Need help with gas stove/cooktop issue

kknyOctober 27, 2013

HI, My 94 YO mom is in pretty good shape and REFUSES to move in with either my sister or me. She turned on the gas cooktop part of the stove (70s vintage), left it on, and the gas was left on. Fortunately a neighbor smelled it. Is there some device or stove we can get her that has a gas cooktop but automatically cuts off if no flame lit. I know it works this way for the oven part, but the problem now is with cooktop. We don't want to get her an electric stove, because we are afraid she wont notice burner is on and put her hand on it. TIA.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CA Kate

Have you considered an induction type range? It is my understanding that they are always cool and only heat the pan that is put on it. I haven't done any investigation on this, but it might be something to look into.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, I am worried that anything without a flame, she will have trouble recognizing as hot.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Something to check out:

You cannot get burned touching an induction type cook top. I'm guessing you might if you were wearing a metal ring that had iron in it or perhaps holding a steel/iron object in the hand that was touching the top. That's rather far out tho.

Before jumping to an induction cook top you should know that the induction type stove requires perfectly flat cookware that must not be non-magnetic like aluminum or stainless steel or the pot won't heat up.

Any of the modern cooktops require flat pans anyway. So if you change tops you may also need to replace old pans if they are bulged.

Something else you might think about is a gas detector or alarm. I Googled that and there are such things. I didn't take it past that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Read this

This post was edited by mxyplx on Mon, Oct 28, 13 at 22:57

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a carbon monoxide/explosive gas alarm & I don't trust it. My tea water in a 2 qt pan has boiled over & put out the pilot light & nothing happens but if I spray room spray it goes nuts.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 12:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's alarming.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had an induction cooktop for about 7 years now, and they are incredibly safe to use. But not fool proof. And, in my opinion, not for a 94 year old who's been cooking with gas their entire life. Using induction requires some technological savvy, and it's been my experience that most elderly people over 90 do not adapt well to new technological devices. Your mother might be the exception, however.

An induction stove might be perfect if your mother was not doing ANY cooking herself, and a caretaker was doing the meal preparation. Simply never show your mom how it works, and she wouldn't be able to figure it out and create any stove-related problems. Or install an electric switch that could turn on or turn off the "juice" to the stove. Once meal time is over, turn the entire unit off at the power source. No problems. That's the scenario we envisioned when we were contemplating building a "granny flat" on our property for my 92 year old mother.

However, if your mom is used to cooking with gas and insists on doing her own cooking, then you might have better luck getting a newer, safer gas appliance. A 70s era stove could be repaired, but there's no guarantee it wouldn't continue to have problems.

You might have better luck asking your question at Garden Web's Appliance Forum. The link is below. The forum is full of people dealing with all sorts of kitchen appliances. Just explain your situation and state right up front that your mom prefers gas.

Also, it definitely is possible to burn yourself and burn food on an induction cooktop. The area around the "burner" stays relatively cool to the touch. But once you remove a hot pan, the residual heat on the "burner" remains. That's why all induction units have a "HOT" warning light that stays on until the "burner" is actually cooled down. If you walk away while something is cooking on a high setting, it will burn just as quickly as on a gas or regular electric stove. If you turn on a "burner" without a pan, it will automatically shut off. But if you've cooked something and forget to remove a pan, it will still keep on cooking just like with gas or regular electric stoves. However, many induction units come with timers that actually shut off the "burner" after the time is reached. But that's an option not every induction unit has.

All that to say, induction is great, and I would never want to go back to gas or regular electric. But it has its limitations too. And it definitely takes some getting used to. That's why I don't think most most elderly people could adapt easily to its use.

Good luck with this problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Web's Appliance Forum

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My apologies - I really did not think you could get burned.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CA Kate

Just recently on This Old House they showed a range that was always cool, even after they'd boiled a pot of water. I thought it was an induction range, perhaps I'm mistaken.

You might google "gas ranges with automatic shutoff". The various companies are making more and more products for the disabled.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Induction cooktops cool off faster than either traditional gas or electric. The heavy grates of gas stoves retain heat longer as do the burners of coil or glass top electric stoves. With induction, only the part of the burner that is actually in contact with the pot's bottom is heated. So if something splatters, you can wipe with a towel or damp cloth all the way up to the pot without getting burned. That makes induction safer and easier to clean. However, as I said before, the section in direct contact with the pan will, indeed, stay hot for a while. And, again, that's why all induction stoves have special HOT warning lights.

People often say things about induction cooktops staying cool all the time, but it's a misconception. As I explained, induction cools off faster and the area surrounding the burners remains cool. But the burners definitely get hot. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to cook anything.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Westelle gave a really good suggestion, so I did a Google search for "gas stove with automatic shut off." The result is below. There apparently are a lot of options. One article says that newer stoves come automatically with this feature (I don't know if that is true, though). Also, some of the articles are specifically about seniors dealing with gas stoves. I encourage KKNY to look over all the listings, paying careful attention to those that are more recent (within the last 5 years). You might find a wealth of information that could be useful.

Here is a link that might be useful: GOOGLE - Gast Stove with Automatic Shut Off

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you very much for all your comments. We have found several ranges with auto shut off on the range, not just the oven. And yes, my mom refuses to move in with any of her kids. Sigh.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 9:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

KKNY, I'm glad you found some viable options. If you buy a new stove with auto shut off, would you be kind enough to report back. I'm sure there will be others who might need that kind of info in the future. More and more seniors are opting to "age in place." And it's good to have information about appliances, services, etc. that can help them to do so safely.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have an ILVE gas stove with auto shut off. I didn't buy it for that reason, but it's a handy safety feature. ILVEs are Italian and well made.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 9:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I will report back when we make final decision. Thank you all.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 7:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Information on chair stairlifts
My husband is 90 and we are wanting to have our tub...
incessant throat clearing
Ok, I feel guilty even posting this, but I am desperate...
Mom fell 3 times in 2 weeks
My 90 y.o. mother lives in the independent side of...
Nutritious Meals for 86 year old
Greetings--DH and I just moved DH mom in with us as...
Caretaker of a different sort...
Hi all, new to this forum, but not garden web. Reading...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™