Oven Fads

Our oven’s a circa 1974 avocado green electric wall-mounted Hotpoint.  We also have a guest bathroom that is still tiled in harvest gold (aka mustard yellow).  As much as I’d love to retile the bathroom with something less pukey, the oven’s our immediate concern.

The heating element on it cracked last night, with an audible pop.  We witnessed what happened after that — it didn’t throw sparks, but we watched a heating element fizzle in one particular spot.  It didn’t completely break, but after that pop, it would not turn red at all, and would only heat to 275F after half an hour, and held there after that.  Okay, that’s fine for baking stuffed eggplant . . . in an hour, rather than 30 minutes, given that the ingredients were all pre-cooked, and only needed to be heated through.

I really don’t want to have to replace this oven for a number of reasons.  The oven’s as old as the house, but until last night it was a workhorse.  Whatever the temperature the dial was turned to, the oven heated to that within 15 minutes, after I flipped the other dial to “bake,” with an oven thermometer to confirm the temp.  The oven light stopped working years ago, and the button was missing before we bought the place, but a flashlight cures that.  A flashlight will not cure the cracked heating element.

The repair guy, knowing the basics of the problem, is supposed to arrive early this afternoon to fix it.  I have a limit, dollarwise, beyond which I refuse to have it repaired.  If this tops my dollar limit, I’ll pretty much consider this contractor a scheister.  The hitch is that I don’t really have to want to buy a new oven.

Most new appliances, especially the ones that come with shiny new stainless steel front covers, are total crap.  They come with computer-controlled circuit boards that fail.  Those cost a heck of a lot more to repair than do old workhorses.  And, for some odd reason, people looking for new houses demand them.

It may sound silly, but I’d rather cough up $200 to repair this dinosaur than spend $750 to replace it with something equally low-tech, including installation.  I really like low-tech appliances (by today’s standards, anyway) — for a reason.  They tend to work well beyond their theoretical life expectancy, and cost a whole lot less to repair.

I’m up for replacing it, if I have to, but I really loved the way it worked, before the heating element cracked.

It’s not “poor me.”  It’s just one more thing I didn’t want to have to have fixed NOW.



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9 Responses to Oven Fads

  1. admin says:

    Bingo, bango, gone. The heating element has been replaced, tested, and works like a charm. $200 for the visit, including the replacement element, labor, and tax. That’s what I expected.

    YES! I have my oven back. Excellent contractor!

  2. Melany says:

    My grandma had a stove like that, but in gold not green. She got it fixed as many times as she could, but finally gave in and bought a new one a couple years ago when both her stove and microwave died at the same time.

    Her house still has shag carpeting in the living room and her bathroom is orange and yellow. Definitely out of the 70’s, but we can’t talk her into updating the look.

  3. admin says:

    I have some of those granny issues. Shag carpeting . . .um .. . .

  4. admin says:

    I have issues with people hating my Isfahan rugs, but, whatever. Either you like a rug, or you hate it. Pfft.

  5. Mike Brendan says:

    As long as it ties the room together, man…

  6. Jenny says:

    We moved about two years ago, and although the two upstairs bathrooms in the new house had been updated, the half bath in the daylight basement had not. It has a lovely harvest gold toilet and sink, dark wood paneling, and two swag lights on either side of the vanity with amber glass and dark bronze chains. Bwahaha! 1972 called, and it wants its decor back. (sorry, no shag carpeting).

    • admin says:

      We had no shag carpeting here. No carpeting at all, when we bought the place. The floors were all solid oak, upstairs and downstairs. I plunked down my own oriental area rugs, because they go with my antiques, which I love.

      But, boy do I have memories of ’70s shag carpeting from my friends’ houses when I was a kid. Those go with the whole avocado/mustard color scheme. Thankfully, all we have left of that decorating fad is one bathroom, and the oven.

    • Melany says:

      My grandma’s house has lovely dark wood accents and lovely windows, and with the help of myself and an aunt we cleaned up her front porch, tore up the ugly carpeting that was out there and put up some new shades she has a nice place to read the paper in the mornings except in the winter.

  7. JupiterPluvius says:

    Hooray for appliance repair people!

    Avocado green appliances, not so much, but I agree that it’s so hard to find a good electric oven these days that you’re better off trying to work with the avocado than sinking cash into a new oven.

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