Thread Number: 73712  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
1990 Whirlpool electric stove burner arching
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Post# 973556   12/13/2017 at 22:27 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

HI all. The right front burner shorted out tonight while cooking dinner. The control knob would only work on high now. What could be the trouble and the fix? Thanks, Gary

Post# 973584 , Reply# 1   12/14/2017 at 05:54 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The short welded the contacts in the switch so it can't cycle the heat off an on anymore.  The fix is a new surface unit and a new switch. Merry F**king Christmas from your range. Was it your only 8" element? If so, pull out an electric skillet.

Post# 973656 , Reply# 2   12/14/2017 at 14:07 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

Tanks Turbo. I called the repair man and he is out on house calls. He'll get back with me. It's nice to still have a "mom and pop" appliance store that has been in business from the 1950's. No big box stores for me. Gary

Post# 973685 , Reply# 3   12/14/2017 at 18:36 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Hi Gary, exactly what happened ?, if the element shorted out it usually will not work at all any longer, if the infinite switch failed it would not work at all or it could have a welded contact and would only work on hi no matter where you set it.


Where did you see arcing ? at the plug-in contacts or on the element it self ?


John L.

Post# 973716 , Reply# 4   12/15/2017 at 00:12 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

I wasn't using it at the time, my partner was. I ask him in the morning and reply back. I sure hope parts are still available. Thanks, Gary

Post# 973743 , Reply# 5   12/15/2017 at 07:06 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Hi Gary, parts are diffidently still available.

Post# 973874 , Reply# 6   12/15/2017 at 20:10 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

the element arched, not at the the plug in connector. Thanks, Gary

Post# 973967 , Reply# 7   12/16/2017 at 09:10 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Hi Gary, Try reversing the bad element with another one from your range to see if the infinite control switch still functions properly, if so just buy a new element.


When testing the infinite control switch of an electric range always try the lowest heat first and see if it works without getting really hot, if the ICS is stuck on hi you will need to replace it.


John L

Post# 973982 , Reply# 8   12/16/2017 at 10:19 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Couple of thoughts

panthera's profile picture

The advice above is all good. I've had a few other things happen with Whirlpool stuff through the years, too. If swapping the burner/switch doesn't fix it, it might be one of these:

1) I've frequently seen the replacement top burner receptacle kits fail. Some of them aren't the same quality as the factory originals. 1990 was a long time back, you might just lift the top and make sure that's not a contributor to the problem.  I'm linking to the Whirlpool approved receptacle. You can get the burner and infinite switch at that site, too. A tiny bit more expensive than the Walmart stuff, but genuine FSP is always better. Oh, TheHomeDepot carries them, too.

2) There's no correlation between one infinite switch or burner or receptacle failing and others failing. We've got a 1956/7 Westinghouse Rainbow Range which has had two Corox units fail in the past 60 years - neither of which were the ones most commonly used. The only infinite switch to fail was for the speedy unit, and it's still in the GE catalog. Deep irony there, somewhere....


So - if you're otherwise happy with this stove - it's worth fixing. I'm not a Whirlpool fan, but their ranges are quite good.


Post# 974480 , Reply# 9   12/18/2017 at 16:33 by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

HI all, Thanks all for your help. The switch went bad and so a new one is on order along with a couple of new 8 in elements. I told him to get genuine parts and not after market crap. Gary

Post# 974511 , Reply# 10   12/18/2017 at 18:35 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

Hi Gary, be sure to look very carefully at the male terminal ends on the old 8" elements, if they are [ even a little ] rusted pitted on the sides you must also replace the burner receptacles or the terminals on the new 8" elements will quickly fail.


There is nothing wrong with good generic parts for this type of repair, but there is some junk out there.


John L.

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