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Replacing a range/oven

 
pioneer
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Location: Chesterfield, Massachusetts, United States
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Hey everybody!

I'm writing in part to share a frustration and in part for advice.

Frustration first, then the request for advice. If you don't want to read the frustration, feel free to skip this section:
So we recently bought a home (April of 2020). Since buying, we have had MANY problems. All homeowners say that once you buy a home you spend the rest of your life doing home repair basically. I always figured that was hyperbolic because I've rented places for multiple years and had 0 problems. We had a home inspection and all that jazz. We DECLINED home warranty because our realtor said that typically it doesn't pay out so it ends up being a waste of money. We had heard that from other folks before so we figured it was good advice. I WISH WE HAD A HOME WARRANTY RIGHT NOW because the dishwasher is on the fritz, the oven is on the fritz, the microwave is on the fritz, the kitchen sink had a leak, the drains backed up, the well system was NOT maintained for pretty much the duration of the time the previous owners lived there (15 years), and at least one stone mason has told us the foundation walls are in terrible disrepair (home inspector mentioned they should be fixed but was TACITURN about how imminent the danger was...a two contractors have said it's no big deal and the house is solid but that mason has me freaked out and he says it'll be like $20,000 to shore it up, ug!!!). Presently I am outraged over the oven though. It's a 2-year old Samsung gas range and oven. The range works fine. The oven has an acrid, burning smell that stings the eyes and nose as soon as it starts to heat up. It is NOT a gas leak. Gas smells like rotten eggs. This is like breathing smoke: stinging awfulness. We had to shut it off, open all the windows, and clear out of the ground floor of the house it was so strong. Tried to use it one additional time and had the same thing happen and haven't touched it since. Been a month with no oven. Sucks!!! I've tried all the local appliance repair folks. All of them tell me the same thing: the only people who will touch a Samsung appliance are Samsung-authorized dealers. Samsung has a central hub for repair out of Long Island. I live in Western Massachusetts. They want to dispatch a guy and charge me $116.88 just to dispatch him and are saying it will probably cost around $500 to repair based on what I'm describing. This unit is $680 brand new, I looked it up online. Why the heck would I pay 91% of the value of a new unit to repair an old one? If this was a car, we'd say it was totaled and insurance would be paying out. Samsung's take was to quote me a 1-year warranty and tell me I was liable for the full cost of repair. I explained that I had several Samsung smart phones (3 people in the family), a couple of Samsung monitors, and a Samsung tablet. I also explained that if they would not help me, they would be losing any future business from me at all and that I would be telling people I knew how awful the customer service was. I spent several days on the phone and in online chat with Samsung reps. Nobody was able to help me. Wouldn't even credit me a penny. So I'm in the market for a new oven! I feel so overwhelmed, frustrated, and defeated by this kind of small, carping crap that keeps happening. We make plenty of money in theory, but in practice it seems like we are always spiraling the drain financially because of college debt. I wish I had read about SKIP 15 years ago and saved myself the chronic stress. C'est la vie, I suppose.



Ok, now for the request for advice:
So I have an appliance in the kitchen now that has a totally functional gas range, but the oven doesn't work at all. I want to get rid of this unit and replace it with something better. I do NOT have a vent to the outside in the kitchen. I want something I can put in the space that a traditional 5.9 cubic foot oven would occupy since I will have a gap in my counter in the kitchen. I need it to match the kitchen as best as possible. I need for my kitchen not to explode or be filled with toxic gas. I need to be able to bake things so that I am not left with the options of stir fry or gnawing on rock hard squash. To complicate matters, there are 3 adults in the house. Two of us are very much on board with rocket mass heaters and all that jazz. One of the adults thinks doing stuff like that is bizarre and crazy and that composting toilets will make us all die from Black Death etc. etc. So two of us are probably like...Eco Level 1 or 2 to use Paul's scale and the other thinks Styrofoam is cool and the plastic raft in the ocean is mythological, basically. There are a number of reasons why detaching from this third person is not a viable option for us, so please, I appreciate how frustrating that is (I'm living through it, BELIEVE me I get it), but I don't want to go down that road at all with any of the solutions we pursue here. So given what I need and the fact that the oven I have is no loner functional, what do you all think is my best option? Should I just stick with a conventional oven and go to an appliance store? If so, are there any brands you recommend that aren't going to crap the bed a year or two out of warranty? What would get me the best bang for my buck if I'm looking to spend around $700-$900? Is there any really good option for less than that? The kitchen is set up for a gas range, but I could just shut off the gas at the wall and go electric if the consensus is that this would be more eco-friendly. I am not sure how the footprint of burning propane vs. using an electric oven work out. I think the prevailing power in my region is coal, so probably a horse a piece. Would I be better served making a rocket stove? Would there be enough room in the width of a standard oven for one to be built safely? Would the wood cabinets on either side become a charred ruin? This is a wood house, so I live inside a tinder-box!!!

