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Is anything a "must save" off a junked electric stove? Answered

Replacing my old coiltop electric range (might be repairable, but I'd rather put the money into something I'll like better).  The old one's just going to be hauled away.

A friend has requested the oven racks, and the new range comes with its own power cord, so the 220V cord is of dubious value and likely to just take up space... is there anything else that might actually be worth the effort of removing?

(I suppose I could save the control panel and see if I can get its relays set up to control something else, but that requires figuring out what voltage it actually requires and I'm not sure it's worth the effort. Especially since the controls are what failed. Probably just a stuck relay, but...)



Best Answer 7 years ago

Does the door have a window in it made of heat resistant glass? I would also keep any high temperature wiring and connectors.

That point about the glass may win you Best Answer, BTW, because it's the item I really hadn't considered.

(Removed the whole two-pane window module for now -- four screws from inside the oven plus one inside the door. Not bothering with the door's outer skin, I think, given that its inside surface is painted -- besides, keeping that intact keeps the cats from getting into trouble.)

It'd be nice to know whether both panes are heat-resistant or only the one facing the oven (which is what I'd expect), just how much thermal abuse this glass can stand, and whether there's anything special about its tempering (if/when I ever want to cut it). Wonder where I could find that info.

My oven has a double layer of glass, and all I can say for sure is that the outer glass gets damn hot. I have always made sure the kids are out of the kitchen while cooking takes place. A very convenient spot to place a little hand.

Mine had two layers of glass in the "oven window" unit, and then a large sheet of glass or plastic or something over the whole front of the door.

I'm not trying to rescue the latter, since it's partly painted.

I've more or less stripped it down as far as is reasonable -- that doubled-glass unit from the door, the control panel, the cooktop as a unit (I'll think about whether to separate things later), the heating elements and thermocouple from the oven. There is one more piece I'm tempted to rescue, that being the cooktop's drip pan -- which I think might be useful as a safety piece if I try to power up those elements as a workshop hot-plate -- but that would expose the fiberglass around the oven, and I _really_ don't want my cats getting into that.

Delivery of the new range has been delayed due to the snowstorms, but I'm expecting some... interesting .. reactions when they get here. They're being paid to haul the old one away (a couple bucks more than it would cost to have the town do so), but I'm sure they also planned on making a few extra bucks from its scrap value. Which may now be somewhat reduced. Tough.

interesting point; hadn't thought about that glass. Not sure just how resistant it is (one would hope it's also pretty resistant to thermal shock), but worth considering. Pain to dismount, though.

Wiring... I just don't think I'm psyched enough to dismantle to the point where I can extract the whole wiring harness, and wiring is a relatively cheap component.

Still not quite sure how much I'm going to bother with, but you folks are certainly coming up with some interesting suggestions.

By the way, just as a useful point: Some of the websites which sell repair parts for appliances also have exploded part diagrams showing where and what the parts are, and a few have moderately detailed disassembly instructions. No particular recommendations -- I just websearched -- but it's good to know that information is out there.

(Recently replaced the drive belt on my drier -- $25 for part and shipping, and a fairly straightforward task -- though easier if you know there's a secondary inspection port on the back of the machine, so you can see how the belt is being routed around the drive pulleys. Sorry, no photos.)

Took a look at the control panel -- it's designed to be powered from 220V. Not worth my trouble to rescue. That's going to be true for the heating elements as well, judging from the controls. Not worth the effort.

Could swipe the knobs, of course.

But it looks like the basic answer is "no". Ah well.

> designed to be powered from 220V. Not worth my trouble to rescue
. Most of the items on a stove/range (other than the newer, computer-controlled models) have a maximum voltage rating of 220V or more, but they will operate just fine at 110. The switches and thermostats don't mind a diet of 110V. The heating coils will "work" but only put out half the heat.
.  Any lights, and possibly fans, are probably 110V to start with.

.  The steel ought to be worth a few dollars as scrap.

