Friday, December 30, 2022

When the lights get dim?

We've got a great stove, at least in theory. A Thermidor RDFS30 gas slide in range from the mid 90's. For some time now they have not manufactured replacement parts.

It turns out the LED display on the oven control module (part number 486752) is dim. Hardly readable even in the dark. The time is readable but the oven temperature is not.

I see some of these modules used on EBay for over $600. Yikes! And one post for the wrong part. Scary. We'll need to re-do the kitchen eventually, and we've dodged a fridge replacement so far this year. So, I'd like to get this fixed until we have time to think about a re-do. An equivalent LG model is on sale for $1299.

Online I see two companies who will repair the unit and ship it back for about $200. Also, there is a 'repair kit' available, but the repair kit handles other issues with the control board - not the dim LEDs.

The deal with my partner is, if we can use the cooktop, I can disable the oven for a week.

To access the control module, first I had to turn off the power and unscrew the brass fittings under each burner.

Then the deck can be lifted up.
There is a cover over the top of the front panel to remove, and then screws underneath on each side of the front panel beneath the oven door. The front panel is glass, so be careful removing the screws, as you wouldn't want to drop the panel. I was careful to take pictures and make a chart of the wiring for the control module, so it is easy to put it all back together.

But when I take the control board out, it seems the gas does not flow to the burners. Bummer. I was scratching my head looking at the schematic, there are two gas solenoids but four burners. It turns out that this range has two burners that cycle off and back on to reduce the temperature on an ultra low setting. So those two burners will not work without power, but the other two will.

On the first go-round, I disassembled the cook top and discovered that two of the ignitors were loose. I ordered circlips ($2.50 ea.) to secure the two ignitors. I installed the clips but waited for a convenient moment to remove the control module.

As it is MLK day in the US, we were both home and agreed to fix the oven. We started by installing some screws on the "deflector" in the oven (a plate above the oven's heating element, not the Enterprise!) Then the control board came out, and I sent it off for a two-day turnaround repair. The repair is $219.99. I added an expediting fee and Fedex shipping (not to inconvenience my partner!) totalling $338.04 all in, I could have saved $100 by choosing a slower service. One of the companies is located in Canada, and prefers USPS international shipping. The other has expedited service and prefers FEDEX. As the postal service is close for the Federal holiday, I went with the US company. Hopefully - a three day turnaround rather than a week turnaround time.

Update: The unit came back FEDEX, packaged very well, installed and it works great!