We moved into our house in 1980. The house--built in 1979--was entirely new, having had no prior resident. So all things were new to us also. The kitchen was equipped with a brand new General Electric stove with oven. The stove was/is a modest appliance. It has the basics--4 burners, an oven, a timer, self-cleaning capability and a vent hood. I bought new coil liners once. We had a repairman in once--can't remember why. All I remember is that our then dog barked crazily, and the repairman in one motion leaped on top of the stove.
Other than that, the stove has chugged along just fine. Several years ago, we thought about replacing the stove--you know, something with a bit more glitz, with more oven space for baking two things at once. The oven is quite small. So, we measure the stove--huh? Only 27 inches wide.
We trundled off to our local appliance dealer to look for a new GE stove. SHOCK--27 inch stoves, while available, are at least $300 more expensive than the standard 30 inch stove. Why the builder inserted a 27 inch stove in the kitchen mystifies me. So, we put off purchasing a new stove.
Instead, we decided to wait until we do a bit of upgrading, including a new floor, maybe a new arrangement. And, that I planned for early next year.
This past week, I was making a good old fashioned pot roast, baking it in a ceramic pot. As I stood at the stove, I noticed light inside the oven. Hmmm--I thought--I must have turned on the oven light. So, I flipped the switch. Light still visible in the oven. So, I flipped the switch the other direction. Still light.
I opened the oven door--and saw sparking on the heating coil. And then FIRE. Now, a fire in the kitchen is something no one wants. We do have a small fire extinguisher right close by. But, first, quick thinking me--I turned the oven off. No power source, no sparking, no fire.
I thought--wow--what if we had not been home? We had been running errands that day, and the meltdown could just as easily occurred while we were gone. Or what if I had not thought to turn the oven off immediately--bigger flames would most certainly spread, not so compliantly died down.
When the oven cooled down, I looked at the coil. Oh yes. It is fried.
With a kitchen renovation 6 months in the future, I thought we could just repair the oven by replacing the heating element. In fact, I looked online, typed in the model number, and--voila--a part is available for about $30.
So, I called a prominent appliance store with GE repair capability. Oh no--said the salesman--you don't want to fix that.
Well, Mr. Salesman, yes, I do. I understand he sells new stoves, but on my timetable, not his.
So I called the friendly local appliance store where we first went to buy a new stove, and asked who does their GE repair work. And by the end of this week, a repairman should appear, complete with new part.
Meanwhile, I would just have to be creative and find ways to prepare meals without the use of the oven.
And today--the electrician arrived right on time. He had in hand a new heating element for the oven. In the space of 15 minutes, he had done the entire repair. And the total bill? Less than $100, parts and labor and tax.
Perhaps the crowning moment was when I asked if he does other appliance repairs. As he ticked off the brands he repairs, he looked at our refrigerator and asked--do you clean the coils in this? (Smirk--do I clean the coils? Get real.) But I just meekly said--no. So in an instant, he popped off the face plate at the bottom of the frig, and took the vacuum, which I had brought upstairs, and proceeded to vacuum the cooling coils under the frig. All free of charge.
Now, I had already written a check for the oven repair bill, but I handed him a bill anyway. I think I have found a great appliance repair guy!
Not fried anymore.