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Bob

Kenmore gas range 74143 with terrible odor

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Bob

We have a new Kenmore gas range model 74143.  Per the owner's manual, to get rid of odor, we ran the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes per the manual.  There was mild odor overall.

A couple days later, my wife made cookies and the oven reeked.  It is a strange chemical odor, like a combination of  burning plastic and manufacturing oil.  No smoke.

The odor is awful.  It makes my throat sore and gives us headaches.

I triple checked for un-removed packaging and assured the flames are a pretty blue.  The odor is definitely not incomplete combustion.  The odor comes from the vent below the control panel.  The oven and stove have no odor.

I tried running the stove at 450, but the odor was so bad I stopped the run after 40 minutes.  Of course I had the windows open with fans, etc.

I found info online where others had the same issue with various brands, but there were no clear fixes.

It was suggested that the insulation was off gassing, and a cleaning cycle may rapidly burn it off.

I ran a 2 hour cleaning cycle yesterday and had to leave the house, despite having all the windows open and fans running (in 32 degree temps).  Much of the odor has dissipated, but it is still present this morning.

A sears repair tech will visit Thursday.

I'm furious about this.  There is no way this is just normal off gassing.  If so, the manufacturer should be jailed.  If the tech is unable to immediately resolve the issue, i will insist that they replace the stove.  

Any ideas?

 

Many thanks,

Bob

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16345Ed

That’s not a proper model number. 

Found this note, worth checking. 

Note: Another potential reason for a new oven to generate an odor is because of plastic twist ties left on the split-rack inside the oven on some models. These ties are on the rack to prevent the rack from sliding around, separating, and possibly being damaged while in transport, and should be removed before the oven is used.

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Bob

Thanks for the reply.  There are no ties or packaging present.  I also confirmed there was nothing below the oven cavity when i pulled the oven floor to check the flame.

 

Bob

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16345Ed

If I had a good model number I could check to see what if there are any bulletins. 

Usually located on oven frame when you pull out bottom drawer. 

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Budget Appliance Repair

It would be this Stainless Steel Frigidaire built range: 790.74143710

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Bob

Thanks, yes that is the model.

 

I found a youtube video (”frigidaire gas range fire hazard," I think) regarding a 2015 model with the same issue.  The insulation was scorching severely.  The range is nearly identical to mine.

I just pulled the top of my range, and can see where the insulation is darkened at the center vent area.  It isn't scorched to the extent of the video.  But It is gray where it touches metal, and brown at the ends where it is cut to fit around the vent.  I thought the odor was coming from the vent, but apparently not.  I would still like to get a look inside the vent.

Maybe this is a tempering process and it will resolve after the odor from the burn dissipates (which is taking a very long time: the burn was stopped 14 hours ago!).  I'm not confident.

I'm considering something like carbon or ceramic felt to augment that area of insulation, if it is rated for continuous high temps.  I have some that handles 1800f, but not sure about continuous exposure.  

I cannot believe a manufacturer would put out this crap.

 

Bob

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Lighthouse
9 hours ago, Bob said:

I cannot believe a manufacturer would put out this crap

We are not surprised 

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Bob

LOL!  That made me laugh, thanks.

Seriously, the stove still reeks, just sitting there, cold.  I can barely stand to be within 3 feet of it, though ot hasn't been used in 26 hours. 

I must have unleashed a stinky stove demon.

 

Bob

 

 

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Budget Appliance Repair

Did you get the range brand new and remove it from the box yourself?

If not, maybe it was in storage and mice have got into the insulation and made there nest in there.

When mice get into a range and poop/piss in the insulation it can make a really horrible smell when it heats up - cause eyes to water and can't stay in the room.   It will also stink very badly even when off.

  • Like 1

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Lighthouse
5 minutes ago, Budget Appliance Repair said:

When mice get into a range and poop/piss in the insulation it can make a really horrible smell when it heats up - cause eyes to water and can't stay in the room. 

Had a customer that had a huge pile of Rat, not mouse, crap on top of oven burner. They were still cooking in the oven even though it smelled awful.

