Category Archives: Stove Repair

What Brand of Kitchen and Laundry Appliances Would the Samurai Buy?

John wrote:

I need to buy all new kitchen and laundry appliances. Which brand would you stick with (Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, Maytag). I am looking for a frenchdoor and all appliances should match…Stainless too.



Let us open our Appliantology hymnals to the Second Law of the Prophecy wherein it is written, “All appliances break.” With this wisdom firmly implanted in that muck betwixt our ears, we begin to see your question from a new perspective.

Like so many propagandized Ameedicans victimized by the slick marketing campaigns assaulting us in the corporate media organs, we see that you have placed aesthetics ahead of practical considerations, such as repairability. In other words, you have placed more importance on form over function, exactly as you have been programmed to do as a good little consumer.

But fear not, my mushy-headed grasshopper, for the Samurai is here to break the spell that the marketing wizards have placed you under. Lo, with his mighty katana, he shall cut asunder the chains of your programming and free you from the trap of mindless consumerism! Let us begin by re-phrasing your question in the way the Samurai would ax it, “Knowing that all modern appliance brands and models are mediocre at best and that all fall short of the glory of the Samurai, which piece of junk am I going to have the easiest time fixing?”

Ahh, Grasshoppah, now you’re beginning to pierce the veil and to do what we professional appliantologists call, “critical thinking.” Using this new, enlightened paradigm, which emphasizes function over form and recognizes the Second Law of the Prophecy, the question further reduces to, “Which appliance manufacturers make their service manuals and technical bulletins freely and readily available to professional appliantologists as well as Joe Do-it-yourselfer?” Eggzellent question, my querying grasshoppah, domo fer axin’!

Currently, there are only three brands which make their service information freely available: Whirlpool (which includes Kitchenaid, Roper, and Maytag brands), Frigidaire (which includes Electrolux brands), and Dacor (which includes, well, just Dacor). Emphasis on the word, “currently” because Whirlpool is considering restricting access to their technical information to professional appliantologists only– you can thank the over-abundance of lawyers and the bidness-killing tort system in Ameedica for that.

At the other end of the information spectrum are companies that are very restrictive with their technical service information and, for that reason, I would never even consider buying their stuff. The worst offenders in the infowar are Viking and GE. In the case of Viking, they’re not only tight-fisted with their service manuals, but their ranges are the shoddiest on the market. And you get to pay a premium price tag just to have the “Viking” badge in your kitchen. Viking is the poster boy of what I mean by placing form over function.

Awwite, armed with this sacred wisdom and enlightened perspective, gird up thy loins and go git ’em!

Maytag MGR5755QDB Range Sabbath Mode

Most modern ranges have the ability to be programmed for Sabbath mode. This is a mode of operation based on Jewish requirements for holidays and Sabbaths. On Sabbaths, devout Jews cannot operate any machinery, including appliances, because this is considered work, which is prohibited on the Sabbath Day. To accommodate this, the range can be placed into Sabbath mode where only the bake and timed bake modes are functional.

If you see a 5Ab code on the control panel of this Maytag range, it means the range is in Sabbath mode (the “5” is used to represent an “S”) and only the bake and timed bake functions will work. Don’t ax me why these functions are kosher but broil apparently is not– I am but a gentile Samurai.

Here’s how to get into and out of Sabbath mode:

Hold CLOCK pad for 3 seconds to activate Sabbath mode.

“5Ab” will be displayed and flash for 5


Hold CLOCK pad for 3 seconds to disable Sabbath mode.

Display will go back to time of day.

To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

Frigidaire and Kenmore Smoothtop Electric Ranges Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

Right on the heels of their washing machine recall (also due to fire hazard) and their unserviceable 12 c.f. refrigerators, Friggidaire is recalling their smoothtop electric ranges for, that’s right, fire hazard. Also sold under the Kenwhore brand. They’re on a roll!

FrigidaIre Smoothtop Electric Range Recall

To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

Jenn-Air SVD48600 Range Power Relay Board and Electrode Changeout: A Pictorial Odyssey

This range had two complaints. One was that the gas grill module wouldn’t ignite.

The other complaint was that the cooling fan would come on at 100F and stay on– very annoying, also very common in this model. In addition, the temperature on the display would never increment beyond 100F even though the actual oven temperature could be 350F. Both of these problems point to a bad Power Relay Board (PRB).

Corroded Spark Electrode
Corroded Spark Electrode

This corroded spark electrode is one of the reasons the customer called me– no spark at her grill module. The cause is obvious but you still make sure that you’re at least getting spark to the electrode. In this case, the spark was being delivered but getting grounded out by the broken hood. The hood was so corroded that it actually separated from the rest of the assembly. It’s positioned this way in this photo just for your viewing pleasure.

