Modifying my Electric Range

This may be better for GQ, I dunno.

I have a small electric range in my apartment. One of those old-style compact ones. The kitchen itself is tiny - so tiny that the range itself is flush with the fridge next to it, meaning that I can’t even fully utilize all the burners, which themselves aren’t even all that great. It’s a shitty situation all around.

What I’m thinking about doing is removing all the elements from the burners and then getting something sturdy to put on top of it, effectively turning the range into a countertop. Then I’ll buy a good-quality induction burner to use there.

Now, I don’t own this stove so I want to be careful about keeping everything in good order. Are there any precautions I should take with the burners, such as doing something to protect the bit where the element slots into the stove’s wiring? Also, what might be the best material for my makeshift cover? Are the open spots where the elements are used to vent heat from the oven, and will covering them cause potential problems? Is my idea a terrible one for reasons I’m not considering?

Just pull the plug on the stove and remove the burners. You’re going to cover it up, so no problems with damaging anything. Are you going to continue to use the oven? If so, do NOT block the vents. For a top, I’d just use a piece of 1/2"-3/4" plywood and maybe cover it with a piece of 1/4" washable sheet goods.

We used to use the wooden cutting board from one of our kitchen cabinets to cover the top of our range when we needed extra prep space. If your tiny kitchen does not have this already, you can buy one.

As **Chefguy **said, you can just pull the burner elements and put them away until you move out. If your stove is pretty standard, one of the back burners has the vent for the oven. You can usually tell which one because it should have a vent pipe coming up through it. Don’t cover that hole while using the oven.

No chance of getting the landlord to replace the unit with a more efficient modern one, maybe if you contribute all the effort?

Well, I do want to continue using the oven. I haven’t checked - do electric ranges normally have two separate plugs for the stove and oven?

Stretch: thanks for the tip about the vent. I’ll have a close look.

Barbarian: I hadn’t thought that through, but I doubt it. Though my kitchen sucks, overall I’m getting a really good deal on my rent and I doubt the landlord is looking to put more money into the apartment than is necessary.

No. Typically one 240V plug.

You will want to be very, very careful putting anything atop a working oven that expects to have nothing but free-air circulation and heat-proof stuff above it.

I sympathize in general. I lived in a rented house with an electric range (and no fireplace, a second PITA) for thirteen years. Even though I had extensive repair and remodeling rights (owner didn’t care, would pay major costs and my rent was low as a result), I couldn’t fix the problem. Gas was available but the nearest connection was twenty feet away in a concrete slab. There was no cost-effective way to change over to a gas range.

Then I moved to an (owned) house that had a crappy 5-burner electric range between a wall oven and the fridge, probably bigger than what you have but just as hemmed in. Every pot that boiled over ran liquid right into the controls, shorting them out and requiring cooldown and a messy cleanup with the breakers off. My wife came home one day to find the insert in the driveway and me fitting in a Bosch 5-burner gas top… because gas was right on the other side of the wall in the furnace closet. (I still miss that range.)

This house had an electric range that lasted only as long as it took to (1) get a dual-fuel unit delivered and (2) to get the propane company to come run a line ten feet into the kitchen.

I hate electric tops. Wish I could suggest a simple fix for you.

Then I would just make sure that whatever you put on the top is easily removed when you want to use the oven.

Sorry, I read this as “modifying my electric rage.”

I’m relieved to realize that that you aren’t really that angry.

You should’ve seen me last night, when I was trying to use two pans at once on that damned stove.

If it’s just you in the apartment, and you’re not prone to cooking while stoned / drunk / sleepwalking, why modify anything at all?

Get something like a cheapo wooden cutting board big enough to cover most of the area of the stove burners. Set it on the burners, put your induction unit on top, and just don’t turn on the burners. Leave enough gap at the back where the oven vent is and all will be well.

Even if you absentmindedly turn on a burner you’ll still have many minutes before it imparts enough heat to ignite a plank that large. Meanwhile you’ll get some stink & much smoke long before the fire starts. So that ought to be enough warning so you catch your error before it gets serious.

You could even pull the knobs off the burner controls to make it harder to inadvertently turn them.

And if you someday screw up enough to char the heck out of your cutting board, go get another one. They’re not much money.

Yes, this is Safety Heresy. But compared to the other hazards hidden in the walls and systems of your old & tiny apartment it’s probably not the biggest in-home hazard you’ll face every day.

Range, range in the home…
That’s all I’ve got.

Where the beer and the cantaloupe braise
Where seldom is seen
a half-filled tureen
And the stock is not cloudy with Bay.

I guess I’m not clear on why putting another cooktop on top of the cooktop that’s too small because it’s hemmed in… follow that?.. will fix anything. It sounds like the existing burners work fine - for certain electric-sucks values of ‘works’ - but the other physical constraints are the problem.

Because one or two burners in the same square footage as four burners will take up less space. I’ll be able to center them in the middle of the stovetop, meaning my pots and pans will have clearance in both directions.

…that way the only reason the smoke alarm goes off is because of his cooking…?

Say, that could work… :smiley:

You can buy metal ones, Johnny.

IF you can remember, EVERY TIME, to remove the counter, you can use anything - including wood, for the counter.

If you expect to be careless, find a large paver or other ceramic/earthenware surface for your counter.

Do they still make “pizza stones”? one of those would also work.

My available power supply connection from panel are is 3phase, 380V line-line, 380V-neutral=230V. is it possible to tap here the electric range with rating of 1phase, 15Kw, 230V, hot black(110V), hot red(110V), neutral & ground? i would appreciate any reply and feedback with my question. thanks

Three phase? Are you in an industrial building? It sounds like you’ve got a wye configuration, but 380 volts is weird. Most low-voltage wye lines are 440 or 480, and you’d need a 480 wye to 208/120 delta transformer. (most of these have input taps so they can run at 440 or 480) This is a pretty standard item that’s about the size of a portable dishwasher and can be found on on the used market for a few hundred dollars, plus a substantial charge for freight as they’re heavy.

Not saying there’s no such critter, but I’ve never seen a 380 volt transformer.