With the holiday season coming up, today we’re going to talk about the always important range, oven, stove, or whatever else you may know it as. It is something that gets used on a daily basis, pretty much year round.
The first topic I’d like to discuss about ranges is the anti-tip device. I would estimate that 85-90% of the homes I inspect do not have one installed. They have been included in all ranges since 1991, and many companies were supplying them prior to that. What is an anti-tip device? It is a small, L-shaped bracket that attaches to the wall near the floor, behind the range. When the range is slid into place, the back foot of the range goes below the bracket, keeping the range from tipping forward. The usual cause of a range tipping is a child opening the oven door and standing on the door, causing the range to tip over onto them. It can also tip if you have something heavy in the oven, such as a Thanksgiving turkey, and you slide the oven rack out.
I think that most of the time they aren’t installed simply because people don’t know the purpose of the bracket. Sometimes, when I’m inspecting a home with a new range, the bracket is still in the oven with the manuals, or in the lower drawer. Although fatalities are rare from tipping ranges, you can imagine the types of injuries that can occur, especially if there is something cooking on the stove. It is easy to check if you have the anti-tip device installed, and if the range is properly engaged. First, clear any items off of the stove top (salt & pepper shakers, spoon rest, teapot, etc.), then make sure that there is nothing in the oven – don’t ask me how I know to check this! Then place your foot at the bottom of the range to keep it from sliding out while grabbing the top part at the back of the range. If you tip the range forward more than an inch, or so, there either isn’t a bracket, or the range isn’t engaged. If the back of the range isn’t nearly flush against the backsplash, try pushing it back further. The range may have simply slid forward enough through use that it is no longer engaged.
If you’re range doesn’t have the bracket installed, depending on the age of your range, you may be able to get one easily. Get the model number of your range and call the manufacturer. If the range originally included the bracket, most companies will send you the proper bracket free of charge. It is cheap liability insurance for them to simply send you the bracket. If is not available, a universal bracket can be installed.
Did you know that you can calibrate the temperature setting for your oven? If you find that you are constantly compensating your temperature setting because it seems to run a little hot, or not hot enough, you can make adjustments. You can buy an oven thermometer for less than $10. On ovens that have the adjustment knob, there should be screws on the back that allow you to adjust and compensate for the difference. On models with electronic displays, you can refer to the owners’ manual for instructions on how to adjust the temperature. Keep in mind that an oven can have a fairly large swing in temperature from when the burner or element shuts off, and when it turns back on. So if you set the temperature to 350 degrees, it may heat up to 380 degrees, turn off, and then not turn back on again until the temperature drops to 320 degrees. So in this case, the oven has a +- 30 degree swing. So when you’re checking the temperature, keep a close eye on the thermometer when the oven shuts off, and when it turns back on.
That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed this blog and I also hope that you have a Happy Thanksgiving! Feel free to comment below and hit the Facebook like button below!