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ludi
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New electric range options?

Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:51 pm

This morning, I get a call from my wife (which is unusual, typically we text) and expect to hear something dire. Well, nearly -- she was preheating the oven for a craft project and was lifted out of her chair by a sharp report registering halfway between bubblewrap and a rifle shot. The oven went dark and left behind a faint odor of magic smoke. I came home and found the elements passed visual and electrical inspections, but after popping the control board I found this:

Image
Image
Image

Diagnosis: gradual thermo-mechanical stress failure of the trace and solder connection, leading to an arc explosion. These boards are spaced about 15mm apart and the explosion on the top board vaporized soldermask and traces on the lower board down to nearly the bare fiberglass. The panel breaker tripped, but a couple years back a friend's parents nearly had a small kitchen fire on their hands after an identical failure on this same Kenmore model. The control can be replaced for $130, but why re-arm a bomb? That trace is handling nearly 15A at 250 VAC and the relay should have been provided with top-mount spade contacts.

So, this is a good excuse to upgrade to a convection oven. This Maytag special at Home Depot looks fantastic other than the AquaLift self-cleaning cycle, which is rated poorly by Consumer Reports. Another option is this Whirlpool at Lowe's. I'm leery of anythign Samsung but otherwise open to other options, but would like to stay under $800 (pre-tax) and have the following:

* Standard 30" width
* Convection fan
* 5.8 cu ft or greater oven capacity
* 5-element glasstop (including the warming position)

Anyone have recommendations or suggestions, preferably with recent experience or Consumer Reports data?
Last edited by ludi on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New electric range options?

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:02 pm

No gas connection, I assume? Gas ranges are FAR superior to electric.
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ludi
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Re: New electric range options?

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:05 pm

just brew it! wrote:
No gas connection, I assume? Gas ranges are FAR superior to electric.

I could route gas to that location and wouldn't mind a hybrid type (i.e. electric oven, gas top) but we don't have the option of venting the hood outdoors.
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toki
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Re: New electric range options?

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:10 pm

I just recently had a mishap with an oven and have been thinking how newer models just are nowhere near as good as older model anything really. An older 70s style oven that used to be here might look a little tacky but would still be doing it's job like a champ. I am hoping it is only the heating element with this one. It made zinging sound then when I opened the over the element was having a small fire then I turned the oven off. So with that I am hoping it is only the element. I really don't want to have to open the insides of the oven to inspect wiring and or boards.
 
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Re: New electric range options?

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:19 pm

toki wrote:
I just recently had a mishap with an oven and have been thinking how newer models just are nowhere near as good as older model anything really. An older 70s style oven that used to be here might look a little tacky but would still be doing it's job like a champ. I am hoping it is only the heating element with this one. It made zinging sound then when I opened the over the element was having a small fire then I turned the oven off. So with that I am hoping it is only the element. I really don't want to have to open the insides of the oven to inspect wiring and or boards.

Elements fail eventually, although depending how it's mounted you may have to pull the rear cover. It's pretty easy on most models, just screws (possibly with square-head or torx drive).

This here is a bit more serious, this is two models I know of that have failed at that same relay connection which screams "design defect." No CPSC recall, unfortunately. So now we've got to find a suitable replacement.
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Re: New electric range options?

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:29 pm

ludi wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
No gas connection, I assume? Gas ranges are FAR superior to electric.

I could route gas to that location and wouldn't mind a hybrid type (i.e. electric oven, gas top) but we don't have the option of venting the hood outdoors.

Outdoor venting isn't strictly necessary for residential type gas stoves/ovens. If you're worried about potential CO accumulation, you can get a CO detector. I've lived in apartments/houses with gas ranges for most of my life, and none of them were ever vented outdoors.
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Re: New electric range options?

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:55 pm

The Sweethome has some decent recommendations.

http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-el ... as-ranges/
 
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:04 am

continuum wrote:
The Sweethome has some decent recommendations.

http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-el ... as-ranges/

Thanks. But I'm suspicious that Sweethome's top recommendation is a Samsung, on the basis of price and features only. In the past ten years Samsung has variously been unable to build reliable refrigerators, TVs, washing machines, and tablet phones, and two of those four products failed catastrophically. Not quite ready to trust them with a heating appliance.
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:33 am

My local Lowe's has thirty one 30" models starting at $399 retail. See your Lowe's and Home Depot too. Can't hurt to look in person at local sales.
My boy always asks about their sale items first and often gets a great surprise ! H

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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:31 am

ludi wrote:
I could route gas to that location and wouldn't mind a hybrid type (i.e. electric oven, gas top) but we don't have the option of venting the hood outdoors.
Why do you need an electric oven? Is there some big advantage I am unaware of?
On second thought, let's not go to TechReport. Tis a silly place.
 
