My oven has a dumb safety feature ... it doesn't get hot.
April 27, 2010 11:58 AM   Subscribe

The built-in oven in my rented accommodation switches off when it gets hot — an unusual design decision, you might suppose. Thing is, it's not broken as such, just awkward, so getting it replaced by the landlord is unlikely. What alternatives could I use?

Frankly, it drives me nuts, especially when I'm trying to cook home-made pizza, which demands a sizzling-hot oven for best results. Googling for "free-standing oven" turns up standard ovens which you would install in a kitchen: I would like something I can plug in somewhere (space is available), or which runs on bottled gas, and provides a decent-sized oven for baking, roasting, pizza-ing, etc. I was thinking about one of these or similar, but they don't look butch enough to do the necessary. I'm in the UK.
posted by BrokenEnglish to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Instead of buying something new, why not have an appliance repairperson out to see if they can fix the problem?

I would try to have the landlord foot the bill for that, actually, rather than replacing it.
posted by smitt at 12:03 PM on April 27, 2010

I had an oven that had this problem. It took the repairman about 10 seconds to determine the problem, 2 minutes to go to his van, 10 seconds to replace the part, and then another 2 minutes to write out the bill for $175.

If your landlord is/has a handyman it'll be no big deal. If they need a repair service they might drag their heels, but it isn't a big thing to fix. Uh, probably.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:16 PM on April 27, 2010

Thing is, it's not broken as such, just awkward.

So are you saying that the oven has a thermostat, and switches off when it reaches a given temperature? Or that the oven switches off and stays off as soon as it gets hot, and cools down?

When you say it's not broken as such, it makes it difficult to undertstand whether this is normal behaviour for an oven.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:23 PM on April 27, 2010

Yeah, I can't quite tell what you mean by "not broken as such" -- it sounds broken to me, regardless of the fact that it turns on and heats up, because it won't stay on (and thus stay hot) in order for you to complete the cooking process. In which case, why wouldn't the landlord fix it?
posted by scody at 12:35 PM on April 27, 2010

Yeah, Nthing just get it repaired. I mean, ask your landlord to have it repaired. It's broken. It needs to be fixed.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:39 PM on April 27, 2010

I'm having a problem understanding what you're saying too. The oven should switch off when it hits the temperature you've set, but should turn back on when the temperature inside it drops. If it isn't, that's a broken thermostat, and the landlord should fix it.

If your saying that it turns off when the ambient temperature is high (to save energy or something), that is just a pain in the ass, and no one needs to be that green (imho); we have to eat in the summer too, make it turn off the ac instead.

(I bought this house that used to be a rental, and the burners shut off when I try to use a low heat --grar-- that's a stove function, but I've got this mortgage to meet.)
posted by Some1 at 12:43 PM on April 27, 2010

It's not just the usual regulation of temperature, seems to have a safety cut-out above about 190 deg C. Which is awkward since if you want to roast something or cook pizza, that's about the minimum required. 210 is the top of its supposed range. I think it's probably supposed to do this since it's eye-level and built into the cupboard, hence I guess a risk of ignition if it remained at maximum temperature for too long. I asked the landlord but his opinion is, it's not broken, just a safety feature.
posted by BrokenEnglish at 1:28 PM on April 27, 2010

Agreeing with everyone else who says that this sounds like a Stupid Oven that should be fixed/replaced, but if that's really not am option, try Googling 'microwave combination oven' for microwaves which you can also use like a regular oven. My parents have one (albeit about 25 years old...) that goes up to 240 degrees.
posted by penguin pie at 1:39 PM on April 27, 2010

My parents' fan oven only goes up to 190; all the ovens I've ever used I've never turned them up beyond 190. I may be showing my culinary ignorance, but I've never, ever cooked anything in any oven over about 180 and never had any problems with anything from great Yorkshire puddings to home-made pizza.

So, um, I'm not seeing a problem.
posted by Coobeastie at 1:51 PM on April 27, 2010

It may have a faulty temp sensor; ask an appliance repair person.
posted by theora55 at 4:46 PM on April 27, 2010

Your landlord may be required by law to supply you with a working oven, which this is not. Maybe this is a correctly functioning "warming oven", but it is not a functioning oven. Bathtub or shower, toilet, sink, refrigerator, stove, and oven are all required to be operable, AFAIK, in any rental property offered for habitation, in most of the US.

Check with your local free legal advice services - the real ones, not Metafilter. Then write a letter stating the requirement. Proceed from there.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:15 PM on April 27, 2010

The oven is broken.

As a tenant you have certain rights under UK law regarding repairs to items in your rented property. This page has a detailed step-by-step list of what you need to do to get this thing sorted out if your landlord isn't willing to cooperate - it's at the bottom of the page.

Most landlords tend to be quite reasonable about repairing stuff - it's in their best interests that you care about the property and want to keep things maintained.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:09 AM on April 28, 2010

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