The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Appliance Repair

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Appliance Repair

Yippee!!

I now have both of my ovens back on line!  I am fortunate enough to have 2 kitchens in my house and for the last 1.5 yrs the oven portion of my upstairs stove has been on the fritz, forcing me to do some real dancing in trying to cook the sunday roast amidst my baking. 

 

  So I finaly bit the bullet and visited an online appliance parts supply site to order the needed replacement part (burnt out control panel from steaming the oven $92) as well as an additional burnt out heating element.  The replacement parts arrived and were installed within 1.5 hrs, and all worked like new.  Here's the reason for this thread...     Appliance repair is wicked easy, no need to pay big $$ for someone to tell you what you already know.  Most appliances are a collection of parts made by various companies, wired together to make something happen.  When one part breaks you just replace that part.  I am sure that all of us here at one time or another have/will have an oven breakdown, and I would like you to fear not.  most repairs are done with a simple screwdriver and some common sense.  If you are at all handy most repairscan be done in minutes, if you aren't handy call a handy neighbor.  If you have any questions, email me at mk27 AT voyager.net

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Indeed, I found fixing my oven extremely easy. Mine was just a burnt out coil though, not as complex as what you had to deal with.

It seems like what you describe (replacing a pre-assembled unit) is the state of most electronics repair these days. I recall in college getting a job helping repair computers in the lab. In my mind I had images of pulling up electronic diagrams, measuring current, replacing individual chips and such. But when it came down to it it was "pull out the logic board and replace it with a new one" 90% of the time. Those old Macs only had about 5 parts in them that we could replace. If the machine didn't boot you either had bad RAM, a dead hard drive, or a faulty logic board. If it wasn't one of those, it was time for a new computer.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

MKelly27, Thanks for your story about repairing your oven. As Floyd mentioned above most home electronics can be repaired if you are willing to take a look at how it was put together in the first place.  I do have one observation about my home oven that has been making me wonder if I could improve the way my oven bakes.

I notice that when I toss water into the pan in the bottom for steam, there is a fair amount of steam escaping from the bottom part of the door. Also if I push on the door handle I can tell that the door isn't quite square or flat. It's just a small gap at the top right but if I push the handle in I can tell the door closes better and seals come in contact better. After looking at the door installation it looks like the door could be adjusted by unscrewing the hinge screws and making a move so the door closed more squarely. Part of the hinge is buried in side of the oven body and looks to be hard to get at.

I have made enough jewelry boxes to know that installing the hinges can be a challenge. Getting the door or top on the box perfectly is tricky in the extreme and small movements at the hinge result in large movements in the door/lid. I suspect that much of the differences in performance between various ovens could be traced back to how well the door seals when you close it. Otherwise, it's a closed steel box with a heating element, right? Some ovens seem to have a large variation in front to back browning or uneven temperature. This has to be a door issue it seems. If the door leaks then it would follow that it would be cooler in the front.

Sorry if it seems like I'm rambling on here. I'm just wondering if anyone else has noticed the seal on the oven door is less than it should be and if they have taken any steps to fix it? Are there any appliance repair folks in our midst or someone who knows one? Fine tuning the oven door almost seems like a manufacturing issue.

Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A thought occured to me, Eric, try taking the door apart and invert something.  It was maybe designed right but put together wrong.  You know some things change their shape when heating up (like cookie sheets for example, they love to "bang" once in a while).  -- Mini Oven

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Some door hinges are adjustable, or if it is bent you can replace the hinge. Check out places like this for advice http://www.partselect.com/repair.aspx?appliance=range-stove-oven&part=Heat-Escaping-From-Door

_______________________________________________________

Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

leemid's picture
leemid

I am losing my opinion that a modern oven is a closed steel box. I am thinking more and more that it might be worse than lousy version of a closed steel box. I think I am discovering that a modern oven is really an open steel box that can maintain a reasonably steady internal temperature while breathing quite readily and preventing what ever kind of problems were identified with expansion and/or contraction or explosion or collapse that may have happened in the past, thus minimizing lawsuits...? I understand that there needs to be ventilation for expanding gasses to exchange through to prevent pressure buildup, but I think the engineers are less concerned with economical maintenance of steady temperature than other factors.

Mind you, this may well be nothing but the babblings of a deranged paranoiac (worse by far than a normal paranoiac) whose mental illness displays itself in the form of a sourdough bread baker... and there may be no real, hard evidence that this theory has a shred of truth... but there seems to be at least a growing rumor that these devious engineers have designed that if any vents are blocked, all escaping gasses will be routed to the most easily damaged part of the controls...

That's my story,

Lee

sphealey's picture
sphealey

There is probably a lot of truth to that. However, I also worked with a guy who came from an oven manufacturer, and he told me that even for the world of steel assembly that oven manufacturing was a fairly brutal process. The components have large tolerences so that can be rammed together, jacked into alignment, and bolted in the minimum amount of time. In fact he headed a project to make certain key components _less_ precise so that it would be easier to jack them at final assembly.

So I don't think we are dealing with Breitling Watch levels of quality and precision here.

sPh

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I just looked more carefully at the hinges and door seals on my Whirlpool wall mounted oven. I don't see any adjustment potential without disassembling the oven but there must be some movement available. The door seal is a tube of fiberglass packing that looks like it is unevenly soiled, telling me it isn't coming in contact with the intended mating surface, evenly.

It may be that with some minor tuning, I might be able to improve the performance of my oven. Maybe all it would take is replacing the door seal and paying attention to the installation. This would be worthwhile in my case since I seem to be losing heat from the one place that is supposed to hold it in.

I'll post my findings here if I discover something that might be of value to Artisan Bakers.

Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but not removing them, then re-tighten but jumping over to opposite sides (as opposed to around like a clock).  First one corner, then the opposite corner, then crossing over again to next screw and then opposite again, always criss-crossing.  Tips from the metal man.  --  Mini Oven

leemid's picture
leemid

I hope in any previous posting I did not offend... if so, my most humble appologies.

Lee

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I picked up a tip a while back...in a skewed sort of way...  The one about cracking the oven to trick the thermostat turning up the heat to brown tops of loaves.  Well... My refrigerator hasn't been working right for a while and no matter how warm I set it, my salad greens would freeze.  Played with all the knobs and put in a therometer too.  Then I noticed the door didn't always go shut.... tight... see where this is going?  Found a screw on the bottom that had worked it's way out and was sometimes keeping the door just a little teeny bit open.  Removed the screw, jambed in a toothpick and screwed it back in.  End of Problem for now.   It is sometimes funny how one thought can lead to another.  --Mini Oven