• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 148 other followers

  • “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers” — Isaac Asimov

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 171,938 hits

AuburnChick Repairs the Oven

No, I’m not breaking things on purpose just to give me a reason to pull out my tools.  I promise.

Several days ago, while warming up the oven, I noticed a glow inside.  Upon opening the door, I saw that part of the heating element had gotten bright red and looked like it was burning.

I quickly turned off the oven, afraid that it was going to explode.

It’s electric, though.  I don’t think it could explode like a gas oven.

I had a batch of muffin mix all ready to be baked up, and I was determined to cook them, so I hesitantly turned the oven back on and watched it carefully.  This time, it heated properly without incident.  I figured the red I had seen was a splash of drippings from a previous cooking session.

My muffins baked up fine, and all was well…or so I thought.

The next night I baked another batch of muffins.  Later, I decided to wipe out the oven…making an interesting discovery in the process.  The heating element at the bottom was broken…in the spot where the “incident” had occurred the night before:

Oh boy.  This was just what I needed…a hefty repair bill.

I pulled out my oven manual but couldn’t find a list of parts.  I think I remember throwing it out when we moved into the house…never figuring I’d actually have to order a new piece.

So, I got on the internet and tried to find the part.  However, this was easier said than done.  I had no idea of the “official” name for the part.

Fortunately, it’s a Sears product, so I called the 800 number on the manual.

The representative was helpful, although she did give me some misinformation at the beginning of our conversation.  She tried to tell me it was the broiling element.  I scratched my head in confusion.

I realize that I’m not exactly an expert in kitchen know-how; however, I was always under the assumption that when you broiled something, you were cooking from the top of the oven.

Had I been wrong all those years?  Maybe that’s why my cooking stinks.

I asked her several times if she was sure, and she told me to hold while she pulled up a schematic of my oven.

When she returned, she had news for me.  Sure enough…it was the baking element, not the broiling element, that had broken.

Ok, so I can’t blame my mom for incorrectly teaching me about cooking.  My skills are lacking just because I’m me.  No problem.

I was given a delivery date of June 30th.

Wow.  It would be a while before I could bake muffins again.  Bummer.

To my surprise, my part arrived yesterday (the 26th), a mere three days after I ordered it!  Two thumbs up for Sears’ customer service!

This was where the fun began.  But first, I turned off the breaker at the circuit box.  Safety first!

I quickly figured out that I would need to remove the oven door.  Trying to squat, remove screws, and change out parts just wasn’t going to happen.  Thankfully, my owner’s manual had pictures to explain the process…

Using a screwdriver, pull down the hinge

Using a screwdriver, pull down the hinge

After repeating the process on the other side, I was able to lift the door off (it was heavy, so if you do this, be careful!).  That’s when I noticed how dirty my oven was…

The cleaning would have to wait until I got the broken element out.  First were the screws which were a little difficult to remove.  Having done that, I thought I was in the clear, but as you know, this is AuburnChick, and things are never easy for me.

As I pulled out the element, I realized that part of it was still connected.  Closer inspection revealed this:

Oh man.  Thankfully, I have an electric oven, but still.  I studied this thing…turned the element upside down to try to figure out how to undo the clamps.  I had no clue.

And then, a stroke of genius…

I grabbed a screwdriver that has a pointy end (it actually looks a bit like one of my knitting needles), inserted the tip into a hole I saw on the clamp thing, and, pulled the other end out.  It slid right off!  No unclamping necessary!  I did the same for the other connection.

With that done, I was free to clean the oven.  When the kids were at camp, I had attempted to clean it.  This time, I did it properly.  It’s a lot easier to do with the door off and everything out of there!

While my head was inside the oven, I noticed the light fixture was n-a-s-t-y, so I removed it for cleaning…

People, it’s nearly impossible to scrub six years’ worth of grease from an object.  I did the best I could, going through two SOS pads in the process.  It’s not perfect, but it will do…

Now I was ready install the new element.  The ends slid right on, and I screwed it to the back of the oven.  Look how shiny it is!

It was time to put the door back on, turn on the circuit, and test it out.

It worked!  Can you see how the heating element is pink?  Success!

Total spent:  $60.  Time allotted:  1 hour, 15 minutes.

Confidence:  1,000+

6 Responses

  1. Is there nothing you CANT do????

    I was intimidated just looking at the pictures!!!!!

    it looks like you have a brand new oven now!!!! I’m telling you – you need to start a handy-woman service FOR women… where other women are sure a man is going to take advantage of them – you could do it for women – or TEACH women … I’m telling you – its a talent you can tap into!

  2. You are so sweet! I think that my talent evolved because I don’t believe in waiting for someone else to do something. It drives me nuts! Thank goodness for the internet!

  3. Wow, now I am really impressed!

    I would never have attempted this repair. Kudos to you for setting a goal and exceeding it.

    I agree that you need to start a handy-woman service.

  4. Nice job! That reminds me, though…I need to clean my oven… 🙂

  5. Nice job! That reminds me, though…I need to clean my oven… 🙂
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  6. Hey Chick,

    Very impressive indeed. I have a Master Bath in need of some work…do you tile and sheetrock? 🙂

Thank you for visiting today and taking the time to leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: