GE oven door glass shattered!

bedeliaAugust 28, 2008

I have a GE electric range that is 2 yrs. old. I was using the self-cleaning feature this week, and after 2 hrs., I heard a loud pop. I turned the oven off, and once I was able to open the door, saw that the inside glass window in the door had shattered into pieces.

I called GE, and the rep stated that this does happen sometimes. They sent a tech out at no charge to look at it. When he called in the report, they stated that I would have to pay $165 for labor costs to fix it. The glass itself would be at no charge. (My local service guy would charge me $165 for both labor and glass).

I was livid. I thought GE would stand behind its appliances, but apparently not. How can they market something that has this defect in it?

The tech suggested that I call myself (to see if it made any difference) and was told the same thing. I was told it was out of warranty, and that if they covered the labor, the tech would forfeit his pay for the service call. I never heard of such a thing.

$165 isn't going to put me in the poor house, but I think it's something that GE should stand behind.

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Has anyone had a similar experience with GE? Any suggestions?

Sorry for ranting and raving, but I know I'll never buy another GE anything.

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weissman

Your product is out of warranty - they're giving you the part for free, but not the labor - issues like this come up frequently - I'm not sure why people expect manufacturers to cover things out of warranty. It's true they don't make appliances like they used to but part of that is people expecting cheaper and cheaper prices - sadly you get what you pay for. While it might be true that another manufacturer might be better about this, if you check threads on this forum, you'll find that most won't.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:47PM
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markw

Just how old would your oven be before you thought GE should stop fixing thing for free? Three years? Five? Ten? Manufacturers warranties usually cover "defects in materials and workmanship", typically for a year in the case of garden variety appliances. Sometimes parts (but not labor) are covered longer for certain parts (like the compressor in a fridge). My guess is GE is already doing more for you than the warranty requires. If you want a longer warranty, next time by an extended one. Get over it.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 9:05PM
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mahatmacat1

That's indeed *scary*, and from what I've read, you're not alone (the rep even admitted it). Self-clean seems to be a Pandora's box. I'm getting an oven with no self-clean. Just think what it's doing to the electronics.

You might want to cut your losses and get a stove with no electronics.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:00AM
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ci_lantro

How can they market something that has this defect in it?

You should know that it's just the nature of the beast. Glass sometimes breaks when subjected to high heat. I've known of car windshields to break when parked in the hot sun with all the windows rolled up. The tempered glass on one of my fireplace screen doors shattered from high heat. Tis the price you sometimes pay for the look of glass. Best bet is to get an oven with no glass. Or accept that sometimes this can happpen.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:04AM
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bedelia

Well, it sounds like I'm over reacting.

I realize a warranty is a warranty, but I feel that oven glass should be made to withstand high temperatures, especially when the manual recommends cleaning for 3-5 hrs. But then, I'm no engineer and haven't a clue.

The least a mfg should do is put a disclaimer in the manual stating the possibility of breakage. I'm just glad it wasn't Thanksgiving day when it happened.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 9:19AM
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bayareafrancy

Wow Mark, I realize I can't hear your "tone," but "get over it" sounds awfully uncivil to me when the OP was just asking if she were overreacting. It was just a question. She wasn't ranting and raving. She was asking a question.

I also think that glass for an oven should be made to withstand high temperatures, and am surprised that the tech said this has happened before. It sounds dangerous. It almost sounds like grounds for a recall. But then, I guess it didn't explode and make a dangerous situation...

But the thing that really bugged me was that GE actually said "the tech would forfeit his pay for the service call." What?? It has an unsettling blackmailish sound to me. The tech assumes a one-on-one relationship with each service call such that his/her salary is determined by whether or not the consumer pays for the service? Is that typical???

:-O

francy

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:19PM
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cpovey

As a former scientific glassblower, I can tell you that it was NOT the high heat that caused the breakage. All glass breaks by concentrating stress on a weak point, typically a scratch. This scratch could have occurred during manufacturing, during assembly, shipping, or more than likely, during you use. It does not have to be a big scratch, an almost invisible one will do.

