Breaks in enamel finish of (relatively) new Wolf oven?

ctlady_gwMarch 4, 2008

We have 30" Wolf wall ovens that have been in 2.5 years. They don't get especially heavy use (light to normal I would say -- many days they are never turned on at all because we grill or use the gas rangetop), and we've only had to run the self-clean perhaps a half dozen times since we've had them. We noticed recently that on the floor of the upper oven, that beautiful bright blue enamel had what for the world looked like scrape marks (except that NO ONE has scraped it with anything at all, much less something seriously metallic which is what it would take to dig into the enamel) toward the left rear. Sort of a small clump of lines where the enamel is clearly broken. Just ran the self-clean on that oven last night, and found a new area, looking identical, of "scrapes" at the front center. The enamel actually came off in bits when we wiped down the oven with a damp paper towel post-cleaning. These areas do not correspond in any way to the "feet" of the pizza stone element, which we have used occasionally. They seem to be completely random in location.

So my question is whether anyone else has had problems with the interior finish of their Wolf ovens. We have called Wolf and they are looking into it. The ovens are obviously JUST out of warranty by a few months, so incredibly annoying and we hope they will (a) have an answer as to what might have caused this and (b) stand behind their product. This is on top of already having replaced the complete electronic control panel for these ovens once. To say we are unimpressed with the quality of these ovens so far, especially for the price!, is an understatement.

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We have the same problem with our Wolf DO. I often wipe out "splinters" of blue paint out of the base of each oven. I try to even out use of both ovens.

We've had our's since Jan 2006, even the paint on the broiler pan bubbled up & chipped off in several spots. I like the looks, but I'm not convinced anyone should pay the premium for Wolf wall ovens. Buy the cheaper brand, for example we were leaning to Thermador professional series, similar features & double convection sold at $3,800 when we bought the Wolf. Our Wolf sold most places for $5,700 at that time.
Oven looks nice on the outside.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 12:53PM
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So ... on closer inspection, it appears that the exact same problem exists (or will just as soon as the crazing that is showing now blossoms into full-fledged breakthrough of the enamel) on the bottom oven as well. Curiously (and I suspect significantly), the two areas of concern are in EXACTLY (meaning, we measured with a tape measure) the same place in both ovens. Dead center and 13 inches out from the white plug for one spot, and 9 inches out and about 5-6 inches in from the left wall for the second area.

Wolf has agreed to replace the entire unit, for which they deserve kudos since it is 6 months out of its 2-year warranty. On the other hand, it will cost us out of pocket anywhere from $300-$700 for delivery and installation of the new unit. So obviously, we would have preferred to have this problem become evident DURING the first two years rather than a few months out... so all of you with these ovens, you might want to keep a close eye on the oven floor, especially if you are still within the warranty period!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 3:48PM
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Now did you go through your appliance service provider or did you have to call Wolf themselves?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 3:55PM
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We called Wolf directly. They first directed us to the local repair company we used when still within the warranty period to (a) replace the entire control panel of the ovens, (b) replace the entire griddle unit of the 48" Wolf rangetop after 3 service calls trying other fixes, and (c) replace both the gasket and a bracket on the door of the brand-new SubZero refrigerator (sense a theme here??), but they wanted $180 to simply come and LOOK at the ovens to see what was wrong.

At that point, we called Wolf back and dealt with them directly. They are certainly very friendly and anxious to help, and agreed, as noted above, to waive the usual $200 fee they normally add for each year one is out of warranty (we are at 2 years, 5 months). We appreciated it, but we are not, of course, happy about having to replace these units in the first place. We can only hope the new units perform better. Apparently it is a new "generation" of ovens so let's hope that bodes well. I am certainly going to keep an eagle eye on the oven bottoms this time!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 4:25PM
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Your "new generation of ovens" remark makes me wonder whether Wolf is planning to replace the L-Series ovens I assume you have with the newer, less expensive E-Series. I hope not.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:09PM
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E Series are less expensive? They appear the same on the inside & tout the same functions as what I have. But I'm surprised they're less expensive. I'll have to price one out.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:16PM
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We checked out the E Series on their website -- looked as if the lower oven has only 4 cooking modes and no convection? Also no rotating control panel (though that would be FINE with me). The features do seem more streamlined. We were told we would be getting the "-3" model (better than the "-2" model of the L Series we bought in 2005. Have no idea what the differences are but we were told it was somehow improved.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 6:28PM
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I don't recall the specifics of the E-series, but it seemed like significantly less functionality for not a lot less money. And while I like the sleek look of the E-series, DW is smitten with the rotating control panel on the L-Series (hmmm, I wonder where Wolf came up with "E" and "L").

Our ovens haven't been delivered yet. When the are, how will I be able to determine whether they're "-2" or "-3" models? How about determining the same for Wolf ovens I see installed elsewhere?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:00PM
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E-Series seem definitely lighter on features: no convection for lower oven, 4 cooking modes instead of 10 in lower (I presume because no convection), fixed control panel, etc.

The "-2" or "-3" (there was a "-1" I at some point, I assume) is on the rating panel (bottom of the control panel -- you have to crane your neck but it's there), along with the serial and model numbers.

We have the rotating panel on our L Series and virtually never close it. I don't like it particularly because it never feels securely "locked in" place (may just be ours I suppose) -- it yields a tad when you press the touch pad. I've actually occasionally felt I had to use my other hand to hold it in place (I'm told I'm probably pressing too hard on the buttons, but it does give a bit no matter how lightly I tread on that touchpad). We closed it a lot the first week -- virtually never since then.

Have no idea, by the way, what the "-3" gets us, just that it's the latest and greatest model. I just hope they've improved the enamel.

You all should be aware, if you have new Wolf ovens on order, that you may get a very loud "crack" sound the first few times you turn them on. Sounds like a gunshot, or an auto backfire. Doesn't always happen, I guess, but it is apparently very common -- so common the Wolf receptionist who first answered my call was able to tell me exactly what it was and what to do (you'd think they could save some calls by mentioning it in the manual?) We called in an absolute panic when it first happened and were told it was perfectly normal: it's the oven floor expanding (huh...?) The fix, according to Wolf, is to run the self-clean cycle several times when you first get the ovens. But the noise is alarming in the extreme if you don't what it is!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Yea, we had the "oil canning" with ours. Running the self clean a couple of times cleared that up. Makes me wonder if the noise was also the paint chipping/cracking as it seemed pretty violent at the time.

I'm disappointed in the E series, but they do need to become more competitive w/ prices and quality. Maybe this was their attempt on the built-ins.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:28PM
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I didn't have that problems, but I had a bad heating element, a rattling fan and a fogging control panel -- then started smelling something electrical overheating. Wolf agreed to replace the ovens without having anyone even come out to verify the problem (which could have started a fire -- so I guess that was smart). I called them last Monday and got my new ovens today.

I'm running a pre-cooking cyle after cleaning the ovens, and I can already tell that this one is put together better. The racks glide easier and quieter. The control panel is more responsive than the last one (although the original one was good, but fogged. The replacement wasn't fogged, but was harder to get to respond). They are quieter. In short -- they seems to be more of what I had hoped for whan I bought the Wolf. I'lll get to bake with them tomorrow and hope I am as happy then.

Ctlady, I hope you we will btoh be as pleased ater using the new ovens. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:57PM
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I also menat to say that we haven't heard a single popping noise. This has been worth the inconvenience of getting a replacement.

BTW, mine were just over a year old.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:59PM
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Within the first 6 months of owning our double oven we two problems. The first was a LOUD pop in the metal almost every time we turned the oven on. No one told us to run the self-clean cycle (as mentioned above) but we called the dealer who came out and installed a reinforcement piece from the rear which fixed the problem.

