Fixing vintage Cookmaster stove/oven
August 17, 2005 11:44 AM   Subscribe

I have a 1940s/50s-era Cookmaster stove and oven. Four burners, white, with stove and warming compartment. It's in great shape, with one problem: whenever I light the pilot light to turn on the oven, a few seconds later there's a "WHOOOMP!" sound - surely some gas build-up lighting - and then the oven is on, and it works fine. How can I fix this?

I live in NYC and have tried and failed to find someone who can fix this vintage Cookmaster. I'd like to keep this in the kitchen but, of course, "safety first"...

So, should I...
- continue to try to find a repairperson for the Cookmaster
- eBay the sucker (anyone know anything about old Cookmasters' value?)
- do something else?

Any help appreciated.
posted by mark7570 to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've had old ovens and this "whoomp" was what told me they were working. It was when I didn't hear the "whoomp" that I would know that there was a problem.

Whoomp, there it is.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:49 AM on August 17, 2005

Best answer: My experience is anecdotal: my gas oven does the same thing. If you can't smell gas when the oven is not on, this may be a normal amount of gas. If you're pretty sure that it isn't, there are a few places I generally go for fixit advice or repairman advice: Appliance411, Craigslist fixit forums and dealers in older appliances who often have to recommend service for the pieces they sell.
posted by jessamyn at 12:07 PM on August 17, 2005

The whoomp is perfectly normal. (Unless you can smell gas, like jessamyn said.)
posted by Specklet at 1:23 PM on August 17, 2005

Best answer: The oven has a safety feature called a thermocoupling (I think). If you watch what goes on underneath when you turn on the gas, you'll first see that the pilot light gets a little larger. This heats up the thermocouple, which then allows the gas to flow through the burner and ignite. The delay comes from the heating time necessary for the thermocouple to activate.

The thermocouple can be adjusted with pliers, if you think that it isn't working properly, but from your description, it sounds like it works just fine. My gas oven can take up to a minute for the burner to ignite.
posted by ijoshua at 1:48 PM on August 17, 2005

Best answer: Here's an illustration.
posted by ijoshua at 1:51 PM on August 17, 2005

What's wrong with a little WHOOMP?!?!

I, too, thought that meant it was working fine.
posted by agregoli at 2:09 PM on August 17, 2005

Yeah, the whoomp is normal. If you really think there is something funny going on, step outside of your apartment for a few seconds to grab some fresh air, then come back in to smell for gas.

I used to sit around the apartment and not notice the leaking gas smell because it was so gradual, but then my roommate would walk in and think I had a deathwish. After an exit-reentry-sniff routine, I'd be glad I was alive!
posted by MrZero at 6:29 PM on August 17, 2005

this is quite normal ... i've seen several older gas stoves that did this
posted by pyramid termite at 9:00 PM on August 17, 2005

Just another datapoint, echoing Pollomacho. My oven whoomps exactly 5 seconds after I've lit the pilot. It's when it doesn't whoomp that I worry.
posted by punilux at 9:51 AM on August 18, 2005

Best answer: my immense stove that runs on propane takes a full minute to ignite, and there's a hell of a bang when it goes. Startling, but safe. I just have to remember that I've turned the thing on, and listen for it.
posted by wzcx at 11:19 AM on August 18, 2005

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