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Changed light bulb, broke the oven :-(

So I stupidly unscrewed the light fixture in my GE Spectra JBP78W0B4WW oven (thinking that's that I had to do to get that pesky light cover off). I received a popping noise, a bit of smoke, and a dead oven for my mistake (no lights, no displays, no burners, no nothing).
I did some searching online and discovered that a ruined control panel may be the culprit, so I got a new one and replaced the old one. However, my dead oven is still dead.

Can someone help this hapless shmoe diagnose what to check next? Is there anything else that I can do to keep this from being a $500 lightbulb? Any assistance is appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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  • Dan Troutman Jul 02, 2009

    I immediately replaced the lamp socket. I hadn't "taken apart" anything but unscrewing the two side screws when the "popping" and "smoking" occurred, so I replaced the screws right away.

    I removed the back cover, and saw no damage to the socket wiring. There were no other damaged wires between it and the control panel. HOWEVER, the insulation around the two wires connecting to the top oven heating coil was scorched (a little brown). Would this shut down the entire oven electronics?

    Have not checked the outlet, but did check the breaker to make sure that wasn't the problem. I'm a newbie to electricity repairs (thus the creation of this problem in the first place!) I do have a multimeter, but have never used it, so I'll see if I can figure that out.

    No other wiring shows signs of burning except the above mentioned heating element insulation.

    Just curious as to how unscrewing the light fixture caused this in the first place? Any ideas?

    Thanks so much for your help.


  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers May 11, 2010

    Did you get the lamp socket reassembled? Inspect the wiring to the socket for burned/melted insulation/wires? Check the circuit breaker that feeds this circuit? Check power at this outlet with a meter? If good, check the area of the pigtail (the cord) connections for burned wiring.



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I did this same things just today with my oven.. I am a woman trying to fix a man's problem.. I really didn't know HOW to change the lightbulb, but I took out the two screws and started pulling it out and heard the *pop* sound and saw smoke and sparks... then it stopped, so I replaced the fixture and screwed in the two screws.. Now, I am a mother of three and worried to go to bed ... thinking that this may start a fire overnight. Is this something I should be worried about? The oven still works and so does the rangetop.. Someone, please post on my issue before I go to bed... I'll be waiting up to hear.. Thanks!

Posted on Aug 23, 2010

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Hi, Well first thing to check is if it is getting 240V to the wall outlet. If it tripped off when the oven shorted, you might only be getting 120V if any. Turn the breaker off and back on a copule of times and see if it helps.
If it is getting voltage, check the block assembly the cord bolts to and see if there are any burnt wires there.
There are no inline fuses on this model. Makes sure all you wirs are ok.
I hope this helps you. please let me know if I can assist you further,

Posted on Jul 02, 2009

  • Victor
    Victor Jul 03, 2009

    Dan, It's amazing how trying to fix one issue can lead to others. I hope the popping noise you heard might have been inside the outlet. With the breaker off, remove the outlet cover and check for a bad/loose wire.

    With you multi neter, You can check continuity on the cord as well. Unplug the cord and put one lead on the end that connects to the oven. Put the other end on the plug end adn see if the cord has continuity.

    I will be here for a while so, let me knwo if I can help further.




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