Appliance Repair Show Transcript - January 20, 2008

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Whirlpool Refrigerator/Freezer with Water in the Bottom of the Crisper Drawers

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here with a question on a Whirlpool fridge, John in Shelby Township, to start things off on the Appliance Repair Show.

JOHN

I have a Whirlpool refrigerator that was in the house that I purchased, and it's starting to form Lake Whirlpool in the bottom of the crisper drawers. I know that's usually a blocked drain tube from the freezer?

JOHN SOWDEN

That's correct.

JOHN

But this fridge looks like a sealed unit. I've pulled the tray out from underneath, and there's actually a steel plate on the bottom. Even if I laid this thing down I couldn't get at the drain tube.

JOHN SOWDEN

The drain tube you have to get at through the interior of the freezer compartment.

JOHN

Oh, okay!

JOHN SOWDEN

You need to remove the back wall of the freezer section. There's an air duct in the middle of your unit, and the screws retain that. And then you take out the back wall of it, and probably to get at the drain area you have to remove the freezer floor as well. There are a few screws there. Once you get that out you'll see the evaporator or cooling coil, and beneath the cooling coil is a drain trough that drips into a tube. And, the tube may be sealed in place by the cabinet, so you might not see it exposed on the back of the unit. It goes down into the drain pan underneath. Normally, you'll find something either caught in the drain or it's iced over. If it's iced over and you can't see any reason why, sometimes you can take a piece of copper wire, and they do actually make what they call a drain strap kit, and it's just a piece of metal that you loop around the defrost heater, and then you push it down the drain area, and when it goes into defrost it actually transfers a little more heat into the drain tube and keeps it from icing over.

JOHN

Okay. Oh, and it stays in there?

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes.

JOHN

Oh, I get you!

JOHN SOWDEN

So if you've got what they call a Calrod heater, which looks like the same makeup of what you have on a standard range, the coil tops. Then you can add a strap to that, or just a piece of twelve gauge copper wire, and make what they call a shepherd's hook over one end and loop in over the heater, and then put the other end about maybe a half inch into the drain area. That will keep that drain from freezing over again.

JOHN

If it's not frozen, if there's actually an obstruction of some kind, can I use compressed air?

JOHN SOWDEN

You can, but you don't want to separate any of the connections in the drain. If you get too much pressure in there...the best thing to do is use a turkey baster with hot water and it flushes out real well. That's probably the easiest way to go about it. You can blow it out, but if you were to, say, have a restriction in the line and you popped that plastic tube then you're going to have a hole inside the liner. That creates a real mess.

JOHN

Okay.

JOHN SOWDEN

So with a turkey baster and with some hot water, you can flush the drain out really well. The problem may be pretty evident once you get in there. You might find a piece of corn or something stuck in there.

JOHN

Okay. Now the evaporator, you said the drain tube is below the evaporator. Is that removable?

JOHN SOWDEN

Is the evaporator removable?

JOHN

Yes.

JOHN SOWDEN

Normally you can kind of bend them out of the way a little bit in order to get at it. They're normally screwed to the back wall of the unit. You want to be real careful with that though, because they're aluminum, and if you kink and/or break it then you've pretty much ruined the refrigerator. It would cost more to replace it.

JOHN

But I can back the screw out?

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, you can remove the screws and kind of gently move it up out of the way. Set it on a piece of wood or something to kind of hold it up out of the way while you get in there.

JOHN

Okay.

JOHN SOWDEN

And be careful, because they're really sharp! If you've got some mechanic's gloves or something like that you might want to put them on, because they'll get you without you even knowing it. You'll get done and you'll have all these cuts on your hands.

JOHN

Okay, great. Thanks very much.

2002 Dacor Built In Oven, Model MCS127 with Malfunctioning Light Switch

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here with a problem with a Dacor oven on the touch pad, Katherine in Farmington, on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Katherine.

KATHERINE

Yeah, I had actually two questions. The first one is about the Dacor built in oven touch pad. It's a Millennium MCS127, full oven control panel. The light switch the touch part on the pad, the light clicks on and off, so when the oven isn't working the light is clicking on and off. But when you press on the touch pad really hard it will stop it, or sometimes you'll have to turn the oven off on the switch breaker.

JOHN SOWDEN

Does this do this all the time, or just when the oven's in operation?

