Thread Number: 70898  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Which electric ranges are easy to find parts for?
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Post# 938873   5/16/2017 at 17:55 (343 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

I bought a "working" 1951 Crosley range a few months ago. The seller said it all worked. Come to find out the oven turned on, but never turned off. I have talked to all the antique appliance places to try and find or rebuild our thermostat and they all say that ours can not be fixed.

So I am looking for another range. I really like the early 50's style in white, 40" with the split 4 burners. I would prefer 2 oven but haven't found any for a reasonable price. My question is are there certain brands that are easier to work on or find parts for? I found a 1953 (?) Frigidaire for $250...again they say it works but I don't want to keep buying stoves that I can't use.

Thanks so much!

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Post# 938875 , Reply# 1   5/16/2017 at 18:00 (343 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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GE and Hotpoint seem to have a good number of parts available for standard surface units, controls, and oven elements.  The exception is the Sensi-Temp thermostatic surface unit.... IF you can find that part it'll cost you!


The oven thermostat on your Crosley could possibly be replaced by another generic one - I think Robertshaw still makes a variety of controls that can be adapted. 


And, if you ever need to replace a surface unit, I have a few brand-new 6-inch Chromalox units (for three-wire controls) which would work but will not be a match for the other wide-tube units on the Crosley.  


Post# 938883 , Reply# 2   5/16/2017 at 18:29 (343 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

Sorry for my slow response it will only let me respond once every 30 min.

My husband tried to buy a generic one and make it work. It is in the stove now. I am able to use the burners but the oven will not turn on now. I think the problem is that my thermostat has two clips that hold the oven light switch to the thermostat. We don't know how to connect it to the new thermostat or if we even need it connected?

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Post# 938902 , Reply# 3   5/16/2017 at 21:12 (343 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Dont give up

John Lefever is a great resource as is, in Clayton Ga.

Post# 938907 , Reply# 4   5/16/2017 at 21:33 (343 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

I have already tried Antique Appliances in Georgia :( They referred me to the place in Texas, Repco, they use and they too said no. Also tried Belgrove and J.E.S. all said no or never said one like mine.

Post# 938909 , Reply# 5   5/16/2017 at 22:11 (343 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
OK, it's not hard, just drawn out.

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It would be enormously easier if you had a wiring diagram.

But - here's how to approach such a fix.

First, we have to figure out a few things. This will make it easier.

One - I'm guessing you have 240VAC, yes?

Two - The connection for the Pre-Heat light is to those two brass points in the back of that pretty little white bakelight piece. One side will go to the neutral line, one side will go to the connection on the new thermostat which will either say 'P' or pilot-light or indicator light.

You can test it (I assume you know the safety procedures) first with standard 120v current. If it no longer lights or flickers badly, you can replace the little neon lamp easily, it's a standard part.


Three - how are the broil and bake element wired up? Sometimes they are completely separate from each other, other times they share a wire between them. Rarely, there are other set-ups.

I'm going to assume the most common here - when the broil is on, the bake is off. When the bake is on, the broil is off. They may have four separate wires or only three. If it's three, take a picture and post it so we can tell you how to procede. It's not hard, either way. 

So - a clear wiring diagram came with the generic thermostat. There will be (not necessarily with these names, could be numbers with the key to them in the diagram):

Land LThese are where the power goes into the thermostat. It should come up straight from the connector for the plug to the range.

P or Pilot or Indicator or Lamp - this is turned on when power is going to the oven. It may turn off during the bake cycle to indicate that the P-H level has been reached, then turn back on a gain when it turns the heat back on again. It probably stays lit the whole time the broil element is turned on.

You will have a wire coming up separately from neutral for the other connection on the pretty white bakelight piece. It may come up straight from the connector to the range's plug or it may come (more likely) from a group of neutral wires running to other lights or outlets. It's no big deal where it comes from.

There will be either three or four connectors left. If there are four, two of them will go to the broil element and the other two to the bake element. If there are three, then one will go to one terminal on each element and the other two will be be hooked up, one each, to the remaining contact on each element.


There are variations, but, basically, this is how it works. If you give us a link to the generic thermostat control, we can probably find the wiring diagram and that, together with good pictures of the elements and the back of the range controls, etc., will be enough to help you piece this together so it works safely and reliably for decades more.

Gosh - how pretty!

Post# 938956 , Reply# 6   5/17/2017 at 07:49 (342 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Here's a typical generic Robertshaw

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And I notice they are running the pilot light on 240, not 120 as I suggested. Either way is possible.