A month or two later we had a non-resettable fuse blow out after a self clean. The dealer came out again, pulled the oven out, and replaced the fuse with a new and improved self-resetting fuse. Both of these problems made me wonder if I had picked the wrong product.

It's 4 years later and my latest problem is the finish on the floor of the upper oven which has several cracks and chips. At the advise of my dealer I paid them to come out and take photos. They agreed that it was a defect in the finish so they sent Wolf the photos and their report. A few days later I was called by my dealer who told me that Wolf wanted me to call them direct. Wolf told me that they don't make the part I need because they never have this problem (right) and the enamel finish is considered an appearance item and therefore not covered by warranty (which I think is total crap). They did give me two choices.

The first choice is $500 and an extra year of warranty. I consider this a bad choice because in my opinion after another few hundred cycles I assume that the finish deterioration will accelerate and I'll be left with an ugly mess. Option 2 is a new oven for $1900 plus delivery, tax, and installation. I consider this another bad option since for around $2500 I will end up with the exact same oven that I purchased 4 years ago thinking I was good for maybe the next twenty years or so. In my opinion, it's not out of the question that the faulty finish began to fail because of the five or ten times the floor popped when the oven was new.

I noticed in one of the postings above that Wolf offered a new oven for $200 for every year it was out of warranty. That at least seems like a decent offer and I will hope for the same treatment as I continue to talk with Wolf.

Thanks for all the postings. This will surely help me as I go through this problem with Wolf.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:50AM
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Well, Wolf stepped up to the plate today. After I forwarded my thoughts to them they said they would sell me a new oven for $500 plus tax. Corporate had to call the distributor to get a price for delivery and installation. The distributor told them $600. I called my dealer/certified installer and asked how much to swap the units. I was told it would take approximately 1 1/2 hours @$80/hr plus parts. If I round that off high at $200, that leaves $400 for delivery...kinda steep for an hour drive. I will hope for a better offer tomorrow.

I am pleased with this offer from Wolf corporate. I would not have been pleased to pay the $1900 plus extras. I only hope they have gotten rid of the loud POP on the newer ovens.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:09PM
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It's mid 2011.... I have a new wolf
DF486C - 6 Burners, Charbroiler $12,885*

Hardly used 6 months old , I ran the self clean cycle and noticed scraped cracks in the far back corner of the smaller oven ,
Called wold and ran the larger oven and it splintered

Wolf replaced an entire new range at no charge in 12-2011

It's now 3-2012 and I have the same cracks in the back of the small oven
Without running the cleaning cycle

This 2nd oven oil cans something awful pops when you turn on and off
I never ran the self clean cycle yet only the burn off cycle they suggest

I am in talks with wolf now, I can't believe 12'000 gets you dual lemons not dual ovens

I had a ge electric wall oven for 15 years and never one service call and a whiz to clean

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:28PM
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This just happened to me too! I'm devastated. I have 2 wolf ovens, and the one that gets very little use has cracked after I self-cleaned it last night. I just sent pictures to Wolf and am waiting to hear what they will do. I'm 2 months out of my 2 year warranty - UGH!

My Subzero Frig needed repairs within months of getting installed, and my Wolf induction cooktop was finally replaced with a Miele when THREE DIFFERENT cooktops all had the same issue. This company may be going downhill. I will keep you posted as to what they will offer me.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:59AM
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UM - crazy update. Today a guy told me it is just "Cosmetic" and not to worry about it. Let them know if the oven is 'off' a little, but it should be fine. IT'S NOT FINE!! I'm probably going to pursue getting new ones. I don't think you should pay 4 grand for an oven that can't stand its own heat

