70'S CALORIC OVEN


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Old 02-25-01, 01:11 PM
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HELP,
MY 70'S CALORIC ULTRAMATIC OVEN LIGHTS AT 400 DEGREES OR HIGHER & TURNS OFF AFTER 30 SECONDS. I CLEANED THE THERMOCOUPLER AS PARTS ARE NOT EASY FOR THIS UNIT. SHOULD I ADJUST THE VENTURI TO RESTRICT THE AIRFLOW? ANY SUGGESTIONS??
 
  #2  
Old 02-25-01, 04:57 PM
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Hi: prospero316

If your oven does have a pilot, with a red colored reset button on a valve, that you have to hold down a button on, while relighting the pilot, then it has a thermocouple.

If not, it's not a thermocouple your cleaning. It's either a flame switch or a fluid safety element. There is a huge difference between the parts and how one determines what is most likely causing the problem your oven is having.

Most likely, the oven has either a flame switch or fluid safety element. If the flame switch is defective or not heated correctly, the burner will turn on and off as you discribed. Same for the fluid safety.

The ovens failure to turn on at a low temperature setting could be a totally different problem. If your positive the oven doesn't turn on or remain on at a low temperature, I would need to know how you determined it?

Post back the type of pilot light you have. A constant burning "ON always" type that is tiny.

Or one that is "always ON" and is about one and a quarter inchs in length with a tiny tube element above it.

Or one that has a tiny tube type element below and crosswise to a larger pilot flame that turns "ON" when the thermostat is turned ON.

By my knowing the above information plus any more detailed information, I should be able to offer you more specific suggestions.

Hint: Words in all capitol letters are not needed. If may appear to others reading the post as shouting. It doesn't matter to me however.
 
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Old 05-19-05, 09:00 AM
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Caloric range, c. 1970's - oven needs new thermocoupler

Hi,

Resurrecting an old thread because we have a similar problem with our old Caloric range.

Oven turns on, then stops heating after a couple of minutes. Pilot light is on. One repairman told us it couldn't be fixed at all, another told us that it needs a new thermocoupler but he couldn't get the part.

Is there anything we can do to clean, repair, or refurbish any of the parts, or do we just have to start shopping for a new range? Is there any possibility of sourcing this thermocoupler? I know the repairman could do the work if we could find the part for him.

I would appreciate any suggestions as to how to go about this, if it's at all possible. Our Caloric is a godawful avocado green color and relatively old-fashioned compared to the fancy features on new ranges - but we've grown attached over the years and learned each other's quirks, and I'd like to save it if I can.

Many thanks
 
  #4  
Old 05-22-05, 05:03 PM
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like the learned SharpAdvice has stated many more questions have to be answered to diagnose your trouble. I just wanted to offer some general info on thermocouples and thermopiles. a thermocouple is a thin metal capillary tube typically filled with mercury, when attached to a pilot safety valve this thermocouple is heated enough that the mercury flows and allows the gas valve to open and voila ignition! if the thermocouple does not heat enough such as when the pilot flame is out it will not allow valve to open. so knowing this it is also important to know that since this thermocouple is exposed to constant flame and is in a thin metal housing it is bound and prone to fail. these parts cannot be cleaned and magically made to work again, and quite frankly if a thermocouple fails there is usually evidence of the mercury falling out of tube and cleaning it is akin to placing a band-aid on a bullet hole! the science of thermo-piles { as it sounds, a bunch of thermocouples in a crowd will follow}hope this helps someone somewhere and gl to all with those diy repairs!
 
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Old 05-22-05, 07:57 PM
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Hello Falconress and Welcome to the Do It Yourself Web Site and my Gas Appliances topic.

The 70's era ranges came with several different types of pilot assemblies. None where exactly alike. Knowing exactly which one the oven has is very important. All varities where mentioned in my original reply above. No replies ever where posted back, so I could not help that member further.

May be able to help you if I knew exactly what type of pilot assembly your oven has. Try to describe it exactly and the lighting process to light the pilot. Also what happens to the pilot, if anything, when the thermostat is turned on.

Does the appliance have an electrical cord? If so, the pilot assemble may be a flame switch type of pilot assembly. Slightly different that an (T-Couple or TC) thermocouple. Yet both have constant burning pilot flames.

Oven T-Couples should be easily available at parts stores. They are easily available around here. The reset switch is not available, which may apply to the oven you have.

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  #6  
Old 05-22-05, 09:30 PM
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If memory serves me Caloric ovens are equipped with flame switches. Also thermocouples are not filled with mercury. I believe "themechanix" meant to say capillary tube without adding thermocouple to the sentence.
 
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Old 05-23-05, 06:27 AM
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Thank you all for the very helpful replies, this points me in the right direction to at least be able to summarize the problem. I will get back with as many of the answers as I can find. Luckily I have the owner's guide and it has illustrated diagrams that will help - I hope - with the nomenclature, because I don't think I can stretch "thingamajig" as a substitute for the proper name for all the parts.
 
