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Website owner: 
Dave Harnish
CEO: Sadie
Dave's Repair Service
1911 Heath Hill Rd
New Albany, PA 18833

Psalm 118:8




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The DRSNews
December 2005
Merry CHRISTmas! **

By Subscription Only
Published by Dave’s Repair Service, All Rights Reserved


In this issue:

1) Flickering Christmas Lights - *Inside* Your Microwave Oven!
2) Making Sure your Range is Ready for All Those Cookies

1) If you've ever seen an 'arcing' microwave, you know it gets your attention! It's pretty dramatic, with lots of flashing light, acrid smoke and a disconcerting 'buzzing' noise, all coming from inside the oven! (As my good friend Gary C. would say, 'that can't be good')

The good news is, it's not as bad as it looks! If you shut the oven down right away, this is usually a pretty easy problem to fix. 

These impressive (and actually pretty cool!) 'fireworks' are most often caused by cooking oils building up behind the 'waveguide' or 'stirrer' cover, then being ignited by microwave energy. This has become more common today, because the trend is toward smaller oven cavities combined with higher output wattages (kind of like a teenage boy and a fast motorcycle - it's just a matter of time!)

Anyway, if it's a countertop oven and the arc's on the cavity ceiling (most are), just take out the glass tray or carousel and flip the oven upside down; that'll make the job easier. (If yours is an over the range model, you can usually leave it mounted to the cabinet to do this). 

Most of these plastic or mica covers are held in place by small plastic rivets, pried out with a putty knife or small screwdriver. Once the cover's off, you'll want to degrease the area with naphtha or alcohol, then correct any paint damage by sanding the area and using 'touch up' paint ('almond' usually works well) to cover the bare metal. 

If the cover isn't too badly damaged or covered with carbon deposits, it might be reusable. I usually make new covers from plastic sheeting or mica, traced from the original and carefully cut out with a scissors or utility knife.  Don't worry about getting it perfect, it doesn't have to be. 

Here's the most important step - and one the manufacturers are starting to give more attention: seal the cover before putting it back on. Do this, and chances are you'll never see these 'fireworks' again.

Applying just a small bead of silicone caulk around the perimeter of the cover before reinstalling it does a good job of sealing it to the oven cavity. Allow the caulk to dry overnight, and you're all set!

2) I don't know about your house, but our oven gets a real workout this time of year (and by January I need a real workout to burn off all the baked goods! <grin>)  

So I'd like to share a couple of quick tips for making sure your range is ready to take on all that Christmas baking...

Electric ranges: 
Turn on the oven, let it heat for a few minutes, and check the appearance of that red hot bake element. It should be evenly red, with no 'hotspots' that are brighter than the rest. 

If yours has a hotspot, you'll want to replace the element ASAP, because it's telling you it's about to burn open there. 

The same test applies to the surface units if yours are the 'conventional' style. If you see any hotspots, you'll definitely want to replace the unit before things get too 'exciting'. I've seen them blow holes up through the bottom of really nice saucepans and splatter spaghetti sauce all over the ceiling when they burn out! 

If your surface units are the common plug in type, it's a good idea to turn them on, one at a time, and 'wiggle' them a bit, using a pliers. If you hear or see any arcing where the unit plugs in, it's time for a new receptacle and some sanding of the units' terminals (see the December 2002 DRSNews for more on this).

Gas ranges: 
Turn the oven on and time how long it takes before you hear the burner ignite. The rule of thumb is, if it's under 2 minutes, you're 'good to go'. If longer than that, replacing the oven ignitor is a really good idea, because this is one indication that it's going what we call 'low-A' and probably won't last much longer. 

We blame poor old Mr. Murphy, but these always seem to fail when the house is full of company, or about to be. And the way ignitor prices have come down in recent years (yes, they've actually come *down*!), now's a great time to buy a spare to have on hand. You can read more about ignitors here


Thanks again, for inviting me into your inbox! As always, if you have any topics you’d like to see discussed in an online article, let me know and I’ll do my best to oblige. And don't forget those testimonials! Many thanks if you've already sent yours in! I'm posting them just as fast as I can!

Wishing all the very best to you and yours this CHRISTmas,

Dave Harnish
Dave’s Repair Service
New Albany, PA

'Wise Men Still Seek Him'
Isaiah 9:6, 7

** I've been told that 'Merry CHRISTmas' is not a 'politically correct' greeting these days. My response is that I'm not a politician, but a Christian, and CHRISTmas is the celebration of the one Birth that changed the world (and me!) forever. Were it not for CHRISTmas, when the Creator of the universe stepped into His creation to solve man's genetic problem He calls 'sin', the world (and I) would have no hope.

Every time we date a check we acknowledge this calendar-changing event, and we can celebrate it any time of year (and should!). That little baby's all grown up and He's still very much alive, as we'll all see very soon. I hope you know Him. He and His Word are the only constants in this ever-crazier world.

So from our home to yours, may you have the Merriest CHRISTmas ever! 


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"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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