Jump to content
Click here to check out our structured, online appliance repair training courses for rookies and experienced techs.

FAQs | Repair Videos | Academy | Newsletter | Contact

Stay connected with us...

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for lots of appliance repair tips and help! Subscribe to our MST Radio podcast to learn secrets of the trade. Sign up for our free newsletter and keep up with all things Appliantology.

Son of Samurai's Blog

  • entries
    51
  • comments
    196
  • views
    5,474

Educating Customers About Self Clean

Son of Samurai

661 views

Self-clean sounds like a great idea, right? Just push a button and watch your oven burn away all that caked-on grease and charred food.It certainly makes for a good selling point. But is this no-hassle cleaning feature really all it's cracked up to be? And what is the best way for the customer to use it (if at all)?

First off: does it actually work? Can the oven clean itself just by getting really hot? Yes, definitely. Self-cleaning isn't just a gimmick, and when used properly, it does actually help clean the oven.

However, it needs to reach 900 degrees F in order to do this. For comparison, residential ovens can normally only go up to around 500 degrees F during normal use. That fact alone makes self-clean an extremely high-stress event for the appliance, and that high stress can cause a few problems.

Self-cleaning ovens are famous for door lock failures during self-clean. This is most often caused not by a failure of the door lock itself, but by grease. You see, when temperatures reach 900 F, any grease inside the oven cavity will start turning to vapor. Most of this gets vented out, but especially if there's a lot of it, some can get up into the door lock mechanism. Now that it's out of the superheated environment, it begins to solidify. If enough of it gums up the locking mechanism, the oven won't be able to unlock itself at the end of the cleaning cycle. Thus you have the cause of many a pre-Thanksgiving panic.

Beyond issues with vaporized grease, there are any number of components that can fail due to the heat from self clean, from the heating elements to the wiring itself. As I said before, it's a very stressful thing to do to an oven.

Knowing that, what should you advise your customers? Should you tell them to never use self-clean?

The rule of thumb is that customers should either never use self clean or use it frequently -- as in once every couple of months. Customers are most likely to have problems when they only run self-clean, say, once a year when the relatives come over. The more time there's been since the last self clean for grease and gookus to build up, the more stressful the cycle will be, and the more likely it is that something will go awry.

Want to learn more about cooking appliances, the technology behind them, and how to troubleshoot them like a master? Click here to check out our course on cooking appliances at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.

  • Like 10


9 Comments


Recommended Comments

It sounds like you have some really shitty designed products over there 

only real issues I have seen here with pyro oven failures have been due to poor design problems which have been rectified with later versions of lower temps for longer due to high temp limiters going out 

haven’t had issues with locks during self clean. 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

I tell customers that the thing that gets me called out on ovens the most is self clean.

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
vallen513

Posted

You are correct. I tell customers that it is like driving your car with the gas pedal as far down as it goes. 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Wx4usa

Posted

A lot of boards are under engineered. Many of the issues I’ve had are bad relays that were really under spec’d for the consistent and prolonged current draw in self clean mode. 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

It's not just the relays. Most ovens have been engineered into a corner where the oven cavity capacity has to be maximized for marketing and yet safety standards re: maximum surface temperatures also have to be met. Larger cavity for a given cutout size = less room available for insulation. Combine that with stuff getting "de-gaged" due to cost considerations and it's only a matter of time before the electronics controlling our ovens get toasted during a self-clean cycle. 

That said, there are downsides to other cleaning methods as well. It's not like coating the insides of a cavity with oven cleaner, washing it down, etc. is without risk to the oven either. Ideally, one limits the amount of grease getting deposited inside the oven in the first place, wiping it down when it is still fresh, and so on. 

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
bna12122

Posted

I tell customers if you are going to clean your oven engage self clean several times a year.  Why pay for a feature and never use it?  If they don't clean it at least twice a year latch assemblies can and will fail.  The most important thing I tell any customer with a self cleaning oven is never, ever engage self clean days before a major holiday.  If something goes wrong there is no guarantee they'll be able to get a servicer out in time.  Thanks for the topic, as always spot on

  • Like 3

Share this comment


Link to comment
7 hours ago, bna12122 said:

I tell customers if you are going to clean your oven engage self clean several times a year.  Why pay for a feature and never use it?  If they don't clean it at least twice a year latch assemblies can and will fail.  The most important thing I tell any customer with a self cleaning oven is never, ever engage self clean days before a major holiday.  If something goes wrong there is no guarantee they'll be able to get a servicer out in time.  Thanks for the topic, as always spot on

Pyro clean is pretty common now on most ovens above the base cheap ovens

my advice learnt from here is never clean prior to an event you have planned as there is a guarentee that it won’t be fixed before that event 

Share this comment


Link to comment
LearningTech

Posted

I think this stands good for older units, but newer ones with the push for tighter tolerances. I am seeing FAR to many new untis 5 years or less some less than a year fail in self clean, even with little to no grease. Its the boards and the TCO. 

I tell the customers it does work but ANY time you use it you risk breaking the oven.

Should they choose to use it:

definitely dont use before an event

if you can, choose the time, pick 2-3 hrs NOT 4-5 hrs as some ovens let you do. 

Turn the Hood on above it and scoot it a few inches from the wall to help it stay cool on the outside. 

Your generally ok if you do the above. But its not 100%

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

so what would be the recommendation to clean it then? I usually tell customers to not even use the self clean because of the issues stated above and also the they complain about the smell which is normal because of how hot it gets. I'm just curious what is a good second option to clean the oven . 

Share this comment


Link to comment
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.