Oven repair: don’t spend money on it unless you need to (and the dangers of the oven’s self-cleaning function)

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Are you using your oven’s self-cleaning function? You may be sending in your oven in for a repair. Keep reading, unless you want to spend a hefty sum on oven repair!

In today’s modern day, manufacturers release a various set of options and cycles that are meant to make life easier in maintaining your appliance.  While most are very beneficial and cut down the effort required for maintenance, others can cause significant issues to the life span, usability, and general performance of the appliance.

One such option that is created for ovens/ranges is called the “self-clean” option. “Self-clean” is a cycle which involves the oven using temperatures over 1000 degrees Celcius in order to burn off the food residue, leaving a thin layer of ash at the bottom of the oven that can be wiped easily once the cycle is complete and the oven/range has cooled off. It is quite an increase over the usual 350-500 Celcius range that is used regularly for baking.

Most manufacturers state that the requirement of the “self-clean” cycle was created by consumer demand resulting in the urge to find a better way to clean the inside of the oven/range without putting the required “elbow grease” to clean it manually.

Consumer reports indicate that while the “self-clean” cycle is very easy to use and is very time efficient, most users start experiencing issues with the performance of the appliance, with some even indicating faults and breakdowns, requiring for repairs. Most ovens and ranges are installed within a cupboard space that restricts the potential of air flow to the rear of the appliance.

The accommodating design of the venting system involves air being evacuated around the door of the oven, which is dangerously close to the location of the main control boards, and all other associated electrical components in the control panel. With such high temperatures inside the oven chamber, it creates the potential to melt, damage, or short the plastics and associated relays and resistors of the body of the main control boards, and control switches. Temperature limiters and sensors tend to get damaged and cut off power completely to the oven/range, rendering the appliance completely useless until the aforementioned sensors are replaced.

The door lock mechanism is also located inside the venting chamber, with numerous reports indicating that ovens would not open after the cycle is complete, with the door lock motor damaged and unresponsive. One issue that occurs only to ranges, in particular, is the potential to damage the cooktop elements and wire harnesses that connect them, resulting in the inability to effectively cook on the surface.

Lastly, interior components such as the temperature probe, bake and broil elements, and convection fans can also be affected. Damage to any one of those components can result in incorrect temperature readings, improper distribution of heat, and potential heating issues with the oven not reaching required temperatures, or not heating at all.

With most manufacturers refusing to correct the design of this feature, it will continue being one of the most damaging attributes to stoves and ovens. As a consumer, always make sure to read the instruction manual in regards to this feature, and inquire further with the manufacturer.

Research regarding proper use, as well as reviews and ratings of all available ovens/ranges on the market, should also be deemed mandatory before making a decision to purchase.

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