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:34 am

superjawes wrote:
ludi wrote:
I could route gas to that location and wouldn't mind a hybrid type (i.e. electric oven, gas top) but we don't have the option of venting the hood outdoors.

Why do you need an electric oven? Is there some big advantage I am unaware of?

It sounds to me like he's worried about CO buildup.
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:52 am

superjawes wrote:
ludi wrote:
I could route gas to that location and wouldn't mind a hybrid type (i.e. electric oven, gas top) but we don't have the option of venting the hood outdoors.
Why do you need an electric oven? Is there some big advantage I am unaware of?

Bakers prefer electric ovens. Gas ovens inject water vapor through the combustion process, which can throw off baking recipes, and electric ovens keep temperature swings tighter than gas ovens.

As for ventilation, don't worry. I've got an all-gas range and the only time I turn on the noisy & ineffectual vent built into the over-stove microwave is if I'm frying the crap out of something and that's just to keep the smoke levels down. CO detector never beeps. If your burner flames are all blue except for the very tip, you're not producing CO anyways (good friend spent 20 years as a serviceman for the local gas utility).
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ludi
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:18 am

I looked again, dual-fuel gas/electric ranges are well out of our budget, and I don't exactly have time to do the extra ten feet of gas plumbing anyway. We'll stick with a glasstop electric for this round, as there are other, very practical reasons for keeping the easy cleaning and reduced fire risk.

Still open to suggestions on brands and models, if anybody has further recommendations. Probably head out shopping tomorrow.
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:17 pm

I bought a whirlpool from the Sears scratch N dent store for about $350. Mine is all black and looks exactly like the maytag in all other respects. I think thats because Sears bought the Maytag line and the lower models get the whirlpool name. Its easy to select convection, pick a temperature and then pick a cooking time. It beeps when it reaches temperature and then it does longer beeps at the time limit and shuts off. The glass top is easy to use and I like that you can twist the two front cooking dials to the right for smaller pans and to the left for larger pans. I also like the button that activates the warmer in the middle between the back two burners. Nice place to keep that pot of tea warm.
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:25 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
I bought a whirlpool from the Sears scratch N dent store for about $350. Mine is all black and looks exactly like the maytag in all other respects. I think thats because Sears bought the Maytag line and the lower models get the whirlpool name.

Whirlpool is one of the contract manufacturers Sears uses for their Kenmore appliances. Whirlpool acquired Maytag about a decade ago.
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:33 pm

ludi wrote:
continuum wrote:
The Sweethome has some decent recommendations.

http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-el ... as-ranges/

Thanks. But I'm suspicious that Sweethome's top recommendation is a Samsung, on the basis of price and features only. In the past ten years Samsung has variously been unable to build reliable refrigerators, TVs, washing machines, and tablet phones, and two of those four products failed catastrophically. Not quite ready to trust them with a heating appliance.

Per Consumer Reports:

Our Recommended ranges can do it all and, based on our survey of thousands of readers, do not have brand reliability issues.

CR's top three smoothtop electric, double-oven choices are all Samsungs, 4th is an LG.
CR's top top smoothtop electric, single-oven choices are a Kenmore, an LG, a Frigidaire, a GE, a Kenmore Pro, a GE Profile, a Samsung...
 
ludi
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:01 pm

continuum wrote:
CR's top three smoothtop electric, double-oven choices are all Samsungs, 4th is an LG.
CR's top top smoothtop electric, single-oven choices are a Kenmore, an LG, a Frigidaire, a GE, a Kenmore Pro, a GE Profile, a Samsung...

Okay, that eases the mind a bit. BestBuy does have a pretty nice Samsung model with temperature-regulated convection output that's in our price range.
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:18 pm

I don't have any experience with any particular products however I am in the market and have similar stipulations. I found a lot of good ranges on sale at HomeDepot for their Spring Black Friday. I had my eyes on this one: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-30 ... /205919478

$250 off msrp for convection with 5 flattop burners & flex heat - which is nice because it allows you to use a small pot on the larger burners if you are low on space.
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ludi
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:58 pm

Anovoca wrote:
I don't have any experience with any particular products however I am in the market and have similar stipulations. I found a lot of good ranges on sale at HomeDepot for their Spring Black Friday. I had my eyes on this one: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-30 ... /205919478

$250 off msrp for convection with 5 flattop burners & flex heat - which is nice because it allows you to use a small pot on the larger burners if you are low on space.

