Author Topic: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven  (Read 2817 times)

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Offline barryvabeach

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Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« on: November 27, 2012, 09:09:34 PM »
 So I bought a single deck pizza oven from ebay that was not as described.  The seller eventually refunded part of the purchase price and with help from Scott, I decided to go about an upgrade.  I spent a great deal of time looking at various elements looking at wattage, size and number of passes and eventually found a top element that was 2000 watts at 240 volts. ( 7.8 watts per square inch since I have a 16 inch square oven ) Fortunately, by searching carefully, and moderating the wattage on the lower element, I was able to use the existing switches, thermostats, and power cord.    I also ordered some 14 gauge high temp wire, and high temp terminals and wire nuts to make sure the oven could handle the upgrades, though I was pleasantly surprised when I opened it up that the current wiring was adequate, if just barely, so I only had to upgrade the wires to the power switch, and to the two thermostats.  I did my first trial run this weekend, and the broil element is extremely hot -  my IR therm - just read high ( its upper limit is 932)  The original elements didn't glow at all, this one was a bright orange - I didn't realize that a broil element will probably got much hotter than a bake element until the thermostat turns it off.  I used just the bottom element to heat the stone and left the upper element at a low temp until a minute before I put the pizza on.  It turned it up, waited a minute and put in a pie and checked about 2 minutes later, and the cheese near the back had started to burn.  The bottom was pretty dark ( the stone was around 600 ).  The next try I waited until I put in the pie to turn on the upper element - it still blasted the heat, and got some upper browning.  Obviously it will take some time to figure out the correct settings, but I will probably wait until I get the new bottom element, which is on order.  The original elements were rated at 800 watts - but apparently were more of a bake element,  so they didn't get nearly as hot as the new broil element.  The element on the left is the original one, the one on the right is the replacement.  Sorry for the poor focus on the element when it is on.  My original post is here. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21242.0.html 


Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 09:11:23 PM »
This is the pie.  I am shooting for a NY style based on a recipe with Scott, though I use 100% whole wheat -  60 % white wheat and 40 percent red.

Offline sub

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 09:00:16 AM »
Hi Barry,

Look here, same oven as you 141$ in China.  ::)

He swap the top heating element for a 1700w.

Baking time 70 seconds




Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 09:26:13 PM »
That looks like the same oven, though it is correctly listed at 1.6 kw,  the ebay seller I dealt with posted it as 2.4 kw. Also, it shows Santos as the manufacturer, and that name does not appear on mine. I had trouble getting a good translation of the Italian forum, but did see he used a 1700 watt element - but he didn't give any model number. He also does not mention relocating the thermocouple for the upper element.  As delivered, it was right next to the element, so it switched off well below the rated temp of the oven, I moved mine further away from the heating element, so it now measures oven temp.   When I first contacted the ebay seller, I tried to get the manufacturer to supply a higher wattage element, but they said they were unable to find one.  I will start searching soon unless the pizza screen below the upper element works. 

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 10:34:12 AM »
Barry, do you have room to install for an upper stone to diffuse and evenly distribute upper element heat? Use white flour on your next test if you have some, it is easier to see the browning.
Bert,

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 09:08:45 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion,  there is not much headroom because I replaced the stone at the bottom (  the ad said it was cordierite, but it is white, has ridges on the bottom, and was thin ) with a thicker stone that sits higher in the oven.  I will try some white whole wheat next and see how that goes.   

Offline sub

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 05:56:40 AM »
Hi Barry,

What is the distance beetween the stone and the heating element ?

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 10:01:39 PM »
2 3/4 inches from top of stone to bottom of element.  If I put in the stock "stone"  I would gain another 5/8 inches.  Barry.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 08:38:57 PM »
Based on suggestions in another post,  I added a pizza screen below the upper element to try to get more even browning of the crust without burning the cheese -  not perfect but much better.  This is a variation of the 100% wheat  Villa Roma recipe-  using red home ground wheat,     2 1/2 minute cook, with turns at 1 minute and 2 minutes. 

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 08:53:58 PM »
Barry, can you please provide a link where you purchase broiler element? Thanks!

Bob
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Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 07:52:22 AM »
Bob,  I went to several sites .  I needed to make sure the element was the right size and shape, and that the terminals did not stick out too far from the tabs that screw into the oven -  for that http://www.repairclinic.com/  is great since they have a scale photo of nearly every element.  Unfortunately, they don't usually list wattage.    Here is one site with diagrams and wattage listings http://www.hescoapplianceparts.com/pdfs/bake_broil.pdf      At this site, once you go to stove, oven parts, you can filter by length http://www.partselect.com/PartSearchWizard.aspx?Appliance=Range    Here is a catalog,  start at page 460 http://70.168.42.43/wda_cat.htm  They also have a webpage for locating elements http://www.wdarmstrong.com/BandB/html/BandB.html starting at page 6 there are diagrams with wattage and dimensions.


There was another site, I can't find right now but will look for, that had an old online catalog of elements listing rp numbers, and wattage and voltage for many elements.   UPDATED  I found it
Supco is the one, this is their 2012 version http://www.supco.com/images/Appliance%20Catalog/120-145%20Final%2012-18-06.pdf  scroll down to page 135 to find bake and broil elements,  The Supco main page is here http://www.supco.com/

 BTW,  most of the vendors are set up to sell by model number of the oven or range, but usually list the manufacturer number as well - which often starts RP, CH or WB, and sometimes there are several manufacturer numbers for the same part -


Once you have the RP or CH  or WB number , you can also check other vendors to see if they have it in stock  http://www.partshousesupply.com/servlet/the-2588/Y07431100-Range-Upper-Broil/Detail  or even do a google search of that number, it was not uncommon for one vendor to say item was in stock at $60 another to list it at $25, and have 2 or three say it was discontinued and no longer available, so it pays to check around.  If you are converting from screw on to spade connector, you will also want to buy heat rated connectors.  The screws typically common with the element, but not always.  Good luck.  If you find some other vendors, post them here so the next guy will have it easier to find than me.   UPDATED,  don't forget that you have to be able to get the part inside the oven,  I found one or two that looked like they would be just the right size, but then realized that with the length after the tab, there  was no way I could get it into the oven.


As always, when playing with electricity, play very safe.  If you increase the wattage, make sure that everything from the outlet to the element can handle it - that includes every switch, thermostat, wire etc.  The switches and thermostats are usually labeled with max watts, for the wire, if you can find a bare section, use a caliper and measure the diameter, then compare it to a wiring chart to make sure it is the appropriate size, if in doubt upgrade.  All wiring,, connectors, and terminals should be high temp rated, and you can get them at repair clinic, though I did have trouble locating wires with different colored insulation.  I didn't change out the thermostats, so I know that the oven assembly and insulation would be fine, and suggest that if you need to upgrade the thermostat, you get one with the same upper limit on temp as one you replace.  Good luck.   
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 08:37:27 PM by barryvabeach »

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 08:41:03 AM »
Pie looks great. Nice detail response to Bob, I will definetly may use one day. 
Bert,

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 01:50:53 PM »
Yes, very nice Barry, thanks. I'm trying to find a second element for my 'Lil Deni tabletop pizza oven.

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline scott123

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Re: Upgrading elements in countertop pizza oven
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 02:52:13 PM »
Nice detail response to Bob.

I agree- a lot of good info there.

One other source I'd recommend for oven parts is Ebay.  I've gotten some amazing deals there.


 

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