Which gas rangetop for best reliability and service?

saydeAugust 21, 2008

I just read through the thread about the appalling "service" provided by A&E.

I'm in the process of deciding what gas rangetop to buy and have been focusing on performance, appearance, cost -- and have been pretty clueless about all the service concerns, til now. Well! I've forgotten to factor in what is probably the most important concern!

Was seriously considering Dacor -- til I read that A&E service covers them in a lot of areas.

Was seriously considering GE -- til I learned that the new ones will be built in Mexico.

Capital Precision and Wolf (36" open burner) were also on the short list. With Capital -- mostly but not all good, but small sample. That leaves Wolf-- is Wolf the "safe" choice???

And a while back I was looking at Lacanche, thinking, simple, no electronics (but also no wall ovens)

So -- please -- tell me what you think -- from the perspective of build venue and quality, reliability, and service -- which gas rangetop is the best bet -- and why. If it's a brand I haven't mentioned -- please, let me know.

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Just my perspective... Of the premium brands of gas cooktops that Consumer Reports included in their reliability ratings, Wolf was the best at 7%, Viking was the worst at 15%. They lump together "repairs and serious problems", so my guess is that the occurrance of "real" issues is a lot lower, and repeated issues lower yet. So let's be conservative and say the average of real problems is 10%, and assume that A&E is your service provider and screws up 50% of their calls. That would mean that you have a 95% chance of getting an appliance that either has no problems or else has a problem that is remedied.

All this to say, in my opinion mind you, of the brands you listed, I would be a whole lot more concerned about performance, features and aesthetics, all of which you will live with every day, than repairs, which you probably have less than a 5% chance of ever having to deal with.

By the way, I would not necessarily feel this way about more complex appliances like refrigerators, electric ovens, etc. But a gas rangetop....

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 10:30AM
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I think any of the following will be fine: Wolf, DCS, Capital, Bluestar, GE Monogram. Pick the features that you want. All brands have problems on some units. You could check about who performs service in your area - but even Whirlpool has alternatives to A&E, at least where I live. Once the warranty is over, you can use whoever you want for service.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 11:21AM
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To carry weissman's comments a bit further, poll owners of units weissman listed and, generally, you will get strong opinions from happy customers as to why they like their unit the best. That said then, this reinforces weissman's comment that within the group listed, pick the features that are most important to you. None of them will be absolutely perfect but what is.

As to Consumer Reports, I put very little stock in their reviews of this level of product. I have not found comments here and elsewhere supportive of the observations made and conclusions reached by CR in its reviews of these upper end products.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 7:50PM
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weissman, from what I've seen, American is having less than its share of problems, and their service seems to be quite responsive...I know they're not as high end as the ones you mentioned but in terms of the original request (reliability/service), I'm thinking they're better than some of those you listed...?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 8:19PM
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breezy - While I realize that the forty people who post on GW are a much more representative group than the hundreds of thousands who respond to CR questionnaires, it was not my intention to debate CR. That has been done ad nauseum around here. Rather, it was to point out that regardless of brand, it appears that the actual percentage of cooktop problems is quite low, and that this low number seems to include any and all problems regardless of severity, and that therefore I would not make reliability or service my primary focus as sayde suggested when saying, "I've forgotten to factor in what is probably the most important concern!"

In the end, you, Weissman and I are all saying the same thing. I just happened to make the mistake of citing Consumer Reports. Pick what appeals to you.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 8:20PM
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flyleft - I didn't deliberately leave out American - I'm just not as familiar with it as I am with the other brands - sorry

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 8:46PM
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Ah, thanks, weissman...I'm fixin' to order one tomorrow, probably (I'm the embodiment of the word "gunshy" :)), and was a bit concerned to see you had left American out of the lineup. But their issues seem few and far between, and addressed well, except in one case. Now that said, I'd *LOVE* to hear from anyone who has *not* had an issue addressed by American to their satisfaction...as in *tonight*, please post! :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:06PM
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Whatevah yathink. If you are not going to debate the CR issue, then you shouldn't open your comments by using arguably overly embellished and misapplied statistics that are tantamount to saying CR is, at a minimum, far more reliable than GW (as any fool can see if they take your statistics at face value) but then your comments are not up for debate.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:29PM
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take it easy, breezy, know sarcasm when you hear it, and concentrate more on THE FACT THAT WE AGREE ON THE ISSUE AT HAND!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:32PM
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OH! OK, sorry, long day bad headache. Thanks for the reality check! B:)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:43PM
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If you want performance, Bluestar excels with their 8 fingered star burners. No whistles, no indicator lites, just great burners, that are rugged, powerful and open in design.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 12:07AM
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Thanks, guys, for the input. I think I feel better (?)

I was going to ask the same question (reliability, service) about ovens but since I want 24 inch the choices are limited and I think I'll just go with Miele, uh, may-be Gaggenau (?) Thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:30AM
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Both Miele and Gagganau were on my finalist list. Both have excellent reputations as manufacturers. Wolf, Mile and the Gagg were about a tie for me but Wolf won out for my oven choice b/c the features are excellent and the unit matches up well with their WD which I liked better than others I looked at.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 12:47PM
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