NXR Review

JaneMadcapApril 1, 2014

Re-did our entire kitchen a year ago and wanted to share our appliance experiences with everyone.

Lesson number 1 - never buy an appliance without seeing and touching it. We went with the NXR range solely on reviews and specs and were sorely disappointed.

I'm going to get into all the details but let's just say after a year of everything on the stove breaking, culminating with a gas leak in a back burner that the surly service refused to test for or fix, Plessers Appliance has stepped up to the plate and given us a store credit for a replacement stove of our choice, so kudos to Plessers and I recommend doing business with them.

Yes, The NXR seems like a bargain at about 2K, but you truly do get what you pay for. The top surface is in so many component pieces with so many joints and sharp edges that it's impossible to clean. Furthermore, the brushed stainless finish means you can't use anything but a stainless cleaner on it, which is totally ineffective for spills. The result is a crumb filled, stained surface within a couple of months. Tried jamming a knife in between joints to clean it but it had limited success. Really poor design.

I was aghast the first time I used the oven. The oven rack is like a toy oven rack. You have to hold it with both hands and pull very carefully straight out or it will twist. It's held in by little nubs at the back of the rack. You have to be super careful when you pull out the rack that not only do you use both hands and pull straight out, you also have to be sure you are not in any way pulling up, because one side may jump the "stop nub" and the rack winds up falling out. Have burned myself more than once on this thing this way and I'm a very experienced cook who has literally never burned herself on an oven before.

The oven racks alone would have been a deal breaker for me, had I tried the stove in person, but it gets better. The numbers on the front of the stove (as in the temperature and oven controls) literally wiped off. I mean, I used only stainless cleaner and the wiped right off. Just out of curiosity, I used a damp paper towel without cleaner, and they still wiped right off.

OK you're getting the picture of the stove at this point. I will spare you the details but the "tech" cancelled 5 out of 6 appointments, twice because of "a death in the family" and three times because of "an emergency dental appointment." It got so ridiculous that we actually told him he should note what excuse he had used with each client so he didn't keep repeating. Once he did get here, he argued with me, told me that I used an abrasive cleaner on the front and that's why the numbers came off (he was unswayed by the fact that I demonstrated the damp paper towel removing the numbers), told me I did not have a gas leak, and failed to fix the rear burner that was running low (which, it turns out was running low because it leaked).

The humdinger of this whole thing was when he told me that the reason I smelled gas in the kitchen was because I had the wrong hood for the stove. There was much more along these lines, numerous emails to NXR, they told us we were crazy, etc.

So we finally called the gas company, (and paid them $100) they tested the line and the stove, confirmed a large leak of gas from the stove, and shut off our gas at the tank. Seriously, if we had not had the presence of mind to turn off the gas ourselves when we first smelled gas, we could have blown up our whole house. We've been without gas or a stove for three weeks, now.

Many emails, calls, back and forth, (and I'm leaving out a lot, including videos we sent of our various problems) and Plessers finally just stepped in and said they'd credit us and we could pick out any other stove we liked. So good on Plessers.

Bottom line, I seriously don't recommend NXR - take it out of your 401K, if you have to, but get a better stove, or just go with a regular home style range like a GE Profile - I had a GE cooktop and a Jenn Air wall oven and I was very happy with them. Not nearly as good as a professional style range, but really reliable and dirt cheap ;o).

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As has been said several times, the NXR is not for everyone and its warranty administrators can be inept and have been known to pick idiots to do service jobs. Other small volume stove-makers have been the subject of similar reports. A lesson in this for anybody considering a stove from any small volume maker: it really helps to have the knowledge and skills of your own to be able to fix things yourself. At the very least, pick a vendor who is willing to buy a lemon back from you.

Poor warranty support is probably responsible for more internet ire than the initial product defects. A product defect is a disappointment, Bad service changes disappointment to vociferous anger that leads to multiple angry postings.

Some further reactions to your post.

You mentioned shutting the the gas off at the tank, so I gather that you had your NXR converted to propane. For the benefit of somebody else who might be considering a propane conversion, who did the propane conversion? it would be good to know if it was a factory kit (if there is such a thing), if it was done by the distributor (IIRC,Austek is the distributor who supplies Plesser's), was done for you by the vendor (Plesser's), was done by a third party installer, done by the gas company, or a diy?

I agree that it was silly/stupid for somebody to say a gas odor is the result of a vent hood problem. Further, I find it odd that the rear burner would be leaking gas when the burner is not even on. Did the gas company (propane supplier) tell you where the leak is on the stove or just that it was not in the line from the tank? Was it a loose connection, a cracked internal feed line, a broken regulator, or something else?

As an aside, mis-positioning the burner assembly on Isphording burners after cleaning can produce similar symptoms as several posters have discussed. But, in all those discussions, the problems only occurred when the burner was turned on. The Isphording burner parts disassemble for cleaning and are designed to drop back into place in specific alignments. If a part is out of its proper alingment, some gas may leak around it or may burn out from beneath the burner or the burner might not even ignite. This problem is not limited to NXRs, btw, but there have been several threads here where the subject has been discussed.

But those prior discussions have always been about the kind of problem only occurs when the burner is turned on. So, for all those reasons, I would say that a continual leak has got to be a one of three things: failure of poor grade gas line component; undisclosed shipping damage; or somebody broke something or failed to tighten something when doing the propane conversion. The first two are manufacturer warranty problems for which Duro should take responsibility, although the third would be somebody else's responsibility.

The stovetop cleaning thing puzzles me. Apparently, somebody told you that you only can use spray-on stainless cleaner for cleaning the stove? That's crazy stupid advice to give. That stikes me as akin telling somebody to clean their car with auto-polish! Spray-on products like Wieman's are just a final step in cleaning, really more like waxing the car. Stainless polishes --- most of us would only use it a few times a year and certainly not for day-to-day cleaning.

There have been numbers of discussions here about cleaning NXRs (and other stainless steel appliances) using products like Pinesol, Windex, etc. and using microfiber cloths, sponges, etc. Toothbrushes once in a while, but knives? If they had you using only stainless polish, I can see how s*** would build up and would need a knife to get it off. Somebody sure steered you about as wrong as you can be steered.

I see you just signed up here today. Too bad you didn't have the benefit of reading the discussions of how we clean and what we use. Might have avoided some of the major anoyances for you.

The markings for the dial wiping off? I've had my NXR for a couple of years and friends have had theirs for going on five years now. We've never had any such problems. To me, when the markings wipe off with a wet paper towel, that indicates the paint was not mixed correctly or not cured. That's a manufacturing defect, for sure, and Duro should have taken responsibility for it. Even if you had used an abrasive --- and btw, I've used Barkeeper's Friend a couple of times with no ill effect --- the markings should not continue to wipe off with a mere wet paper towel.

The oven racks thing also puzzles me. Mine don't flex or twist at all. I mean, they are not roller racks, but it still takes serious and deliberate effort to raise a rack high enough up to get past the rear stops ("the nubs.") Seems your stove came with substitute racks that are radically different from the ones that came with my NXR.

All-in-all, I'd take the thing back, too. It is a good thing that Plessers has stepped up to the plate on this. Hopefully, they told you that before April first. :>)

This post was edited by JWVideo on Tue, Apr 1, 14 at 17:36

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 5:22PM
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One of the nxr'a racks were a bit more heavy duty (thicker) tan the other, but neither ever flexed.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 7:48PM
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Follow up to above comments/questions:

LP conversion was done at the factory.

The gas company shut off the gas valve behind the stove. No leak, pressure held in the line. Turned on the valve behind the stove, line pressure dropped rapidly.

As to your other diagnostic questions, that would be what we would expect a service tech to tell us regarding a unit that was obviously leaking gas. That did not happen. No diagnostics were run. We were told there was no gas smell an we were wrong.

Not only did they tell me I could only use spray on cleaner, the tech actually "accused" me of using abrasive cleaner on the surface. I left this out in our tale of woe, but the stainless on the top of the stove also began to pit in a bizarre way. The tech said it was because I had scrubbed it. Seriously.

To be more accurate, the racks do not flex, they skew as you pull them out. They don't slide, they stick and skew and you have to tug at them. Horrible design.

And I did read all the reviews - the biggest thing I heard people complaining about was the enamel, but then I heard reviewers saying they no longer had the problems. Well based on recent posts, that seems not to be the case.

Interestingly, what attracted me to the unit was its stripped down mechanical nature. My husband is an engineer and can fix just about anything so I liked that there were virtually no electronics and nothing much to break that we couldn't fix ourselves. A gas leak, however, is not a DIY project.

BTW the plastic on the dials also fell off.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Factory propane conversions. Interesting. I thought it was all done over here by distributors or vendors using after-market kits. If this had happened to me out of warranty, I would have pulled the back panel and checked the fittings and tubes for leaks. You'd think a tech would do that as a matter of course.

I think your "tech" was only technically a "tech." There has been a long running thread here about similar idiocies from A&E, the Whirlpool-Sears joint venture in appliance warranty and appliance repair services. Care to share the name of the service company so others can avoid dealing with them?

Pitting on the top surface? That's not caused by abrasives unless somebody was using a sandblaster or left wet cleanser sitting for days on the top of the stove, or maybe, leaving wet salt sitting there for days. (Same thing can happen with stainless pots and pans, too, btw.) I suppose that having you use only the spray-on stainless cleaner could leave salt or other things trapped on the surface and reacting to pit it.

