Our gas oven doesn't stay lit
November 20, 2015 1:36 PM   Subscribe

The gas oven in my apartment hasn't been working for the better part of three months. The light in the bottom turns on when I start it, and then turns back off when I stop.

I think we have a bertazzoni; the label on the inside of the oven is partially obscured, but it's probably that one.

Our landlord told us to tell the building's maintenance person about any repairs needed, so on September 1st we told Maintenance about the oven not working. On September 23 we asked the landlord about it directly (and mentioned having told Maintenance about it on the 1st). On October 9th someone was finally sent to look at the oven; on the 21st they repaired it by replacing the thermostat.

I was out of town for a funeral, and then sick for two weeks with the flu, so it wasn't until the 11th of this month, November, that I noticed the oven being finicky to light again, but I've managed to get it lit every time until today. We sent an email to the landlord again today (20th), with a video of us trying to turn it on.

(The instructions for the oven indicate that you should let go of the knob immediately once the clicking starts, but it has never lit by doing that since we moved in on July 1st. It's always had to be held down for a few seconds until the flame started. Additionally, the stove top works fine.)

My question has two parts:

1) given that I'm supposed to be hosting thanksgiving this weekend, is there any way to make the thing work for tomorrow and sunday? Or do I need to tell everyone that we're going to have Wafflesgiving instead?

2) I can't go another month with a nonfunctioning oven. We're in San Francisco and paying scary SF rates for a 3.5-bedroom apartment. How do we light a fire under someone and get a functioning oven in the apartment?

It's a brand new building, so I'm surprised that so much has been broken (bad wiring, dishwasher, oven, bedroom doors that didn't close and would swing open randomly, one room is still missing blinds that were supposed to be installed the day after move-in, the building buzzer was broken, ...).
posted by you could feel the sky to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
In a new building the oven is probably still under warranty. I'd call the nearest Bertazzoni (there can't be many nearby) dealer and beg for help.
posted by jon1270 at 2:05 PM on November 20, 2015

I believe that the sensor that indicates that the flame is lit is bad. It is a cut-off to prevent the gas from running if there is no flame. If this is the case, having the sensor replaced would fix your problem.

I don't believe that there is a work-around to keep the oven lit.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 2:05 PM on November 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

My oven also did this, and after a long series of painful repair attempts from two different repair people, the landlord finally gave up and bought a new oven, realizing it was broken. You may have better luck.

You may be able to pay reduced rent if it's not working (or threaten this for December, to motivate them now) or you could call the Dept. of Building Inspection to send an inspector out and issue your landlord a citation. In theory you could possibly pay for the repair yourself and deduct that from your rent, but that seems like a riskier choice.
posted by three_red_balloons at 2:56 PM on November 20, 2015

Call the gas company. You still need to find a way to get the landlord to do what they are supposed to do, but for right now call them first.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:02 PM on November 20, 2015

Best answer: Our gas cooktop did this, and it was a failed thermocouple (note: not thermostat). That's what lets it know that the burner is burning, and lets the gas continue to flow. It only took a few minutes for the repair guy to replace it. Maybe a little bit harder inside of an oven, but this doesn't seem like something that should be a big deal.
posted by primethyme at 3:50 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

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