Jenn-Air Range Rear View and Cubby - 1
Jenn-Air Range Rear View and Cubby – 1

Notice this range has both gas and 50 amp, dedicated 240vac power supply– that’s ‘cuz it’s a combi-range: electric oven and gas stove. Ranges that are gas-only just need a conventional 120vac wall outlet (for the oven lamp, spark module and/or ignitor).

Jenn-Air Range Rear View and Cubby - 2
Jenn-Air Range Rear View and Cubby – 2

Usually, on these Jenn-Air jobs, you need to shut off and disconnect the gas supply. Got lucky in this case– they had used a generous length of flex tubing for the "last mile" connection to the range. SoooWEEET! All’s I had to do was unplug the electrical, remove the vent duct from the downdraft fan (remove the kickpanel from the front bottom, you’ll see it right there) and pull ‘er back. Good to go beaver!

Back Panel View
Back Panel View

The PRB is located in the back of the range behind this rear panel. Back panel is held on with 4 1/4" screws. Comes right off and exposes… (that’s your cue to go to the next pic)…

Back of Range with Rear Panel Removed
Back of Range with Rear Panel Removed

… a big ‘ol hairy mess o’ wires! And the component of interest: the Power Relay Board.

Power Relay Board
Power Relay Board

Bunch of connections on this board! Best way to change it out is to do one wire at a time. Helps if you have another pair of arms. In my case, that other pair was attached to my son, Stephen, who was a big help on this job. Also helped with the electrode changeout– more on that in just a bit.

Side View
Side View

Now, according to the service manual, in order to remove and replace the spark electrode for the surface modules, you need to tear down the entire top assembly of the range. A royal pain in the gluteous because it involved about a gazillion screws and it’s fraught with danger because any of the screws could be rusted and stripped, especially in a range that age. All of this can slow you way down. But, thankfully I had an extra pair of hands with me on the job and I put ’em to good use.

Underside of Top Pan Showing How the Electrode Attaches
Underside of Top Pan Showing How the Electrode Attaches

That’s the nut that has to come off, unstring the spark wire, re-string the new electrode and then secure it with that nut. Yeah, it’s as narrow as it looks.

New Spark Electrode Installed
New Spark Electrode Installed

There it is all shiny and purdy!

Parts Used in this Repair Job:

Power Relay Board (PRB)

Spark Electrode

To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

Cheap Fix for a Dim Display on an Oven Control Panel

A common problem on ovens and ranges with the digital display is that the display starts to go dim after a while. It usually starts gradually and gets progressively dimmer until you can barely see it. You have two choices of repair tactics:

1. Replace the electronic control board, typical cost: $250. And there’s no guarantee that the display won’t dim again in a another couple of years.

2. Replace the capacitors on the control board, typical cost: $10. And you gotta be able to solder on printed circuit boards.

Here’s the inside scoop on what’s happening. The digital display is powered by very specific DC drive voltages. Theses voltages are created by a transformer and stabilized by capacitors, all of which are located on the control board. Most of these capacitors are only rated to a working temperature of 220˚F. Well, it don’t take a brain surgeon, like yours so very frikkin’ truly, to realize that over time the heat will reduce the capacitor’s ability to capacitate thus lowering the drive voltage and dimming the display. Awwite, that’s all the theory we need to know so let’s get into the generic strategery of this repair…

The specifics will vary with the exact layout and composition of the control board you’re working on but, generally, the flow goes like this:

1. Kill power to the unit.

2. Disassemble whatever you need to to get at the control board.

3. Locate the capacitors on the control board. Typically, there are three but, again, go with what you see. They’ll look something like this:


4. Make a list of the capacitors, noting the capacitance, working voltage, and temperature rating printed on each capacitor.

5. Go to your local Radio Shack and buy the replacement caps. It’s OK for the replacements to have a higher working voltage than the original but not lower. Try to buy the ones with the highest temperature rating you can get. And match the capacitance rating (usually given in micro-farads, μf) as close as you can to the original.

6. Unsolder the old caps and solder in the new one – soldering help here. Be careful to observe the correct polarity when installing the new caps!

Now go pop yourself a cold brewski and get me one while you’re at it. Mucho domos!

To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

GE XL44 Range ERC Diagnostic Tests

Lots of these old GE XL44 model family of ranges out there in use today. At some point, you’ll need to run diagnostic tests on the old girl. Could be an error code in the display, incessant beeping, or it just ain’t working right for some reason. In any case, putting the ERC (electronic range control– the digital display and the circuit board connected to it) into diagnostic mode is a good initial troubleshooting step because it’s easy as pie and you can check important stuff like:

  • bake circuit
  • broil circuit
  • sensor
  • keypad
  • door lock motor

Let this sacred scroll from the Appliantology scriptures be your faithful guide and guardian during your XL44 contemplations. And, as a bonus, it includes information on how to get to the door lock motor– another common troublemaker in this range.

