Scary behavior from Whirlpool Self Cleaning Oven

Discussion in 'Misc DIY' started by darqi@yahoo.com, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Guest

    I'm trying to help my parents resolve some weird issues with their
    Whirlpool electric self-cleaning oven, model #GBD277PDQ1. Twice now,
    they report that while trying to cook something the oven has gotten
    itself into self-cleaning mode and they couldn't find any way to turn
    it off. Furthermore, the electronic door lock prevented them from
    opening the door. The first time this happened (about 1 1/2 yrs ago),
    things got so bad that the oven overheated itself and severely burned
    all the food inside before they turned it off at the breaker. They
    wound up with a $600+ repair bill to replace the Control Assembly,
    Thermo Control, and Thermostat. It's unclear which if any of these
    parts were secondary failures due to the overheating and smoke.

    The second time around, which I witnessed this evening, the oven again
    got stuck on self clean. We tried repeatedly to stop it with the OFF
    button. The control display indicated 'Cool' and kept the door locked.
    This makes sense - that it wouldn't let you open the door until the
    oven cooled down to a safe temperature - except that we're pretty sure
    that the heating elements continued to stay on (we saw the glow).
    Before creating another charred food fiasco, we switched off the
    breaker. After some time without power, the oven eventually cooled and
    unlocked the door. Now, the control unit seems to come up in a 'clean'
    state, with only the time showing and no indication of a clean cycle or
    oven on in any capacity, BUT the top heating elements immediately come
    on and don't seem to respond to anything from the control panel. We
    can't get the darn things to turn off. So we've disabled the oven at
    the breaker box and can't use it until we figure this out.

    Needless to say, my parents are loathe to go through another $600
    repair and are very frustrated. We need to either get Whirlpool to
    address this issue on their dime, figure out how to repair it ourselves
    for a more reasonable cost, or shop for a new oven entirely.

    Any advice would be most appreciated!

    Dan
     
    , Dec 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. Wayne Boatwright () said...
    >
    >After two such episodes and one costly repair, I would get thee to an
    >appliance store and buy a new one. This one seems doomed, and I wouldn't
    >trust it yet again.


    I would agree with that. Eiher there is something that is really
    malfunctioning, or there may be just a bad design that makes it easy
    to accidently put it into cleaning mode.

    > It could conceivably burn down the house.


    This borders on scare mongering, but there is a concern about fire -- just
    not from the faulty operation in and of itself.

    Self cleaning ovens are very well insulated - so much so that they use LESS
    power to operate over a year, cleaning cycles included, than non self
    cleaning ovens.

    In cleaning mode, the element is basically turned on continuously -- there
    is no thermostat that is cycling it on and off to maintain a temperature
    setpoint. It just runs at full blast and heats the oven as hot as it is
    possible - how hot this is will be a function of your line voltage, but
    the design of the oven is such that at the high end of its rating (240 volts,
    or perhaps a bit higher), it will reach a maximum temperature that is not
    greater than the design of the unit. If you live in a highrise, your
    electrical supply is likely two phases of a three phase system, so you will
    only have 208 volts and the cleaning cycle will need to be longer due to
    the lower temperature this creates.

    Now, even though the oven will not get any hotter with a faulty control
    system than it would otherwise, there is a concern about the food items
    in the oven at the time. The design for the cleaning cycle involves the
    oven being empty. Any food could contribute to a fire.

    --
    Calvin Henry-Cotnam
    "Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
    - Napoleon
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NOTE: if replying by email, remove "remove." and ".invalid"
     
    Calvin Henry-Cotnam, Dec 27, 2005
    #2
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  3. Guest

    >From what you're saying, the unit's defective and should be repaired or
    replaced properly. Given the previous pyrotechnics, I'd wager that
    warranty coverage could still be argued. You might want to contact your
    lawyer on that one if dealer/mfg. drag feet.

    More'n likely some local media outlet would be interested in the story
    if it gets tossed back to you.

    Inquiring minds have to ask- what were they thinking, with electronic
    controls, circuit-boards, and such? Especially ones that could put the
    unit into self-cleaning mode. IMHO, that is in itself defective.

    Sure you don't want gas?

