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General Electric Company Spectra Series

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My GE Spectra oven on FIRE too!!
Posted by on
I decided to heat up a roll at 350 degrees and after a while, when I came back into the kitchen to check on it, I noticed that the baking element inside the oven was wrapped in flames (5-10 inches, and I think I also saw sparks). I switched the oven off, but the fire continued to snake around the heating element towards the back of the oven. I was afraid it will get out of the oven and into the wall. I did not know where to unplug the oven and whether I would be able to move the oven to get to the plug or if there is a plug at all... In about 1 minute the fire stopped. When it was safe to open the oven, I was able to break the heating element by lightly twisting it with my two fingers. It was brittle, and broke apart like a piece of hard chocolate. This is a defect, for sure. The centers of the broken off pieces of the heating element are hollow--it looks like the wire(?) inside the element was defective.

We bought it in 2003
     
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Anonymous on 2010-01-01:
6 years old....what does the service tech say? After 6 years I would hesitate to call it a defect.
qualityappliance on 2010-01-01:
In many cases element burn outs start out after something gets spilled on the element and hot spots develop causing the outer surface to get brittle. Some brands tend to brun out more often for no apparent reason.
Peggy on 2012-02-06:
Same thing that happened to us 2x. So now we have put in an extra $150.00 to fix the elements. Also the range on top get extremely hot when you have the oven on. Tech states it is normal. I don't think so. :(. I thought buying a GE was a good choice but now I am starting to doubt my thoughts.
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GE Spectra electric oven caught on fire! Sparked! Burned through element!
Posted by on
My GE Spectra glass top electric range has never given me a problem until tonight! But tonight it could have burned the house down! I was making brownies for my kids' party. I took out the first batch, then closed the oven and turned around to get the second batch to put in. Suddenly I hear loud popping ad zapping, and turn to see giant sparks shooting in my oven! I screamed for the kids to get out of the house and in that moment the inside of the oven had flames! I turned it off and ran to the circuit breakers and threw them off. That put out the firs and stopped the sparking. After it cooled and the smoke cleared, I looked inside and saw that about 6 inches of the element is missing, completely burned away! My oven was clean and well-cared for. I know it has had plenty of use but I can't believe this just happened! Now that I see all these other reviews I am just shocked!
     
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trmn8r on 2011-05-26:
We had several fires in our electric oven over the years. Electric ovens do that kind of thing.
Venice09 on 2011-05-26:
That must have been very frightening for you and your children. I hope you will be contacting GE directly. Please let us know what they say.
CrazyRedHead on 2011-05-27:
It's not unusual for oven elements to burn out this way. Mine has done it inside and out, although it isn't a glass top.
Anonymous on 2011-05-27:
Elements do make for a great firework show when failing, usually bright blue sparks and smoke. It happens, they are easy to replace, just turn the power off to the unit beforehand.
Dolly Jewell on 2011-12-02:
Tonight My
GE Spectra started smoking while I was making pork in the oven. Had it set at 350 degrees, next thing I know smoke is puring out of every orifice of the oven. The smoke alarm is whaling and I could not get the oven to turn off. A code of f-2 kept flashing in the display area. I quick pulled the stove out and unplugged it. I thought I was going to be electocuted. When I looked into the oven the element was bright red except for about 3 inches on either side of where it plugs into the stove. I pulled the plug at 6:30 pm and the oven is still scorching hot at 8:30 pm. This oven could have burned down the house. Why is there not a fail-safe switch that will shut this stove off when it reaches a dangerous temperature?
KSK on 2012-05-21:
Just had the exact same thing happen with our GE Spectra glass top stove. We hadn't even started cooking anything, but just preheated the oven and one of the coils was on fire and completely burned and disintigrated. Sounds like there is an issue with this product and it should be investigated further before it causes serious damage or harm.
DDZ on 2012-08-12:
two weeks ago making a pizza. saw flashing from other room. Looked like arc light. Turned off dial and soaked white hot park with wet rag and water, no change. Got bolt cutters and cut the element in the direction of the burning. Burnt 10 inches!
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GE Spectra Oven Fire
Posted by on
I remodeled my kitchen in 2002/2003 and purchased a GE Spectra Oven. Today I was preheating the oven at 350 deg. and my lower heating element caught fire -- just like the other reviews I just read -- it had a sparkler effect while it burned. I immediately shut off the oven and closed the door and the fire eventually went out after burning all the way around the heating element. Since there are 3 other complaints with the same problem, I agree there needs to be a recall on this oven.

This problem is definitely a safety issue as well as product failure to perform as it should.
     