OTOH, though, I'm wondering if there was some factory problem which left abrasive dust all over everything. To me, the fact that your oven racks were sticking rather than sliding also suggests the possibility of stray abrasive dust having coated them. The oven racks on my NXR slide easily. When I got my NXR, I washed the racks in soapy water and used an air compressor and shop vac on the oven and components, but I didn't get much dust off of it. In previous stoves, if the racks stopped sliding easily, it was because I got them too hot for too long (as with an oven self-cleaning cycle). All I had to do was wash them and put some lubricant on them (per the owner's manuals). . Sticking right out of the box suggests the possibility of bad factory conditions or, maybe, that management decided to dispense with quality control.

And the plastic grips on the sides of the control knobs fell off? Sheesh. When the factory screws up a product, they sure go all out. Shades of the Chevy Vega! (Sorry, if that just set off the chronic-old-fart warning klaxon.)

This post was edited by JWVideo on Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 13:37

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 1:32PM
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I'm sorry for your pain and hope your next range is better. I had three long running services calls on mine and also eventually got my money back (also due to Plessers intercession). I'm cringing a bit and hoping you did not rely on any of my early reviews.

Anything with ammonia in it can remove the label paint. Once the outer or seal coat has been removed, anything can wipe off small amounts of the remaining paint.

The knobs can be heated enough from the oven to warp - they seem to be plastic - and I'm not surprised the little grips fell off.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 12:06PM
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I believe your stove is counterfeit. Sounds crazy - but everything is counterfeited.

Why do I think that? For one, you described classic signs -very cheap parts (grates), poor printing (burner labels wiping off), sub-grade materials (pitting of stainless).

I just bought and installed my NXR 30" and I have the following:

Grates - they're very solid and well designed. quite a bit more than my GE Profile range I replaced. Your grates sound like they look like mine, but both grates are not cheap.

Printed Labels - they don't wipe off. I tried, with cleaner.

Pitted Stainless steel - just bought it, so no feedback on this.

Overall, the stove is very nice, solid, and works really well.

Hope this helps.

FYI: Center grate is on it's way and we're likely installing the flush back vent.

This post was edited by Gastavo on Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 12:11

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Just did a full check on my 30 inch NXR again today; all is good. Still happy with it.

This post was edited by black88mx6 on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 19:53

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:51PM
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Oh Jane, what a terrible situation. Thank you for sharing it. I will now never buy an appliance online though I have been sorely tempted. The poster is right who said absolutely everything is counterfeit. It is so bad now that drug dealers are leaving that business and getting into counterfeiting. It's appalling.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:13PM
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Counterfeiting NXRs? Seems unlikely to me because there just is not enough money in it to make it worthwhile for criminals. I mean, the NXR is already pretty much a knock-off and the margins are so thin as it is. Also, Hyxion Metal Works is the only source for Duro and Duro is the only importer, so who could even find a place to sell a counterfeit? As several of us discovered a couple of years ago, Duro gets the stoves FOB Shenzen, China, which means that everything is Duro's risk from that point on. (See the link below).

Hyxion's factory practices seem pretty good, for the most part. At least no worse than the 6% to 8% defect rates of the major manufactuters of gas stoves sold in this country. But, every manufacturer is going to have some lemons escape its quality control. Every brand of stove has to be shipped from factories to get to customers, and so every brand of stove will inevitably have some units that get damaged in shipping.

It seems to me that the very thin margins on the NXR will be a pretty strong incentive for Duro trying to to quickly and cheaply patch up and re-sell any damaged goods or returns. Combine that with servicers who may not know what they are doing and there being no money to fund training programs --- and that's a recipe that readily explains what happened to bmorpanic, Janemadcap, and that poor guy who posted at Consumer Reports about a getting lemon of a 48" NXR.

As I've said before, poor warranty support can be and has been a risk that has to be consdered by anybody shopping for a stove from a small volume brand.

I certainly understand Gr8day's "never buying an appliance online." For me, it isn't the fear of getting a counterfeit -- well, maybe from unknown sellers who might pop up on craigslist or eBay and maybe put fake Viking badges on NXRs --- but what I really fear is finding myself as one of the unfortunate 8% who get a defective product and face seeming insuperable difficulties getting a refund or a repair.

For me, the Costco full-refund satisfaction guarantee was enough to overcome my paranoia about large online purchases -- hey, I could have taken it back if I just didn't like the stove after six months, never mind warranty issues, Otherwise, even with major brand appliances, I want a local face and somebody who will feel accountable to me in ways that a distant online vendor will not.

Here is a link that might be useful: Random NXR info from 2012

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:59PM
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