Bonus points in answer for:
1. Solutions where I don't die in a terrible, fiery incident
2. Solutions that can be practically implemented within the context of living in a small hilltown community
3. Solutions that come in under-budget because saving money is cool!
4. Solutions that end up being really really cost-effective. I'd rather pay a little more and get a GREAT solution than gouge the budget and get a Tinker Toy oven that is going to need replacing in 2-4 years.

I appreciate the superior wisdom and experience most of you folks have. Please can you help me by imparting some of that to me? I have nothing to offer in exchange really but paying it forward to the next poor schlub. I guess I can promise to live a more environmentally harmonious life. We sure are trying by increasing biodiversity in our region and have already seen a return of many frogs, newts, butterflies, birds, and even tiny mammals. We're working on encouraging beavers to come back to our stream. Here's hoping our communal efforts through this website can, indeed, build a better world in our backyards!!

Edit: One option we are thinking about is getting a toaster oven small enough that it could fit inside the oven for out-of-the-way storage and then just keeping the range we have since the gas range bit works nicely. Then we'd just haul out the toaster oven and plop it on the counter when we want to bake something. Don't know if there are any toaster ovens big enough to bake, say, a 9x11 pan or two loaves of bread simultaneously. Will look into it. Anybody gone this route and have big regrets? Big enjoyments?
 
master steward
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Well that sucks...  So do you think the previous owner never baked with the oven?

Have you done some youtube searches for that model to see if folks have fixed it on their own?  There is a BB for that  Troubleshoot and fix an electrical appliance  (assuming it's an electrical problem, otherwise it's still Oddball)

We have a Breville toaster oven that does 95% of our baking.  It's 12.75" by 13.5".  But it sits on the counter 24/7.  
 
pollinator
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My very first thought is, is the oven just dirty? unused ovens really can smell, especially if something has been spilt on the element or down the back by the burner. If I use mine for a while without really cranking it up when I do it smokes the house out.

My second thought is go to the local second hand shops/free adds and buy yourself a cheap cooker. shove that in and then you can take time to find exactly what you want. My second thought was. shame you don't live closer I have a spare! When we bought this house the cooker here was the same as yours the hob worked but the oven didn't (and there was a lot of evidence of mice in the insulation so they were probably the issue there) so we took the cooker from our old house. and then we rented the house so she had to buy another one. the one she bought cost $7 but she didn't check the power, it was a 400V cooker and the old house only has 230V so I now use her $7 one!

For cooking I prefer a gas hob and an electric oven. It's also usefull in old houses where the fuses won't cope with both being electric.
 
D.W. Stratton
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Skandi Rogers wrote:My very first thought is, is the oven just dirty? unused ovens really can smell, especially if something has been spilt on the element or down the back by the burner. If I use mine for a while without really cranking it up when I do it smokes the house out.

My second thought is go to the local second hand shops/free adds and buy yourself a cheap cooker. shove that in and then you can take time to find exactly what you want. My second thought was. shame you don't live closer I have a spare! When we bought this house the cooker here was the same as yours the hob worked but the oven didn't (and there was a lot of evidence of mice in the insulation so they were probably the issue there) so we took the cooker from our old house. and then we rented the house so she had to buy another one. the one she bought cost $7 but she didn't check the power, it was a 400V cooker and the old house only has 230V so I now use her $7 one!

For cooking I prefer a gas hob and an electric oven. It's also usefull in old houses where the fuses won't cope with both being electric.



I definitely suspect mice chewed on something. I have seen a mouse climbing out of the vent of the oven before.
 
D.W. Stratton
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Mike Haasl wrote:Well that sucks...  So do you think the previous owner never baked with the oven?

Have you done some youtube searches for that model to see if folks have fixed it on their own?  There is a BB for that  Troubleshoot and fix an electrical appliance  (assuming it's an electrical problem, otherwise it's still Oddball)

We have a Breville toaster oven that does 95% of our baking.  It's 12.75" by 13.5".  But it sits on the counter 24/7.  



It worked for a couple months when we first moved in. This problem just happened all of a sudden.
 
gardener
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If you don't use the oven constantly (like I do) then a large standalone electric toaster oven would work.
Nowadays there are things like this countertop convection oven but back in the day I had a stone-age electric toaster oven that I actually did all of Thanksgiving in (I was in Japan and ovens were very few and far between). It was a small turkey, to be sure, but it also did pies and such.
Now that I actually cook seriously, I like larger ovens to roast half-sheet pans of veggies and flatbreads, for example. If you're only baking 2 loaves of bread, it makes sense to buy a $100 toaster oven. If you want a functional stove/oven, maybe see if there is a place that will sell a used/rehabbed unit. My mother is always talking about the Habitat Restore and the things she finds there, either that or appliance repair places also sometimes have used models for sale and offer a decent warranty.
 
pollinator
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A couple of thoughts...

large counter top electric ovens that could handle a 20 lb turkey can be had for under $150.