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Old 05-23-05, 09:37 AM
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Sharp Advice, here is at least a part of the answer about the pilot light assembly. I took a couple of photos that explain it better than I can in words. I'm not sure if I am permitted to add a link to the image, but I will try:

The text on the oven door notice might be illegible in the photo, so I transcribed it:
THIS OVEN/BROILER IS EQUIPPED WITH AN AUTOMATIC PILOT IGNITION SYSTEM
IF A PILOT SHOULD GO OUT RELIGHT AS FOLLOWS:
1. TURN CONTROL KNOBS TO THE "OFF" POSITION.
2. RELIGHT PILOT ATTACHED TO THE BURNER.
FOR PILOT LOCATED BENEATH OVEN BOTTOM, THE OVEN BOTTOM (AND COVER PLATE ON LOW BROILER MODELS) MUST BE REMOVED.
TO INSURE PROPER BAKING RESULTS, DO NOT COVER THE OVEN BOTTOM OR OVEN RACKS WITH ALUMINUM FOIL... (remaining text irrelevant)


The range has oven and backguard lights and a clock/timer, so there is an electrical cord for those components, but I don't think it has anything to do with the pilot light. The pilot light assembly is under the oven's cooking floor.

What happens is that with the pilot light on, I turn the oven knob and... nothing. When it worked properly, I would hear a dull click (best description I can give is it sounded a bit like a furnace when it fires up) when the knob was turned about 1/4 way, indicating that the oven had lit up. Now it doesn't click, and the oven doesn't turn on.

mbk3, themechanix's post, and your comment, went beyond my technical knowledge. I wouldn't know what spilled mercury looks like but as you noted, there isn't any mercury involved here. I'm not sure what a flame switch is or how to check if it's functioning properly (if that's even possible for a layman). There are three wires in the pilot light assembly (marked A,B,C in the linked images); are you referring to any of these, and is that the part that needs replacement?

The current state of these wires is that Wire B goes into the oven wall, but it is not fastened, it can be pulled in and out. It looks as if it used to be screwed in tightly but now it's just placed in that position, not attached and not connected to anything. I don't recall how this appeared when the oven was functioning properly - whether it was always just placed there without being fastened, or whether it used to be screwed in and attached to something and the repairman pulled it out when he looked at the oven. Obviously, I have no idea of its function, or else I would know how it's supposed to be connected.

Wire C - the silvery one - goes into the oven wall and is attached securely to whatever it's leading to.

We have also turned off the pilot light since the oven stopped working.

Does any of this help you understand what part I am looking for? I'd be happy to give more details if you will guide me as to where to find them.

Again, many thanks.
Edited to add: Looking at the photo again, I see there are only two wires, and what I marked as Wire A and Wire B are actually only one wire that curves on itself - just proves how little I know about these things
 
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Old 05-23-05, 02:28 PM
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Sorry for being to technical. This appears to be a flame switch type of safety. The pilot flame strikes the "bar" that is above the pilot flame. When doing so it heats the mercury inside and when it expands it travels thru the capillary tube to the switch end, closing the switch allowing gas valve to become energized. If the pilot is low or dirty and not producing enough heat on the cap tube, than the switch will not close. These switches also fail quite often. Power is on to oven right?
 
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Old 05-23-05, 08:28 PM
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Hello: Falconress

If a picture says a thousand words, than the pictures you've displayed is proof positive....thanks... As a result and hopefully, there will not be a need for me to explain this safety system in too much details.

The type of safety system I see is a fluid safety. The lead (what you are calling wires A&B are not really wires but one hollow tube) out of the safety element. Indicates it is a fluid safety and that type is not electrical (no electrical wires) nor does it contain mercury. It contains an inert fluid or gas vapor charge which expands, like all fluids or vapors do, when heated.

Notice the threaded end? Screws into the gas control valve. Not connected to the gas valve via two wires, thus non electrical. It's mechanical via fluid or a vapor charge. The vapor charged types are also used for the mechanical temperature thermostats.

That element (on the pilot assemble) is burned out and needs to be replaced. Unscrews out of the control valve and pulls out of the clip holding it to the pilot assembly. May or may not be available locally. The green wire is actually a thin aluminum hollow tube which carries the pilot gas.

If available, purchase both the entire pilot assembly and the safety element. Replace both parts to ensure the oven works as it use to. Hope the parts are available locally. May be available only online at sources in other areas of the country.

Maytag Appliance Home Page:
http://www.maytag.com
Maytag 1-800-688-9900 USA
Maytag 1-800-688-2002 Canada
Maytag is also the maker of Amana, Jenn-Air, Magic Chef and Caloric Appliances.

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Also note the google ad advertisers. Different than some of the above. May have the needed parts.
 
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Old 05-24-05, 09:41 AM
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Talking

Thank you so much! What a comprehensive answer, so much help and all in clear, understandable language.

In the meantime I also learned that Maytag took over the Caloric line - that's how ignorant I was when I started this quest!

Yes, I do understand which element you're pointing out, and yes, even I can tell that it's burned out. That's why, when taking the pic, I suspected that the reason it was unscrewed and just repositioned there loosely was because the repairman pulled it out as being the defective component.

I think he intended to just replace a part of it but your suggestion of replacing the entire assembly and safety element sounds much more sensible. Either way, I would have to track down the parts. I live in a major metropolitan area (NYC) but I suspect that something as esoteric as this will probably be easier to find online. I'll start with the links you gave me.

Again, thanks ever so much for the wonderful help. This is starting to turn into a labor of love. We went to look at new ranges yesterday and... feh. Too shiny, too many bells and whistles. "Preset burner settings" and "control panels" that look like they belong in the cockpit of a Gulfstream. I'm even sensing a renewed appreciation for the dubious charms of avocado green.
 
  #12  
Old 05-25-05, 06:39 PM
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Sounds like I described a flame switch instead of a hydraulic valve. Where is the picture mentioned by Sharp advice?? Wish I had seen it before trying to troubleshoot
 
 

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