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Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-04:
Contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The more complaints they receive about this defect, the more likely they are going to take action about this.
Ponie on 2009-06-04:
Take action? Right, Soaring. The action they'll take on a seven year old oven is suggest replacing it.
Retired, glad to hear you were able to extinguish the fire with no harm to you or others. No matter the price we pay for them, many of our products have built-in obsolescense which starts computing the day we purchase them. Unless you have some sort of repair contract on the oven or extended warranty, I doubt that GE will help out. Good luck.
Joe on 2013-06-28:
Our 2003 spectra oven with glass top just had the same issue. The heating coil sparked while preheating then caught fire. The center piece fell off then continued to burn like a huge sparkler shooting out dangerous hot sparks. We turned the oven off, no luck so then tried to extinguish - BAD IDEA! Our entire kitchen and living area became coated with white powder. After unplugging the wall cord it eventually stopped. Never heard of this before but will contact GE.
MS BITTLE on 2013-07-19:
I have a Spectra range thank goodness I was home when my oven began shooting out sparks and the bottom element slowly burned I tried putting salt on it , flour closing the door made it worse as a plume of black smoke came out of the oven after I openend it.
jed bair on 2013-11-24:
Had trouble with top burners from new,, replacements were substandard as well. But today scared me. Large pop on bottom oven element, turned off but arcing continued starting on back right spiraling around element. Threw oven fuse switch in box, still no effect, clock blinking. Threw main fuse switch in box to kitchen. Stopped arcing. ??? Removed element,,, only one wire connected through the back wall was still connected and on right side,, left side fast on connector was off but still on other side of wall not visible. ??? Connector leaf ends had no corrosion plating intact. ?? improper termination from beginning I suspect... Was Quality Engineer with AMP inc, and product engineer in General products Division. design and wire harness length comes to mind. Acted like a shorted out welding machine. Still drawing energy,,, resistance gone. controller unit by passed. I want a new stove,, .
Melody Portillo on 2014-04-04:
Same as the others. Turned the oven on to preheat, heard a huge bang, saw the element on fire in a cloud of green smoke. Kept the door closed until the fire went out. Now looking for an element replacement. Not happy.
Nohandle on 2009-06-04:
I feel Ponie is correct. I don't know how long a recall is considered valid but seven years on an appliance does seem to be a bit longer than the norm. Quite a few years ago, I preheated my built in oven @350 and then put my dish in. I walked outside for perhaps 10-15 minutes. As I walked back into the kitchen the element caught fire. It scared the wits out of me. I turned the power off, reached in the cabinet above the range top, grabbed a box of baking soda, opened the door to the oven and poured that baking soda in. The flame on the element went out immediately. The element was replaced and I was good to go. Still spooky.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-04:
I've seen complaints about a lot of newer models in the same series having this problem, I believe this is a legitimate safety issue.
Nohandle on 2009-06-04:
I agree it's a legitimate safety issue. My question is simply if a company will recall an appliance seven years old and offer to replace it or make the necessary repairs.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-04:
Even brand new Spectras have this issue.
http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=51432
Ponie on 2009-06-04:
Soaring, 'brand new?' That one was 2003 also.
Anonymous on 2009-06-05:
Soaring Consumer offered the best advice to this issue. I recently received a letter from Maytag that they are recalling 1.6 million refrigerators sold nationwide from 2001-2004 due to a faulty relay. The recall was brought on by only 41 reports to the CPSC.
BokiBean on 2009-06-05:
Lord, lets hope in the meanwhile nobody's house burns down..

I was at the veggie mart the other day and suddenly remembered that I had left a chicken boiling on the stove..you've never seen a woman move so fast.

Things like this heating element scare me to death.
Mike g on 2013-06-11:
My neighbors house almost Bunt down with the same stove... There is a problem here .
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Getting the Runaround on a Repair
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
12 year old gas range, light use. The oven stopped working (while rangetop and broiler continue to work). We called GE Answer center who diagnosed the problem quickly and told us the part (and part #WB16K0022) for the repair. Before setting up a service call, I wanted to know the cost of labor for this particular part - we know the repair may cost more or less and may not even involve the stated part. We only wanted to have a ballpark figure to work with - to repair or replace!GE Repair would not help us - "we can't give you that."

GE consumer relations gave us the same runaround. All we want is able to make an informed decision about repair or replace - and all GE wants is to collect $99 for a technician to come to our house. All of this has soured us to GE (I used to work for GE!) to the point that we are thinking about foregoing repair altogether and just buying a new (non-GE) range.
     
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Mr. Fixit on 2012-07-03:
GE consumer relations can't and won't quote you a labor rate because they are not the ones doing the service. They might be able to give you an approximate retail price for the part, but only if they are actually selling you the part. The best thing to do is to call your local appliance repair shop, give them the part number, ask them the price of the part and the labor charge to install the part.
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GE Spectra oven fire
Posted by on
A month or so ago, my daughter was cooking something in the oven (which we've had no problems with until now) when I smelled something and saw a spark in the oven. Like some of the other people mentioned, I tried to douse it, not with water, but with baking soda, which did no good.

