Tuesday, 25 November 2014

I fixed the Stove!

Shout it from the rooftops.  Lynda fixed the stove.  Yeah Me!  Step aside husband, I'm a woman with a screwdriver.  I'm no longer Robin, I'm Batman!

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.

So, I'm thinking of the meals in the freezer already prepared which only require a microwave (nope, didn't break that) or perhaps a roast chook from the deli with a salad.  The boys were thinking "Take Away".

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.  
Back to the drawing board and I pulled it all apart again, fixed it and you guessed it, the rubber fell off, again and again and the ignition doobies fell inside just when i had it perfect, several times.

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.

Definitely Entertainment
What a monologue.  Are you still with me?  All is well and they are both now fully functional.  I may have a few more grey hairs but i fixed what i broke.

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.

Thank for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz


  1. Good on you, Lynda! You are very brave though...working with gas like that! Thankfully you are still around to tell the tale. Of course, the men congratulated you for being so talented :-)

  2. Oh well done you! That is a pretty daunting series of tasks I would have thought. My patience would not have allowed me to do that. ;)

  3. I am so impressed! I would never attempt that and would have simply lighted a fire in the wood cookstove, LOL. Very empowering, isn't it? To know we don't have to be dependent on a repairperson who wants 3x one's own hourly salary to fix things.

  4. Well done, I hate cleaning cookers, but do find that a quick wipe over on the hob when I'm doing the washing up and a once a month removal of the flame spreaders, ( those black things that the flame comes out from under) I use an old toothbrush under them, that keeps the top clean (ish!) The oven is a different matter , once cleaned I set out with good intentions of keeping it that way, I wipe round with a paste made of bicarb, the idea being that you then just wipe it after you have cooked in it, it does work, but to do it every time you use the oven! I remember to do it a couple of times, then it gets forgotten until the next time that I need dynamite and I cant see through the glass door. Life's too short, (if visitors have nothing better to do than inspect my oven, tough)
    If however I found things falling off or not sealing I would just hand it over to the other half, I don't have any affinity with thingies and whatsits that don't go where I want them.Once again, well done, you're braver than me.

  5. ha ha ha i loved so hard at this, great post very amusing! well done on fixing the cooking appliances! mine are all beyond fixing, being nearly 50yrs old; one of my gas top have seized & broken, so am now only using 3, friend came round & WD40d the rest of them :)) my oven needs a new thermometer it's only about 6yrs old. again well done! must feel good
    have a great week!

    1. ooops, typo, that should be laughed not loved lol

    2. and you think i'm funny? Happy to be loved by all. Thanks for your comment.

  6. so many things i fix myself - or home improvements that i've done myself - it's such a great feeling!

    i am extremely happy that you didn't blow up the house or yourself... lol


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