KATHERINE

Well, it started doing it sporadically, but now it does it all the time even if the oven's been on for any length of time.

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. So the oven light is turning on and off on its own.

KATHERINE

On its own, off and on. I think the light is burned out at this point, but it would flicker on and off and make a clicking noise.

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, there are two things it could be. One is the touch pad itself is sticking. Basically how the touch pad works, you've got several layers of material that when you touch that you're actually making a switch, just like you'd flip a wall switch for your kitchen lights. And they normally run a small voltage through the touch pad, and all you're doing when you touch that is you're telling the main control board that okay, it's time to turn on the oven lights. The clicking you're hearing is the relay on the control board sending power to the light. Now, most often what happens is the touch pad sticks. That's why I'm asking does it do this during operation, because they're in the control panel area; as they heat up or cool down they might do weird things, if you've got an intermittent touch pad. The other thing it could be is the relay itself is failing and the contacts are bad. And that would be part of the control board. What the touch pad is doing, what it's supposed to be doing, but the relay itself is dropping in and out. But if you have it set to off, it shouldn't do that. Normally if you turn it on you might get chatter in the relay. So from what you're telling me, I would suspect the touch pad more than the circuit board, although it could be the circuit board or a combination of both at this time. With the touch pad sending intermittent signals to the control board, you could have worn that relay out.

KATHERINE

Right.

JOHN SOWDEN

One thing you might be able to do to help, is if you take a hair dryer and gently go over the area of the touch pad that is giving you troubles-in this case it's the light button, and probably one of the ones you use the most-you might get those pads to separate a little bit and it might start working a little better. So if you do that and you find that it seemed to cure it a little bit, then I would replace the touch pad. That's probably not going to be a cheap endeavor.

KATHERINE

That's my thought, because if I press on the touch pad really hard right now, I have a nickel taped to it, which seems to keep it from doing that. But that will last until maybe the oven heats up, and then the pressure-

JOHN SOWDEN

Right, you've got the nickel taped to the off button?

KATHERINE

I have a nickel taped right over the light button, and when I press on it that keeps it off. But as it heats up that of course releases the tape and then it starts up again.

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it sounds like your touch pad has failed. If you go to our website, Repairclinic.com, put in the model number as it reads off the unit, you can get an estimate on how much a new touch pad for your oven is going to be. If for some reason that touch pad doesn't come up, you can always call our 888 number, 1-888-343-4948, and we can research it that way.

2002 Dacor Oven Warming Drawer Shutting Off Before Reaching Correct Temperature

KATHERINE

Okay. And the other question I had was about my Dacor warming drawer. We know that the safety switch that, when it heats, goes off. So that consequently shuts the drawer off so it can't be used. Is that just a fail in that switch?

JOHN SOWDEN

Are you having problems where it doesn't work, or it just turns itself off?

KATHERINE

It doesn't work, so we had someone come out. My husband got into it after the repairman left, because the man couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. And there's a switch, like a safety switch, where the oven turns off when it gets too warm, I guess, and that's what's happening. Even though it's working properly, it's shutting off, so there must be some kind of defect there.

JOHN SOWDEN

So you set it to 200 degrees, let's say, and it doesn't maintain 200 degrees? It just turns off after a period of time?

KATHERINE

Right, it just shuts off and you can't turn it on.

JOHN SOWDEN

And then when you let it cool down, does it start working again?

KATHERINE

No, it doesn't.

JOHN SOWDEN

So it's just dead then. Well, most units these days have a thermal switch that does cut power to the unit if something fails; some are re-settable, meaning there's normally a little red button in the thermal switch or fuse that you can depress. Others are not re-settable; it just depends on what the specs are for that particular one. Does this one have a red button in the middle of the switch that your husband found?

KATHERINE

Yeah, it's supposed to be re-settable, but that won't re-set it.

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. You have to push them in really hard. Sometimes if you use a pencil with an eraser and push it in, that will work.

KATHERINE

Oh, really?

JOHN SOWDEN

But the problem is, you might have a problem with the thermostat or something else, because that's just the fail safe; it should never really come into play unless you have another problem.

KATHERINE

That's what we were thinking.

