Monday, September 6, 2010
Just Margaret: The Appliance Repair Gal
Those of my readers who know me in the "real world" know that I love to bake. I'm a dessert girl at heart. Neighborhood get-together? I bring Heath Bar brownies. Birthday party? I make a cake. Drizzly Tuesday in October? Cookies, muffins or cupcakes.
My love for baking and dessert-making began in 3rd grade, when my mother let me use the kitchen to whip a Duncan Hines cake mix and a box Jiffy Frosting into my first culinary delight. OK, so I don't recall if it was an actual delight, but we're pretty safe in calling it culinary. Well, that's how I remember it, anyway...
My kitchen sports a gas stove/oven combination. We bought it new five and a half years ago. Toward the end of this past school year, I was finding my cupcakes were taking an awful long time to bake. Preheating the thing took forever. There was a funky smell, sort of plastic-y, definitely not gas fumes, but not right either.
Worst of all, when the oven was trying to kick into heating up, it made this Star Trek-esque sort of squeeeeeeeeeeeeee that brought me to my knees. My husband couldn't hear it--he hasn't registered high-pitched sounds since he served as a gunner's mate in the US Navy. (Which is kind of cute, until he doesn't hear the alarm on his own watch and everyone else in the room is trying to figure out where the beep-beep-beep is coming from.)
I was sure the oven was quitting. They don't make appliances the way they used to, you know. Unable to justify the cost of a repair guy, I just stopped using the oven unless I had to. Since the cook top was still, well, cooking with gas, and it was summer, no big deal. Who wants to jack the oven when it's 90 degrees out?
With school back in session, and family birthdays on the horizon, I had to get the oven back in good working order. Hub and I had discussed the sound, the smell and the poor cooking results. After consulting The Google, hub suggested it was the ignitor in the oven that was giving me grief. This part would cost $40-$50, and hub could do the install.
But he's not going to have to do that for me after all. I fixed it myself. I've tested it, and it works great. No funky smells, no ear-piercing noise and perfect baking results. AND...I didn't replace the ignitor.
No...clever me--I ran the self-clean cycle. And now, the damn thing works perfectly.
I guess you have to do that more than every three years or so. Who knew?