Here's the diagram:

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Post# 938957 , Reply# 7   5/17/2017 at 07:50 (342 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Which is probably an exact replacement

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For what you had. You'll just have to trace the wires, which is easy. 

Post# 938976 , Reply# 8   5/17/2017 at 08:44 (342 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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I know you know this, just a slip, LOL: "our" John Lefever is in Beltsville MD, it's John Jowers at Antique Appliance in GA. He still has the TOL '55 GE 40" range I traded to him 5 yrs ago.

Post# 938977 , Reply# 9   5/17/2017 at 08:46 (342 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
Oh sorrrry...

firedome's profile picture
it's me who can't read, you said "as is" D'oh!

If John L doesn't have it, no one does!

Post# 938993 , Reply# 10   5/17/2017 at 11:05 (342 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

I am just the researcher my husband is the fixer :) He has never worked on a stove, but done lots of electrical, so this was all new to him. Yes on 240. I am not sure if you still need the pictures but here they are. I will print all of your instructions out for him. This is the thermostat we have

The broiler wire was broken when we got it and we did not want to spend money for new wire if we could not get the thermostat to work. So I do not know if the broiler turns on when in bake mode. We will fix it if we can get her up and running.

THANK YOU so so much for everyone's help. I loved this stove and did not want to give her up. My husband is at work but I will let you guys know we we get her up and working. If you need pictures of anything else just let me know.

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Post# 939030 , Reply# 11   5/17/2017 at 15:54 (342 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

I have followed all the wires and it looks like he has it set up correctly except not using the neutrals for the bakelite piece because he was not sure how to attach it. Would not using the neutrals make the whole thing not work? He has the main black to L1 and main red to the L2. Then going off broiler wire to the BRL one black, one red and same for the BKE one black, one red.

Maybe the thermostat was just a bad one? If the neutrals are not the issue and there is a different thermostat I should buy please send me a link. Thanks again.

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Post# 939034 , Reply# 12   5/17/2017 at 16:42 (342 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
What I can't quite see from your picture

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but it's probably right - he has two wires hooked up to the 'com3', one of them going to one connector on the broil, one to one connector on the bake, then one wire going to the other broiler element from 'brl2' and one to the bake element from 'bke1', right?

If so, that's correct. Some people just run one wire from 'com3' to one broiler connection and then continue it down to one bake connection, with is OK, too as they're never both on at the same time.

Now the pilot light. This is going to take some patience, but it's not hard and you can't damage it. First, try hooking it up to 120v. If it glows brightly, then the solution is easy - one connection to 'PL', one connection to Neutral, either at the connector at the bottom of the range or any Neutral connector which is closer.

If the bulb is dim or flickers or doesn't light at all, then it's either 240 or burnt out or about to fail. No problem at all. A new neon bulb is super cheap and easily ordered through Amazon. You'll want one with the resistor. You can test the PL connection by hooking up a regular light bulb (low watts, less than 40) to it and neutral then turning on the thermostat. It should cycle on and off to show it's working.

Hope this helps. If it's not clear, I'll try to make it clearer. Beautiful range!

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Post# 939037 , Reply# 13   5/17/2017 at 17:02 (342 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

He doesnt have anything hooked up to the com3. So that is our problem. Is he just suppose to take one wire away from bake and one from broil? There are not any extras just two from bake element two from broil element, the main wires and the neutrals

Post# 939053 , Reply# 14   5/17/2017 at 18:04 (342 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Ah, well, then, yes, that would explain things.

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When I wrote this isn't hard just time-consuming, I meant it. OK, here's what will solve the problem. You're not the first ones to encounter this when substituting 21st century technology for mid-20th.

COM(3) is connected to one end of both the bake and broil. It doesn't matter which.

The other. end of broil is connected to BRL(2) and the other end of bake is connected to BKE(1). Neutral, interestingly enough, is only used for the pilot light, stove light, outlet, and clock. Isn't that weird?!

But that's how it works. 

So - try that and it will work. Let us know - you're on the right road.

Post# 939057 , Reply# 15   5/17/2017 at 18:59 (342 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 939100 , Reply# 16   5/17/2017 at 21:26 (342 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
One additional note for when the big problems are solved

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The pilot light also has one end to COM(3) on this thermostat and the other end to PL.

You'll get it - you're 'this close'!

No end goes to neutral with this thermostat.

Post# 939168 , Reply# 17   5/18/2017 at 09:01 (341 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

It works! Well we blew the fuse for the outlet (husband is going to lowes now) and the bakelite messes the whole thing up. The big lights turn on when the oven is on, but now I wont forget the oven is on lol. We can't get the switch for light to work but I have a working oven and burners and I am super happy!! I can't thank you enough and my stove thanks you for saving it from the dump.

