Thread Number: 84849  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Automatic calrod replacement for 1953(?) G.E. Liberator
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Post# 1093129   10/14/2020 at 06:38 by aegolden (Washington)        

I have a G.E. Liberator with four burners. Three are push button controlled and the last (on the left front) is controlled by a rotating dial. In the center of the left front burner is a small hydraulic pressure sensor, which I understand is supposed to help regulate that burnerís temperature. I need to replace that left front burner, but I canít seem to find any burners in housings that leave the necessary hole for the little hydraulic pressure sensor to come through.

Iím not sure if these have a special name but Iíve tried e.g. ďautomatic calrod burnerĒ, ďcalrod with center holeĒ, etc.

If I canít find a burner that has room for the pressure sensor Iím also open to removing the pressure sensor and installing a ďnormalĒ burner, but Iím not sure if the pressure sensor is critical to that burner functioning. I see one thin wire running from the sensor towards the back of the stove. Iím not sure what to expect if I were to (for example) remove the sensor and just ground that wire.

Any ideas? Thanks for any help!

Post# 1093133 , Reply# 1   10/14/2020 at 07:07 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
GE Automatic Calrod Element

combo52's profile picture

Take your model # and look up the correct element and do a Ebay search etc.


Do you know what is wrong currently ? is the element burned out or is the control not sending power to the element ?


That tiny [ wire ] going to the sensor is actually the hydraulic tube that has a freon type gas in it, if you cut or break it it has no chance of ever working properly again.


It is possible to install another PB switch where it says Automatic and another standard 6" element and have another 5 heat element like the other 3 elements on your range if you can't find the necessary parts to fix this.


I you figure out exactly what is wrong I can look and see if we have the parts you need.


John L.

Post# 1093139 , Reply# 2   10/14/2020 at 07:59 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture

My GE Wonder Kitchen range has the automatic calrod - as John says, don't cut that tube leading to the sensor in the middle of the element.  


I've seen a couple of Wonder Kitchen restorations where the entire assembly (control dial, sensor, and 6-inch surface unit) were replaced by a rotary infinite-heat switch and regular surface unit.  This would mean some rewiring, however, I believe that the automatic calrod unit is fed by a 240v two-wire connection, unlike the pushbutton units that use 120v/240v three-wire connections.   I'll have a look in my archives of my Wonder Kitchen installation - it was nearly 12 years ago and I don't quite recall all the details... LOL 


(picture was taken in fall of 2008 when I finally started to work on the installation of the Wonder Kitchen - this was the very first test of the surface units hooked up to power - the unit had been in storage, unused for 52 years!)

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Post# 1093144 , Reply# 3   10/14/2020 at 08:42 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Update:  the Automatic Calrod seems to use a 3-wire connection.  Picture here is not the best (taken in May of 2008 when the Wonder Kitchen was finally delivered to my house in Ogden), but if you look to the lower right, there are 3 wires, red, black and white, leading to the connector block of the automatic element. 


If you wind up having to replace the control and surface unit, the red and black wires will supply 240v power used by a typical infinite-heat switch and coil unit.  It would take some rewiring, but it's an option.  

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Post# 1093181 , Reply# 4   10/14/2020 at 16:10 by aegolden (Washington)        

I took a picture of the wiring diagram from the back of the stove (attached). Itís model 1J408M. I also took a picture of the pressure switch.

The LF burner has been working fine for years but the other day it seems to have shorted (housing of the electrical element cracked or wore out maybe?) and basically created and impromptu arc welder between the heating element and a sauce pan. It stopped arcing after melting a bit of the pan, but the burner is toast at this point. I donít think anything else is malfunctioning. If I had a spare burner it would be a five minute fix. If I *canít* find an equivalent burner and have to remove the pressure switch then Iím not sure. I donít care that much about the auto-calrod function if I can still control the heat with the dial on the stove, but if removing the pressure gauge causes the LF burner to be always on or always at max heat when on, that would be pretty bad.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 1093183 , Reply# 5   10/14/2020 at 16:41 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Hmmm...  You may just be able to replace the shorted unit with another three-terminal one.  Finding one of those may be the hard part but they do turn up.  I am trying to get a closer look at your wiring diagram - thanks for posting that. 


And your range is a 1955 model; the 'M' in the model number is the GE Date Code for 1955 (My Wonder Kitchen is an 'N' model meaning 1956)

Post# 1093193 , Reply# 6   10/14/2020 at 19:05 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

I would likely have a good used element for this range, I may get a chance to hunt one up this weekend if you want me to look, I good used one would cost $40 + shipping


John L.

Post# 1093215 , Reply# 7   10/15/2020 at 00:03 by aegolden (Washington)        

Hey John, sure Iíd love to buy your replacement burner if you can find it. Actually if you have spare parts for this model lying around Iíd take spares for all four burners and the two oven temp probes as well. I figure Iíll need them sooner or later.

Post# 1093348 , Reply# 8   10/16/2020 at 09:23 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Hi, I found a good used element for your range

combo52's profile picture

Email me and we can set up the sale.


It took nearly an hour of time to hunt up this element  and test it, if you want all the other parts on your wish list I will have to take a day off work to hunt them up, When I take a day off work it will cost you close to $1000, I like helping people keep their old appliances working, but selling used parts is not a money making thing at $40 for a used part.


John L.

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