All stove up

The HAL 9000 unit effects repairs upon the Frigidaire 666 unit.
Photo: Hal Walter

The Retro-Grouch, Continued: Some people, and the devices they devise, can be too smart for their own good.

And more importantly, for ours.

Case in point: My man Hal up in Weirdcliffe just replaced a $200 control-board/keypad widget in his $1,500 Frigidaire oven for the third time, after being ovenless since March 29. He’s slightly over it, but consoles himself with the knowledge that had he employed the local appliance-repair dude to do the job(s), he’d be out another six hundy or so.

Next time around he may fix it for good.

“If this thing breaks down again, I will shoot it full of holes,” he said. “The backside of this fucker looks like the wiring to the starship Enterprise.”

And why is that, d’you suppose? What do we require of an oven? That it boldly go where no one has gone before? Nope. That it bake things, and roast things, and broil things, and not take eight months off per annum, amirite? What do we need for that? Heating coils, a thermostat, and knobs to make it all hop, yeah?

My old Whirlpool double-decker uses analog knobs and is about as smart as an Iowa Republican. The knob that sets the clock is missing. Happily, unlike an Iowa Republican, I know what time it is.

And unlike Hal, I never have to crawl into the backside of the fucker with a toolbox, like Scotty, with Kirk hollering into his communicator.

“Captain, I canna make ’er cook nae faster! She’s about to blow!”

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13 Responses to “All stove up”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    “There’s no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.”
    ― E.B. White

  2. Dale Says:

    I feel Hal’s pain. We’ve had our oven control board replaced twice due to an error code indicating a bad control board. The first time was when the thing was under warranty. The second time we had to dig deep into the family wallet. We finally figured out that the error codes appeared after we used the oven timer. It is showing the same code again (has been for months), but if we wait for a few hours the code goes away. Now we use a cheap kitchen timer.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I use an ancient iPod Touch as our kitchen timer. It also serves an abbreviated iTunes library via Bluetooth to a pair of Edifier speakers while I rattle those pots and pans. Like me, it old, but it ain’t daid.

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        The wife is having the full-sized oven in our kitchen removed. In it’s place will be a $100 DeLonghi toaster/convection oven big enough to roast a small chicken. We’d rather have more cabinet space without having to lay out $10K for a new kitchen setup. We’re yanking the gas stove too. An induction setup will let us ditch that big gas bottle so she’ll gain almost two full-width cabinet spaces, in addition to saving a ton of dough. And I get a wall-mounted rack above the sink to put the rinsed dishes on so they can air-dry. Win-Win! Save-Save!

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

  4. SAO' Says:

    About once a year I have to take about the control panels on our washer and dryers. When it broke the first time, I filled out some trouble-shooting wizard, and no matter how I finessed the symptoms, it kept telling me I had to replace the entire $300 control panel, which would run $2-300 for labor. Of course this happened on a Friday night, so I had all weekend to think about it, and I guess I was bored that particular Saturday because I uncharacteristically took it apart myself to look at it up close and personal. Figured out that the real problem was that the plastic housing around the on/off switch gets warped, so you just need to take it apart, jiggle it a little, and put it back together. So now my washer and dryer have a preventative maintenance schedule, just like rotating your tires. Every 100 cycles, gotta pop the top and rebuild the carburetor.

  5. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Patrick you are wrong in your Iowa Republican comment. Your stove is FAR smarter. It knows that going to the scrap pile does not benefit it nor the planet. Meanwhile Republicans, and not just from Iowa, plunge headlong into obsolescence. Modern appliances suck ass and might be the worst investment on earth. Except for Speed Queen washers. They seem to hold on like a Texas Tick

  6. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    Had to laugh at your Iowa Republican reference. I’m wondering how the folks in Iowa are enjoying all the “winning” these days thanks to Don the Con? Their senators seem to have guzzled the Russian Kool-Aid about the Con’s criminal antics along with the rest of the Rethugs. Will ANY of these mokes put our country and the law above their party? Uncle Mitty, are you out there?

  7. John A Levy Says:

    I have a Whirlpool sport clothes dryer. first time a youtuber showed me how to put a drop of solder to fix the short. Worked once then then control board went totally wonky. $200 for s new board plus some disassembly and assembly required. moving 225 lb waherhas a zero fun factor. Next time a $100 third party board went in, Still working but the drum belt is squealing a republican paying taxes. . hope it outlasts the urine soaked redhead in D.C.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I delivered those beasts for beer money back in the Seventies, when they were still simple mechanical contrivances (and also weighed about a thousand pounds apiece, or so it seemed to a young stoner).

      I seem to remember anything from Frigidaire being the heaviest. But they were all godawful.

      We’re rocking an LG washer here now after our experience with the Exploding Clothes Washer of Doom. The Samsung dryer remains in operation for reasons that elude me.

      We’d like to gut that laundry room, making use of the adjacent furnace closet that turns wash day into a horrible clusterfuck, but the thought of moving either of those machines gives me the ya-yas.

      • Dale Says:

        Patrick, forget the equipment and steal a cart from the nearest grocery store. Put all of your dirties in it and push it down to to the nearest laundromat. You’ll need to carry a shitload of quarters, but there is no maintenance thereafter.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        We were doing something very much like that during the tenure of the Exploding Clothes Washer of Doom. I got well acquainted with the local Spin Cycle franchise.

        It reminded me of my misspent youth, when it never occurred to me to own a washer or dryer when they could be rented so cheaply.

        Plus there was always the chance of meeting a girl even dirtier than my clothes.

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