Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BlueStar update (after 10 months of ownership)

Yesterday night, Jason and I sat on the floor of our kitchen for about an hour, trying to remove my Bluestar oven door.  We fell in love while being partners in Computer and Electrical Engineering lab, so in some way this felt just like the good old times...  but the challenging labs we faced at CMU for undergrad, and even more challenging labs Jason faced at MIT for grad school were nothing compared to dealing with a Bluestar oven.

The door was completely stuck and the only way to remove it was to open it.  The hard part was doing it gently enough so as not to damage the hinge housing or break the door's glass.  We started looking for something -- anything we could unscrew.  Finally, we figured out how to remove the front panel of the door (there were screws on the bottom that you can access if you remove the panel under the door).  Ta-da.  Here is what we found inside.

Left side of the door that was opening fine.

Right side of the door that got stuck.

We tried to gently pull on the door again.  The lining on the right was bending, but the hinge wasn't yielding at all.  Finally, we tried spraying the hinge with Pam, which eventually made it yield and the door was finally opened.  It wanted to spring back shut immediately, unless we held it down, giving us a feeling that the right spring was not just looking bad, it failed.

How old was this door?  4 months.

Luckily, we didn't let the repair company throw away the old door (that one was 6 months old when we had it replaced).  Its hinges wouldn't un-clinch until we sprayed the heck out of them with Pam.  Finally, we got them to open and after 20 minutes of yanking, pulling, oiling, and cursing, we put the old door on.  I say a prayer every time I open it.  With any luck it will survive the chicken/duck class this Thursday.

Meanwhile, I've been getting pretty good at using my grill as the oven.  With a few ring molds used as risers, and a rack, it actually works.  Sure you have to babysit it a lot and turn the burners on and off every 10 minutes to maintain temperature, but at least I know that if the food went in, I'll be able to get it out.  Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about my oven.

When this is all over, I'll write a book called "How to bake on your grill," inspired by Weber's reliability and Bluestar's lack thereof.

Here is my e-mail exchange with Prizer-Painter (manufacture of the Bluestar).

June 11: I tell them that my oven door is sticking.
June 14: they tell me that they won't rest until they solve my door problem, but no specifics on when they'll actually fix it.
June 19: I tell them that the door is completely stuck.  I am without the oven or broiler and need help removing the stuck door.
June 22: They tell me that they'll check the status of my new door.

Not sure whether to laugh or cry.


July 1, 2010: new door arrives

July 7, 2010: new door is installed by Vesco, old door shipped back to Prizer-Painter (that's the earliest they could make it due to the holiday).

Mar, 2011: yet another new door.

Sept, 2011: yet another new door.


Anonymous said...

We went through the same thing with a Frigidaire built in oven. Replaced twice in 3 yrs. The door hinges were so cheaply made that they couldn't withstand normal use. Finally I just gave up and got a new Kitchenaid with convection that is very well made. I curse the Frigidaire people!

Helen said...

How did the story resolve with Frigidaire? Did you return it and get your money back?

Ken said...

Sorry to hear you're having such a fun time w/ the door...haven't stopped by your blog in a while so I was wondering how that was going. Guess Bluestar is officially off my list of dream stoves :-P

I'd suggest getting some high temp auto grease and lubricating the hinges since you know how to get to the mechanism...

And congrats on the 2nd kid :-)