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KaveMan

BTW, have you recently polyurethaned any floors, varnished or painted anything? I've had instances where a gas range will drawn in those odors and burn them off...it's nasty!

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john63
3 minutes ago, KaveMan said:

BTW, have you recently polyurethaned any floors, varnished or painted anything? I've had instances where a gas range will drawn in those odors and burn them off...it's nasty!

Polyurethane also causes complaints of...

"The clothing in my dryer (in the basement) is making the laundry smell awful".

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16345Ed
27 minutes ago, KaveMan said:

BTW, have you recently polyurethaned any floors, varnished or painted anything? I've had instances where a gas range will drawn in those odors and burn them off...it's nasty!

Yep, good thought. 

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howdryiam

For what it’s worth... a couple of years ago i had a brand new Whirlpool gas range with a really similar issue. The owner had gone through the tempering process and felt like something toxic was happening and called for service. I got the oven up to temp and found the panel in the bottom of the oven was smoking like crazy. I eliminated the possibility of cross-contamination or insulation burning etc. I checked in with tech line and they didn’t have any ideas. The finish on the enamel coat finish on the bottom panel didn’t look right to me. I replaced it and all was well. 

 

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Bob

The box was removed in the delivery truck, and I don't see any evicence of rodents.

 

Yeah, I've been victim of wood stain induced odors!  Not this time.

 

I'm 99% sure it is the insulation.  

Ive spoken with a manufacturer pf high temp fiber materials (ceramic fiber and carbon felt  blankets).  He stated the insulation  is likeky fiberglass with orgabnic binders and this is burning off.   He also said it should resolve with oven use.  The guy was very helpful

Their product uses no binders and will have no odor.  They sell ceramic blanket by the roll, cost with shipping about $100, and would be enough to insulate the entire range.

My wife used the oven yesterday to broil some steaks.  There was some odor, but it wasn't as bad.  But, it was only a short run.

 

The repaiman will check it out tomorrow, and I will show him pics of the discolored insulation. If he does not give a definitive diagnosis, prognosis, and repair plan, I will insist upon replacement or refund.  If I'm given the run-around, then I will replace the insulation with ceramic fiber.

 

MANY thanks to all that have helped!

 

Bob

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evaappliance

I hope they don’t void your warranty !  I would not show any pictures, or make any mention of taking it apart. Just let the guy check it and if he finds nothing or has no plan get it swapped out or a refund. Companies look for any reason to get out of honoring the warranty, even if you know what you are doing and did no harm .

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Bob

Good call, I didn't think of that.

 

Bob

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evaappliance
Posted (edited)

I would turn it on when the service man is on his way to have the Odor in the House when he arrives. 

Edited by evaappliance
  • Like 1

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Bob

The repair guy found two styrofoam inserts way back in the drawer cavity.  He had to put his head way under the oven to retrieve them.

I actually saw them when checking for packing material, but they were all the way to the rear, symmetrical, and appeared solid.  I thought they were part of the oven.  I'm a bit embarassed that I didn't catch it.

Interestingly, they were super hard, unlike normal styrofoam.  I wonder if we baked them into a semi-solid mass.

When he tested the oven, the odor was pretty much gone.

 

The odor seemed to be from the vent.  I thought vapors from the insulation were seeping up through the joint under the vent, and the vent was blowing the odor across the stove.

Apparently, the styrofoam was releasing gasses which were being sucked into the intake airstream and blowing out of the vent.  Curiosly, the oven itself never had the odor, and this is part of the reason that I never suspected something under the stove.

I must say, the insulation did look pretty strange.

Maybe there were two problems....

 

Bob

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Lighthouse

Well glad you got it solved. No need to be embarrassed. If we were perfect we wouldn't be here drawing wisdom from others.

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john63

Yes...good to know about the cause.

Thanks for the update.

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16345Ed
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Bob said:

I must say, the insulation did look pretty strange.

Thank for letting us know outcome. 

I think your insulation is fine. 

Edited by 16345Ed
  • Like 1

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AccApp

Slow-roasted artisan styrofoam blocks! Sounds preeeeeeeettttttttyy toxic.

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