Ceramic Cooktop Wiring Advice Needed!

Hello Guys! My current cooktop has a big crack. My wife literally found a pristine ceramic cooktop on the street. I tried to install it - there were four
4-pole plugs which inserted properly into the oven part of the stove - but when I turn it on, only the outer rings fire up. Compatibility issues between stoves aside, I'm convinced I can make this work, if only I can get some info on the wiring scheme. I am in Germany. The oven/stove control is "Wamsler" The original cooktop is long gone, and the recent one had it's own "surface" controls, so I can't reverse engineer like I would like to. I simply can't find any wiring info for either the stove/oven or the cooktop online. I'm hoping someone here has expertise, and can give some helpful hints!
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Could it be the reason it was on the curb was due to a bad coil ? Sometimes a gift horse bites you!
Martin
robobass wrote:

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If it is German, they use 380 V 3 phase power in their stoves. The four wires should be 3 phases and safety earth (no neutral). The burners are powered phase to phase. If the unit is intended for European domestic use, you will need 3 phase power to make it work, as each element requires 400 V to function. Steve

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1. I don't think it's a bad coil, since all 4 burners behave the same way.
2. It's true than 400v is standard for modern kitchens here, but most older buildings don't have it, and hence most stoves can also be wired for 230v single phase. In my case, both the parts are wired for 230v, so it's not that.
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Well, I got it running and it seems fine. I simply ganged the two coil elements together on each burner. I guess that the original top which went with the oven was just single coil. I still don't really understand how it works, but, anyway, it does!
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On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 07:18:37 -0800 (PST), robobass

If you get stuck again, you can usually look up the maker of the controls on the Web. They will have a "cut sheet" with all the specifications and the wiring diagrams, and this is usually a really good clue as to how the stove is wired.
Now be sure to check your circuit ampacity before you go too far, if an older house doesn't have the 240/380V Wye service for the stove the straight 240V circuit might not have the ampacity to run all four burners and the oven at once. When you hook up a 3-phase wired range to single phase, the amp draw goes way up because it's not spread across three legs.
You can get away with running an over-elemented range for a while by knowing to not turn on more than two or three elements at once, but the only real cure to an overloaded main service panel is to do a panel upgrade.
--<< Bruce >>--
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wrote:

Yeah, the cooktop alone is 6.3 KW. That's close to 40 amps right there, not to mention the oven. This just seems to be the way they do things here. I am actually in a six story building in a large city. I have the stove hooked up exactly the way it was when I moved in. I've never tripped the breaker, even though I have been known to run three burners and the oven all at once.
400v comes with probably all new construction, and is often run on large renovation jobs, but that's mainly for heat and hot water. In many apartments here, you have a "Durchlauferhitzer" which is a continuous heating tankless system that gives you hot water for the bathroom as well as for your hot water radiators. A typical unit draws 14KW, so 230v isn't up to the task. In my last flat, we had a gas unit in the kitchen which provided all heating and hot water. Interestingly, it is not uncommon to have your 400v wire and your electric heater in the bathroom, but be left with low voltage (230) in the kitchen, where you not only have to run your electric range, but are stuck with a stupid little 5 liter low-pressure electric water heater to do your dishes. These things are useless! You have to buy a special three-pipe faucet, which functions poorly, so just when you get the temperature adjusted properly, you're out of hot water. In my case, we have central hot water to the bathroom and the radiators, but not to the kitchen. After looking at my options (no gas or high voltage available), I elected to run copper from the bathroom to the kitchen. Sounds crazy? It gets better, In Spain and Italy it is common to have no gas OR high voltage. Many homes and flats there have a boiler which runs on bottled gas, so you see little trucks driving around all day delivering refills. Of course they don't need to heat the way we do up north, so they aren't using nearly as much fuel.
Well, everyone finds their own way to get things done. My house is in order, anyway.
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On Mon, 18 Jan 2010 07:51:47 -0800 (PST), robobass

