Repair or replace F&P oven?

jeffjsgirlFebruary 23, 2014

Hi, it's probably been 10 years since my last post back when we built our house. Time for some fresh advice, please.

Our Fisher & Paykel OS302 single oven has failed for the 3rd time now. Replaced once right after we moved in, then a couple of issues over the intervening years. Worked great this past Thursday, but no luck on Saturday. It won't heat properly (again) - after an hour of preheat it peaked at 341F when set to 375+. It's been a good oven over the years (when it's worked), but I'm starting to get a little fed up now.

I know the sane answer is "repair again". Much cheaper, and we know this oven fits in our cabinets.

I'm sure things have changed in the world of electric 30" ovens over the last decade. If we decide enough is enough, what's new and exciting out there?

And what if the "new" thing doesn't fit the cutout in our cabinet? Is there an easy fix for that, or would that just add to the pain? I'm sure finding an oven with the same cutout dimensions would be a serious challenge...

Anyway, any thoughts from the gang would be greatly appreciated.

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If I remember correctly from reading previous posts on this site, the FP ovens have an odd size. Someone else who ditched theirs had to modify their cabinets. I haven't researched it myself so don't quote me on that. Your best bet will be to download the install guide from FP's website and compare the dimensions in it to the install guides of other ovens you're considering. If you want to save $$$ you could try repairing yourself, I don't know anything about FP ovens but my guess is either control board or temp sensor. Ohming out the temp sensor will help narrow it down.

Electrolux is thought of here as the best "bang for your buck" oven. If you're researching new, maybe start there? Despite all the hating on Kitchenaid that goes on here, I really like mine.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:52AM
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I second hvtech's recommendation of downloading specs and find out what may or may not fit without some carpentry and cabinet-making skills.

IIRC, most of the "hating" about KA ovens was the problem with some pre-2012 units (both wall ovens and and ranges) that Whirlpool sold under its KA and Whirlpool Gold brands (and maybe Jenn Air, too). . Some owners (not all) found that using their oven's self-cleaning function could sometimes damage the controller board. Others found that self cleaning tripped an internal "over-temp" breaker that protected the circuit boards but which only could be re-set after disassembling the oven to get to it. My recollection is that WP installed a higher capacity circuit cooling fan starting with the 2012 models and that is supposed to have fixed the self-clean problem. FWIW, Consumer Reports performance testing of wall ovens currently gives highest marks to WP made ovens with a couple of GE models and a Bosch model also on the "recommended" list. Electrolux is a bit below CR's top tier ratings, but the membership discussions here have generally been positive and generally give higher marks than CR's testing. (The differing views are most likely due to differences in perspectives between CR and GWers rather than CR being deliberately and obtusely prejudiced against the brand or GWers being self-deluded victims of their own expensive tastes.)

The most current CR membership surveys on product reliability (10,300 member responses on ovens) showed GE having a 7% problem rate followed by Frigidaire at 8%, Kenmore at 9% (Kenmore ovens being made by for Sears by a variety of different manufacturers), and then Whirlpool and Kitchenaid at 10%. Apparently, not enough CR members bought other brands (Bosch, Electrolux, Wolf, DCS, F&P etc.) to generate meaningful reports on those other brands. CR's fine print also says "Differences of less than 3 points aren't meaningful." So, the data indicates that there is some durability differences between major brands, but not enough to matter.

I'm not sure what you meant by "what's new and exiciting out there?" Do you have a budget or a price range?

If you are you just looking for a single oven to slot into the existing space, there's not much new and exicting for electric wall ovens except the availability of widegets and apps for some. (Do you care about having a chicken nuggets function you can run from your iPhone?)

If you would consider some additional carpentry, you might be looking to add a regular 30" oven along with, maybe, a "speed oven" or "combi-steam oven." Some folks call speed ovens "glorified microwaves" but others found them useful as a primary kitchen tool. Combi ovens (sometimes called "convection steam" or "combi-steam" ovens have gotten a boost in interest from being a favored tool of Modernist Cuisine and its readers . I think we've had a couple of threads in the last year or so where folks discussed whether to dispense with a regular oven. My recollection of the conclusions were: (a) combis are very expensive; (b) many people think the capacity is too small to be the only oven; and (c) only one model (Miele?) has a broiler.

If you research this and find that your are interested in a combi unit but not addting a built-in one to a wall stack, you might want to check out the toaster-oven sized counertop versions from Electrolux and Cuisinart. The little, $299 Cuisinart CS)-300, seems to have developed a bit of a cult following among bread bakers and folks on the chowhound cookware forum and Consumer Reports seems to think it does a good job as a counter-top oven in addition to the steam functions..

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:57PM
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Thanks for the comments. I did a little browsing, and so far the only item I've found with the same cutout dimensions as the F&P is the Gaggenau 400 series. No idea what those go for, but I suspect it's not cheap. I'm assuming they're good ovens, but would appreciate feedback from here as to whether they're "that good"...

Our needs are for a good, accurate oven. Speedcook is not something I'm interested in. Steam might be interesting, but not worth rebuilding the cabinets for. If we choose to buy a new unit, I'd be looking for something that matches our reasonably modern kitchen, bakes well, and hopefully lasts longer than this F&P. Probably in a similar price class to what we have now, plus a little bit maybe. Internet connectivity would be a negative feature, and I don't need a preset cycle to tell me how to cook a frozen pizza :)

So i guess the question remains as to whether to repair or not. Any other F&P owners out there with success or horror stories to sway me one way or the other?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:03PM
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I believe the Gaggenau single oven will run you close to $6000 new. It is regarded as "the" oven. If you don't want to repair the F&P again, I think your best bet is going to be to modify the cabinet to a more standard size. Search this forum for rhome410's posts, you may find her experiences interesting. I certainly did when I read them. She went through 2 F&P, 1 GE, 3 Wolf, before finally settling on a Gaggenau. Each brand change required a cabinet change.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 20:13

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:12PM
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