LP range choices/power outages

scott__sAugust 30, 2012

We've pretty much given up on having a range that is fully-functional in a power outage (Premier ranges fit the bill, but they've only got one higher-powerburner -- 14Kbtu on LP -- the next highest is only 8K btu on LP, and we want at least 2 burners at 12K btu or higher), but we absolutely want to be able to use the top burners in an outage with manual lighting. Most ranges support this, but it seems that some of the newer ones, especially those with a ton of electronics, do not.

My first choice would be Bluestar (we had a 36" RNB in our last house), but it's out of our budget for now (it wouldcost $3500-$4000 for a 30" Bluestar RNB + another $1000 or more for the required 36" hood upgrade and upper cabinet modifications). We've eliminated GE, since the GE appliances lose a lot more BTU capacity with LP conversion than some of the other brands, especially the high heat burners (the 20K btu tri-ring burner is only 11K btu on LP).

So, for the moment, the best choices seem to be the Samsung FX710BGS (on LP the top two burners degrade to 14.5K and 11.5K btu), or the Electrolux EW3LGF65GS (dedicated LP range with top burners at 16K and 12K BTU).

Am I missing any obvious choices?

Also, the other sticking point is upper burners and power loss. The Samsung manual explicitly states that it supports manual lighting in an outage, but the electrolux makes no such claims. Any exerience here with Electrolux gas ranges and power outages?

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I don't have an Electrolux, but do have a dual fuel, and have used the stovetop burners when we lost power on numerous occasions. Most ranges that I know use mechanical methods to regulate the flow of gas to the burners, so they should work whether or not you have electric power. The igniters, and any reignition circuitry will not work, so you do need to be careful if you set a low simmer, and a breeze from an open window blows it out. We have noticed that the flame is a little less regular when the power is out, not sure if that relates to the stove itself, or due to the gas company and its equipment not regulating the pressure as exactly when there are no power problems. Nothing too bad, and no impact on cooking. If you haven't cooked on a stove top without power, you will really appreciate a third hand to hold a flashlight shining down into the pan, since those regular battery operated lights that sit on a table, don't shine into the bottom of the pan.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Not sure what it is that would keep you from using a match to light the burner.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:27PM
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weedmeister -- I think that some newer ranges include additional safety features that prevent gas from flowing when there is no power. Another one I looked at -- American Range (closest thing to bluestar that wouldn't require me to move the upper cabinets to the left and right of the range hood), has the following in the manual:

Due to safety considerations and the possibility of
personal injury, do not attempt to light or operate range
burners, grills, griddles, the oven or broiler during a
power failure. Safety systems which detect the
presence of an ignition source and operate the gas safety
valve do not function during a power failure.
Be sure all gas valve knobs are placed and remain in the -
OFF- position during a power failure.

The Fivestar, on the other hand (as does the Samsung) not only works fine with manual lighting of burners during an outage, but the manual explicitly details how to do it.

This suggests to me that the Fivestar might be a better choice than the American Range in an area with frequent power outages, just as (on the lower end) the Samsung might be preferable to the Electrolux.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:43PM
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Very odd that you can't use some gas range burners during a power outage. That is one of the big reasons I went with gas. I guess I assumed it was possible to light any gas burner with a lighter. In January we had more than 20" of snow followed by an ice storm and then a windstorm. I cooked all kinds of things on my CC burners. Wish I had some helpful info for you.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 10:53PM
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I don't know what would prevent you from using a gas range during a power outage. I have cooked on mine during a few. mine were never high end stuff just Frigidaire with electronic ignition and oven controls. if course the oven was non operational but i could light the surface burners with a match or lighter. If its LP gas there should be no drop in gas pressure since its working off the tanks pressure not a utility that may not be pumping fully.most all ranges have mechanical valves for the stove top that i seen. so you should be fine with any one you pick to do basic cooking with out power.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:25PM
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breezygirl: Thanks for the information -- now I know that the Capital also works without electrical power. Our old Bluestar (in our prior residence) worked just fine (burners only) in an outage, as does our lower-end Maytag range that I hope to replace soon in the current house. I may just break down and mess with the upper cabinets for a Bluestar (for bluestar, they must be 3 inches away from directly over the stove, effectively requiring a 36 inch hood for a 30 inch range), but I was really hoping to just swap in a new range and not mess with the upper cabinets for now. The CC would be perfect, except it can't hold a full sheet pan like the Bluestar or American range, and (like the previous two) I suspect it's a bit out of our current price range (really, the $3400 for the FiveStar is stretching things a bit right now, and as you see I started the thread looking much lower than that, but I really miss that bluestar).

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:26PM
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I am also on LP gas and I am probably going with a Bosch. On LP you get 15 and 11 on the front two burners and 11 and 5 on the rear. I am not sure but I think I didn't like the placement of the 2 high output burners on the Electrolux. What is the burner configuration/placement. I can't find my notes? I know I also thought that their burner control and side trim made the burners too tight together.
Did you look at the Bosch? i'd be interested to hear your thoughts as I am not committed yet? I did really long for the Electrolux for a while.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:23PM
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