from the RepairGuru®
the November 2006 edition of the RepairClinic.com newsletter. As we rake
up the last leaves of autumn many of us are already beginning to plan
for the upcoming holiday season. The fall conjures up thoughts of pumpkins
and frost and traditional holiday feasts. RepairGuru, Chris Zeisler suggests
that before you put your menu together, you should perform a quick operational
check on your electric stove/range/oven.
Chris Zeisler Helps Keep the Holidays Cooking
almost twenty-five years of appliance repair knowledge and experience
under his belt - seven of those with RepairClinic.com - Chris is
a highly valued member of the RepairGuru team. Chris is the go-to-guy
for those customer repair questions that are off the beaten track.
conversation with Chris we tried to uncover tips and suggestions
that will help keep all of our electric cooking appliances in good
working order - and ensure that at the least the food will go off
according to plan this holiday season.
tips do you have for folks whose electric stove, range or oven seems to
be acting up?
Many people contact us with questions about uneven baking
or a special dish that takes longer to cook than the recipe called for.
The first thing they should do is to check the actual temperature of their
oven with a separate thermometer. If you set the oven thermostat to 350°
F, the oven should heat to between 325° and 375°. In most cases
it is considered acceptable if the actual temperature is within 25°
of the set temperature. Here is a good thermometer
for this purpose. It is often possible to adjust the thermostat
knob or to recalibrate the electronic range control if the oven is not
reaching the right temperature. Visit the range/stove/oven
section of our website for more help.
What is one of the most challenging things about diagnosing electric
With electric appliances you cannot assume the part that appears to be
malfunctioning is the part that's broken. The problem might be in a different
part of the stove. A wiring problem can prevent a burner from working
properly, and a broken surface burner switch can cause the same symptom.
It's important to check all of the components involved to pinpoint the
source of the problem and not jump to an incorrect conclusion.
years of experience, give us an example of an unusual problem?
This is the holiday season, when most people do a lot more cooking and
baking, so when something goes wrong there is more urgency to fix or solve
the problem. Take it from a technician who has seen it more than once;
don't run a self-cleaning cycle for at least a week before a holiday or
special event. It is not uncommon for problems to arise during a cleaning
cycle, due to the extra stresses that are placed on the appliance. If
this happens right before a big event there may not be time to resolve
Tips of the Month
Electric Oven Doesn't Bake Evenly
Food cooks on top but the bottom isn't done - There could be several
reasons why food is not cooking uniformly in either an electric or gas
oven. Many electric ovens use the broil element, located at the top of
the oven during the preheat phase and bake cycles. So the food may be
getting heated only by the broil element, which causes poor baking results.
If the bake element is burned out, replacing it should solve the problem.
Otherwise, you need to further troubleshoot the oven's electrical system
to locate the defective wire or component.
For additional potential causes of uneven baking see the stove/oven/range
repair help for your specific
A Burner Doesn't Work
The electric heating element may be burned
out - Sometimes, when an element burns out, you can see that the coil
burns in two, or blisters and bubbles. When your heating element burns
out, you must replace
it because they are not repairable. Often, when the heating element burns
out, the switch that controls it also fails; so you may have to replace
to Clean Your Smooth Cook-top
Clean spills as soon as possible - The
glass cook-top surface should be completely cool before cleaning, and
should be scraped free of burned on crust by using a scraping
blade. Once any burned on food is removed, use a ceramic cook
top cleaner to finish the cleaning. Shake the cleaner well,
apply a moderate amount to the surface of the cook top and rub the cleaner
with a paper towel or rag. Never use any abrasive cleaners that would
scratch your glass or ceramic cook top and avoid using scrubbing pads
that aren't specifically designed for cleaning glass cook-tops.