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!
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.
1. I don't think it's a bad coil, since all 4 burners behave the same
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.
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!
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
--<< Bruce >>--
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
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 >>--
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
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
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