You could construct a wood burning oven in the back yard and do all your roasting and pizzas in that (add a nearby bonfire in November)

Personally I would look on Craigslist and search for a functional gas stove, leaning towards a top-end 50-60’s model in good condition that parts are available for. A quick check revealed plenty including one add for 2 stoves and a fridge lol.

The acrid smell thing is weird. I’d be tempted to try running it hot while watching closely to see if it dissipated eventually (a couple of box fans running in nearby windows to vent). Has a really close examination of the stove been conducted to make sure something hasn’t spilled inside it? All the gas stoves I’ve had are essentially made of metal, glass and presumably some insulation in the sides so other than new fangled circuit boards and wiring, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of things that could stink up the place. Did Samsung say what the expensive repair might entail?
 
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. I have seen a mouse climbing out of the vent of the oven before.

might be a good idea to adopt some cats.

im faced with prospect of replacing aging stove also.
don't know which way to go with it. I don't the new electronic ones very much at all and I wants the stud burners on top that won't break as I fill pots real full often and use cast iron just about daily. its either go with a propane unit or scour the places that sell appliances for one that has old fashioned knobs that turn without without sheet printed circuits and switches.
neighbor went with new propane from amazon that was less than $500 delivered ands its dang near restaurant commercial quality.
 
pollinator
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I'm gonna guess that maybe something was spilled in OR died in the oven.

Why would I say that? that's horrible! Yes, yes it is... but after emptying our cabinets and pulling out our electric range/oven to find the source of "dead animal smell" in our kitchen and finding nothing, I smelled it coming from the range itself.
I set to taking it apart, and opened the electric hookup cover and instead of wires, I saw fur.

If you're mechanically inclined at all, you could disconnect it and try opening it up/taking it apart... What?!?! You're going VOID your oh so awesome Samsung warranty!!!
Also, you'll do half this work anyways if you replace it. You could find a cheap/free unit on Craigslist to have on hand as a "plan B", and re-list it if you can fix the Samsung.
 
James Whitelaw
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Don’t under-estimate the power of critter pee to funk up anything and if burned it could be described as “acrid” (don’t ask how I know).

What is the specific model Samsung?  One piece of unrelated gas oven advice I got from a fellow who repaired our oven was to never run the self cleaning function. It gets it too hot and burns out the ceramic sensor that regulates the gas and protects against gas flow without flame (bad).
 
James Whitelaw
pollinator
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Found this: webpage https://www.cnet.com/how-to/why-you-should-always-burn-in-your-new-oven/

Maybe the prior owners never used the oven? Not unheard of (microwave cults for example)

According to Samsung, the burning smell caused by a new oven is due to the "insulation surrounding the oven cavity emitting odors the first few times it is exposed to the extreme heat inside of the oven." This is the smell of a bonding agent curing. Also, if you fail to remove some of the zip ties used to secure the inserts during transit before turning it on for the first time, you may also be smelling the plastic melting and burning.

Appliance maker Belling, on the other hand, explains that the smell and light smoke you may see on the first use is from a protective coating of oil that is used during the manufacturing process.

Whatever the case, new ovens smell. The best way to get rid of the smell is to run a proper burn-in cycle. It's recommended that you not cook any food prior to a burn-in, as the smell (and potentially the taste) can stick with your food.

 
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I think some posters might have missed that this was a sudden change after it worked fine for a while.
Something changed, could be a spill or an animal.

I think you are a candidate for learning some minor appliance repair/ installation.
I have installed a handful of ovens,  repaired some as well.
The simplest repair is opening something up and cleaning where the sun don't shine.
I'm betting that will fix your problem.
Cranking up the heat and burning out the smell might work too,  but most domestic partners don't like that.

If cleaning doesn't work,  installing a gas appliance is simple enough that they let plumbers do it( Just joshing the plumbers,  I was a service plumber myself)
Seriously, it's safe as sand,  as long as your gas shut off works( and if it doesn't, it needs to be fixed)

I have bought a few new appliances over the 20 or so years I have lived in this house,  but the oldest one are the ones that keep ticking.
For $500.00 you could buy ten great used ovens, but you wouldn't need to.
One purchase will probably be enough to get a good one.

To put things in perspective,  I went to buy a $20.00 gas dryer,  the guy gave it to me free(out of pity? Oh well!)  and 5 years latter it's still going strong.
I have taken it apart once,  when clothing was coming out wet,  cleaned it,  put it back together,  and put it back to work.

Appliances are like cars.
Buy used and do basic maintenance,  and you will be rewarded.
 
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