Two Sundays ago I was making dinner when the oven timer went off. I hit the button to turn it off but it wasn’t working. The control panel has been peeling off since we bought the gas range. We got it on a huge discount because of the slight peeling, a small dent and the missing burner cap. I looked that panel and realized crumbs and other food was lodged in under the control panel. In an attempt to clean it out, I ripped the connection between the control panel and the electrical panel. Awesome. It’s gross, I know but don’t judge. I was trying to clean it.
After a little googling and call to Dadtractor, I decided I could fix it once I had the part. I looked online and found the part I needed. It was going to cost us $180. DOH! Getting it online was a lot cheaper than ordering it from a Seattle area store though. I wanted to be sure the part would come with installation instructions so the next morning, I called customer service to double check. The operator told me it didn’t which meant it was likely that a professional would have to make the repaid ($$$). A few calls later, I was getting quotes of $500-600 for the repair and the part. That’s more than half of what we paid originally. As usual, I went to Craigslist in search of a better deal.
I got 3 responses. The first wanted to charge me $300 for the labor and I’d have to buy the part. The second sounded person sounded sketchy and “thought” they could figure it out. The third didn’t actually ask for the job but said he was an apartment manager and makes this repairs fairly often. He said he was happy to walk me through the repair on the phone. I emailed him back but never heard from him. He did give me another idea. I knew someone who was a building manager and asked if he could help me out if I attempted the repair and got in over my head. He said the repair was, “easy peasy,” and that he’d be happy to help.
The replacement control panel arrived in two days (free shipping and no tax!) and was sitting in our living room for 3 days before I opened the box. I was going to tackle this project with Micah but out of sheer boredom (I was home sick with a bad cold), I decided to take on this project by myself. Dadtractor came by to pull the range out and to make sure I wasn’t going to blow myself up messing with the gas.
Having a cold (with flaring asthma) makes this repair more difficult than it should be. I was gasping for breath just trying to remove all the screws. When I finally got the control panel face off, I found this:
I was a little panicked at first. It wasn’t what I was expecting and I was worried I’d have to disconnect a bunch of connections and wouldn’t remember what went where at the end. With a little ingenuity (this is definitely a two person job), I managed to replace the ripped connection (sorry, I was sweating to hard to take pictures).
After screwing it back together (and a snack and rest break), I was finally done 1.5 hours later. Really, this should have taken 30-45 minutes. Who knew how much a cold could slow me down.
This isn’t a particularly exciting post or a real tutorial but I have to say, this repair might be my greatest house accomplishment this year. It would be even better if I hadn’t broken the range in the first place. All in all, we got a $700 discount on the range because of the problems. I spent $180 on the control panel part and $20 on a replacement burner cap a few months ago. In the process of changing out the control panel, I also got rid of the dent. A told savings of $500? Not bad. The satisfaction of making this repair myself? Priceless.
Anyone ever take on a major appliance repair?