It doesn’t take rocket science to embrace the notion that doling out a couple hundred bucks to repair a malfunctioning oven, rather than having to go out and spend a whole lot more to buy a new one. Still, sometimes there are more issues at hand than a simple “fix or replace” going on. And weighing out all of these issues and options can become a bit difficult.
You need to factor in the amount of money you may need to spend in order to fix it and how much more life the oven actually has in it. If your oven is older and starting to show other signs of wearing out, a short term savings of a few hundred dollars may actually wind up becoming less desirable if you expect to turn around soon and begin shopping for a new replacement oven. You don’t want to make repairs and spend a few hundred dollars, just to turn around again in a few months and buy a whole new oven.
Today annually, Americans spend around $15 billion on purchasing new appliances. And if your oven problem is not something that you can easily fix yourself, you need to look at what you will have to pay out for any new replacement parts — in addition to the often hefty charge for the service call.
Engaging a Repair Technician to Come Out and Diagnose Your Oven Problem
If you work outside of your home, hiring an appliance repair person to come out and diagnose and/or fix the problem comes with its own set of problems, which might weigh in to your final decision regarding repair. Scheduling a typical repair visit begins with determining a date that the appliance repair person has open on his or her schedule, and making sure you have no conflicts for that day. This can sometimes take longer than you might like, but you will unfortunately be at their mercy.
Usually these visits are not arranged in the same manner as with doctor appointments, etc. and so you typically pick a time window for your appointment–four hours is the average time frame. You will need to be there the entire time span, waiting for your repair person to show up. It’s not uncommon to find a company or individual who requires that you be there, and not a helpful friend or adult child. It must be you. And many different factors can influence how early or late they will actually show up, so just resign yourself to the fact that your day is going to be basically shot. Once they show up, and if repair is possible that day, you could be looking at quite a longer wait time, as well.
The Cost of Scheduling Repair Usually Comes With Options
A lot of appliance companies that offer sales and service have two options available for their customers. One is a fee of around $150 for the basic house call alone, and from that point, you are responsible for any parts that are needed, and they usually mark these up to pass along to you. A second option is for you to pay a flat fee that can be anywhere from $200-$275, and with this, you are actually purchasing not only a fix for your appliance, but also a one year warranty. You will not have to pay extra for any parts you may need to fix your oven.
While this may sound like a good idea, if the only thing that your malfunctioning or broken oven needs is a $25 part that you can order and replace yourself, you’ll be losing money. Just make sure to find out about all the options available to you as a consumer from repair technicians and then weighing them against how long you really see yourself keeping your oven.
Fixing it Yourself
If you have a certain proclivity toward fixing things yourself and how mechanics work, you might first want to check out the problem yourself. You can use the Internet to conduct a search of the most common problems to occur with your particular year, make and model oven. This will help you to narrow down your search considerably. Next, once you have found a similar problem, check out the solution. Most parts can be returned if they are not able to fix the problem, so keep your purchasing information. You will only be out a little time. Before doing any work on your oven, first unplug the unit. This is important, regardless of how small or easily to access the part may be.
Repairs Can Often be Cheaper
More often than not, repairing the oven is cheaper than going out and buying a new one, especially if you can fix it yourself. You might still choose to have a service technician come out because he or she can diagnose the exact problem, advise you about other ways you can avoid future problems, and provide general maintenance tips for the long life of your appliance. You can factor this good advice in as an extra value you are getting for your money.
Common Gas Oven Issues
Gas ovens feature their burner inside the oven, and you can’t immediately see whether the burner is ignited or not. It is important that you know which method of ignition your oven uses, or you could burn out a valve. Sensing elements and flame switches are fairly easy fixes. Your oven problem could actually be coming from a broken or malfunctioning thermostat. Spark ignition systems and glow bar ignition systems are generally more complicated to fix, and require the skill of an authorized oven repair technician. Over time, there can be trace amounts of impurities in the gas your oven uses, and tiny orifices for emitting flames can become clogged. If this is the problem, you can fix it by using a small brush to unclog the holes.
Common Issues with Electric Ovens
Electric ovens have become quite sophisticated in design, but with a little proper research and patience, you should be able to fix many of the more common problems. Again, first, unplug the oven from electricity first.
Sometimes it’s the heating element, or the electric oven selector switch. You may need to calibrate the temperature, service an oven door or replace any of the different gaskets in the oven. And regardless of the problem, weighing the costs of repair against buying a new oven, can again save you a lot of money.81