To Self Clean Or Not To... WWYD? (Ikea appliances=junk)

mudwormFebruary 7, 2013

I have an Ikea/Whirlpool oven that died on its first self clean within the first month of installation. The ongoing warranty repair has been a nightmare, but I'm not alone as you can see in this IkeaFans thread (I do not want to bore you with details).

However, I now have a dilemma and I want to poll the collective wisdom on the GW Kitchen forum to see what you would do in my situation.

Say, if I get lucky, on the next visit, the technician gets the oven working again (yeah, I'm being unrealistically optimistic here), should I test out Self Clean feature after repair? Part of me does not want to touch that feature ever again just because the widespread problem with SC. But part of me feels that I will never have confidence in the oven that it won't die on my next baking session if I don't push it to its limit (in self clean) to test it out. After all, right now, I still have a few years of warranty left and could afford having repeated repairs if needed to.

What would you do?

Oh, BTW, my subject line expressed some pretty strong opinion. I just want to put it out there as I only learned about the horrible experiences others had with their Ikea appliances after my oven died. You can take a look at the appliances forum on IkeaFans. I hope there are lucky owners out there, esp. on GW, but I personally will try to sway people away for making Ikea appliance purchases in the future based on what I have learned.

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It is not just Ikea. Sorry to say. Pretty much every single brand has had a history of self cleaning failures. You can do a search here and see plenty of stories. Sorry for your issues though. Appliance repairs are always a major pain.

I doubt that I would test it. Then again, I never use self clean to begin with due to the horror stories. Tough decision.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 10:14PM
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I had a new double oven installed a couple of months before the holidays and waited until after the holidays to SC because of the stories I have read here. Luckily for me, it worked.

I would *not* want an oven that didn't have self-clean available. If it is under warranty, I say "Clean the Puppy"! Have them fix it until it works or they refund your money and you try another one. They can't all be bad!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 10:27PM
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I'd have the repair guy activate the self-clean feature and wait 5 minutes before he leaves.

I didn't know self-clean caused so many problems! I've used it several times on my Dacor without any issues.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 11:29PM
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I've self cleaned ovens for 20 years with no issues and am self cleaning my current GE monogram also with no issues.

I'm glad I didn't read this thread before I started doing so or I might have been scared to try, lol!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 11:38PM
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I used SC on my GE Profile ancouple of months ago and worked like a charm. Although it also kept us out of the house for the day.

I would probably test it out of spite. Keeping the repair person there for a bit while you do it sounds like a good idea.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 5:35AM
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Oh no !! I have not used the self clean on my ovens yet. And they are about 19 months old, so 7 months out of warranty. Now I am scared to try it too.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 6:52AM
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Self cleaning ovens do get scarey hot even when they work properly. They can be pretty stinky depending on what they are burning off. And it takes a really long time.It is rather nice to just wipe out the ash afterwards, but I choose not to use mine anymore.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:11AM
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Self clean is a problem with all manufacturers. Not just the Whirlpool/Maytag/Jennair/Kithenaid mega-conglomeration. There are more electronics than ever in ovens, and electronics and high heat have never coexisted easily. In the older ovens, you know, the ones that weren't so well insulated and that put a lot of heat into the room, the heat buildup that leads to electronic failure wasn't as big of an issue. With the newer better insulated ovens that hold all of that in and keep it out of your room, it's a roulette wheel. You spin it and hope you don't get the ball to drop in your slot this time.

Really, I've never found self-cleaning to be all that labor saving. You have to wipe out most of the heinous portions before you even start. And when you're done, you have to wipe all of the ash out as well. It's just as easy to do the weekly bowl of ammonia in the cooling down oven and wipe everything out then without risking frying the electronics. If the proper precautions are taken for whatever you are cooking, you don't get giant boilovers with a quart of lasagna grease in the bottom. ALWAYS put a baking sheet on the lower rack under something that might drip. All that really leaves is the greasy fat spatter from broiling. And the ammonia trick takes care of that just fine.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:15AM
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I pay for self-clean, so I use self-clean. I would always use it at least once, probably more, before the warranty period ran out, just in case. I have had trouble with ovens, but none of the issues were related to self clean, and in 3 different brands I ran self-clean without an issue. Maybe if the ovens got old enough, they'd eventually have an issue, but then again, maybe not. I now have a new Gaggenau oven and was told to absolutely use self-clean, and as often as at all needed...Don't wait until splatters and spills have been burning onto the oven surface.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:05PM
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I Used SC few times (but I have very old oven come with the house), the reason for that is that I hate the Oven cleaners. No matter how green the manufacture claims it be, the chemicals in there you can not avoid. For your family's health, I'd say use the SC.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:41PM
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>the reason for that is that I hate the Oven cleaners

Just FYI, a good steam cleaner makes short work of the grottiest oven. I currently have a very old range which I can't self clean because the locking handle rusted away. Five minutes with the a good steamer and it looks like new.