JOHN SOWDEN

So I would suspect at this point either you could have an element that's shorting to ground, that's always heating even when the thing is in the off position; you could have a grounded wire that's again providing a circuit for it to heat when it shouldn't be. Or, the thermostat could be sticking on and overheating. That's when the thermal safety device comes into play, is if something fails, it is the last wall of defense you have. So I would try re-setting it and see what other things are going on, but you may have a situation where you have to replace the thermal cut-out, just to make sure. The other thing is, has this just started, or is it something that's occurred on and off over time?

KATHERINE

No, it just kind of happened. It worked, and then it just stopped.

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. And how old is this unit?

KATHERINE

Five years old.

JOHN SOWDEN

The other thing I was leaning toward was installation can at times be an issue with built-in appliances like wall ovens, warming drawers, where they have instructions that you're supposed to have so much make-up air around them when you install them. If they're not properly installed you can run into these problems. But from what you're describing, at this point you probably need a touch pad for the wall oven, and a new thermal cut-out and probably a thermostat for the warming drawer. But I would suspect all the wiring and things of that nature before I start replacing parts.

KATHERINE

Right. Do I need a repair guy to come out?

JOHN SOWDEN

You know it's not a bad idea to do that. One, because they guarantee the diagnosis, most people do. And I can only do so much from the chair here, from what you tell me, and the other reason is it comes with a warranty. It's something that you can have them come out and diagnose the unit, and then if you decide you want to get the parts on your own that is up to you. But yeah, given how much these units are-this Dacor is not a cheap appliance-and you want to make sure they're in good working order and that something else doesn't overheat. I'd go ahead and call for service.

2008 Whirlpool, Model MH1160X Over the Range Microwave Door Stuck Shut

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And, we'll go now to a question on a Whirlpool microwave, from David in Manchester, on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Dave.

DAVE

Hi. I have a brand new, just installed yesterday, model MH1160X. We installed it, plugged it in, the door will not open. It will open just a tiny bit, but you can tell it's locked. When you try to start the microwave after you push the door in, it tells you to close the door.

JOHN SOWDEN

And the door is ajar?

DAVE

A little bit. But I don't want to pull it open, fearing I'll break something.

JOHN SOWDEN

That's a good idea. Now you say that we installed it. Did you install it yourself?

DAVE

Yes.

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. And you're sure the installation is correct? There are no screws that might have gone through the cabinet that might be causing the door not to open?

DAVE

Nothing there, the only screws that might be involved are the two that anchor the top through the upper cabinet are not even close to the door.

JOHN SOWDEN

Right. The reason I ask is that some people decide that those two screws are a good idea, but I'll put a few more in and make sure it really stays in place, and then they run screws into the cabinet and all kinds of stuff. So I have to ask that question. You're situation is pretty easy to solve. It's a brand new unit, you have a warranty, if you're confident that the installation according to the instructions has been done, I would call for warranty service. More than likely you've just got something that's possibly broken internally. There are a lot of little plastic pieces that make up the door locking mechanism. It's possible that one of them has snapped off and causing it not to close all the way. It could be that it's just a simple door adjustment. But again, being brand new and being a microwave and working on the door, I'd call for service and have them straighten it out.

DAVE

Okay. Thank you.

Kitchen Aid Dishwasher Rinse Aid Not Dispensing

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And here with a question on a Kitchen Aid dishwasher, Ken in West Bloomfield, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Ken.

JOHN SOWDEN

What problem are you having with the dishwasher this morning?

KEN

Well, the rinse agent is not dispensing out of the dispenser. I filled it about two months ago, and that little indicator still shows that it's full. I wondered if this was something I could fix myself or if I had to have a service man. There's a bunch of little screws around the dishwasher edge of the door, and if I take those off I just wonder what I'm going to find once I take off the door liner.

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, you say you filled it up, and you still show that the unit is full?

KEN

Right.

JOHN SOWDEN

How often do you run the dishwasher? Every day? Once a week?

KEN

Maybe once every two or three days.

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. Well, the rinse agent is unique, it's different then how it works and how much it uses versus the soap cup. The soap cup you fill up and every time you run the unit it opens up the doors and the soap is washed out into the inside of the machine. The rinse agent dispenser....

KEN

Well, I'm just wondering whether or not the door is opening, that's my problem.

JOHN SOWDEN

What happens though, with the rinse agent, is it dispenses about two or three drops every time you use the machine, so it's something that if you filled it up and you only run it twice a week, it might take several months before you need to fill it up again. Even if you use it every day, it can take quite a while.