Post# 939170 , Reply# 18   5/18/2017 at 09:13 (341 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I'm glad you got it working. I suspect

panthera's profile picture

It would have been much easier if you had had a complete wiring diagram to work with.

Give it a bit of time and I am sure you'll figure the rest out. You've done the really hardest, most challenging and time-consuming part of any range repair: That dratted thermostat. Good thing they are designed to last for 50 years....


Post# 939185 , Reply# 19   5/18/2017 at 11:26 (341 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

Hopefully this will be my last question, but no promises. I was cleaning the oven and noticed there are two holes near the top broiler. They are suppose to be there, they are measured apart and only on the left side. I can see the insulation in the holes. The insulation is not sticking out and looks clean and a cream color. I know that is bad stuff to mess with. My question is, is it okay for that insulation to be exposed to the oven/food or should the holes be covered up with something? Is it safe? In the picture it is the orange looking spot on left near middle not the first orange spot.

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Post# 939190 , Reply# 20   5/18/2017 at 12:02 (341 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Don't worry about it -

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Any insulation which was going to fall out probably fell out over 60 years ago. You'll do more harm 'fixing' it than leaving it alone. 

Rockwool insulation was used back then - an excellent choice, by the way, and not at all like the dangerous asbestos we all worry about today.

If it's absolutely troubling you, a high-temperature silicone (used to seal chimney joints) would work, as would a stainless steel bolt and nut - but, yikes! Not worth it.

Do ask questions, please - we all learn from these things and enjoy them. We are so not one of those forums which scream at people that 'that question was answer in 1937, please reference the archives and don't ask again'. I've left some radio repair clubs because of that nonsense - ask away!

Post# 939191 , Reply# 21   5/18/2017 at 12:16 (341 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

Thank you! I was worried it was asbestos. The oven is doing wonderfully!! After turning it off almost two hours later it was still warm inside. I can't wait to cook dinner tonight!

Post# 939195 , Reply# 22   5/18/2017 at 12:27 (341 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Oh, yes -

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Crosley was competing (and losing) against the very stiff competition of outstanding appliance makers at a time when consumers read and compared and discussed technical details most people today don't understand.

It's an excellent range and now that you know that there are replacement parts or solutions for every problem, there's no reason it shouldn't keep you happy forever.

One thing to think about, though. Porcelain enamel was very sensitive to lemon juice/vinegar/tomato juice in the '40s and early '50s. It wasn't until the end of the 1950s that we got really good acid resistant porcelain finshes - so, be sure to wipe up spills right away and don't use too strong of acids when cleaning. Ammonia based stuff (Windex) is your friend with these as is Jubilee Wax.

Post# 939198 , Reply# 23   5/18/2017 at 12:54 (341 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

So glad you told me about the vinegar! I usually use vinegar to clean with but just recently switched to Mrs. Myers. I will get some Windex and Jubilee Wax (off to google that) to use from now on. There is one spot on the corner that the enamel chipped off. Someone put something on it to fill the hole, that has turned a yellow color over time. Should I just leave it or is there a good touch up enamel paint?

Post# 939200 , Reply# 24   5/18/2017 at 12:56 (341 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Rustoleum makes an excellent enamel

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touch-up in various colors. I've mixed fingernail polishes to get the right tone and had that work well, too.


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Post# 939222 , Reply# 25   5/18/2017 at 15:20 (341 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Well, this is a happy enough ending for me to express my congratulations to both of you!


Keven, you nailed this thing and walked Amanda through it methodically and in easy terms.


This stove was too pretty to give up on.  I'm so glad the important parts are working properly again!


Great job Keven, Amanda, and David!   It's folks like you that make this site so great!

Post# 939225 , Reply# 26   5/18/2017 at 15:35 (341 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        

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Did all the hard work. Not having a complete wiring diagram is no fun, at all.

I could have been more concise, too - but, all's well that ends well. I suspect they'll get the rest worked out, too - this is what makes this site so cool!

Post# 939238 , Reply# 27   5/18/2017 at 16:13 (341 days old) by japanmaple1 (SC)        

I ordered the wax and paint on Amazon. My husband wanted me to tell you thank you for all your help.

Post# 939257 , Reply# 28   5/18/2017 at 17:56 (341 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
You're quite welcome

panthera's profile picture

Let us know how your future adventures go - oh, and you might just want to stick that new wiring diagram for the thermostat in the back of the stove - you never know!

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