The Oven Saga

Posted on October 20, 2012


When we moved into this place seven years ago, there was a nice oven range. It was built into the counter, had electronic controls, and just generally looked satisfactory.

No sooner did we move in and try and cook dinner, than we discovered the oven didn’t work. I love to bake and my husband is a professionally-trained chef. No oven is no way to live. After much nagging, they finally replaced it. We actually would have preferred they repair it–we even offered to pay the $75 difference to have it repaired. They declined the offer, and a “new” oven was put in.

This oven MIGHT have been new in the Carter administration. It was refurbished, and rather basic. It was made to go up against a wall, not set into a counter that extends behind it, so there was six inches of odd sticking up splashguard and a gap at the back of about an inch that was bound to become a graveyard for lost pencils.

It was, however, basically functional, and so we got by with it for years–up until this month, when it started taking an hour to preheat to 350. After several ignored online maintenance requests and a phone call, they finally sent someone out, and replaced it yesterday.

I can now tell you there are virtues in that old refurb that I failed to appreciate. The replacement–another refurb, I am sure–is slightly better at first glance. It happens to be the same color as the other appliances, and fits in so that there isn’t a gap at the back. In addition to no longer providing an escape hatch for random small items that no longer wish to remain on the kitchen counter (and, as it turned out, ample room for several spiders to call home), all the knobs are on the back instead of down on the front, a definite improvement with a toddler in the house. This is enough of an improvement that I don’t even mind that it, too, is designed to go against the wall and there is now a foot-high metal plate showing its ugly industrial face to our living room.

Your vent crack is showing

This “new” oven is so good at warming up, however, that it heats up on the outside as well as the inside. I don’t just mean a little bit around the venting burner. This thing puts off so much waste heat,the front and top got hot enough that I am now concerned about the baby even being in the kitchen when it’s in use. The one it replaced was at least reasonably well insulated, even if it would have gotten a D from Energy Star.

Our summer electric bills are already out of control. Apparently, it’s acceptable to not be able to use an oven six months out of the year, because I guarantee when it’s triple digits teens outside, operating this oven is going to make the wheezy, aging air conditioner have the appliance equivalent of a stroke.

Anyone want to lay bets on how long it’ll take them to fix THAT?

Posted in: rants