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by Dave's Repair Service, (c)2008 All Rights Reserved
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In this issue:
Quick-Tips, Part 3: Your New Range
2) It's Refrigerator Maintenance Time Again!
3) The Glossary of Appliance Terms
1) Last time, we ran through some quick do's and don'ts when
installing your new refrigerator. This issue, I'd like to briefly
touch on some of the same type details you'll want to pay attention
to when installing a new range.
We'll talk primarily
about electric ranges in this article. Gas range installation is limited
to trained and licensed installers in many parts of the US, and if you
do it yourself and mess up the pipe fitting, it can really ruin your
Converting a range
or oven from natural gas to LP is a pretty straightforward DIY
procedure, though, and I've written about that before. You'll find that
One gas stove
installation detail I will mention involves GFI ('ground fault
interruption') receptacles. I might've mentioned this in a previous
issue, but it's been a long time (at least 10 minutes ago - the limit of
my memory!) If plugged into one, most modern gas range electronic
surface (spark) ignition systems can trip a GFI receptacle or breaker
regularly, so stay away from that if possible.
The worst 'horror
story' I heard on this one was when an installing company returned a
huge batch of new gas ranges installed in an apartment building,
assuming they were all defective. Guess what? All of the next batch of
replacements tripped the GFI's, too! Now that's downright embarrassing -
but one of those 'life lessons' you never forget!
Anyway, just be
aware of that. As we've discussed before, there's a place for GFI's
(dishwashers, for instance) and they've saved a lot of lives. But there
are also applications where they should be avoided (like plugging your
food freezer into one, for instance).
range installation is pretty simple, with proper leveling and anti-tip
the two main details I'd like to discuss.
First, I always
start by using my short 'torpedo' level on one of the oven racks, using
it to check both front to back and side to side. Level oven racks are
more important than perfectly level surface burners (a 'leaning' cake
tastes OK, but just doesn't look that good).
Make sure the range
doesn't 'rock', with all 4 feet solid to the floor, and then move up and
double-check the burners. They should be close, although I have replaced
a few cooktops that were warped enough from the factory to be really
noticeable when doing the morning eggs!
Ranges equipped with
bottom storage drawers are normally a lot easier to level with that
drawer pulled out and set aside, making it easy to reach the adjustable
feet. Some range brands have feet with holes on top of them to insert a
3/8'' square socket to turn them, and you'll love those. A cool idea.
devices have been on the scene, and their installation legally required,
for quite a while now, and with today's lighter weight range frames (I'm
trying to be kind), they're a must!
There are several
types packed with new ranges, and I used to recommend they be installed
only if there were small children in the house, and we just had most
homeowners sign off on them after explaining what they were for.
(Our 30 year old
electric Amana 'tank' is so heavy, the door hinges would probably break
off before it'd ever tip forward, but that's a thing of the past)
These days, some
type of anti-tip device just has to be in place. They can be a bit of a
nuisance to install if you've never done it before, and it'll add a few
extra minutes to the job. But with today's lighter appliances, it takes
very little weight on an open oven door to tip a range forward and dump
anything boiling on a surface burner onto whoever happens to be in front
of it! Ouch! That's just not worth saving 10 minutes on installation.
I'm trying to keep
this short, but one other detail on countertop openings like ours that
are a bit generous with their 30 inch width, is two finely smoothed
beads of caulk.
I've tried different
style seals made to close the gap on each side of ranges over the years,
but always come back to silicone caulk. Sealing those gaps keeps an
amazing amount of debris from finding its way between cabinet and range,
and when a range does need to be pulled out (only twice in 30 years in
our case!), just cutting the caulk with a sharp knife or razor blade's a
piece of cake.
2) I don't know how it rolled around so fast, but here it is July
again, when I always remind (nag!) you (and myself) to clean your
refrigerator's condenser coil and lube its door seals.
As you know, these two little jobs will make your refrig breathe
easier and save you a bunch of money in the long haul, so they're
definitely worth doing annually.
And seal lube is especially important these days when seals are no
longer held on with screws, making them really tough to replace.
This little trick prevents your ever having to replace them, if
done correctly - and annually (our refrig is 30 years old and its
seals still look new, even though its 'Harvest Gold' color's really
getting hard to live with <grin>).
So this is your 'official' annual reminder (we all need something more to
add to our 'to do' list , right?!)
to clean your refrigerator's condenser
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3) I'm nearly done with this new project, and would love your opinion.
The text portions are finished, even though it's a work in
I call it a 'glossary of appliance terms', and have nearly all of the
illustrations added. And it'll be available as one downloadable
when I get it 'tweaked'. That's where you come in:
Please let me know what you think when you get a chance. Any ideas
you have for improvements, changes, more ease of use, terms you'd
like to see added, etc, are welcome. Here's what I have so far:
There's been a lot of demand for something like this; sort of an
abridged 'encyclopedia' of terms used in appliance service every
day. I tend to assume that everyone knows what I'm talking
about, but it can get confusing. This project is an attempt to list
common (and not so common) words and phrases used in the
Thanks again for inviting me into your inbox.
I don't take the invitation
As always, if you have any topics you'd like to see discussed here
or covered in an online article, let me know and I'll do my best to
oblige. And don't forget those testimonials! Many thanks to those
of you who've already sent yours in!
May God richly bless you and yours,
and may He continue to have
mercy on America!
Dave's Repair Service
New Albany, PA
"God who gave us life gave us liberty.
Can the liberties of a nation be secure
when we have removed a conviction that
these liberties are the gift of God?
Indeed I tremble for my country when I
reflect that God is just, that His
justice cannot sleep forever."
- Thomas Jefferson
(Plate 3 on the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC
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