I called a neighbor since my husband was out of town and asked him to come before the house caught on fire. I literally stood there and watched it like one of those old episodes on TV, where they lit a fuse to light dynamite on fire; by the time my neighbor got to our house, the fire had finished traveling 3/4 of the length of the heating element. I never thought to turn off the electricity, I was too rattled.

I'm going to try to replace the part (we've been grilling ever since, as it is summer, after all) and see if we can get it working again. But from everything I've read here, there should have been a recall on this oven a long, long time ago.
     
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Helpful on 2010-07-23:
Thankfully nothing more happened Betty. G.E. hasn't had any specific problems with a particular oven. Any and all of them can run into problems, all for a variety of reasons. Check one of the next complaints back. The OP of that post was complaining of Frigidaire appliances, then there was Kenmore before that. Somewhere along the line you'll find an LG and Samsung complaint. You haven't suggested what the model of the unit is or how long you've owned it.

Please, Betty, take my advice. Don't try to repair it on your own. Contact a professional and get them to check the unit out. You don't want to have your appliance replicate what it's already done.

Best of luck.
Venice09 on 2010-07-23:
Have you checked to see if the oven was recalled. You might have slipped through the cracks. Check your model number online. If it was recalled, you'll find information that will tell you what to do.
Nohandle on 2010-07-23:
I know nothing about the GE Spectra ovens or how long your daughter has had one but did have an element catch fire once in a previous oven. I, like you, tossed baking soda on the element. I did think to immediately turn the oven off. It scared the wits out of me. Is this a common problem with the oven you are speaking of?
mrs nelson on 2012-07-28:
just had a fire in my ge oven (spectra) frightening. watched the burner unit sizzle like a fuse couldn't put it out with w
ater, salt or baking soda shut the door and locked it it then smothered out... is there a recal on this oven?
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Bottom Oven Element Shorted Out
Posted by on
My GE Spectra is about five years old. I don't bake very often, maybe twice at Christmas and once a week when making a roast or casserole. Last night a hot spot (an extra bright spot) on the lower heating element that I had been keeping an eye on for a while ('cause I never saw one before) shorted out and burnt with an arc-white flame. Threw the 220 line breaker and it stopped. DO NOT STAND THERE AND WATCH IT BURN! This is very inconvenient and unsafe. It is not enough to say "things don't last like they used to". Perhaps an element might rupture in a cheap toaster oven but we have an order of magnitude difference in price here! Now I know what will happen and you do, too. Replace element if you see a hot spot. I want a recall, and better-made replacement upper and lower calrods! Wonder what's going on with the burners beneath the glass top?
     
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Starlord on 2009-09-14:
We had this happen in our oven also. I forget the brand,now, because we have moved. The range was well over ten years old. We found a replacement element for about $9.00 and it plugged right in. The whole job took us about 45 minutes, counting driving to pick up the new element. This happens once in a while with electric ovens. At five years, you were no longer under warranty, so I do not see what your beef is. As long as products are made by human beings, they may occasionally fail. Your complaint should be against God for making people who cannot produce perfect manufactured goods.
qualityappliance on 2009-09-14:
This does happen sometimes for no apparent reason but most of the time it is started by something dripping on the red hot element. Simply turning the oven off would have stoped the sparking also.

Funny Starlord, complaint against God.
Nohandle on 2009-09-14:
This happened to me once quite a while back. The element caught fire. I immediately turned the oven off, grabbed the box of baking soda I keep in the cabinet, opened the door and dumped in the baking soda. The flame went out immediately. Just one of the little reasons I never leave an oven, range, washer or dryer on if I'm not home.
katrina1 on 2009-10-12:
Just like cihigh, the element in my oven had a white hot spark. Turning off the oven didn't help, baking soda didn't help. The spark was not on the outside of the element and travelled for about 14 inches through the element. The only thing that worked was unplugging the range. I don't know whether to fix or replace the range. It is actually melted in some places. Is it a wiring issue?
katrina1 on 2009-10-12:
Nohandle on 2009-10-12:
Katrina, speak with an electrician about your problem. Mine was with an oven and had nothing at all to do with the range. I didn't unplug anything or have to go out to the fuse box to zap all power to the appliances. You stated the only thing that stopped your problem was unplugging the range which I gather is a range top and your oven is separate. Or is all of this one unit?
Pam D on 2013-07-15:
The element in our oven just caught fire as well, the details are the same. Does anyone know if there is a recall on this oven?
Pauline on 2013-10-02:
My GE Spectra electric range element caught fire it couldn't be put out. Made loud noises and sparks! Shut the electric box off before fire would stop. I'll never buy another GE product. This could have burnt my home down. I'm not paying to have this fixed! GE should be sued for selling dangerous products like this!
Carol on 2013-10-02:
I had the same thing happen. The lower element started to spark and fire. We had to shut off the electric box to make it stop, turning off the oven did not work.