I have also seen this happen, with my own eyes. I was doing a catering gig in a church. They had a typical domestic range. We turned the oven on to 350 F to heat some appetizers. About 15 minutes later, when no one was within 10 feet of the range, the inner oven door shattered.

The only way to prevent this from happening is to eliminate windows from ovens.

As to being dangerous, I bet it shattered into hundreds of little pieces, right? That is safety or tempered glass, the best available choice for the job. The glass is designed to shatter that way, to be far less dangerous than a few big shards, like plain glass would do. And I bet the outer glass held, didn't it? So, no danger to anything, except possibly a roast in the oven.

Personally, I think GE is being fair replacing the glass at no charge, except for labor.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 4:21PM
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markw

You're right, bayareafrancy, "get over it" was a bit over the top - or at least was open to misintepretation. I read the part where the OP expected GE to cover out-of-warranty repairs but missed the "am I making a big deal out of nothing part?". My fault for speed reading.

What I should have said was "Yes, you're overreacting. GE has more than fulfilled its obligations under your warranty." I'd stand by the rest except for that last sentence. My apologies to bedelia.

Better now?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 5:49PM
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snickers1388

We have a 16yr old Kenmore self-cleaner with a glass window. I love the fact that whatever spills in there can easily be cleaned up after the self-cleaning. The manual states you should clean the glass with a glass cleaner & paper towel. It says to never use oven cleaner in the oven. It highly recommends not using any kind of abrasive product on the glass & the seal around the oven door. Knock-on-wood, we've haven't had any problems. I hope the new glass they put in for you holds up for the life of the oven. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:11PM
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bayareafrancy

Thank you Mark!

:-)

francy

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:19PM
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bedelia

Thanks for all of your comments.

In my search on the internet, there have been instances where the outside glass has exploded also, not to mention glass tops breaking. So I guess I am lucky.

I don't feel like I'm getting much of a bargain from GE, as my appliance store was going to charge $165 for both the part and labor. GE must have a huge markup compared to a store.

I still say they should put a disclaimer in their manual to warn the consumer of this hazard, whether it's due to a scratch or defect.

Hopefully, it'll hold up after replacement.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:17AM
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chickadeead

Funny, I was just reading numerous complaints about this same problem. We have a new GE dual fuel range (not installed yet) and I was beginning to think we had made the wrong choice.

Apparently, it can happen when the oven is cold too. See
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/sears-c15635.html

Apparently, the glass is not tempered glass. Sounds dangerous. See
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/caloric_heritage.htm
These are mixed complaints about GE products, many of which are about oven door glass spontaneously shattering.
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/ge_ranges.htm

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:16PM
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evaperconti

I had to recently replace a handle on the door of my oven, and in replacing it realized that replacing the glass would be quite simple. I actually did remove the glass and clean it so that I could finally get rid of a drip that had been bugging me since the first week I used it! So you might be able to replace the glass yourself, take a look at the repair manual (I found mine online) and you can see the exact construction of the door. You can determine from that whether it's beyond your capabilities or not.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 1:01PM
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mahatmacat1

Whaaa, it's not tempered?! I don't even understand that.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:32PM
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markw

I'd look into what evaperconti suggested. I've taken the glass out of an oven door before, in my case to clean up drips I'd gotten between the two panes. Replacing oven glass is well within the capabilities of a do-it-yourselfer of even modest mechanical capabilities. $165 is a lot to spend on a task that probably won't take the service guy a half an hour. So do it yourself or find a friend willing to take it on.

By the way, on the tempered glass controversy, I'm sure it *is* temepered glass. Their are all kinds of references to shattered glass in ovens online and 99% of the refer to tempered. I'm sure code doesn't allow anything else.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 3:39PM
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cpovey

... not to mention glass tops breaking.

Glass tops are a completely different material-they are a pyroceram, not glass.

