What? Another BlueStar update?
Unfortunately, about every 3 months I run into yet another problem that threatens to put an end to my use of the oven. I find it useful to keep track of these things both for the benefit of those in the market for a range and my own sanity.
It all started with a somewhat innocent problem of my glow bar (oven igniter) starting to die. The reason I knew this was happening was that the oven took longer and longer to turn on. Once it got to over 60 seconds, I knew I only had another couple of weeks of baking left. How did I know? I've baked in enough ovens to notice this pattern. My previous little Kenmore went through 4 glow bars in 8 years. The first time was bad because it died in the middle of a dinner party, but by the third time I noticed the pattern early enough to get it replaced a week or two before its final demise. I was sorely disappointed that the BlueStar glow bar lived only 9 months instead of 2 years, but consoled myself that at least it chose to die right before I went on a 2 week vacation.
I called and e-mailed Eric at BlueStar immediately. It took 2 more calls to finally get it to ship.
Vesco (my repair shop) got the parts and I scheduled them to come over the first day I was back from vacation (April 19).
Vesco came over, took out the oven floor to replace the glow bar and told me that my oven bottom was falling apart and the back track fell off. They informed me that my oven was not safe to use and didn't want to put the new glow bar in until they got all the necessary parts to fix the oven bottom. That's kind of like going to see a doctor because you have a cold and finding out that you have pneumonia.
I contacted Eric at BS immediately. He replied asking for the inside color of my oven so that he can ship the correct parts. I keep contacting Eric daily to check on the status of my parts.
Parts arrive at Vesco.
Vesco came over. They took out the oven floor. It looked like 2 of the 4 rivots that were supposed to be holding the gas pipe to the back of the oven were missing.
Vesco installed the missing rivots. The oven floor was composed of 2 pieces: black on top (that's what you see when you open the oven) and silver colored on the bottom ( you don't see it unless you take apart the oven). The job of the silver colored piece is to distribute the heat evenly. It was attached to the black piece with 6 rivots in the front and 6 in the back. All 6 back rivots have melted away, letting the back of the silver piece drop down and direct lots of heat towards the bottom front of the oven.
the deformed metal pieces (bottom right of picture) is what was left of the back rivots
The new design of the oven floor is a bit different. The silver colored piece is attached to the black piece at the sides, not right where the heating element is. We are hoping that will prevent the rivots from melting.
I have a feeling that the melted hinges I got on my previous door were partially due to so much heat being directed at just that spot. Unfortunately, my new door has been exposed to the same problem for the past 2 and a half months. It's still opening, but not as smoothly as it did in the beginning. So, if you end up getting a new door, ask the technician to take apart the oven floor too to make sure it's still together.
Here is another anecdote. I was baking bread in the end of March and put my cast iron skillet on the oven floor to preheat for 20 minutes. The plan was to put ice-cubes into it to create steam when the bread went in. The handle of the skillet was positioned to the front of the oven so that I could get it out easily. As I reached to get it out, my oven mitts melted and stuck to it. Granted they were not in the best condition (the fabric had holes and the stuffing was exposed), I've never had them melt before. Unfortunately, there was no way to scrub the melted plastic off the skillet and I had to throw it away and get a new one. Luckily, cast iron skillets are cheap, though I'll miss years of seasoning I have accumulated on the old one. Still, it gave me some idea of what kind of heat my oven door hinges were exposed to.
The new oven floor and the new glow bar are now in place and the oven is operational. If you think that a month is too long to fix a 9 month old oven, I couldn't agree more. But keep in mind that the reason this story ended reasonably well (at least for now) is largely due to me having a direct contact at BlueStar -- his name is Eric, and he does his absolute best to solve my problems. I've heard of some people whose calls to the general customer support number are never returned. I feel your pain my fellow BlueStar cooks! If you need Eric's number, e-mail me. He is like Robert Parr (Mr. Incredible) of BlueStar :)