KEN

I've never had to wait this long for that little indicator to move off of full, so I was just wondering if there wasn't something wrong with it.

JOHN SOWDEN

Have you noticed any difference in the dishes as far as more spots, or anything where the wash ability has come into play?

KEN

No.

JOHN SOWDEN

I mean, does it seem like the dishes are not getting as clean as before this?

KEN

No. Like I say, it's been a couple of months and that little...

JOHN SOWDEN

So you're sure it's not working, I guess is my point. I just want to point out that, especially people who have just moved into a home, and they fill up the dishwasher rinse aid dispenser, and a week later it's not empty like their soap cup is, and they say boy, there must be a problem with this! When in reality it only uses a few drops at a time, so it takes a while to empty it. But if it's been a couple of months, you should have some reduction in that. As far as how it works, the control board sends power to a solenoid, and that's what opens up a soap cup, and in the last cycle, it sends a signal to trigger the soap cup assembly, and it hits a little lever that opens it up and lets a few drops come out. It could be at this point, it could be in the dispenser assembly, it could just be plugged up and you have to remove the dispenser assembly and clean it up. More than likely it's a problem in either the dispenser assembly is not working properly, that solenoid is failing, or the circuit board itself is not sending that signal at the end of the rinse cycle. So you'd have to get in there with a meter to see when it's happening. As far as to get at it, once you get those torx bits out, or you might call them star screws.....

KEN

That's what they are, star screws.

JOHN SOWDEN

Once you get them out, you'll be looking at the back side of that dispenser assembly. There's a few wires going to it, and all you'll see is a bunch of plastic interconnecting pieces and a solenoid off to one side, and that's basically what triggers the latch assembly. Every so often the control board will apply voltage to that solenoid, and it will then actuate, and as it actuates it lifts up and then it will act on these arms that then open up one door, then another door, and then the last one is for the soap dispenser. To get an idea of operation, if you can open the outer panel and fire it up (which I don't normally recommend because you have live wires there) but you can watch it work and see if maybe it's evident of what's happening and if it's sticking somewhere.

KEN

Like I say, I filled the thing a couple of months ago, and I have filled it before, and I have watched the little indicator go down and down. But now it's not doing that.

JOHN SOWDEN

Right. And the thing is on this soap cup assembly, if it's failing, that one does come as an assembly; there's a series of screws that mount it to the door, which you'll see those screws once you remove the main door panel. It's not an entry-level, do-it-yourself problem, but it's certainly not like rebuilding a transmission on a washer or something. It's something that people do accomplish themselves. I would sit through the cycle and watch it and just see what's happening or not happening.

KEN

All right. I'll give it another month and see what happens. But that sounds like something that I'll have to have a service man come out for.

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it's something that if you're not comfortable with it, it's certainly a new enough and nice enough dishwasher that it's worth the investment.

Jenn-Air Side by Side Refrigerator Intermittently Gets Too Warm

JOHN MCCULLOCH

With a question on a Jenn-Air side by side, here's Mike in Sterling Heights, on the Appliance Repair Show. Mike, go ahead please.

MIKE

I have a Jenn-Air side by side. The problem I'm experiencing is the refrigerator side gradually over time, when it cycles, the temperature, the low temperature that it gets to, it gradually increases to fifty or fifty two degrees as its maximum coldness. And what I've discovered to solve the problem is, basically I just turn it off for like a day or two, and then I plug it back in and then it's back down to thirty four degrees.

JOHN SOWDEN

Right. And then it works for about a week or so?

MIKE

Well, longer than that actually. But that's what the problem is and I can't understand it.

JOHN SOWDEN

And the freezer seems to be okay during this problem with the refrigerator?

MIKE

It seems to be, yes. But it might, I've never really measured it, as far as the temperature. I'd have to get another thermometer, I imagine, and measure the other side.

JOHN SOWDEN

That's a good idea. You should have between zero and eight degrees in the freezer section when you're running that. From what you describe, the most common thing found is you've got something in the defrost system that's failing. The defrost system is made up of three major components which is the defrost heater which turns on three or four times a day on the back wall of the freezer section and it removes all the frost from the cooling coil. There's also the defrost thermostat, which if you do not require a lot of heat to do that it will turn it off. And then the other one is either a control board and/or a defrost timer. What that does is roughly every six to eight hours it says time to defrost the coils; it turns on the heater for a pre-designated period of time of twenty to thirty minutes. If you don't need the whole twenty to thirty minutes to defrost that coil, the defrost thermostat will turn the heater off so you're not heating your freezer section.