To fix, should we just buy a new element? Is there a need to buy a new oven?
Codavis on 2014-03-09:
I am very disappointed with this product. I brought this home 4 years ago, which was a new construction. The kitchen was furnish with GE appliances. I have replaced the bottom heat element 8 times within the last four years. It happen again last night!!! The money I have spent replacing the 8 bottom heating elements, could have gone toward purchasing a new stove. Oh, and I probably should mention that my new GE over the oven microwave stop working after 2 years! I have lost faith in ALL GE products!!
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GE Spectra Oven Fire
Posted by on
We got this oven with our new home in 2002. On January 26, 2010, I turned on the oven to preheat so I could cook our supper. Standing next to the stove at the counter I heard a popping noise. I looked in the oven and there was a bright light with sparks coming off it. Immediately I turned off the oven. It was the bake element on fire. The fire did not go out after turning the control to off. I called my husband into the kitchen and we pulled out the stove enough so I could get behind it and unplug it. Then it went out. The oven was not dirty and nothing was in it cooking so that did not start the fire. The element is badly damaged. After doing several searches on the Internet over the last few days, I am finding this appears to be a common way for the elements to go out. I have ordered a new element to replace the burnt one. But after sleeping on it, I think it may be safer to also change out the broil element. It did make me a little nervous to learn this is a common thing to happen. This is my first electric stove and oven. I have always had gas.
     
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Anonymous on 2010-01-28:
I can't stand electric stoves! Wise choice to replace both elements. (VH)
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Spectra Oven Heating Element
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Our GE Spectra was purchased from Lowes about 4 years ago. Today, we have had the same problem with the heating element glowing red & white and spitting sparks. Turning the control knob off had no effect - had to turn off circuit breaker. This is dangerous and needs to be looked at before someone gets hurt.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-12-05:
uh okay, so did you call GE and speak to someone? or call an appliance shop? or maybe just buy a new oven?
Pam Johns on 2011-07-02:
We are having the same problem. My oven actually caught on fire and burned the top element into about four pieces.
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Oven Fire
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While preheating the oven, I noticed a flickering light through the glass. I opened the oven to a white, sparkler type light and small fire. I turned off the oven and attempted to put the fire out with a flour-like substance (as could be done for a grease fire), but it didn't work. I used the fire extinguisher and called 911. The heating element had burned and broken inside of the oven. There was nothing in the oven to start the fire. The same thing happened to my next door neighbor with the same oven within the past 12 months. Our neighborhood is less than 10 years old, and I want all of my neighbors to know that this could happen. Like my neighbors, we will replace the oven instead of getting a repair...and it won't be a GE Spectra! Thank God I was home and in the kitchen; this story could have ended very differently. Thank you to the firemen and rescue heroes of the world.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-09-28:
this is normal in electric ovens when the bake element fails.

Builders have been throwing bottom line GE appliances in a lot of newer tract homes for years...I'm sure your neighborhood is littered with them

Replace the element,keep the oven clean...you'll be fine
CrazyRedHead on 2009-09-29:
I have an electric oven and one of the elements on the stove did the same thing. I talked to two appliance repair stores and the manufacture and it is normal for elements to eventually do this. I know it is a little scary when you first see it, at least it didn't blow up.
Slimjim on 2009-09-29:
Like crazy and train said, this is a common way an element can react when it dies. It really poses no fire hazard. It simply would flame out in the oven and just looks scary more than anything.
JKia on 2009-10-13:
I have the same thing happen to me where the broiler element burned continuously with the switch turn off. It is one thing to expect the element to burn(which I expected it to happen) due to metal fatique but it is another thing to not been able to stop the burning by turning off the switch(isn't switch is designed to cut off/switch off supply of electricity). It is a fire hazard and where is the government oversight??
iamedgeman on 2011-11-28:
I hadd the same sparkler effect on a GE Profile. What I did find out was that when the element broke, it did create some type of short. Turning the dial off did nothing. What did stop it immediately was turning off the breaker. I am waiting on the new element to arrive. Seems like poor engineering to me. But if you have that happen, shut off the power to the unit to stop the burning.
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GE Spectra Oven fire
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One more oven fire- was using our GE Spectra oven when I noticed a sparkler effect on the lower element. The element was burning white hot and continued to burn even after turning the oven off. I had to pull the oven out and unplug it, the fire eventually went out. Glad I was home, not sure if my wife could have gotten the oven out to unplug it. Seems with this many complaints on the same model with the same issue, GE would attempt to fix the problem or assist owners in some way.
     
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