1950's RCA Estate Range/Oven - Thermostat/thermocouple

rico tubbs

Premium Member
Jul 15, 2022
snohomish wa
Model Number
Been working on our 1950's RCA Estate Range/oven. The oven fluctuates in temperature - set it at 350 and it will vary from 250 to 450. Removed the thermostat and took the Thermocouple out of the oven box. The Thermostat appears to be working okay, when I put a multimeter on it. The thermocouple has some corrosion on it. My questions are:
1) can you clean the thermocouple?
2) how do you test the thermocouple short of hooking it up - is there a way? All of the instructions on line seem to require the thermocouple removed from the thermostat, and that does not seem to be possible when you look inside the thermostat.
3) Can I adapt a modern thermostat/thermocouple to this stove, and if so, what would I look for?

Any insights into this problem would be most welcome.


Hi Rick - I also have a 1954 RCA Estate electric range model #E194. I didn't see that anyone responded to your post - did you happen to find an answer about your Thermostat/Thermocouple? I think we have similar problems. My stove is running hot. I was hoping to find a replacement. Had a repair person out yesterday who checked all the wiring - and fixed a ground wire that had worked itself loose. If you could let me know anything you happened to find out about this I'd appreciate hearing it as it may help me with my repair search. Do you happen to have a manual for your range by chance? I have a user's guide but it has recipes and doesn't cover the clock/timer. I'd love to see some instructions on how to use the timer (and also to get the clock running again.)
Hi Meredith:
No, I never did here any other replies - just yours. So to answer your questions:
No, I didnt get a specific answer to my question. I have got more info from a wide range of sources. If your stove is running hot the liklihood is that it is the thermocouple or thermostat. They are one unit - the thermocouple is permanently fixed to the thermostat. A professional can separate them but not the average oven owner. I would not bother have a repair person look at your stove, unless they are really familiar with repairing 1950's electric stoves.

We were fortunate to buy a second comparable RCA stove from which we were able to salvage many parts. The most important ones are the burners, the electric works and the stove elements. We too have the users guide, but I have never seen an actual manual. We opted to get in touch with TOAC (http://www.antiquestoves.com/toac/) and sent them one of our thermostats to rebuild. They did so and we have not had time yet to install it due to many other projects we are working on. Feel free to check back with us on that. The rebuild cost $400 per the one thermostat/thermocouple, so it is a pricey fix. I think they also have clock repair guides that they sell. Ours works partly, but I will need to really take it apart when the time comes.

Whether you can substitute out a different model thermostat/thermocouple I still dont know the answer. When I have time I am going to take a look at other models and see if I can make it fit. No idea if that will work but I will eventually check it out. Many repairs can be done by the stove owner, if you can find parts and if you have the patience to work on the problems with a lot of care and investigation. I know you can sub new burners for these old stoves, but they look like new burners. We are fortunate in that we have 4 good burners, as well as some partially working burners. As you know, parts are tough to come by.

I hope this answers your questions. Please feel free to contact me if you have any others.
Best regards

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