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  1. we have a very old Hardwick gas stove, with no electrical connection. We’ve been here almost 40 years and the previous owner 68 years before that. the oven has been working fine for decades, just stopped reliably coming on and staying on in the last few months. — Hardwick PF3616-W-81R. Hardwick was bought by Maytag, then Whirpool, the model # doesn’t find a match on either company’s repair and parts site, nor any website so far. We fear the stove is just too old to get parts, and hope it just needs cleaning but don't know how. our stove has no electrical connection. We’ve been here almost 40 years and the previous owner 68 years before that. . The pilot light is blue, gets larger and goes down when the temp. is turned up and apparently engulfs the sensing bulb. Nothing appears to be out of alignment. We hear the gas comes on, and if we repeatedly slam the door, moving air and jarring the oven a little, eventually the gas lights along the central gas flame tube, but also eventually goes out again, assumedly because the thermostat has turned off the gas. We can also light it with a match from the front, when we hear the gas going, but again, it will eventually go off. Any ideas? It seems like the pilot light is just not reaching the gas emerging from the flame tube.
  2. It was a cold December day when the call came in. Just a few days before Christmas. Gas oven no bake and loads of family coming to visit from out of town. The customer was desperate, hoping for a Christmas miracle. Things were looking grim when it turned out NOT to be the igniter, but the control board. Not only was the board not available for several weeks, but it didn't even make sense to spend that kind of money on this older, POS range. And yet, there was no time to get a replacement range installed before the Christmas festivities. But all was not lost. Come watch the illuminating and heart-warming repair saga of how the Samurai saved Christmas for a family by repairing the control board in their gas range. If you've been reading this blog or following my Youtube channel for a while, you know my opinion on doing field repairs on electronic boards: it's a repair you do in a pinch to get the customer going but it can never be a routine part of an appliance repair company's long-term profit with growth potential. The reasons have to do with two things: time and money. I'm not going to start shopping around for and stocking relays, triacs, capacitors, etc., to repair a control board in a customer's appliance. Why? Because the profit margin is too slim on these repairs to make it worth my time. There are only two board field repairs that I will do, and only under specific circumstances: 1. Fuses: if a fuse that’s hardwired onto a board has blown, with no other damage evident, I’ll replace it. It’s easy to do and for about 5 bucks you can have an assortment of fuses on hand - no specialty components to get. 2. Burnt solder joints: this just requires a simple soldering kit. I’ll do this to temporarily buy the customer some time until the replacement board arrives or they are able to replace the whole appliance. I don’t guarantee this repair, so I make sure my customer knows it’s considered a temporary fix. I learned to solder when I was a teenager, playing around with electronics kits, so I’m surprised when I see techs who seem to think repairing control boards is "sexy." Yet many of these same techs cannot use a timing chart and schematic to troubleshoot an old skool Whirlpool direct drive washer. First things first! Working on boards isn't difficult--anyone can learn to solder. There may be an obvious, visible fault on the board (as I show in the video above), but you aren't going to be able to know if the event that led to the fault you can see caused other damage that you can't unless you really understand circuit boards and how to test them. There's a reason that companies that repair circuit boards charge what they do. And their business model only works because of volume - they have guys sitting at benches cranking out repaired boards all day long. When you install a new OEM board, you can guarantee that job. When you do a board repair, you really can't, unless you've tested all the other components on that board. And if you're spending all that time doing that, then you're going to have to charge more to cover the time and capital costs for the required equipment, all of which erodes the supposed savings you're trying to pass along to the customer. Some techs are attracted to doing control board repairs because they see it as additional income to their meager bottom line. The reality is that doing a low-margin repair like this is a drag on your bottom line. You can’t charge much more than your service call fee, and maybe a bit of labor. There’s little to no parts to markup. Calls like this have to be rare to remain profitable. And then there’s the “opportunity cost” of doing board repairs. We have a limited amount of time each day that we need to wisely parcel out. The better we are at this, the more money we make. Consider the time you spend repairing a board— even buying new components if you go that far with it— is time that could otherwise have been spent repairing a Wolf or other high-end range. But that slice of time is gone. Forever. And you sold it cheap. Way to go. The video above shows one of the few exceptions when I’ll do a control board repair: four days before Christmas, customer without an oven and no time to buy the board. Also, on this low-end POS range, I actually recommended that the customer NOT spend the money for a new control board and instead put the money toward a whole new range. So, it’s the classic “in a pinch” situation that I could easily overcome with a dab of solder. After troubleshooting the problem to a burnt solder joint at the bake relay on the control board, I told the customer we would repair the board at no additional charge beyond the normal service call fee. I also explained that this means the repair carries no warranty-- could last a week, could last a year, only the Lord knows! We got the oven working again, customer was delighted, and Christmas was saved by Samurai Santa!
  3. In the last webinar, we put on our Master Samurai Tech hats and did a cleanup service call on a gas oven after a parts changing monkey (PCM) had already been out and failed to diagnose and repair the problem. We looked at what the PCM did on the service call as well as he did not do but should have done. We did a quick review of how hot surface ignition (HSI) systems work and how variations in supply voltage can affect the operation of these systems. Then we got inside the head of a Master Samurai Tech and analyzed the problem like a professional technician would: by applying a detailed, technical understanding of the system being troubleshot and understanding how to use specifications to interpret electrical measurements and anticipate ignition system response. Professional Appliantologist members here at Appliantology can access and watch this webinar recording along with all the past webinar recordings on the Webinar Recordings Index Page.
  4. until
    Who: - Professional Appliantologists, Senior Appliantology Fellows, and Legacy Tech members at Appliantology - Master Samurai Tech Academy students enrolled in any technical course - Mr. Appliance® Academy students enrolled in Bundle 1 What: Gas Oven Service Call after a Parts Changing Monkey. We're called in on a gas oven problem after a PCM has already failed to identify and fix the problem. This Office Hours is based on a true story! When: Monday, May 8, 2017, at 7PM Eastern Time (adjust your time zone accordingly) Where: All of our web meetings are powered by Join.me. For the connection details, see below. - Professional Appliantologists, Senior Appliantology Fellows, and Legacy Techs- See this topic in the Bidness Skool forum - Master Samurai Tech Academy Students: RSVP here. - Mr. Appliance® Academy Bundle 1 Students: RSVP here. How: Here are a couple tips to ensure that the webinars are a smooth, cool experience for you: 1. Arrive early to make sure your connection is working! Also, if you show up late for the webinar, you'll be lost. 2. Watch this ultra-short video on how to use your Join.me control console while you're in the web meeting because you're gonna wanna do cool stuff like: - correctly connect your audio (without producing the dreaded echo!) so you and everyone else can hear what the Samurai is explaining - mute and unmute yourself so we can keep the microphones open and we can all talk
  5. My wife has a concern about our approx. 10 yo Kenmore Elite gas oven, model# 790.79013100 I know her observations are subjective, but trust me she KNOWS this oven. She's like a cross between Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart, uses this appliance daily, bakes frequently, and routinely turns out magnificent meals, treats, cakes, baked goods etc. with it. She says it's been taking longer to preheat. I observed this myself on a day that also happened to be the first time this year we put on the central AC in the house (which i also suspect needs so PM). That was a concern but didn't reach panic mode until she got a whiff of gas, or possibly wiring insulation. My first thought was the igniter is bad or headed there fast. A little informal testing had ignition almost exactly 60 seconds after the oven temp is set. Then Betty Stewart freaked out and accused me of trying to asphyxiate the family. What's my next (non-lethal) step here?
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