Leaking Gas Oven -- CHRONIC PROBLEM

Old 01-05-01, 09:08 PM
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My husband and I purchased our first home in July 1999 and have inherited a 17 year old Modern Maid gas oven that leaks chronically. Five times in the last year and a half we have experienced major gas leaks, and each time the oven has been serviced under a home appliance warranty policy that came with the house. However, NONE of the repairs have solved the problem. The oven keeps blowing its gas regulator and various other valves and lines. (Keep in mind we've also had the gas company come out and check the pressure from the street lines into the house to make sure it's not too forceful.)

The repairman can't seem to figure out why it keeps blowing the parts, and upon his advice, the insurance company refuses to do anything but repair the oven -- even though repairs sometimes only last one month and we are required to pay a $50 service call each time a technician visits the house. We have complained and complained but have gotten nowhere with the company.

Do you have ANY idea what could be wrong with this oven and what might cause it to keep blowing parts? Are its age and recurrent problems an indication that it's beyond repair and should be replaced? (We'll have to do this with our own money since the insurance company won't act appropriately here.)

PLEASE HELP!! We're very afraid that our house is going to blow up while the insurance company stands by idly.

(Also any advice on getting the insurance company to acknowledge our grievances?)

Old 01-06-01, 08:43 AM
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Thanks for posting a well discribed problem discription with the oven and the steps already taken to attempt to correct the condition.

You mentioned the natural gas supplier has already checked the lines. This should confirm that the houseline pressure is correct. The house pressure should be between 7 to 10 inches of water column and not building pressure when there is no demand.

Is this what you mean by what the gas company service person did while outside the house and while at the meter? I sure hope so.

As a professional myself, I have to make the assumption the gas company person did check and confirm proper operation of the companies pressure regulator at the meter.

Moving on from the above, my question is:
Is there other natural gas appliances in the house?
<Examples: A water heater, stove top, dryer and or furnace?>

If so, are they operating properly?

Did the gas company service person enter your house and check the oven??? If so: What was the outcome of the check?

Did the gas company service person also check those appliances??? Are working correctly and verified by the gas company service person???

Please excuse me for asking so many questions above but I am attempting to isolate the problem and determine if the problem is strictly within the oven.

You mentioned the repairman can't figure out what the problem is??? That's unusual, if the problem is isolated to that appliance only. At times it may not be. Which is exactly why the gas company had to verify that their equipment is in fact working correctly.

Knowing that that gas company's equipment is functioning correctly and other appliances in the house do not have the same problem the oven has, the appliance repair person shouldn't have a difficult time diagnosing the problem and correctly it.

If all else in the house is working correctly, except the oven and your not feeling safe, turn off the gas supply shutoff valve to the oven.

It may become necessary for you to contact a local independent appliance service company, of your choosing, listed in your phone book directory. The costs your going to pay may be well worth the satisfaction of having an oven that works correctly, safely and offering you peace of mind.
Old 01-06-01, 08:50 AM
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Modern Maid is now owned by Amana...

Obtain the model number of your oven and contact them for possible further information.

Also, contact the local Amana dealer (a referral from a satisfied customer is best) and pay for one of their service techs to test the gas line and give you an independent analysis of your problem.

Personally, I have a 32 year old Whirlpool oven and a 32 year old DaynNight furnace in my house and they both work fine, albeit with routine maintenance and repairs when necessary. Stuff does get old and wear out but most appliances will last 20-25 years if not abused.

Tom (the moderator) will give you a more informed opinion but mine is that parts you allude to can handle a lot more pressure than the miniscule amount the gas system is putting upon them. I work with similar equipment in an industrial environment and have done enough of my own home installs to know that pressures under 1/2 psi aren't going to "blow" regulators and lines...they may leak because they or their sealing devices are defective or worn out but their inherant design makes them much stronger than the pressure acting against them.

My best advice is, again, to have an independent technician evaluate your situation. You likely won't pay him or her much more than what you're paying now for essentially nothing.

BTW.....If I could borrow from my expertise in hydraulics...if they're replacing seals and the hard parts that the seals work against are worn, it's possible the seals are just failing prematurely. Maybe if you can get specific about where on the valves, lines and regualtor you are getting leaks we could be of further assistance.

Good luck!


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