Our sad GE Oven Saga

Normally I don’t like to use this site to vent or gripe, but I’m going to make an exception here.

For the past several months, the oven in our 3.5 year old GE Profile gas range (JGS968) has been half-broken. It leaks gas and won’t stay hot.

The problem is completely reproducible:

  1. Set oven to some common baking temperature, like 350°.
  2. About 5-10 minutes after the oven comes to temperature, the smell of gas will be noticeable. It has essentially “gone out”. The oven will start to lose temperature but the flow of gas seems to continue.

If the oven is turned off and restarted to again bake at 350°, the temperature will start out significantly below the 350° mark. Often, the temperature will then stall, never rising above the first sampled temperature.

The oven can be “re-lit” by rapidly opening and closing the door. Like a bellows. There is an audible ‘poomf’ and the temperature immediately starts rising again.

The stovetop burners work fine. The only time we smell gas is when trying to use the oven.

It should be obvious that this problem makes the oven nearly useless. Besides gassing everyone out of the room, it can’t hold a temperature so baking and slow-cooking are nearly-impossible. At least the broiler works.

I’m a repair guy, see I have a shirt.

So far we’ve had five visits from three different GE repairmen. Of the three, only one was worth paying. Of course we never saw that one again.

The first visit, way back in December, the guy came with some sort of gas-sniffing instrument, poked around for 5 minutes then told me to change the incoming gas line, that GE doesn’t cover that and it just cost me $100 for him to tell me that. I pointed out that there were no gas problems with the stove, which feeds from the same hose, but he insisted, swiped my credit card and left.

The second visit, was the nice and seemingly competent repair guy. After listening and poking around more than any of them, I’m seem to remember this was the only repairman who checked behind the oven, after asking a lot of questions (!), he replaced the igniter, and billed us for the part.

Third and fourth visits were the first guy again, but at least we’d been escalated so no more charges. First he determined it was a part which would need to be mailed to us. Part ordered, next visit scheduled. Next visit, part replaced. He waited a few minutes to be sure it worked, which wasn’t long enough, then left. We tried to cook dinner the next night and the problem was as bad as ever, or slightly worse.

Today I had the worst repair visit ever. After describing our completely reproducible problem in detail, the GE repairman told me that our problem was “not possible”, condescendingly implied that I was confusing the smell of a warm oven with the smell of gas and then left. Sure, I called GE customer service (800-386-1215) and constructively bitched them out, but it still cost me another half day and raised my blood pressure to Bruce Banner levels.

Our next repair is scheduled with an independent service company on April 1st. Fitting.