MIKE

Okay.

JOHN SOWDEN

As these components start to fail, what happens is you get a frost buildup on the cooling coil, and then the air that's being pulled through that coil and being pushed into your refrigerator section is being reduced. So the freezer, normally, for a period of time will seem to be operating okay, and yet your refrigerator temperatures will continually climb; that's because you're starving it of airflow because the coil is all iced over and you get a blockage in the air path. By turning it off for a day or two and then putting it back in operation, you're probably just allowing enough of that to defrost to where you get some of that airflow back, and it continues on. So what I would do is run it for three or four or five days, and when you start having problems with the refrigerator section, I would unplug it and remove the back wall of the freezer and look for an ice/frost buildup. If you have one, then you have a problem in the defrost system. That's pretty evident. And as far as which component you need, you can check these with an ohmmeter. Or, you can take the shotgun approach and just replace all three components and start over. You're looking at roughly one hundred dollars worth of parts doing that, but it's still cheaper than a service call.

MIKE

Right. And that's a defrost timer...

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, it depends. Some units have a small control board that acts as a timing mechanism, and they actually measure how many times the door is opened, what temperatures you have and other ones are just on a straight time, just like you'd plug in to turn on your Christmas tree: every eight hours it's on and off. So it depends on your particular model. If you put your model number into our website, Repairclinic.com, you'll get an idea of what these components look like. You can also go to what we call our detailed appliance illustrations on our website, and it will show the locations where they commonly hide those things, so you'll know what you're looking for, roughly what they look like and where they're located on the machine. If the coil looks okay and you're still having problems with your refrigerator section, then I would lean more towards what they call a damper control. If your unit has it-some do and some don't-all that is, is a small airway with a gate on it, and that gate is actuated by temperature. So as the refrigerator temperature gets colder, it closes the gate and starves it. Those can get stuck and starve the refrigerator section. I certainly wouldn't go out and fill it up with groceries right now while it's limping, but I would run it and when you start running into problems then get into some diagnosing.

MIKE

This is something that's gone on over a year or so, every once in a while. There's only one other symptom, which I can describe but I think is irrelevant. In the area where you get water and ice in the door, there's a bulge that comes out on the inside of the fridge part, and when I kind of push on that and touch it, you can tell there's ice or that kind of thing on the inside of that area. And I thought that was strange, too, but I don't think that's...

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, that could be adding to your problem, or even causing the problem. If that door is stuck open where the ice is supposed to come out, then you're letting in an awful lot of...

MIKE

No, no it's not open. It's just that the area behind the part that protrudes into the freezer, where the chute is and it's like a square thing. When you open the door and push on it, you can feel that there's crunching behind it, and I didn't know why that would be...

JOHN SOWDEN

That could just be a lot of ice chips building up over time, and you might want to clean that area out. And do make sure that that door is sealing, any air infiltration, even a ripped or torn door gasket can cause a lot of moist air to get in there.

MIKE

Right, right, for sure.

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, just watch it and see what happens.

Maytag Washing Machine Leaking Water during the Spin Cycle

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And with a question on a Maytag washer, Jeff in Adrian, on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Jeff.

JEFF

Yesterday, doing a load of laundry, after the load was done I went in the laundry room and there was a bunch of water on the floor. I had this worked on about ten days ago, because we had some water and they couldn't find it, and it went away. So I took the front of the washer apart, and started the cycle, and it filled up with water, and about five minutes into the cycle, it started spinning and spinning very fast, and the water just started pouring over the edge of the drum onto the floor.

JOHN SOWDEN

So the centrifugal force of the spinning water pushed it over the top of the tub and on to the floor?

JEFF

That's exactly what happened.

JOHN SOWDEN

Was this a full load of clothes, small load of clothes?

JEFF

I put it on the full setting, but it was just a normal load, nothing huge or anything.

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. You say that this just intermittently occurs? It doesn't happen every time or it just started to happen every time?

JEFF

Yeah, it first happened about ten days ago. It went away, and then it just happened again yesterday.

