I had just slid the Thanksgiving turkey out of the oven for a quick baste, and slid it back in and closed the door, when I heard an odd buzzing sound and saw a bit of smoke coming up from the right rear burner on the cook top. I realized that it couldn’t be the burner as it wasn’t on. I opened the oven door and saw that the lower element was actually arcing to the floor of the oven. BRIGHT arc! Left me seeing afterimage for quite some time.

It went out after several seconds. I turned the oven off, then back on and continued to roast the turkey with no mishaps. However, we noticed that after the oven was turned off for the night that the element still seems to be drawing power as the oven was hot. the “oven on” indicator (glowing red light) was not on but the element was still hot. So I’ve turned it off at the breaker as the plug is difficult to get to.

Should I investigate getting and installing a new element? Or would it be best to get a new oven? I can understand an element shorting or burning out, but the oven still drawing power enough to get hot while supposedly turned off is worrisome. Thanks for any advice!

The oven thermostat only switches one side of the 220 vac line and you probably have a short from the burned portion of the element to ground. A new element will in all likelihood fix the problem and at a lot less
than a new oven will cost.

Yes it would, if the element is grounded so that the side of the 220 vac line which is not being switched by the thermostat can conduct to ground the oven with continue to heat. You need to see that the power coming into your house is in actuality 220 VAC which is center tapped at the transformer so that each leg measures 110 vac to ground or the neutral which is one and the same. 220 VAC is used for heat sources such as stoves, ovens, and dryers, as well as AC unites. The outer shroud or shield of an oven heating element is attached to the case of the oven and is thus grounded, therefore in the inner conductor which is the actual heat producing part of the element, touches the shell it will provide a circuit to ground for that side of the 220 VAC line which is not being switched by the thermostat.

The oven is probably repairable, but would need more info to know. It sounds like the element has shorted internally, and very possibly there is nothing other than a new element needed to repair it. If you are happy with the oven otherwise, such as even heating, features, appearance, etc. then I would think repairing would be the best option. If you can find the label with brand and model number, you probably can get parts to do the repair yourself. Sears sells parts online for a lot of appliance and tool brands. You can look up the model number and get drawings and order parts online. You might also try repairclinic.com or pcappliancerepair.com

It sounds like you might have an electronic problem in the oven control unit. The body of the stove should never be live, so there shouldn’t be any current to complete a circuit. The element in my oven sagged onto the bottom of the oven 4 years ago, and there is still no problem. I would give serious thought to replacing the stove with a new one. By the time you get the electronics repaired, and/or any wiring problems, plus the new element, you are likely looking at more money than a new stove anyway. Plus, if you get an “Energy Star” rated appliance, there are tax incentives to take away some of the sting. That is the way I would go, anyway.