Only downside I see is only 5.3 cubic foot oven. So far of the models I've looked at, the best use of interior space in the 5.8-6.0 range. (Anything much larger is achieved by deeply dishing out the bottom, then using drop racks, which are potentially harder to reach and nearly eliminate the bottom drawer storage).
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:18 pm

As someone who regularly cooks on a ceramic glass cooktop, let me tell you that they suck to cook with. Yes, they're fairly easy to clean, and yes they get hot fairly quickly. However, they retain their heat for a long time, making temperature control very difficult. Anything you want to get hot but then quickly cook on a lower temperature, like making gravy, needs to be very carefully watched. You often have to take things entirely off the heat and alternate with putting them on and off the burner until it finally cools down. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:09 pm

Anovoca wrote:
I don't have any experience with any particular products however I am in the market and have similar stipulations. I found a lot of good ranges on sale at HomeDepot for their Spring Black Friday. I had my eyes on this one: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-30 ... /205919478

$250 off msrp for convection with 5 flattop burners & flex heat - which is nice because it allows you to use a small pot on the larger burners if you are low on space.
This is the one I have, only its black.
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Re: New electric range options?

Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:11 pm

Acidicheartburn wrote:
As someone who regularly cooks on a ceramic glass cooktop, let me tell you that they suck to cook with. Yes, they're fairly easy to clean, and yes they get hot fairly quickly. However, they retain their heat for a long time, making temperature control very difficult. Anything you want to get hot but then quickly cook on a lower temperature, like making gravy, needs to be very carefully watched. You often have to take things entirely off the heat and alternate with putting them on and off the burner until it finally cools down. Just something to keep in mind.

We're used to it, our current model is the same thing. In present circumstances the easy cleanup outweighs the disadvantages.
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Re: New electric range options?

Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:14 pm

Unexpectedly, we did end up buying a Samsung. Specifically, this one, which was also available at BestBuy and Sears for the same $699, but Lowe's had the lowest final cost due to not jacking up the haul-away fees (Sears) or charging huge markups on the power cord (Sears, BestBuy).

Main selling points? High-quality construction, five surface elements including warmer and fast-boil, supplemented convection (i.e. fan blows heated air), flat base with no bottom element to clean around, no silly steam-cleaning accessories, and the largest bottom drawer of any other model rated near 6 cubic feet. The only other models which came close were a couple LG units (no dials) and a Kenmore Elite (a bit too pricey, who will service it in five years?). It arrives Tuesday.
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Re: New electric range options?

Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:35 pm

That looks like a really nice unit. I hope you are really happy with it.
 
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Re: New electric range options?

Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:47 am

My 20-year-old much-loved Dacor range that I've hauled into 3 houses and across the country is unfortunately dying, and we're contemplating a kitchen remodel. I'm thinking of upgrading to a 36" range, and need some advice.

At the time I bought my Dacor, I was doing a lot of bread-baking, and wanted the best oven I could get. The thinking at the time was that electric convection was much better than gas, so I went with it. I'm very happy with how it cooks, but now that I'm pricing 36" ranges, you pay a LOT more for duel-fuel (ie, gas on top, electric oven) ranges. I don't bake bread very often anymore, but I do use the oven for roasting, braising, making cookies, etc. What the latest info on that? Any opinions gas over electric? Can you get gas convection ovens?

Also, another thing I'm reading about electric ovens is that they come with electric controllers, and they can go bad and are pricey to repair. Gas ovens are simple; there's not much to go wrong. My experience with my Dacor has proven what I've read - the #@$#@ control panel has crapped out more than once, and it is pricey to repair. If I can avoid that going forward, I will, but not if a gas oven is markedly inferior to electric convection.

I've been reading that 36" ovens take a long time to heat up, and indeed, I have a friend who has one who has complained to me about how long it takes. At the time, I assumed it was because she had a gas oven instead of electric, but now I'm reading that the heating time is inherent to larger ovens and may not have anything to do with the fuel. True?

Last off, any recommendations on brands? I cook a lot, I'm probably going to drop a fair bit of cash on this range. What's good out there?
Thanks.
 
ludi
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Re: New electric range options?

Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:12 am

Not sure you're going to find many people using 36" ranges in this neighborhood, although it would make sense that the oven takes longer to heat compared to standard 30"; there's more air volume to manage in there.

Interestingly, a year and a half after starting this thread I encountered the first problem with the Samsung: the cheap shaded-pole motor used for the convection fansuffered dryout in its front sleeve bearing, presumably by long-term heat exposure. I was able to re-lube both motor bearings with a mix of motor oil and automotive moly grease and it now spins free as a bird, but I got the fan slightly out of balance when I reinstalled it. There's a slight vibration and that will probably trash the fan bearings eventually. I'll probably need to fix it again (if I can) or plan to replace the fan and motor within the next year. But at least it will get us through the December holiday baking.
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Re: New electric range options?

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:18 am

You and someone else have already mentioned Consumer Reports; If you stick with the top 5 in anything rated by CR then you'll be fine and more than likely satisfied.
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Re: New electric range options?

Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:28 am

I personally am a huge fan of separate cook tops and ovens. We have a 30” in-wall and a quad-coil stovetop. That gives you more options on your fuel sources too.

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