    J
     
    , Dec 27, 2005
    #3
  4. SQLit Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm trying to help my parents resolve some weird issues with their
    > Whirlpool electric self-cleaning oven, model #GBD277PDQ1. Twice now,
    > they report that while trying to cook something the oven has gotten
    > itself into self-cleaning mode and they couldn't find any way to turn
    > it off. Furthermore, the electronic door lock prevented them from
    > opening the door. The first time this happened (about 1 1/2 yrs ago),
    > things got so bad that the oven overheated itself and severely burned
    > all the food inside before they turned it off at the breaker. They
    > wound up with a $600+ repair bill to replace the Control Assembly,
    > Thermo Control, and Thermostat. It's unclear which if any of these
    > parts were secondary failures due to the overheating and smoke.
    >
    > The second time around, which I witnessed this evening, the oven again
    > got stuck on self clean. We tried repeatedly to stop it with the OFF
    > button. The control display indicated 'Cool' and kept the door locked.
    > This makes sense - that it wouldn't let you open the door until the
    > oven cooled down to a safe temperature - except that we're pretty sure
    > that the heating elements continued to stay on (we saw the glow).
    > Before creating another charred food fiasco, we switched off the
    > breaker. After some time without power, the oven eventually cooled and
    > unlocked the door. Now, the control unit seems to come up in a 'clean'
    > state, with only the time showing and no indication of a clean cycle or
    > oven on in any capacity, BUT the top heating elements immediately come
    > on and don't seem to respond to anything from the control panel. We
    > can't get the darn things to turn off. So we've disabled the oven at
    > the breaker box and can't use it until we figure this out.
    >
    > Needless to say, my parents are loathe to go through another $600
    > repair and are very frustrated. We need to either get Whirlpool to
    > address this issue on their dime, figure out how to repair it ourselves
    > for a more reasonable cost, or shop for a new oven entirely.
    >
    > Any advice would be most appreciated!
    >
    > Dan


    I know this is nuts, but why in the world did ya wait this long. Whirlpool
    ( or any manufacture ) is unlikely to help after this much time has passed.
    I would check and see if the whirlpool site lists any recall on this model.
    Me thinks your going to be spend more money for a new one
     
    SQLit, Dec 27, 2005
    #4
  5. Tony Hwang Guest

    wrote:
    > I'm trying to help my parents resolve some weird issues with their
    > Whirlpool electric self-cleaning oven, model #GBD277PDQ1. Twice now,
    > they report that while trying to cook something the oven has gotten
    > itself into self-cleaning mode and they couldn't find any way to turn
    > it off. Furthermore, the electronic door lock prevented them from
    > opening the door. The first time this happened (about 1 1/2 yrs ago),
    > things got so bad that the oven overheated itself and severely burned
    > all the food inside before they turned it off at the breaker. They
    > wound up with a $600+ repair bill to replace the Control Assembly,
    > Thermo Control, and Thermostat. It's unclear which if any of these
    > parts were secondary failures due to the overheating and smoke.
    >
    > The second time around, which I witnessed this evening, the oven again
    > got stuck on self clean. We tried repeatedly to stop it with the OFF
    > button. The control display indicated 'Cool' and kept the door locked.
    > This makes sense - that it wouldn't let you open the door until the
    > oven cooled down to a safe temperature - except that we're pretty sure
    > that the heating elements continued to stay on (we saw the glow).
    > Before creating another charred food fiasco, we switched off the
    > breaker. After some time without power, the oven eventually cooled and
    > unlocked the door. Now, the control unit seems to come up in a 'clean'
    > state, with only the time showing and no indication of a clean cycle or
    > oven on in any capacity, BUT the top heating elements immediately come
    > on and don't seem to respond to anything from the control panel. We
    > can't get the darn things to turn off. So we've disabled the oven at
    > the breaker box and can't use it until we figure this out.
    >
    > Needless to say, my parents are loathe to go through another $600
    > repair and are very frustrated. We need to either get Whirlpool to
    > address this issue on their dime, figure out how to repair it ourselves
    > for a more reasonable cost, or shop for a new oven entirely.
    >
    > Any advice would be most appreciated!
    >
    > Dan
    >

    Hi,
    The electronic brain of that oven is sick. The sooner you repair/replace
    it, the better it'll be. I am no fan of electronic controlled
    appliances. If repair tech did not do proper anti-static measures when
    replacing the logic board, it could have been already partially damaged.
    Have ever seen a static damaged micro electronic circuits under
    microscope? This partially damaged circuits often work but intermittent
    with unpredictable result. When I was working, they could fire anyone
    who did not adhere to proper anti-static measures dealing with delicate
    parts on the spot. Some of them cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
    Tony

    Tony
     
    Tony Hwang, Dec 28, 2005
    #5
  6. Tony Hwang Guest

    Calvin Henry-Cotnam wrote:

    > Wayne Boatwright () said...
    >
    >>After two such episodes and one costly repair, I would get thee to an
    >>appliance store and buy a new one. This one seems doomed, and I wouldn't
    >>trust it yet again.