How does Europe always manage to figure out the stupidest possible way to rig things? (It's a gift, has to be...)
Over here, if your house is using Propane for heat they don't try using the 5-gallon/20L barbecue bottles, swapping and refilling would be a nightmare and a labor time sink. You have a 100 to 500 gallon tank in the yard (400L - 2,000L) and they don't swap little tanks, they fill it from a bulk tank truck once or twice a month.
And the 5L water heaters are meant for hand washing sinks, not for washing dishes. They do make small instant electric heaters, but they take a 40A to 60A @ 240V circuit for one sink or shower at a time, and even then they are barely adequate - and at the premium price of electricity for heat over oil or gas, it is insane to boot.... You want true instant hot water, you have to go gas.
If you have an electric cooktop and oven (or range), you will have a dedicated healthy circuit for them - they wouldn't try to double it up on the same circuit with all the lights and convenience outlets. Having the lights all go out when the main blows is a bad thing.
240/415V Wye 3-phase power would be the smart way to go on everything, yet you say they aren't in any rush to upgrade....
3-phase is wonderful for running refrigeration and air conditioning efficiently, and in mild climates Heat Pumps are far more efficient than resistance heat. Just take air conditioning and run it in reverse - cool the outdoors and send the heat inside.
That's the only dumb thing we do over here in the US - it would be either 120/240V Open Delta 3-phase (third leg at 190V/ground and usable for motor loads only) or 120/208V Wye 3-phase (all three phases can be used for branch circuits) - and it is rare when you can get either one for residential.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Our electricity is less than ideal, I'll grant. I think that since we've always had 230v, we've had a lesser need, and therefore have been less proactive about dealing with increased household energy needs, than North Americans, whose 120v is simply a joke.
Something to consider is that the typical European kitchen doesn't consume energy the way an American one does. My German mother-in-law serves bread and butter, cold cuts, and cheese for most meals. I don't think they even own a toaster. Also, Europeans (Germans at least), tend toward small, simple kitchens. If they want to spend money, they will put it into a big, luxury bathroom, and the kitchen comes last.
As far as heating goes, the instant heat water coil - whether run on electricity or gas - is the norm for hot water and heating. Also, I think that gas is a lot more expensive here than in the states, so the decision to go "all electric" is easy when the costs of bringing in piped gas will not be recovered for decades.

Actually, I think the bottled gas systems I've seen were only for hot water and cooking. They have electric heaters in the rooms, but we're talking (where I've seen them) Mediteranean climate, so they don't need to heat very much. I imagine that proper houses have bigger tanks, but I'm talking about apartments in old cities, where space is scarce, and digging up streets to lay gas lines and wire is very problematic. Even in Cologne, where I live, every time they try to dig up a patch of street to lay some new sewer line, they invariably happen upon some Roman relics, and need to give the archaeologists a half a year to get things in order before the workers can proceed.

Yes, true. Many Germans (like us) choose not to have a dishwasher, although it seems to be expected that you have one. I looked at a 230v electric water heater, but decided it wouldn't be adequate. Those of us who live in older buildings just don't expect the level of comfort in the kitchen that Americans take for granted. My neighbors actually bring hot water from the bathroom to the kitchen in buckets to do their dishes!

Well, of course the stove/oven always has a dedicated circuit. We aren't that negligent!

No, we aren't. At the last owners meeting, they voted to install fibre optic so they could get more TV channels or HD or something, but when I mentioned bringing up "Starkstrom" (high voltage) at the same time, they all sighed (crazy foreigner...).

Can heat pumps be mated with hot water heating? Don't forget that forced air is unknown in traditional construction here. Retrofitting older buildings with ductwork would be a huge undertaking, and hugely unpopular, since our hot water radiators provide much more comfortable heating than your forced air furnaces, not to mention that they're already there. Some new houses do use forced air heating and AC with a geothermal heat pump, involving a deep bore into the ground. It is extremely low cost to run, but very expensive to install, even with new construction. Also, forced air is noisy. My wife doesn't sleep at all when we visit her sister in Stuttgart, or my mother in Ohio. Germans like their peace and quiet. Many appliances, even computers, include a db rating in the advertized specs.
In the end, I wouldn't call the way Europeans construct their household energy systems "stupid" at all. "Strange" to the eye of an American for sure, but not stupid, just practical, considering the available options.
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robobass wrote:

Yes, it is a joke to small minds.
--
Greed is the root of all eBay.

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