it will be easier to work on the oven with the drop-down door removed, if it is the built-in type. Check your instructions on how to do this, as some hinge mechanisms have a slot in the sprung hinge, that just takes a 1p coin to jam it in the “release” position, so when you close the door, it pulls away. Obviously this does not apply to the conventional floor-standing ovens. Once the rear cover is removed, remove any retaining clips, and unplug the element from its socket. As above check the pins with a test meter for shorts. The normal cold resistance reading for a 2500 Watt element should be around 20 to 25 OHMS. See the COOKER HINTS page (Resistance Measurements) for other wattages and values: click THIS LINK


Some built-in ovens have side and bottom elements too, that my need checking, but these will have to be checked with the oven removed from its housing, and the outer casework removed.


It is possible that a wire could be shorting to the casework for the circuit used for a particular element or function, and that too will require removal and careful inspection. Thank you for reading my step to step guide Please leave a comment


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