Author Topic: Oven/range failure- what route to take?  (Read 3763 times)

norvilion

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Oven/range failure- what route to take?
« on: January 02, 2013, 06:13:13 PM »
Well, looks like another fairly large event over here. Started making up dinner only to find that even though the clock is still functional none of the heating elements were working on the stove. Luckily we were able to wing the recipe, but this stills seems to be a fairly serious problem. After dinner I pulled the unit away from the wall, unplugged it, and took off the two back covers to see if there was anything obviously wrong with it like a blown fuse or possibly a thermal limiter of some sort that might have blown out. I was able to trace all the wiring without too much difficulty but as far as I can tell there was neither any form of easily accessible replaceable fuse nor any other form of breaker that might have flipped internally. I also checked the circuit breaker to make sure both sides of the oven switch were in the "on" position. I put the stove back together and plugged it back in. Just to test again if there was any power coming to the heating element I turned it on again, full power to each eye. I heard a faint popping sound from the circuit breaker and went over to investigate. As I tapped the breaker more toward on to make sure it hadn't tripped I heard a loud crackling noise. the breaker hadn't tripped but needless to say that was a clear indication that something was wrong, especially considering that upon close examination I could see a tiny little puff of smoke (barely visible at all). Now, my gut instinct on this combined with the research I've put into this over the past hour or so says there's a decent chance I may have a short circuit in the stove (or bad wiring but I REALLY hope that isn't the case, would be a pain to fix being in a condo and all). As far as I can tell my options are as follows-

1) Dive back into the oven and see if I can find some wire that might be broken. This might take some time and I have no guarantee I'd be able to find anything. Also if I took this route I'd definitely need to get around to getting and learning how to use a good quality Volt Meter (as I have none at all and am not keen on getting electrocuted). As far as I can tell looking over craigslist and local commercial websites getting an appliance technician to look at it would cost more than just replacing the old thing.

2) Find a $100-$200 used unit on Craigslist and replace it entirely, hoping that the problem is indeed with the stove and not the house. The only issue with this is that I'd have no real clue what to do with the old stove at this point. I'd love to try to find a metro Nashville trash site and take it to them, but i have no idea where such a place would be or if there is such a place whether they would take large appliance junk. I think there's a "Leave on the street for pickup" option but from what I can tell reading the website I think that may apply only for houses, not condo units. Another option I might have for disposal would be hiring one of those junk removal organizations, but it seems like those are tailored to the "too lazy to do it myself" crowd and most likely fairly expensive.

3) The extremely lazy I-want-to-punch-myself-in-the-face option of just going to the local home improvement store and getting one new (*ouch*). It looks like a bottom of the line oven/range would be in about the $300-$400 range after tax but it would include delivery and (I'd assume) old unit haul-away. I know I'm supposed to be fixing up the place as part of my zero-rent agreement but I can't fully convince myself that a new unit would add any more value than a decent working used one.

At the moment I'm leaning in the direction of #2 but was hoping some of you might have some experience with just how much trouble it actually is to get rid of an old appliance.

Another Reader

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Re: Oven/range failure- what route to take?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 06:40:50 PM »
I can't tell you what's wrong with the stove, but recycling metal appliances is very easy here in California.  The steel has significant scrap value.  Just find a guy in a pick up with a handlettered sign that says "we pick up metal" or put the thing on Freecycle or Craigslist.  It should be gone before you know it.

jawisco

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Re: Oven/range failure- what route to take?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 07:34:43 PM »
It won't be hard to get rid of the stove should you decide to discard.  They will even carry it out of your house for you.

I would spend 1 more hour and if you can't figure out the problem and aren't feeling motivated to fix it, buy a used one on craigslist and move on.

Bill76

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Re: Oven/range failure- what route to take?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 07:43:41 AM »
If Craigslist turns out to be a bust when searching for a replacement (or if you need it replaced ASAP), check the scratch and dent items at your local big box stores.  We had the range go out at our rental house a couple of months ago, and we ended up getting a $900 unit for $280, practically brand new.  We installed it ourselves and had it all done within 24 hours of our renters notifying us of the problem.

We're currently holding onto the dead range because my father in law said he'd like to try to fix it and install it at his house.  I guess I need to call and remind him that it's still sitting in our garage...

Bill76

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Re: Oven/range failure- what route to take?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 07:46:07 AM »
We also had a washer die on us a while back.  We hauled it to the curb and listed it on freecycle.  It was gone by the next morning.  That's another good disposal option.

norvilion

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Re: Oven/range failure- what route to take?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 08:35:12 AM »
Thanks everyone for the awesome advise. I'm probably going to use tomorrow to haul off the old stove to the recycling center and go down to a used appliance store I discovered existed near my house (prices are comparable to most entries I've seen so far on craigslist, though I'm still keeping a close eye on the listings). Most likely I'll have to rent a decent quality hand truck for the day. It'd be better if I could just get one of those folding ones but I'm not sure if my stove is rated above the max weight or not and I don't have room to store a dolly of my own. Looks like that part would be $10 to rent at uHaul which would be covered by the recycling of the old stove and would save me the $60 or so it looks like the used appliance store would try to charge for delivery (or at least save my back if I managed to find a stove from another seller).

norvilion

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Re: Oven/range failure- what route to take?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 10:36:48 AM »
As an update- just finished putting in the new stove. managed to find a good used one that had been part of renovation so total cost was $120 + $10 (dolly) - $13 (recycling old one) = $117 altogether.

New one heats up perfectly fine, however i can still hear some arcing noise from the breaker box. Quick search shows that it's likely either a bad breaker or a loose connection, either of which would mean taking of the panel and getting uncomfortably near who-knows-how-much electrical current. I know I should be able to work with it, assuming that the master switch is there but just covered up by the metal; but 'tis a bit more DIY than I was hoping for.

Any advise for the leap into electrical work? My family has messed with it before (hooking an outside building to the house's power grid), but i was a bit young at the time to gather more than just what the box generally looks like with protective cover off.

plantingourpennies

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Re: Oven/range failure- what route to take?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 02:50:10 PM »
I'm very comfortable mucking around with the 110v that is in the walls; I'll play with the 220v that is in appliances like stoves occasionally, but breaker boxes are off-limits for me.

I vote call a pro; if you want to get more value, use angie's list first and see what other little mysteries you can come  up with for him to look at while on-site. Extra points for watching do the work.

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Mr. Pop