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Your Questions About Stove Repair

Laura asks…

Should the landlord pay for the cost of replacing a wood stove?

I live in a rental home where the landlord has added a wood stove (very old model, inefficient and gives off a lot of smoke). I live in an area where the winter is long and cold so a wood stove is an excellent source of heating. I would like to replace the old model with a new one. Should the landlord cover the cost and we leave the stove there upon lease expiration or should we get approval from her and just swap them out and reswap when we move out. It’s a 2 year lease from now.

James Conley answers:

If it is broken or no longer functioning the landlord should be responsible for repairs or replacement at their discretion. The landlord may choose to repair it. You may also talk with the landlord about you replacing the unit and taking the cash out of your next rent payment I’ve done that in the past for more expensive repairs. .. Smaller maintenance I usually just fix with out bothering to say anything about it like drain pipes under the sink

William asks…

Why does my gas stove’s oven shut off in the middle of cooking?

I have a gas stove that keeps shutting off while I’m in the middle of baking something and will stay off for a random amount of time and then turn back on. I’m trying to find out how I can fix this at home since Thanksgiving is just 2 days away. Does anybody have any ideas?
No no no, it turns off and will stay off and the whole oven cools down and when it starts back up finally, it ruins my food.

James Conley answers:

That is normal for a modern oven. They have a single flame level and run until the oven meets temperature, then shut off. Then as the oven gradually cools they come back on to maintain the set temperature. Older units had a variable flame that burnt continuously – and why you needed an oven thermometer as they were never quite dead-on the dial setting.

As long as it maintains temperature, leave it alone. If it is _not_ maintaining temperature, it could be two things, the most likely one of which you might be able to repair.


A) Repairable problem – dirty thermocouple on the electronic spark pilot assembly.

Look at the first picture below (.jpg). On the right is the thermocouple, in the middle is the pilot light and spreader, on the left is the sparker that lights the pilot. This is a generic picture to help you get the idea. With a soft bristle brush or soft brass brush (about the size of a toothbrush from your local hardware), gently clean the spreader and the thermocouple. Do not displace the spreader – it should be aligned to point straight to the thermocouple. But get off as much skunge as you can.

B) Repairable problem – dirty hot-surface ignition pilot assembly (.bmp).

Clean all that you see in this picture as above, again trying not to displace anything.

If either of these work and the oven holds temperature properly (after you have plugged it back in, of course), you are done.

C) Not easily repaired (needs a part and expertise): Faulty thermocouple or mercury switch. You will have to replace the thermocouple assembly – perhaps the entire pilot assembly if it is manufactured as a module. Any advice beyond this would require an age, make and model.

David asks…

The temperature settings for the stove and oven knobs have been wiped off, how can I replace them?

The temperature settings on the front of the stove around the knobs has been worn away, how can I replace them, is there a template or paint I can use?

James Conley answers:

Depending on the brand the best bet is to look for a local repair store.

You can also try this website:

To install, pull off old knobs, clean with a mild detergent and push on new knob. Be careful to make sure the “Off” labels are in the right spot.

Good Luck!

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