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 2:56PM
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I am on my second set of Wolf Wall ovens (I was the OP on this thread)... we now have the same "scraping" (crazing, chipping) in the enamel on the floor of the replacement ovens. The trouble areas are in exactly the same spots on both upper and lower ovens (aligning, I assume, with some portion of the heating elements). Left and right sides, halfway back, 4 inches in from the walls, and an area dead center, 3-4 inches back from the front edge. Striations of crazing out from those, like mini waves. I am going to call Wolf but am not optimistic of any real assistance. I am just stunned at quality (of lack thereof) of these ovens. The "high-limit" switch trips (and requires a service call to reset, at $180 a call) on occasion PURELY as a result of running the self-clean cycle... and now the bottom of the oven is once again defective. I had GE wall ovens (nothing special in terms of upgrades, etc.) for TWENTY YEARS with no problems! I have a call into Wolf and will see what they say... but I do not, unfortunately, expect them to do more than offer to SELL me a new set of ovens... nice blue interior. Good for another 4 years ... if I'm lucky and ... don't run the self-clean cycle EVER.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 3:36PM
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This all sounds pretty scary. We were considering a 36 inch all gas Wolf stove, but now I'm not so sure. So glad I found this thread.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Don't be scared off, ikeltz. These complaints all have to do with electrical issues and running the self-clean cycle, things that you won't need to be concerned about with an all gas range. And at least Wolf offered some sort of resolution.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:53AM
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See the posts, "Problems with Wolf Single Oven E series",
(Just do a search at the bottom of the main appliance page) for Wolf Ovens.

One would suspect that Wolf is using the same porcelain in both the AG ranges as well as the Electric Ovens----Something that I would certain find out about (Note I said "suspect") so best to find our yourself before any purchase decisions.

It is correct that
"Wolf has at least offered some sort of resolution"
but what it the oven fails after 3 years or so, do we now expect to be replacing expensive ovens and ranges in less than 5 years now???, I sure don't and my current oven is going on 7 years now, trouble free. Should the porcelain ever be damaged at the oven bottom, the whole bottom just lifts out and could be easily replaced,
(alto as I mentioned No problems thus far).

One should spend some time "Googling" other sites, Echow, Fix it, Epinions etc to get some idea of how widespread this porcelain problem is, Google wolf oven problems, or Wolf oven porcelain or something of the sort.

Good luck with our decisions!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:57AM
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Dodge59, I was only saying that the porcelain being damaged might have something to do with the high heat of a self-clean cycle, something that the all gas range doesn't have. The all gas range also doesn't have the same blue porcelain. And, like your range, the bottom panel in the oven is a separate piece.

This post was edited by jellytoast on Sun, Feb 24, 13 at 10:33

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 10:03AM
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I have a Wolf E series with chipping porcelain. But I don't think it is just the heat of self cleaning that causes it. Otherwise the chipping would be at random places in the oven. It maybe a poor design of the liner and the chipping is at stress points (where the bottom meets the side walls) and that when it heats up the bottom expands and pops causing the crazing and chipping. Wolf is replacing the oven and I was told that the interior has been redesigned. We shall see when it is replaced next month.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:15PM
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We are in the market for a Wolf DF range. Obviously these posts are worrisome. Has anyone experienced the cracking in Wolf ranges?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 1:17PM
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Yes and I have posted a lot about it. Not 5 years old and I am looking to replace it. Right now the oven is extra storage until I figure out what to do. You can't really use it because there are shards of glass coming off and add to that a convection fan blowing them around. I wish that I would have bought the oven and rangetop separately. I have an additional wall oven so I can get by for awhile. I am thinking about putting in a rangetop and another oven somewhere. It might involve tearing out and rebuilding cabinets though. The people who fix Wolf have had experience with this issue and I live in a smaller market.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 3:30PM
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aprilh, our 36" DF purchased in 2006 does not have a shard issue. We have used the pizza stone and cleaning features. Perhaps we dodged a bullet. That said, I agree with every poster's opinion that such a "defect" is not cosmetic, and warrants replacement, even at 6 years. My suggestion is to make sure you use the cleaning feature early-on so you can take advantage of the warranty if it happens.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:41AM
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I used the cleaning feature early and it did not show up during the warranty period. I have a wall oven that I use the most so the Wolf oven does not get used heavily.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:16AM
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