Thread Number: 70265  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Hotpoint thermostat questions--have pictures
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Post# 931707   4/10/2017 at 20:41 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

Ok, so this is sort of a continuation of my other posts about the 1958 GE Liberator. Had a stove repairman come out today and he seems to think the problem is with contacts located inside the thermostat "black box" (which is what someone mentioned a a possible culprit).

Does anyone know what the inside of the black box looks like? I'm trying to figure out what to look for if I'd try and find a replacement part (unless they are sold in a black box).

Also does anyone know what the GE equivalent (or other brand) would be for this item? I've done a search on the Hotpoint part number and have come up with nothing.

Outside of that issue, he said the stove was in beautiful shape and thought the wiring looked extremely good for it's age.

I've attached some pix of the part, as well as a panorama of the whole back of the backsplash which I thought looked pretty cool.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

Post# 931716 , Reply# 1   4/10/2017 at 21:17 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

panthera's profile picture

Once you had excluded everything else, it was clear that it had to either be in the sensor or the 'black box'.

If the sensor is 'only' a thermostat hooked up by a capillary tube to turn on and turn off contacts, then there's a good chance those contacts have jammed. It's not too hard to find out whether the sensor, tube and 'bellows' are still working - people here with more experience than I will be able to tell you how to disconnect the thermostat from the 'black box' to test it. It will be detachable without too much effort as the two different systems were assembled separately. One of the GE experts will be along to give you the equivalent numbers, no doubt.


If the contacts can be released and cleaned, and work reliably, great. Personally - these things were just not that accurate, prone to break down even when new. I'd just fix it to where it works with normal controls. 

Post# 931730 , Reply# 2   4/10/2017 at 22:31 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

Thanks for the reply. We'll probably open the "black box" this coming weekend and take a look. Best case scenario is that it will need a good cleaning, but the repairman seemed to think that it would be too fried to fix. I would prefer to keep the stove as original as possible, but we are open to making modifications if necessary. Our options are:

A: disconnect left rear burner, get a "normal" 8" burner for the left front, and wire it to the now available left rear burner buttons. It will still only give us 3 working burners, but we rarely use all 4 at one time, and I'd rather give up the small rear vs. the large front one.


B. Replace the calrod slider switch on top of the stove with a set of push buttons. I was able to find a set of push buttons that appear to be the same size, but not sure if the connections are the same as the other.

Any other options that you can think of that would not affect the look of the stove too much?

Post# 931791 , Reply# 3   4/11/2017 at 08:43 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
A few thoughts:

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But, first - that capillary tube and the attachment points are fragile. Be really careful when you disconnect them.

Best case - the contacts or the bellows or a set of springs just got stuck. Worst case, when they stuck the made so much heat, things were 'fried'.

Before you take things apart, though - is it possible there is an adjustment screw which was accidentally screwed down tight? Fell out? Be a simple solution!


So - here are some options:

1) These controllers were used for many, many years. If you really want one, you will eventually find it.

2) I'd be very surprised if a 'regular' switch block didn't fit - this was a deluxe feature and GE wouldn't have made different sheet metal for each variation.

3) GE abandoned this design (no surprise, it is awful) for a slightly less awful electronic version in the 1960s. There's a long and quite good discussion about the matter, with part numbers under: Post# 741903.

Maybe that would be a solution?

4) Two things have to have failed here for this problem to exist. One, stuck contacts. Two, a failure of a mechanical disconnect which is supposed to pull them apart. Either the disconnect is broken (fixable) or the contacts have a mechanical jam (broken part fallen in the pathway) or they have 'spot' welded themselves together and can't be pulled apart by the control's mechanism. That last is going to leave some damage behind.


Do, please post pictures - this is fascinating. What a beautiful, beautiful range!

Post# 931820 , Reply# 4   4/11/2017 at 11:59 by customline (pennsylvania)        
I have new thermostats for you...............

Don't even bother messing with the originals, I'll send you the two that you need. E Mail me your info.

Post# 931900 , Reply# 5   4/11/2017 at 21:06 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

Wow, what an offer! E-mail sent. Please lmk if you don't receive.

Post# 931907 , Reply# 6   4/11/2017 at 21:22 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

Thanks again for all the info. I will research the thread you referenced above. I try to research as much as possible before asking questions, but it looks like that may have been one I missed.

Will definitely try and take lots of pictures, no matter what we end up doing. I'm a visual learner, so seeing pictures or watching a video is more helpful to me than just straight text.

And yes, she is quite beautiful. I did find a vintage Sunbeam mixer at an antique that's almost an exact match!

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