Kitchen exhaust fan: glass explosion

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-25-16, 10:53 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 143
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Kitchen exhaust fan: glass explosion

The glass panel on our kitchen exhaust fan exploded today with a loud bang and with such a force that the laminate floor underneath it got a few dents and small shards of glass flew 10 ft and ricocheted off the walls. Explosions like this one are potentially lethal; luckily, no one was in the vicinity at the moment and I still have both eyes.

Name:  a2.jpg
Views: 1490
Size:  27.3 KB

Name:  a1.jpg
Views: 1686
Size:  33.0 KB

Name:  a3.jpg
Views: 1386
Size:  51.7 KB

Looks like it exploded on its own. Only one gas burner on minimal setting was used at the time. The motor, the body of the exhaust were cold. After the explosion it works normally, as it's supposed to. A manufacturing defect?

The glass broke into pieces of all sizes: from large chunks to tiny fragments and dust. It took about four hours to clean the kitchen and the adjacent room of all the glass dust.

Can I make the vendor or the manufacturer pay for a replacement exhaust fan and for new floor? Could FTC help here? Would appreciate any suggestion. Thanks, h.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-26-16, 04:27 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,513
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
You should be able to search to see if there have been similar reports on that fan unit. But at some point you will need to talk to both the mfg and the vendor to see how much they will get involved. Keep notes and copies of all communications. In most warranty wording they disclaim any related damage, but CA may do things differently.

Now, I have had experiences with safety glass, those little pieces say that is what it was. Anything from a scratch, a defect, or simply being clamped in too tightly can result it breaking and sometimes violently.

As for damage beyond just getting a new fan, contact your home insurance company. For one, they have access to a lot of damage information, but they may cover extended damage and then go after the mfg. A lot boils down to dollar amount and your deductible.

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 06-26-16, 05:38 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,134
Received 37 Votes on 35 Posts
It is possible that the screws attaching the cover to the fan were too tight or the fan housing slightly distorted putting pressure on the glass.
It is highly unlikely the glass broke without there being any instigating force.

The same thing happened in my workplace to a neon tube that was improperly installed.
The person installing it thought that it would be ok to slightly shift tube to line up and rest against an opening.
It took a few weeks for the tube to "spontaneously" shatter.
 
  #4  
Old 06-26-16, 07:35 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 143
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Bud, Greg, thanks for the responses. The fan was installed two-three years ago. If the screws might have been too tight? Hard to tell, don't think so, the glass was heavy and sat on the housing by itself, no need in much tightening, just enough to secure it.
 
  #5  
Old 06-26-16, 07:55 AM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,450
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This happened to me. Kenmore Elite glass oven door exploded spontaneously. I reported the problem as a safety issue, but I was not reimbursed for the new door.
I was OK with that, my main goal was to report the safety issue.

I forget who, but someone on this forum knew quite a bit about glass. Apparently, there are flaws in the manufacturing process that cause this to happen. From what I remember, the flaws are undetectable, even by the manufacturer.

And of course, like mentioned, if any screws were over tightened or gaskets/cushions were missing, it's an accident waiting to happen.
 
  #6  
Old 06-27-16, 07:26 AM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 143
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks Handyone. I doubt I tightened the screws more than necessary. That glass had a curve on it, which probably means locked in tension and strain.

What I've found is that the housing surface the glass sat on has two unfiled, sharp edged burrs that stick out of the surface more than 1/32".

Name:  IMG_20160627_070209.jpg
Views: 966
Size:  17.0 KB

Name:  IMG_20160627_070155.jpg
Views: 972
Size:  18.6 KB

This is how the housing parts were welded together. The glass at some point, due to padding wear or something like this, might have come in contact with the burrs. The burrs are symmetrical and only in the front, which is consistent with the after-explosion pictures of the glass.
 
  #7  
Old 06-27-16, 07:42 AM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,450
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Common Causes of Spontaneous Breakage | Glass Education Center by PPG

Above is an interesting link from PPG regarding how glass can spontaneously explode. The article refers to architectural glass, but the same principal applies.
Read the part about the tempering process.
 
  #8  
Old 06-27-16, 11:40 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 143
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the link. Was wondering if what I have experienced could also be called "breakage". It felt more like an explosion sending glass shards and glass dust around the kitchen.
 
  #9  
Old 06-28-16, 03:47 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,965
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
Regular glass will break, but tempered glass will, by design, sound like an explosion as all the energy in the tempering process is released in less than a second. You will note the shards of glass are not sharp and hold some form and shape once the dust settled. It is also by design. You can bang on tempered glass in the middle and it will most likely not break. But if you tap on a corner of the glass with a light metal object like a pocket knife, and it will break into a kazillion pieces.
 
  #10  
Old 06-28-16, 06:03 AM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,450
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, you experienced "breakage".
Like I said, I reported my incident but I doubt anything will ever be done, or can be done to prevent the explosions.
I would "assume" it's a rare event, considering all the glass appliances out there.
 
  #11  
Old 07-08-16, 02:34 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 143
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks again! Well, yes, the seller refuses to have anything to do with the explosion. However, they sent us the "certificate" as a pdf from the manufacturer. It looks quite fishy to me. First, it was created July 8, 2016, 7:45 pm -- more than six hours into the future from when it was received. (This, of course, could be due to Adobe Acrobat showing the time of creation in local time etc.) Second, it has traces of editing right in the document. What kind of certificate is it, if it can be edited by the manufacturer or seller? Third, this "certificate" neither names any certifying authority, nor involves any third party at all. Fourth, what is the date of the inspection/certification? Please see the photos. I believe we haven't been heard out by the seller so far, mostly ignored. It's really confusing, are "certificates" like this one normal? Thanks, h.

Name:  1.jpg
Views: 894
Size:  28.9 KB

Name:  2.jpg
Views: 921
Size:  37.8 KB

Name:  3.jpg
Views: 907
Size:  27.5 KB
 

Last edited by harum; 07-08-16 at 03:11 PM.
  #12  
Old 07-09-16, 12:22 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,033
Received 234 Votes on 209 Posts
Just the fact that I see Chinese (?) writing on the cert. tells me it's worthless. Chalk it up to chance and buy a replacement glass from a reputable glass dealer.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: