New cooktop won't heat!!!

oldtobyJune 16, 2011

I just installed a GE JP 328 electric coil cooktop in my parents' kitchen. It was replacing a very similar 20 year-old cooktop, so when I wired it I used the same supply wiring, which matched up perfectly. When I reset the breaker and turned the cooktop on to test it, NOTHING HAPPENED. The burner indicator light did not come on and the burners did not heat. I used an electrical tester to to trace current all the way to the coil, determining that there was juice to the coils.

Both the old and the new cooktops are three-wire. The supply line coming into the box from the panel has three wires: white, black and red. The old cooktop had three wires: green, black and red. The new cooktop has three wires: bare copper, black and red. I disconnected the old cooktop and wired the new one to the supply wires thus: white supply to bare copper cooktop; black supply to black cooktop; red supply to red cooktop. I didn't have to reset the circuit breaker when I was done (sorry, sloppy description); I just turned it back on. By "electrical tester" I mean one of those testers that lights and beeps when held next to a live wire. I didn't hook up a meter.


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Did you try turn the breakers firmly all the way to the Off positions then
returning them to the fully on position? Some breakers have a reset that
requires them to be forced fully to the off position before they reengage.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 5:57PM
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You really need a cheap vom capable of measuring 300v ac and also checking the resistance of the coils. Those flashing beeping things are too sensitive for this problem.

This is a double circuit breaker, right?

Here is a link that might be useful: 328 User manual

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 7:58PM
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Breaker all the way off, one more time. Breaker on again. Report back if this made it work.

2ndly: how can you confirm which of the three colors is ground on your supply line (to the box from the panel) and which carry voltage? (white, black and red)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 10:09PM
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Its been a while since I've seen a cable from the supply that didn't have a green or bare ground wire. It sounds like you connected the ground from your cooktop to a non-connected neutral. Many modern electronics products won't work without a proper ground. Older cooktops may not have had that restriction (although it would have still been a code and safety violation). Are you sure there isn't a green or bare copper wire in the supply cable?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:40AM
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1. Double check your connections at the junction box for the cooktop.
2. Remove the panel cover and verify the red and black are connected to the breaker and the white is connected to the neutral/ground bar.
3. Buy a meter and check for proper voltage at the junction box... 240V red to black, 120V red or black to white.
4. Return the cooktop as defective.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:48AM
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Ron Natalie

Older installations of stoves often did not have a explicit grounding conductor. The code still allows for such installations to be grandfathered. Your wiring appears right from your description.

I'm confused on the statement "I didn't have to reset the breaker" is that to say you wired it up with the power on?

Coil type resistive elements are dirt simple. If they actually have power to them they are either burned out or going to get hot. After you make sure the breaker is NOT tripped (it's possible that you've done something to keep it from resetting such as having a connection touch the grounded box or something like that or you've nicked the insulation somewhere).

It's unlikely that all burners failed at the same time. I've had single burners fail and I've had brand new cooktops where one burner wasn't connected to the knob. If you're confident that you know what you're really reading with the VOM, you can trouble shoot it quickly enough.

You should however make sure your "juice" reading is actual voltage and not small induced currents (for instance take your meter red lead and just touch the bare part to your hand and note what it reads...)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:51AM
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Well, normel got it right and, while my face is red, so too are the burners, finally. Yesterday I took my multifunction tester over to Mom and Dad's to check the voltage, current, etc, and when I opened the junction box to get at the wiring, I discovered that one of the two non-ground wires had come loose inside the nut. I reconnected the wire (having cut the current at the breaker), and everything worked fine when power was put to it.

So it was a mechanical problem after all, and NOT an electrical problem. Thanks VERY much for the help, folks!!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:49AM
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Now you know why split nuts are preferred over wire nuts for larger wire sizes.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 4:30PM
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Is the connection problem the reason that the original cook top failed?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 6:55PM
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