    >
    >
    > I would agree with that. Eiher there is something that is really
    > malfunctioning, or there may be just a bad design that makes it easy
    > to accidently put it into cleaning mode.
    >
    >
    >>It could conceivably burn down the house.

    >
    >
    > This borders on scare mongering, but there is a concern about fire -- just
    > not from the faulty operation in and of itself.
    >
    > Self cleaning ovens are very well insulated - so much so that they use LESS
    > power to operate over a year, cleaning cycles included, than non self
    > cleaning ovens.
    >
    > In cleaning mode, the element is basically turned on continuously -- there
    > is no thermostat that is cycling it on and off to maintain a temperature
    > setpoint. It just runs at full blast and heats the oven as hot as it is
    > possible - how hot this is will be a function of your line voltage, but
    > the design of the oven is such that at the high end of its rating (240 volts,
    > or perhaps a bit higher), it will reach a maximum temperature that is not
    > greater than the design of the unit. If you live in a highrise, your
    > electrical supply is likely two phases of a three phase system, so you will
    > only have 208 volts and the cleaning cycle will need to be longer due to
    > the lower temperature this creates.
    >
    > Now, even though the oven will not get any hotter with a faulty control
    > system than it would otherwise, there is a concern about the food items
    > in the oven at the time. The design for the cleaning cycle involves the
    > oven being empty. Any food could contribute to a fire.
    >
     
    Tony Hwang, Dec 28, 2005
    #6
  7. Tony Hwang Guest

    Calvin Henry-Cotnam wrote:

    > Wayne Boatwright () said...
    >
    >>After two such episodes and one costly repair, I would get thee to an
    >>appliance store and buy a new one. This one seems doomed, and I wouldn't
    >>trust it yet again.

    >
    >
    > I would agree with that. Eiher there is something that is really
    > malfunctioning, or there may be just a bad design that makes it easy
    > to accidently put it into cleaning mode.
    >
    >
    >>It could conceivably burn down the house.

    >
    >
    > This borders on scare mongering, but there is a concern about fire -- just
    > not from the faulty operation in and of itself.
    >
    > Self cleaning ovens are very well insulated - so much so that they use LESS
    > power to operate over a year, cleaning cycles included, than non self
    > cleaning ovens.
    >
    > In cleaning mode, the element is basically turned on continuously -- there
    > is no thermostat that is cycling it on and off to maintain a temperature
    > setpoint. It just runs at full blast and heats the oven as hot as it is
    > possible - how hot this is will be a function of your line voltage, but
    > the design of the oven is such that at the high end of its rating (240 volts,
    > or perhaps a bit higher), it will reach a maximum temperature that is not
    > greater than the design of the unit. If you live in a highrise, your
    > electrical supply is likely two phases of a three phase system, so you will
    > only have 208 volts and the cleaning cycle will need to be longer due to
    > the lower temperature this creates.
    >
    > Now, even though the oven will not get any hotter with a faulty control
    > system than it would otherwise, there is a concern about the food items
    > in the oven at the time. The design for the cleaning cycle involves the
    > oven being empty. Any food could contribute to a fire.
    >

    Hi,
    Are you sure of what you're saying here?
    Tony
     
    Tony Hwang, Dec 28, 2005
    #7
  8. Guest

    Well, at my encouragement, my dad called Whirlpool and described the
    trouble. Despite the unit being officially out of warranty coverage,
    they are sending out a tech today. Dad says they were very courteous
    and concerned about the potential for property damage and safety.
    We're hoping they'll do right by us today. More later...
     
    , Dec 28, 2005
    #8
  9. Guest

    Tech verified that the unit was wonky, and decided that the electronic
    control unit has to be replaced. Whirlpool agreed to cover the cost of
    parts (~$1000) but not labor (~$100). Seems reasonable given the age
    of the unit, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that the problem goes
    away...
     
    , Jan 3, 2006
    #9
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