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Your Questions About Stove Repair Service

Susan asks…

What do you do when you desperately need an electrician and have no money?

My boyfriends family has lost alot of income lately, and can barely stay alive let alone fix some pretty scary electrical issues in their house. They are living in the house without power because the entire circuit breaker box was sparking badly, and they dont have the money to replace it, let alone pay an electrician to fool with it. What options are there? Its a huge fire hazardand they risk losing their home, do they call the fire department??

James Conley answers:

A few things:

a) Don’t mess with electricity – no matter how tempting it might be, improper wiring can kill, and messing inside a worn out panel can both kill and cause a fire. Start from there.

B) In some areas, the Utility will come in and repair electrical panels to what is sometimes called a “lifeline” status – that is get power to very specific items (refrigerator, stove, minimal lighting) for customers that meet certain income standards and are otherwise current on their bills. They WILL NOT install new wiring or branch circuits, just make minimum repairs inside the service panel. You might check this avenue.

C) Some local service organizations – Habitat for Humanity comes to mind – will make sweat-equity repairs, trading skills for established needs within a community. So, if your boyfriend and/or his family have any skills, those may be traded for electrical repairs. And, although this is also income/needs based, not everyone in the program is poor. I have done HH work as a volunteer in the past and will likely do it again if called, as some people in need have no skills to barter or are unable to do physical work.

And as others have mentioned, churches and volunteer groups may be able to help.

Laura asks…

noise coming from electric stove even when its turned off?

I have an older stove and the past few days I’ve noticed a constant noise coming from it, even when it is turned off. It’s not exactly a buzzing type of noise, its almost sounds like the fizzing noise you hear pop make after you pour a glass. Perhaps I’m hearing the electricity running though it? Either way, I know this isn’t normal and its worrying me because its not going away. It sounds like its coming from the panel where the knobs where you turn the oven and stove on and off at are .

Any ideas what could be going on with it?
(and no there is no analog clock)

Thank you!
Is this something I should be worried about or DANGEROUS if I don’t get the situation addressed for a few days?

James Conley answers:

After you disconnect the range, either take the back of the console off & look for the switch that’s shorted or call an appliance repair service, as opposed to an electrician. One of your switches is likely bad & an appliance tech will probably have one on his/her truck. An electrician would have to call someone like me to get the part & then mark it up, which is just good business practice.

Mark asks…

Is there a way to test a circuit board on a wood pellet stove?

My stove was blowing a fuse when plugged into the mains. We called out a service guy who isolated the circuit board by removing the contacts to some of the other components like the motor, and then just plugged the stove in without a fuse. The circuit board instantly sparked and burst into flames, and is now totally fried. I’m trying to establish if he was negligent or if this is the only way to ‘test’ whether the fault was in the circuit board!

James Conley answers:

The service guy didn’t know what he was doing and fried your circuit board. He was probably trying to isolate the problem by jumping around the circuit board, but obviously didn’t succeed. Call the place where you found him and demand a different person come out and replace the circuit board free of charge. It probably was a simple repair in the first place.

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