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Oven & Cooker Tripping Electrics

A blown fan element causing will cause an oven to trip

If your oven, cooker or hob trips the electrics or, trips an RCD (Residual Current Device), fuse or other safety device then there is a number of simple checks that you can do in order to try to narrow down what the problem could be.

It should be pointed out that this article nor any of the checklists given are exhaustive, in other words, there can be more issues than are highlighted here but what follows are the most common problems and advice to help you narrow the possible reasons hopefully allowing you to diagnose the problem.

Before you even start however, remove all mains power from the appliance. Do not work on any product with the power connected.

  General Reasons

Normally when a fuse or RCD trips and the appliance is the issue it will be as a result of either a dead short or earth leakage and it will happen every time the product is switched on.

That said, there are times where any appliance will "trip" only when certain functions are used and this will often, especially with cooking appliances, point to a specific component being faulty. This does not hold true for every instance but, as a general rule it should do in most cases.

For cookers, ovens and hobs this means that tracking down the cause is normally relatively straightforward most of the time and largely an exercise in common sense and a process of elimination.

  Fuse Trips As Soon As Power Is Applied

As we  go through the various causes we will break this up a bit to make it easier to digest with hobs covered below ovens and cookers however, all the following regarding terminal blocks does apply to built in hobs as well.

If the fuse goes as soon as the appliance is connected and power is applied then the first go-to thing to look at is obviously the wiring itself. Make sure that this is both correct and sound, as in well connected.

Then check the supply is okay. This will involve ensuring that the outlet that the appliance is connected to is good and is working correctly.

On new products it is far from uncommon for the terminal blocks to be wired up incorrectly. Many manufacturers will use terminal blocks that are intended for use across Europe and they have "links" in them that must be correctly positioned as per your user guide in order to work with the UK or country's supply. Failure to do this correctly will result in the machine tripping on connection or use (depending on the setup) and setting these links up incorrectly is an incredibly common mistake that's made, even by installers and especially on built in hobs.

It is worth noting That none of the above are considered to be a "fault" with the appliance and even within the manufacturer's  guarantee any of the above will almost certainly be charged for as they are viewed as installation issues, not a failure of the appliance.

On older machines the above checks apply bar incorrect wiring obviously however do check the terminal block is not burned out or scorched, they will sometimes degrade with age and fail or, melt due to insufficient airflow or overheating.

If you need a terminal block please ask us before ordering unless you are completely sure as they all look the same but can have different terminals or positions and, they can also be altered over time, it is very much worth checking before you order a replacement.

For ovens and cookers the next thing that gets power is normally the clock. The clock is, in effect, a big mains switch to all intents and if faulty it can cause the oven or cooker to trip as soon as power is applied and on new appliances this is so uncommon as to be virtually unheard of and, not especially common on older ones either but it is certainly a possibility.

Of course there are exceptions and some products can have items such as mains filters or door locks that are powered but, for most ovens, cookers and hobs these are about all you will have power to that can cause a trip or blown fuse on connection.

  Power Blows When Function Selected

This is almost invariably caused by a faulty component however, depending one what machine it is the diagnosis can change.

On a basic oven, if the power trips when you switch it on, it can point to a number of things that are all energised (as in, they are fed power at that point) and the trick is working out which one is the problem but, we'll try to point you in the right direction. Or at least allow you to narrow the field of candidates.

The things energised in a static (non-fan) oven if you select the normal cooking mode are:

  • Selector switch that you choose the oven function with
  • Thermostat
  • Safety thermostats (if fitted)
  • Cooling fan motor and control thermostat (if fitted)
  • Upper oven heating element
  • Lower oven heating element
  • Internal lamp

In this instance the most common problem areas are the selector switch and, any damage is often easily spotted as you will often see signs of arcing, scorching or burning at the switch poles, the little metal parts inside the switch. A word of caution again about ordering a replacement in that, like terminal blocks, these can be very specific to the make and model, even the production run and can often be altered or changed so, check with us before ordering a replacement if you are even a little unsure so that you get the correct current switch.

