help ! 1988 Jenn Air electric stove top down draft vent

snowbeanDecember 15, 2012

I've scoured this forum and can't seem to decide whether to install a pop up vent or install a zephr island vent hood which means 1500.00 for running a new duct 15 feet to the nearest exterior wall. If I install a pop up vent then I would need to redo the Quartz counter top. Should I change out all the counter tops to granite then ? I also hate my Kohler cast iron no-longer-white 33 x 22 x 10 sink which is what started this whole "let's redo the kitchen" idea. Anyone want my Kohler executive chef cast iron sink ? My white cabinets are solid wood but the previous owner painted them so they pick up stains very easily. I guess he didn't seal his paint work ? Sigh, I want a kitchen fairy to wave her wand and just redo the whole kitchen ! Any ideas on how to update my kitchen ? Should I do the pop up vent or just replace with another down draft electric stove top. The Jenn air motor keeps dying and I'm tired of the lingering food fumes. Sorry if i'm rambling & i posted on appliances too...

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That cooktop is a big safety hazard as it exists. It needs to go elsewhere. I'd investigate redoing the kitchen completely since it has so many issues. With overhead venting in whatever location the cooktop ends up being located.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 5:32PM
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Downdrafts don't work very well, even when they're at their best. I strongly suggest the overhead vent...but....

I have to say that I agree with hazard!

On top of that...there's no workspace!

If it were my kitchen, that island alone would be a reason to remodel! If you just can't afford it now, maybe there's something that could be done in the interim that would make it safer (my biggest concern). It's not just that you don't have enough counterspace on the right and behind the cooktop, but you have no emergency landing space at all on that right side and it looks like the aisle on the right is also tight - a double whammy for that island cooktop! Maybe close off the aisle b/w the island & whatever is to the right....a rolling cart maybe? It would add emergency landing space as well as keep people from walking by on that side...

Start saving aggressively now for that remodel!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 6:19PM
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This is a bad photo but this cook top doesn't have an obvious vent. Is it even safe for anyone to sit in such an island near that stove top ? I don't think I can increase the size of my island with the cook top. I can't relocate the cook top either because facing it is the fridge, beside it to the right is the dishwasher and sink, to the left is tall cabinets with wall oven microwave combo which needs to be replaced circa 1988. I can't move the wall behind the fridge because that is my dining room and I can't move the facing wall because it is my garage. The far wall is a wall of windows and to the left is the living room (supporting wall). Ack !!!! I need to move out right ?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 8:35PM
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This is another bad photo of someone else's kitchen with a tiny cook top island. Looks smaller than mine if that's possible also without a vent ?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Can a range go in the spot currently occupied by the wall oven?

Can you post more photos and a sketch of the kitchen floor plan? With measurements?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 8:54PM
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ci_lantro: The wall oven is surrounded by wood built in cabinets :( I'd hate to take all that down and that wall is a supporting wall with my living room behind it. I'm thinking of a retractable down vent for my island stove top now. I've heard that these down vents end up breaking after 2 years. I wonder if this is true. The youtube videos of these look very cool though !

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Please keep in mind that just b/c you see other kitchens with something, it doesn't mean it's a good design. There are so many poorly designed kitchens out there!

Even magazines show kitchens that look nice, but all too often they're a functional nightmare! Pretty pictures sell magazines, not functional discussions!

The picture you posted at 20:35 looks like it might be safe enough b/c it looks like there's at least 24" all around the cooktop. As to venting, though, it's sadly lacking.

The picture you posted at 20:38, on the other hand, is very poorly designed - both for safety and functionality. That cooktop would have been torn out b/f I moved in if that were my kitchen!

Telescoping (retractable) downdrafts are still downdrafts. They work against gravity. Think about it, fumes, smoke, steam, grease, odors, etc. rise, they do not fall (well, large grease splatters do eventually if the don't land on something first - but a fine mist of grease will rise pretty far). To have any hope of working, downdrafts (even telescoping) need to be very strong and the pot/pan must be right up next to it and shorter than the top of the fan by a few inches.

If you're OK with the consequences of inadequate ventilation (gunk that forms on ceilings, walls, cabinets - grease/steam settle on surfaces and then dust/dirt/other particles settle on the grease/damp surface and form a layer of gunk), then that's your decision. Just be sure you make an informed/educated decision. It's your kitchen, after all.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 12:02AM
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Snowbean...often it's possible to rearrange cabinets unless they're the built in place style.

That island with only one dinky drawer for utensils and very little landing space would drive me nutz but I'll take your word for it that it's a no-do to think about relocating the cooker. Wish you luck with whatever you decide.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 12:45AM
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It depends a lot on how you cook. We don't fry or even pan-fry things. We saute gently, steam, and boil. Our GE downdraft that rises up 8" works okay. It works better than the previous stove top hood did, since that one was not even vented outdoors. It just recirculated the air. Our motor for the fan is in the basement, and it does draw the steam and smoke off cook pots on the back row of the stove top quite well.

If you like to broil, blacken, or pan-fry, you do want a real hood. Our wall oven probably could use an outside vent more than our stove top does. I just open the skylight and a window in the next room, and any smells from the oven are soon gone, too.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:17AM
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I'm here to tell you taking down and reconfiguring your cabinets isn't all that hard. I do it frequently. Just like some people rearrange their furniture? I do my cabinets. I actually think I've got it nailed (haha) now, though, so I'll probably stop.

That said, OMG, do you really want people sitting next to boiling soup, or trying to work with papers next to those burners because they want to be able to talk to you?

I realize this was a common location for stovetops at one point. I think the 80s, maybe? But safety reared its ugly head and people realized that is NUTZ. And these people who stick things in outlets to protect kids, or who "baby proof" their homes. Huh?

I think I'd save some $$ and renovate. You've got a lot you want to change, anyway. You don't need a KD. You have tons of excellent, wise assistance here. Use 'em until you bruise 'em. (I think I made that awful thing up.)

But please. Get rid of that cooktop and get proper ventilation.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 12:31PM
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