Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why is the smoke coming from *under* the stove?

Well, that was exciting. The storm raged, the rain slammed the house in sheets, and dinner was on the stove. Then the lights flickered, the radio roared with static for a moment, everyone wondered what had happened.

Then we noticed that the stove was smoking. To be precise, the wooden drawers under the stove were smoking, and switching off all the burners failed to extinguish either the big red "ON" light or the smoke. My Bride grabbed the fire extinguisher as I ran to the basement to pull the fuses.

We left the smoke to clear with the fuses cut out while we have dinner. I will go back and look it over, if only so I can disconnect the stove from power and replace the fuses (the refrigerator and the oven are on the same circuit.) I'm still not sure what happened. It seems like a surge, but the computer and other other delicate electronics didn't get fried, and the fuses look brand new, even on the "bad" circuit. We noticed some flickering in the refrigerator light before we saw the smoke from the stove, so we figure there's something going on in that circuit, but I can't figure out how a surge went through 20-amp fuses without breaking them. It makes me wonder whether some metal object from the junk drawer worked its way up into a switch or some other wiring.


Bruce B. said...

You can receive a pretty strong surge that won't blow fuses. They're too slow acting. As for it only hitting the stove the surge will cook the weakest point in your circuitry and loads. If you have surge protectors on your sensitive electronics that probably helped save them.

As for the theory that something rode up from the junk drawer and shorted something out, I guess that's always a possibility.

Let us know what you find.

Yas said...

Don Baking soda or salt will also work to put out flames.

Don said...

Ah, so. Well, the cooktop came out and I didn't find any visible damage. Next I'm going to put the fuses back in and see if it smokes again or refuses to switch off again.

If it does, I'm going to disconnect it from all power, put the fuses back one more time so the refrigerator will run tonight, and go to bed.

Anonymous said...

We forget how powerful a servent electricity can be, and can turn so quickly on us, the so-called "masters".

Good luck, happy circuit hunting. Keep us informed. Whatever you find (or don't) may be of help to one of us out here in bloggerland.

B Woodman