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, on this particular unit what happens is, when the motor starts, you're supposed to be spinning out the drain water and slowly, as it's purging out, you finally get up to spin speed and extract the water. It doesn't sound like the water is exiting the tub at a fast enough rate to avoid splashing over. So the first thing I would ask is have you done anything to the drain? Is it draining into a stand pipe, a laundry tub...?

JEFF

No, it goes through a hose that goes to a regular, drain; not a tub, just a drain that it's set up for. But it goes to a stand pipe then?

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes. Well, first I'd make sure that's clear. Because if the water has no place to go, then it doesn't matter how hard the washer is spinning and pumping if it's backing up. Basically, you need to get up to high speed spin and between like seventy and ninety seconds, and the unit should drain all the water out in that amount of time. So if it's trying to get rid of the water and the drain's plugged up, then the water is just going to sit there. The other thing that can cause that is a restriction in the pump or in any of the tubes going to the pump. Normally small baby socks, the missing small garments that you never find, that's where they can end up. They actually flip over the inner tub and get caught between the inner and outer tub and at times can cause a restriction in the water flow and cause it not to drain. If all this is okay, and it just doesn't seem to get rid of the water enough, then you might want to look at replacing the belts, because the belts are designed to slip on start up. The belts act more or less as a clutch, and if they're grabbing too aggressively, which they will over time as they get worn, then they'll cause the unit to start spinning more than it should. So, the reason they do that is when you put it into spin you've got a motor that's turning that 1500 rpm's and a tub that's turning at zero. So something has to give, and the belt is designed to slowly engage those pulleys and slowly get it up to speed. So if the belts are what they call glazed, if you see any burn marks in them or it was possibly overloaded and it starts grabbing, then it's going to start spinning more aggressively and you get the slosh-over effect.

JEFF

Okay.

JOHN SOWDEN

It sounds like you're getting quite a bit of water.

JEFF

Yeah.

JOHN SOWDEN

The other thing it could be is, at the top of that tub you'll see there are small holes that the water and any splashing is supposed to go back into the tub. Those can get plugged up with soap over time and cause a little bit of water, but from what you're describing you're getting more than a little bit of water.

JEFF

Yeah.

JOHN SOWDEN

So I would start by inspecting the drain. You got the cover off it, so run it and see what happens. When it goes to spin, that water should be coming out really hard for the drain cycle. Within less than a minute the tub should be empty, and it should slowly start to spin; as the water is reduced the spinning should speed up. So there are several things for you to check.

JEFF

All right. Thank you very much.

Tappan Electric Wall Oven with an Uneven Baking Problem

JOHN SOWDEN

Let's try Tom in Warren who's got a Tappan range problem.

JOHN MCCULLOCH

All right, Tom, it's you, on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Tom, we're kind of pressed for time.

JOHN SOWDEN

What problem are you having this morning?

TOM

The wife, she keeps trying to bake with her wall oven, and at one point in time I used three different thermostats. The temperatures all show the same!

JOHN SOWDEN

And that is?

TOM

It's at 325 degrees for the baking temperature, and all the thermometers show 325 degrees. But no matter what we do, when she goes to bake, the stuff will be hard on the bottom and soft in the middle and a little burned on the top.

JOHN SOWDEN

Is this gas or electric?

TOM

It's electric. It's an electric Tappan.

JOHN SOWDEN

And you set it at 325 degrees and you used three thermometers that say the oven temperature is 325, and you're still having baking problems?

TOM

Right.

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, that is an unusual problem. One thing that can cause that is the door gaskets being warm and the oven not venting properly, and that causing some inconsistent hot or cold spots in the oven. So I'd inspect that. And do you pre-heat the oven?

TOM

No.

JOHN SOWDEN

I would start by pre-heating the oven. The one thing you can always do to check for this is to go buy a regular box cake and follow the instructions. It will tell you to put all the proper ingredients into it, then set the oven for whatever it says, and then pre-heat it for twenty or thirty minutes and see how that comes out. It sounds like the oven, from what you're describing, is doing what it's supposed to be doing. So I'd say it's either having a problem with airflow through it, or possibly some of the recipes not working out for you.

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And again, that's a great idea to get that box cake and pre-heat the oven. Pre-heating is always a good idea.

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it gets rid of all the hot and cold spots. It gets the oven temperature up, and the thermostat cycles more evenly too.

The Appliance Repair Show

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appliance parts
or advice?