Oven and Stove Q and A

Q. There's an F1 error code on the stove display and it beeps continuously. Does anyone know what it means, and is there any way to silence it until repairs are done?

A. How to test many brands of Ranges that are flashing a F1 fault code: You have either a bad ERC (clock) or a bad touch pad.
Disconnect power to the stove. Gain access to the back of the clock (electronic range control or ERC). Unplug the touch pad ribbon connector from the ERC. This will be a flat wire approximately 1 1/2" to 2" wide. Make sure everything is clear and will not short out when the power is turned back on. Turn the power back on to stove. Watch for the F1 and listen for the beep. If you get the F1 and beep, replace the ERC. If after approximately 30 minutes you do not get the F1 and hear the beep, replace the touch pad. NOTE: Some models incorporate the touch pad and the clock as one part.

Q. I have a slide-in Whirlpool oven of pre-1997 vintage. The broiler and oven stopped lighting. Neither igniter warms, but I've confirmed that the controller relay circuit is switching 120v to both circuits as expected. Both circuits are open, so I assume the fault is common to both circuits. The wiring is extremely inaccessible; in fact, I've not yet figured out how to get at some of it. What parts may be in common to both circuits that could have failed? Would there be a hidden fuse?

A. There may be fuse. Some are located where the power cord enters, sometimes under range top back in a corner. Does this have a selector knob for broil/oven? If yes, I have seen times where the thermostat knob and the selector knob have been reversed. Someone takes knobs off to clean and, oops, wrong spot. Maybe both igniters are bad.

Q. Today the oven stopped heating altogether. Any ideas on what parts would need replacing?

A. Chances are the hot surface glow igniter is defective now. If the igniter isn't glowing, most likely it is burned out. This part needs to be replaced, especially if the igniter is still the original part after eight years. Your best first attempt to fix the problem is to replace that igniter. Unplug the appliance and remove the existing igniter. Replace it with exact OEM igniter.

If the igniter isn't glowing at all, the part must be replaced. Position the new hot surface igniter exactly as you find the existing one attached. Double-check all electrical connections before turning the power back on or plugging in the appliance.

If it is required to remove the burner, be sure it too gets installed exactly as you find it now. The end of the burner tube with the air shutter adjustment must be installed back onto the gas valves bronze or brass orifice. The other end of the burner tube must be secured as it currently is.

Glowing hot surface igniters are fragile and break easily. Handle and install the new igniter carefully. Glowing hot surface igniters are a non-returnable and non-refundable electric component. Be sure the electrical power to the appliance is turned off before attempting any repairs.

Most replacement igniters come already equipped with the quick disconnect reinstalled on the wire end of the new igniter. If not, you will have to clip off the end from the old igniter and install it on the new igniters wires. Polarity is not important in this case. Try this first and note the results. If the new igniter does not correct the problem, then the only other option may be to replace the gas valve.

Retail appliance parts dealers can also help determine what the possible problem may be. Bring the make, model and serial numbers. Appliance parts dealers are an excellent source for original replacement parts. Parts dealers are listed in the phone book under appliances.

Q. My Kitchen Aid stand mixer is starting to leak oil around the band at the top and around one screw just above the bowl. It seems to run fine. I removed the metal band and the back end of the housing, but can't figure out how to remove the top to look at the motor. Is this something I should even be attempting to look at and fix, or is it time to call in the professionals or just wait until it gives up the ghost?

A. Kitchen Aid mixers are definitely worth repairing. They are one of the few kitchen small appliances made with any real quality. They can be tricky to work on, so only do it if you feel confident in your repair abilities.

You are seeing the oil leaks because Kitchen Aid uses more grease inside the head than they really need to. Getting inside and cleaning it out should resolve the issue. Opening the mixer depends on the model number you have. The tilt-head mixers and bowl-lift mixers come apart differently. You will likely need to remove the head from the base in order to get inside.

Q. I have a Tappan gas stove that is about 15 years old that I have been using in my home with natural gas. I want to convert it to run on propane to use in a mobile home. Inside the top there is a plate that says to run on propane, screw all orifice hoods down snug and set the convertible gas pressure regulator to propane. I do not have the user or installation manual and have no idea how to do this.

A. The reference to the conversion on the appliance regulator is a simple matter of removing the center towers cap and turning it over. Then screw it back into the center tower. That is how the regulator gets converted from natural to propane.

Screwing the orifices inwards until they bottom out sets them to the propane setting, if that is what that plates states. The orifices are those brass or bronze hex nuts the ends of the top burners set on. Usually a 7/16-inch open-ended wrench fits them. The same applies to an oven or broiler or both on any range or stove. The orifices on each of those burners have to be converted. The pilot lights for both of them would also have to be converted, should the appliance even have constant burning pilots. It's not likely but it may have them.

Q. The bake element of my oven will not get to the preset temperature. The element gets warm then turns off. I can hear relays clicking by the control panel when the element goes off. I replaced the temperature detector, but there was no change. All wire connections are tight. Could it be a control module or relay?

A. Look in your owner's manual for the offset feature. Check to make sure that a temperature offset has not been programmed in. If that's OK, check voltage to the element to see if it is in fact being turned off or if some internal damage to the element is causing it to quit. Then check to see which relays are cycling. The bake element is electronically interlocked to the broil element and relay, so if the broil relay is pulling in when it shouldn't be, it will shut off the bake element. It could also be bad contacts in the broil relay. If that's OK, you'll need to determine if the clock or timer is shutting off the relay or if the relay is malfunctioning - it's not in preheat mode, right? Typically, relays either doesn't work at all or they stick closed. It's also possible that lock switch B is intermittent; check your diagram. Offhand, I'm thinking that the clock/timer is cycling the bake element off too soon, but you have to check everything. Replacing the clock/timer is costly.

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