It’s a Sunday and you’ve planned to cook the perfect roast for the family, but as soon as you switch on the electric oven, it trips all the electrics in the house. You curse and reset the fuse box before turning on the oven again; only for the same thing to happen. Now you’re worried. After all, Sunday roast only comes once a week.
If the electric system keeps tripping, it could be due to one of numerous problems. As a general rule, if the trip occurs whenever an electric oven is switched on, then it’s usually a problem with the circuit or the wiring. If it occurs when a specific function on the oven is used however, then it may be because a component linked to that function is faulty.
There are a number of checks your technician can perform to narrow down the potential cause of the trip. Here are a few examples:
1) Problem with the circuit
The technician will check for a circuit overload. As a first step, they will look to see if there are multiple appliances connected to the same circuit as the electric oven. If that is the case, then unplug the other appliances and switch on the oven again. It should no longer trip. You may then have to upgrade the over circuit to increase capacity or add the appliances to a different circuit – there is usually a separate circuit for ‘Plugs’.
If there are no other appliances connected on the same circuit, they are likely to perform the following checks:
- Using a clamp-on ampmeter, they will measure the current power load on the circuit when the oven is on. If the load is to great for the circuit, you will have to upgrade.
- Electricity could also be tripping if there is a faulty circuit breaker or a problem with the wiring in the circuit. Have a qualified electrician check for any damage in the insulation of the circuit wires. For the electrician to test the circuit breaker, he could swap it with a breaker of the same rating from another working circuit.
2) Problem with the oven power plug/wiring
A technician can measure the current when the oven is off. This should normally read zero. If the current is > 0.3A, then the oven wire could be damaged. After unplugging the appliance a technician can inspect the power plug for any soot or damaged wiring.
Some manufacturers equip ovens with terminal blocks designed to be used across Europe. In order for these to be compatible with UK circuits, the links need to be positioned in the correct way. So if you’ve recently purchased the oven, check the user manual for Instructions on how to correctly position the links.
If it’s an older product, however, check to ensure that the terminal block is still in workable condition. Terminal blocks tend to deteriorate over time, in which case it will need to be replaced; be sure to seek advice from a technician as to which would be the correct model to purchase.
3) Problem with the oven components
To check if there is a problem with the electric oven itself, ensure that no other appliances are connected on the same circuit. Turn on the oven at a low temperature. If the electricity doesn’t trip immediately, this confirms that there is no short in the fuse into which it is plugged.
Now raise the temperature of the oven. If the electricity trips when it reaches a higher temperature, there is most likely a problem with one of the heating elements. You need a new element to solve the fault. Call out an appliance technician to replace it for you.
Other components that could potentially cause your electrics to trip include:
- Selector switch (used to change oven functions)
- Internal lamp
Through a process of elimination you can determine the general area in which the fault is occurring, by selecting certain functions to see whether the oven only trips when those functions are being used.
There are also certain tools designed to measure components in ovens to see if they are working correctly. You can find detailed information on how to test the thermostat on UK Whitegoods, for example. However, it’s recommended you seek the assistance of a technician if you are not trained to work with electronics.
Electricity tripping can be due to a short circuit at any place in your home. If a household appliance trips more than once or twice, you must contact a qualified electrician to look at the problem.
Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which are detailed in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call an NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent it from seriously damaging the appliance.