For me, "a few dollars" isn't worth the effort of finding someone who wants it and hauling it to them. I'm actually paying a couple of bucks extra on the new range's delivery to have them haul the old one away -- it'd cost me $20 to have the town pick it up, and I'd have to cart it out to the street, so making it Their Problem was worth another $5 on top of that.

They may be a bit confused and disappointed if I present them with a partly stripped carcass -- I'm sure they _do_ sell the dead units off to a recycler -- but that's the breaks.

Makes sense that the coils would just operate at half-heat. As I said elsewhere, I'm not sure what the controls will do, but it wouldn't be hard to find out.

Well, I just replied to my own question. I'm certainly interested if anyone else has a better answer.

(EG, maybe the heating elements _could_ operate on 110V, though presumably at half or less of their normal maximum temperature? If so, it might be worth rescuing one, its connector, and one of the controls. Maybe.)

First, a range already plugs into a 220 v outlet, as does an electric dryer, so most houses have a source of 220 v that could (carefully!!) be used for this and that

The coiltop controls are usually switches that go on-off every 30 sec or so, with "on" being longer at higher settings.  They could be used to control a 220 v electric furnace.  The elements could be used as heating elements.  Some of the wires have hi-temp insulation for that application.

And ultimately there's often a friend around who takes stuff like this, strips it for the recyclables, and makes a buck off of it.

Hadn't realized the controls were self-contained thermostatic timers; that's interesting, but makes sense.

Yes, I have 220V in the workshop, but for the most part I want to reserve that for powering tools which need it.

... Downside is that the cycling heaters in those controls were themselves designed to run off 220V. Unclear what running on 110V would do to their timing. Easy to find out, I suppose.

(Warning: There are very few old empiricists!)

According to legend, the Sioux  of the Great Plains (part of the former United States now) were able to utilize every part of the buffalo carcass in some way.  To throw any part of it away would have been an insult to the Great Spirit. 

This is the way also with your electric range.  Every part of it is useful for something.  

So clearly you should keep the whole thing, except of course for the parts you have already graciously promised to others.

Moreover, I think you should try to make some sort of metal melting forge employing the old heating elements.  For example, this instructable,
shows a an old heating element that has been bent into new and exciting shapes. I didn't know it was possible to bend these elements without breaking them, and it makes me wonder if  this particular instructable is not some sort of joke-instructable for something that couldn't possibly work.  I couldn't help but notice there are no pictures of the darn thing actually turned on.

Anyway, I'd at least keep the heating elements, and everything else electrical, the cord, the switches, the relays, etc.  I mean you might even be able to sell that junk on eBay or Craigslist, or something like that.

The problem is, (a) limited storage space (I try to limit my pack-rat instincts to stuff I actually believe I will use reasonably soon or that doesn't take much space), and (b) I can afford to buy stuff when needed -- or go hunting for someone else's surplus -- so there's a value-of-storage-space tradeoff.

So wire generally isn't worth saving for me, nor is sheet metal, unless I plan to use it almost immediately. Components may be.

I suppose the simplest thing might be to dike out and remove the complete cooktop and the control panel. That would give me all the controls and connectors, plus a mounting surface for the coil elements; if I put some sort of framework around that, it's almost operable as it stands.. Could snarf the power cord too. That's almost a small enough pile to meet my "minimize packratism" rule... and can be reduced to a smaller pile later if I decide to jettison the sheet metal, probably without incurring the town's "white goods" disposal fee since it would fit in a standard trash load.

As far as bending the heating element goes: Well, that's how they shape it during manufacturing, after all. I wouldn't bet on it surviving rebending, but I'm not sure it wouldn't either. If it's scrap anyway -- and if you're a bit paranoid about the fact that if insulation fails during the process it may become electrically live -- I suppose it can't hurt to try.

Thanks for the thoughts, everyone; this sort of brainstorming is exactly why I asked.