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.