Obviously, most people who can self-clean would want to. Just mentioning this for those who don't have the option, or who have birds and don't want to do it.

Since I got the steamer, I don't care one way or the other about an oven's reputation for self-destructing in self-cleaning mode.

This post was edited by writersblock on Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 14:58

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:10PM
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writersblock, what steam cleaner do you have? I have a SC range and I read about SC issues a while after the warranty was over and hadn't ever run the SC cycle. I now am afraid to run it. I love the idea of steam rather than chemicals.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:40PM
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pricklypearcactus, I have a Haan SI-75 steam mop with a removable hand-held, but I would think that any steam mop with a similar setup would work as well. In my case, I spent extra on this one because it claimed to leave the floors nearly dry, which it does, but the handheld is about as spitty as any other steamer. It has both a scrubby brush, which I haven't needed on the oven (and the first one I cleaned was a rental oven that probably hadn't been cleaned in 6 or 7 years) and a little nozzle to concentrate the steam (as well as other attachments). I steam a small area, make sure the water isn't running to places that shouldn't get wet, then let that sit for a minute while I go do another spot, then go back and wipe up with a microfiber towel. You can see the crud lift off as you steam it.

EDIT I have to say that now I steam clean almost everything. I was really surprised at how easy it makes most cleaning. Don't know why I didn't get one years ago. You can get a shark or something for about half what mine cost and I would guess it's just as good for this sort of thing.

This post was edited by writersblock on Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 14:55

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Thanks everyone for chiming in. So, this is what I decided. I will test self clean again once the technician gets it working again. Reasons include: 1) so far, even though Whirlpool does have an upgraded blower for my model, they have not authorized that for my oven. Knowing that I have a known-to-be inferior part bugs me. 2) I lived without an oven for years, and now having a wonderful cooktop and countertop toaster oven, I can survive a while if the oven stays out of order for a while. 3) I'll have more confidence in the oven if it does survive one or two self clean cycles. After that, I might just stop using the feature esp. if I'm approaching the end of the warranty. 4) If the oven dies after three repairs, the lemon law kicks in. I guess I'll get a refund then. But to be honest, I have no idea if there is another oven that's reliable out there that can fit in my cut out, not to mention match somewhat the microwave oven that was installed in the cutout above. I'll worry about it when it comes to it.

Oh, some of you suggested: test the self clean when the tech is still around. He suggested I do not. Because if the oven dies again, it's considered part of the same repair, which will delay the onset of the lemon law. So, wait until he is gone and has closed the case, I can test again. Thought I should share that knowledge with others.

I know (after started looking into the issue) that self clean puts a lot of stress on ovens, and many don't survive, but many do as some users testified in the thread. I honestly think that in general, the Ikea/Whirlpool models are inferior to others because so far, even after I asked the question explicitly on IkeaFans forum, I have not seen a single user coming forward and said that had success with the oven and its self clean feature.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Good luck to you. I treat my dirty oven like I do my DH's computer room or teenagers bedroom. Shut the door.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:31PM
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hi mudworm. just wanted to say "hi"

I think you already know how I feel.

Not all ovens die in self clean, just the ones made by manufacturers that don't really care. Whirlpool is one of those manufacturers.

I tried to self clean after all repair except for the most recent one a few days ago. I set it in front of the repair person before he left. It took about 30-40min to die.

As far as the upgraded blower goes, I think that is an urban myth. I've had two new blowers installed, and I don't think the blower was ever the issue. Someone above mentioned that they thought the problem was that the oven is too insulated, but I doubt that - the parts on mine that fried were OUTSIDE of the insulation.

This post was edited by detroit_burb on Sat, Feb 9, 13 at 17:23

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Hi Detroit_burb, to some extent, I feel we are comrades in misery. I'm glad to read that your oven is finally working again. Does that include Self Clean, or are you staying away from it?

My view on the issue is when the oven gets super hot in a self clean cycle, it needs a good air flow to deflect the heat away from the control parts that are outside of the oven cavity. So, either the insulation is inadequate, or the air flow (generated by the blower) is in sufficient, or it's a combination of both that cause the control parts to get fried in the heat. I have still yet to hear from any Ikea built-in oven owner that the oven works regularly with self clean.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:36PM
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I'm taking a job out of the area to see if I like it. I will commute and come home weekends. Not ideal, but the money is almost double what I am used to. If it is a good fit, we may move. The oven may not be a permanent issue for me, for better or worse.

This post was edited by detroit_burb on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 16:22

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:38PM
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