The elements are also a favourite cause and can be easily checked with an electrical meter or earth leak meter to determine if they are faulty.

In most cases though the damage of the problem is fairly evident after a bit of poking about.

On a fan oven you lose the upper and lower elements but add the fan motor and fan oven heating element, all the other parts stay pretty much the same for most built in ovens and cookers. so the list changes to become:

  • Selector switch that you choose the oven function with
  • Thermostat
  • Safety thermostats (if fitted)
  • Cooling fan motor and control thermostat (if fitted)
  • Fan oven heating element
  • Fan oven motor
  • Internal lamp

If the power trips out only on the fan oven mode then it is almost certain to be the fan oven element that's the problem. Of course it can be other things but, if all the rest works, that's the most likely cause 99% or more of the time.

By a process of elimination you can normally work out the general area in which the issue lies and this holds true for multi function ovens as well as you can test each function to determine which is an issue and narrow the field of possible causes considerably.

You can apply the same logic to almost any function so long as you can understand and work out logically what components are being energised or powered up with the chosen cooking mode or function.

  How To Test Components

Once you work out the likely suspects that may be the problem it is time to then look at each component in turn. Now, because we've been working out problems with ovens and cookers for years, we know what components are the most liable to fail or to give issue and, you probably don't. That means we'd run through a mental checklist of things that are the most probable points of failure on any cooker so we'd likely get there faster but, with a little care, attention and patience you can normally work it out.

The first thing though is to stay safe!

Remove the power before you start working. It is essential as there will be components that carry lives mains power and that can kill.

Next, you will need a multimeter or similar to test components. Some faults you can see visually but, many you won't and you need to test them to determine if they are faulty and require replaced or if you should look elsewhere.

The "go to" parts that cause tripping on any electric hob, built in oven and cooker are the heating elements assuming that it trips in use and not just when power is applied. You can find out a lot more on those and see a video that will help you to test the elements in your appliance in our article specifically all about heating elements from the linked text.

Next are thermostats and once more we have a dedicated article on the whole topic of oven and cooker thermostats to help you that you can get from the link.

For safety thermostats and fan control thermostats it's usually easy as they will be normally closed in virtually every case so, if you meter the two spade terminals and it is open circuit, it's faulty.

To test oven thermostats the fastest way is to simply put your meter across the two terminals that are used to switch the oven elements (or elements) when there is no power to it in and out and turn the thermostat. If the circuit makes as you turn it up and breaks as you turn it back to off then, the balance of probability is that it will not be faulty. This is the quick and dirty way, it's not 100% but as close to it as you can get without a lot of hassle and knowledge.

After this (make and model dependent as we switch thermostats with these) are oven function switches.

At the time of writing we don't have a dedicated article on these for several reasons, the first is that to test them you often have to know what you're doing and it often requires access to a wiring diagram if you are not entirely sure what you are looking at. They will often be obviously "burnt", you will see signs of arcing across the terminals or, the commutator in the middle will be broken or the ends that hold the commutator in place will be.

After all these then fan motors are normally next in line, including cooling fans. Again, the order can change by make and model but the motors, at least for tripping, are not the first thing you would go to.

After this everything else.

We do hope all that makes sense and, if you have read this article thoroughly and followed the advice as well as that given in the related articles then we would guess that you would be able to find the problem in 90% or more cases. But, you need to read them and follow the information.

If you need more help please ask in the forums.

This is a friend's oven, advertising the oven and turning it off the cooling fan carries on cooling the oven as it should but when the fan switches off it trips the socket rcd socket braker but not the oven braker. This is a new oven and the old oven did the same, the manufacturer has been out and replaced the fan in case it's faulty but it's still doing it.
Don purnell
Falcon 1092
Left hand oven will work if turn heat using top element only.
Fan will also work fine in any setting.
As soon as anything to do with rear element it blows the RCD

Found a burnt out connector at the rear going to The thermostat- replaced with new wire.
Replaced rear heating element (oven only has a top and rear element)
Electrical shop tested thermastat and said OK.?

Only thoughts are a potential fault with the control switch? Any guidance would be appreciated.

Many thanks in advance


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