GE must have a huge markup compared to a store.
Yep, GE is notorious for the cost of repair parts,

As to Apparently, the glass is not tempered glass. Sounds dangerous. See
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/caloric_heritage.htm Yes it was tempered glass. If it was untempered glass, there would have been at most a couple of dozen large shards, like a mirror breaking. As the complainant said "Almost immediately the black glass oven door exploded throwing glass everywhere in the surrounding area." indicating tempered glass. Tempered glass is often called safety glass, because the small particles are round-ish, not long jagged spears, and thus not dangerous.

I still say they should put a disclaimer in their manual to warn the consumer of this hazard, whether it's due to a scratch or defect.

Glass breaking?-seems pretty common sense to me, so a 'warning' seems a bit far fetched. And since no glass escaped he oven cavity, there was no hazard.

I know I am sounding cold, but that's not the case. Glass breaks, and while it was unfortunate that yours broke, that's all it is, an unfortunate event. It is not all that common an occurrence-if it were, the manufacturers would eliminate the glass. If you go through web site that chickadeed provided, you will find that in less than 8 years, there were 11 reports of Caloric glass doors breaking. Caloric must sell tens of thousands of ranges per year, so 11 complaints is not exactly a lot, especially as some ranges were 12 years old.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 12:47AM
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markw

GE must have a huge markup compared to a store.
Yep, GE is notorious for the cost of repair parts

I'm not sure it's the cost of parts that is the problem here. I went on a couple of appliance parts site and it looks like list price for the inner glass is in the range of $60-$80 for most makes, including GE. In this case, the local guy wanted to charge $165, labor included. GE wanted $165 plus the part. The main rip-off here either way was in the labor costs for a job that should take under an hour for somebody who's done it before - whether it's $100 or $165 per hour for labor, that's a lot. It could be that GE just has one more level of mark-ups on the labor. Anyway, that's why I suggest do-it-yourself.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 12:53PM
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bedelia

Once I found out the labor charge, I asked DH if we should do it ourselves. He wasn't keen on it for reasons I won't go into here.

Now if it were me alone, I would give it a try. But that's not the case.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 2:13PM
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fwzy42a_msn_com

Simple fix... Just don't buy GE again, if they don't give you the life you expect and the service you expect. I think they should stand behind a stove for at least 15 years perhaps 20 assuming there are no signs of abuse.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 12:13AM
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Soules711_yahoo_com

Wow. I came across this thread while trying to find out how or why my back door suddenly shattered. Aside from the shock of it, it turned out quite beautiful - and some people pay big bucks for that look!

I did find some of the first responses to be totally out of line, unwarranted, and sarcastic. No one likes to ask a simple question and get "attacked" for it. Bad form.

There are PLENTY of companies who do these types of repairs or replacements at no or low charge because they understand that it costs them far less to, for instance, replace a piece of glass, than it does to lose a customer for life.

If you had other quotes that were significantly less ($165 for the entire job and product included vs. $165 for GE's labor alone), then make sure the products and warranties are comparable to GE's and if they are, go with the less expensive quote.

Then, as you have done, lodge your experience online so others know how GE operates and buy your next appliance(s) from another company. It takes a long time, but eventually, GE will get the message - price fairly and satisfy the customer or lose that customer, and others who support that customer, altogether.

It's already working - I won't buy from GE solely because of this post.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 6:59AM
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psufan209_yahoo_com

Have owned a GE oven for about 2 weeks...only used it about 6 times when the oven door window shatters while making a casserole. Have spent over a week waiting for the replacement part and have had to eat out every day because GE said not to use the cook top. Not happy w/ this piece of trash appliance and will not buy anything from GE again.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:41AM
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brucerussell

I also have a shattered inner glass on my GE stove. My opinion where is the research and design on this product? Glass/heat should not break or they should have a solid door. Big mistake to by a glass door I guess as I never even look thru it. Solid door for me next time not GE. How long will the new one last, and again, you gotta be kidding me, POS.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 9:19AM
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brucerussell

My glass broke into forths. From that i would assume it is not tempered.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 10:08AM
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