Xl44 ERC Diagnostic Test

To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

Wolf Appliance Recalls Gas Ranges Due to Burn Hazard

This is old news, but in case you haven’t heard…

Wolf Appliance Recalls Gas Ranges Due to Burn Hazard WASHINGTON, D.C.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Name of Product: Wolf Appliance Gas Ranges Units: About 24,000 Manufacturer: Wolf Appliance Inc., of Madison, Wis. Hazard: Delayed ignition of gas in the 18-inch oven can cause a flash of flames to be projected at a consumer when the range door is opened, posing a burn hazard to consumers. Incidents/Injuries: Wolf has received 97 reports of units experiencing delayed ignition, including 15 minor burns. There have been no reports of fires or property damage.

Description: This recall involves the following Wolf Appliance 48-Inch gas ranges with model numbers: P48, PS48 and R48. The gas ranges are stainless steel with a double oven. A “Wolf” appliance logo is on the front of the larger oven door. Sold at: Home builders and appliance stores nationwide from January 1998 through June 2008 for between $5,000 and $9,000. Manufactured in: United States Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled gas range 18-inch oven and contact the manufacturer to schedule a free, in-home repair. The large oven and all cooktop burners are not affected and may be used. Consumer Contact: For more information, consumers can contact Wolf Appliance toll-free at (866) 643-6408 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at

Stove Troubleshooting and Repair Manual

Stove Troubleshooting and Repair Manual

Problem Possible Solution
[Electric Only]
"One of the elements on my electric stove doesn’t come on and I’ve got company coming and I’m just gonna die!"
  • Ok, so maybe the element is burned out. "Oh, I know the element is burned out because it’s not getting hot." Yes, Virginia, and a bad element is the only possible explanation for there being no heat, isn’t it? How ‘bout we at least do a simple continuity check on the element? A good element will read between 20 to 30 ohms. If the element shows the proper resistance, what else could be wrong? Well, could be a bad receptacle or a bad infinite switch.
  • Ok, so it could be a bad element receptacle after all. On plug-in type elements, pull out the element and inspect the receptacle and element plug ends. If you see lots of charring or pitting, replace the receptacle and the element.
  • The infinite switch could be fried (and frequently is, *gasp*!). Test for 240 volts AC at the two terminals going to the element when the switch is turned on. Yes, Grasshoppah, you’ll need to use your meter and these are hot tests, meaning that voltage and amperage are present and could fry yo’ ace.
[Electric Only]
The element only goes to high no matter where it’s set.
[Gas Only]
The burner won’t fire up.
  • Spark module is fried. Make sure the ignitor is getting 120v. Ensure valve switch is also sending 120v signal to begin ignition. If you don’t hear clicking sounds anywhere in the range, the spark module is toast.
  • One of the valve switches is fried. Test continuity.
  • If ticking sound is intermittent or muffled or seems to alternate between burners, then the spark module is defective.
  • A worn (leaky) ignition wire. The insulation on the ignition wire going to the electrode(s) can wear thin in spots causing the high voltage sparks to shunt to ground. You’ll usually hear muffled ticking noises in odd places in the range. Inspect spark wire for wear spots in outer sheath.
  • Stove electrical supply receptacle is reverse wired (hot side is neutral and neutral side is hot). Rewire receptacle observing correct polarity.
[Gas Only]
The flame just does its own thing and can’t be adjusted.

Still confoosed, Grasshoppah? Browse all the stove repair FAQs. To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

Electrical Outlets for Electric Ovens, Ranges, and Stoves

Bought a new range or planning to? Planning an addition to your house? Building a new house? These are just a few of the ways you could run into converting from a 3- to 4-wire range outlet. Whatever your situation, this illustrated anatomy of electrical outlets for ranges, ovens, and stove should help you see what’s going on.

Three-Prong Range OutletHere’s the older style, but very commonly seen 3-wire range outlet. All the terminals are identified here. Click the pic for the larger view.

Four-Prong Range OutletThis the the 4-wire outlet required by the newer editions of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Click the pic for the larger view.

More help, including parts for all brands and models, ratcheer. If you’re still confoosed, come start a new topic in the Kitchen Appliance Repair Forum.

To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

How to Open the Control Panel on a Jenn Air or Maytag Slide-In Range

From: brownging
Subject: When you were offline (via LivePerson)

I would like directions to replace the touch panel on the front of our Jenn-Air stove #svd48600. The part number is #695500
The above message was sent when you were offline, via your Timpani site.
Message sent from IP:

Ahh, Grasshoppah, ax and ye shall receive!

Opening the control panel on a Jenn Air or Maytag slide-in range, 1 of 2

Opening the control panel on a Jenn Air or Maytag slide-in range, 2 of 2

Now, go and do likewise; give to those who ask of you. If you don’t have anyone to give to at the moment, then how ’bout giving to my flavorite charity?