Both my stove, oven and grill are cheap units installed in the house by the builder 20 years ago. I guess it was whatever stock the project builder had at the time. Oh, how i wish i knew what i was doing back then. I wish i had as much confidence as i do now. Such is the beauty of middle age. We know stuff and how to get it done!
It all started with a cleaning urge. You know those urges. Usually you get them when you are pregnant but mine was brought on by observing lacy spider webs in the corners of the kitchen that had dust on them. OK that screams bad housekeeper to me on any day. I can spend all weekend in the house cleaning or i can shut my eyes and go out into the garden. I think you know from my posts which i choose. Domestic goddess i am not. By the time i had finished cleaning the kitchen including stove and the oven on Sunday, i had disabled both.
I was cleaning the stove with the steam cleaner and as i went around the rubber seal it all sort of buckled, came off and fell to pieces. Perhaps i should not have applied heat to an old rubber strip, me thinks. Add that to my DIY notebook. So after removing all the knobs and burner thingys i was presented with a view of the inner sanctum.
Who knew what was under all those screws. Yuk! Hidden mess that had leaked through the burner holes that had escaped cleaning since the last time hubby fixed the stove eons ago. By this stage Rob had joined me in the kitchen wondering "what the". Doesn't every husband walk in and find his wife pulling the appliances apart. All those projects I've been doing outside have given me a glorified sense of my own trade abilities. Since it was open he showed me why one of the burners wouldn't auto ignite and he rejoined the plug. Good thing i watched as it fell off several times and i fixed it all on my own (so there).
OK, lets move onto the oven. I'm steaming away and you guessed it, once again the rubber went (I must be thick). Note to self - do not use steamer near appliances. In truth the rubber was loose already. I've been hearing the hot air escaping from the oven for ages. The rubber seal had deteriorated and was hanging at the bottom so the door couldn't close properly. This means that it took twice as long to get the oven to temp and it used even more electricity to keep it there. Not good for my electricity bill.
By the way, while I'm disabling the cooking appliances i was soaking my oven racks in Di-San in the bath. I did a post on this miracle cleaner here.
So its decision time. Do we bite the bullet and finally get new appliances. I know a friend who tells me its long overdue. In the same time she has replaced all of hers, her oven twice. My oven door handle is burnt from the escaping hot air (read brown). The metal burners are slightly rusted, there are chips and scratches in the enamel BUT they work people, they work! Cost of new ones? Approx $1500. Cost of parts i picked up today - $42. You do the math.
I was determined that i was going to do this job myself. Talk about an exercise in frustration. You have to be a juggler to manage all the things you have to do at once. When you are fixing the rubber on one side the other side falls off and the corners keep folding in. If you stretch it while you are putting it on even slightly, as soon as you let go its buckles and comes off. Now imagine finally getting it right, lowering the white cooktop over the burners, making sure that you position the holes correctly and pulling 4 ignition switches through each hole to the outside without them falling back in. If you don't have it perfect, when you move it, guess what? Either one of the ignition thingys fall back inside or the rubber comes off. I did this about a dozen times before i got it right.
When Rob finally gets home and he tried to light all four burners. Two go on and two wont. I'm clicking like mad but nope, no go. It was then we smelt the gas and realised that i had crossed the ignition wires and i was turning the gas on one hob and igniting another. Doh! If i had kept on trying eventually the amount of gas would have built up and it would have ignited across the stove. Oh and the other two were burning at the same time.
|Slight exaggeration here for effect and some added colour to post - too much writing.|
I'm proud to say i didn't lose my cool, no profanities escaped my lips but i can tell you i was certainly frustrated. Its either my extraordinary self control or those little white pills that kept me from ripping the thing out of the bench, throwing it and marching off to the closest white goods store with a credit card.
Hubby did offer to help but i said "No, i have to do it myself. I cant tell them i did it if i didn't". What does it say about me that i look for your approval or your accolades. Shrink needed perhaps?
OK, so then its the ovens turn. I wasn't putting my hand up for that one solo. The inner cooking area has to be pulled out and that involves unscrewing it from the outer case and unhooking the temp gauge and and and. I made an attempt and then retreated to hold the torch. By the time we got to the finish line, all three of us were involved. Me holding the starting point of the rubber, Tom holding torch and Rob doing his thing. Being new, the rubbers were a tight fit. Success!!! A fly on the wall would have had a good laugh at all three of us trying to squeeze into the opening of the oven.
Its now after 10pm and I'm going out to get the milk for the morning. Perhaps i should stop trying to be superwoman and let my very capable husband do his thing and ill just do the woman's thing.
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