Replacing Receptacle on old electric cooktop
I went to "help" my 70yr old neighbor by replacing a burnt out receptacle on her 21yr old electric cooktop. The rest of the burners work, just the one in question. She purchased the correct replacement, just needed me to install it.
She is appropriately freaked out because although I fixed everything, when I placed the top back onto the unit the incoming HOT terminal shorted against the base and mini-boom & sparks flew. The tab-terminals have 1/2" exposure and the top easily slides backward until exposed terminals hit the metal base. It's a very poor design but acceptable until yours truly forgot to flip breaker back off before re-attaching again. I assumed it tripped, but she said breaker was still in ON position.
She survived, though her poor heart raced for a few minutes. The entire cooktop was functional after I was done, no visible problems. Just the scorch marks inside the unit, not visible unless unit is opened up.
Anything I/she should be worried about? Other than me coming over a second time to fix something else.
Detailed Procedure In Case You Need it:
Cut power at breaker, unscrewed & lifted lid on cooktop and alas there was no hinge to hold it up. So I propped it against back splash, changed out receptacle, and cleaned up the mess. I left the top open & propped so I could flip the breaker and ensure it OK before I reinstalled screwed down the top. Flipped breaker and everything was OK (well, no smoke or sparks visible). You were expecting me to have burnt the house down at this part, right?
Here's the problem: --> forgot to flip the breaker back OFF when I went to re-attach the top. As I set the top down, then the mini-boom & spark. The incoming HOT is exposed where it attaches to the cooktop (normal for this unit) with tab-terminals. But I set it down 1/2 inch too close to the support base. Shorted against grounded metal base and left a burn mark (not visible) on inner metal, but structurally it's fine.
After letting her catch her breath, she shut off the breaker, I opened top to confirm problem, all looked OK and screwed top back down. Flipped breaker back.
Everything appears to be working fine. I tested all burners individually & simultaneously on high. I removed/replaced all burner elements over a dozen times to show her it was safe.