DIY Savings Case Study: Oven Repair

Today we will walk through a Do-It-Yourself savings case study. This example will illustrate how with a little effort you can save significant money on home projects/repairs.

SITUATION

One night recently I was making dinner when I thought I smelled natural gas. I had turned the oven on to preheat it a few minutes prior so I went to see what was going on. When I opened the oven I got a strong gas smell so I immediately shut it off. I also noticed that the oven was still room temperature. After a few minutes of letting the fumes dissipate, I decided to give it another try. Unfortunately the second try was still unsuccessful resulting in the same gas smell.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Since we decided to order out, I decided to investigate further while I was waiting for the pizza to be delivered. I removed the racks and the bottom pan (4 screws) so that I could see the igniter and the gas manifold. At this point I consulted Google to search for most likely reasons an oven won’t heat up. The overwhelming majority of the search results indicated that a faulty Ignitor was the most likely issue. The simplest advice was to see what color it glowed when it was on. If it was working properly it should be glowing white hot. If it was malfunctioning it would be glowing yellow, orange or not at all. I turned on my oven again and found my Ignitor to only be glowing yellow.

REPLACEMENT PART

Next I performed another Google search to find out how to replace an oven Ignitor and to see where I could buy a replacement Ignitor. Luckily I found the answer to both questions in the same location. My search results landed me at Repair Clinic. Not only was I able to find the correct replacement Ignitor for my Kenmore oven, they had videos showing how to replace an Ignitor. I purchased the correct Ignitor for $90 which came with free shipping.

REPAIR

I received my new Ignitor in 2 business days. The change out of the Ignitor took roughly 15 minutes. All that I had to do after I unplugged the oven was remove the 2 mounting screws and disconnect the electrical connector. Then I installed the new Ignitor reusing the old mounting screws and connected the electrical connector. I plugged the oven back in and turned it on to make sure it worked. Sure enough the new Ignitor worked like a champ. At the point I reinstalled the bottom pan and the racks.

SAVINGS

In total, I spent roughly 30 minutes on the Internet researching the problem, figuring out how to troubleshoot, finding replacement parts and watching repair videos. I spent an additional 30 minutes disassembling the oven, swapping out the Ignitor and reassembling the oven. So in total I spent about 1 hour of my time and $90 on the Ignitor itself. Prior to this issue I had never worked on an oven in my life so this small amount of time had nothing to do with having any knowledge or skill and can easily be replicated in similar situations. Based on information from Home Advisor the typical costs for an oven repair is $100 – $200. So for a little bit of effort I was able to save myself a couple hundred dollars.

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