Monthly Archives: May 2013

May 19

Fixing Stoves Oven Door Hinge

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Hamburgerpaumelle

Hamburgerpaumelle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been enjoying myself today. I managed to get out the office to go and see a client of ours who has reported a problem with her door. She said it wasn’t like that before we cleaned it! We had already sent back our employee who cleaned it and also one of tour other more experienced employees but they both couldn’t see how to fix it.

So I went around there today. I had a look at it and it looked like the fault I was expecting that is the right hand side oven door hinge was coming out of the oven meaning that when you tried to close the door to close it properly you had to push that side in with your hand. And this problem is caused by a broken spring.

So I wanted to confirm the problem but how do you find the spring? I first took the front screws off and tried to see if the front split off but it didn’t. Then I took the whole oven out of its surround and put it on to the floor. so I could have a look to see how you got into the area where the hinge was. I took the top bit of the casing off first but under there was just the electrics for the oven control board. Then I took the back off but you couldn’t see the hinge from there. Then I took the side panel off and then right at the bottom I could see the hinge and the spring.

And yes there it was looking very rusty with its end broken off.

I told the client that it wasn’ t our fault it was just a a coincidence that it happened after we cleaned the oven.  But I still offered to go back and fit it and they have been a client of ours since 2007 and have their oven cleaned often with us.

I need to get a spring and looking on Espares the price is £2.50 for the spring so probably close to £10 once we put postage and packing on to that.

I have recorded taking the oven a part so I’ll put a video together in the next day or so.

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May 17

LaCanche Range Cooker Problems

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

 

We have a complaint this week from an owner of my favourite cooker (I am being sarcastic) the LaCanche Range Cooker. The problem was with a LaCanche Cluny Range Cooker which we cleaned a last week. It was cleaned by one of employees who

Think

Think (Photo credits: www.mysafetysign.com)

Thought (Photo credits: www.mysafetysign.com)

has been with us for six and half years. The customer had complained that the middle two hob pot stands had gone grey. We went back to sort it out. This is a problem that happens every now and again and I think there has been about one a year since we have been trading in 2004, I can remember going back to a Lacanche owner last year. Considering we clean about 90 ovens a week this figure is so low that there is no correlation between what happens and our process. On thinking about it before I have always thought there must have been a problem in the manufacturer process, either the hob racks weren’t enamelled or not enamelled properly – something a customer wouldn’t notice when looking at the cooker in the showroom.

The normal procedure for this is to go back to the client and we then oil the problem hob rack, and everyone has been happy with this until the customer this week. She said they were (the hob pot stands)  now ‘rough’ and she couldn’t now clean it with her sponge as it now left residue. So she demanded that we fix it as she said it was a problem with our cleaning process. I told her that the probability of the racks going grey from our process was so low that there was  another reason why they had gone grey.

As only the central two hob pot stands had “gone grey”, that is there were two other hob racks which were as they were at the beginning of the process at the end there had to be another cause of the problem other than our cleaning process as it had been a problem then all the  racks would have also “gone grey” together. But they didn’t.

So on asking her about her cleaning of the hob racks she told me that she regularly put the two hob racks in the dishwasher to clean them and had done this since buying the cooker in 1998. This got me thinking about dishwashers and I can remember a range cooker where all the hob racks went grey back in 2004; I oiled them and I remember the customer ringing me up about six months later to ask me “how I oiled them” and with what as she had put them in the dishwasher and they had “gone grey” again. So from this I think the reason why some racks go grey in our process is that they have already been damaged by regular cleaning in the dishwasher. If I am correct it is a combination of the strong PH in the dishwasher tablets and the hot temperatures that some dishwashers get up to. This produces in effect that removes, over time, the enamel coating on some racks especially if they haven’t been manufacturer properly but they look okay as a build up of burnt on carbon still leaves them looking black. And when we clean the burnt on carbon off they are left with a grey finish.

Back to my client, I agreed to get them enamelled for her. I went to our local enamellers Hytech Enamellers and asked them to enamel them. I went back on Thursday and picked them up. As they were already wrapped up I didn’t check them. I went straight to the client and then on unwrapping them in her kitchen found that they looked alright but there were still some rough bits on the hob stands. I wasn’t expecting this as I thought enamelling would be thick enough to take out any rough bits. The customer still isn’t happy as she still can’t use her sponge to clean it. I offered her a one of my microfibre cloths which worked very well without snagging but she wouldn’t have it. She and her neighbour who was there demanded I buy new hob stands.

But my next step was to go back to the enamelling company to see if they can put on a thicker finish to sort out the problem but they asked to have a look at the enamel on the quality of the original rack so they could match it. On asking the customer to get one of the undamaged racks she told me that she wasn’t prepared for me to take it away as she wouldn’t be able to use her cooker.  So I have now decided to put it through the insurance even though I have taken reasonable steps to sort things out. We will see what they say.

I checked the price of the Lacanche spare hob pot stands and they are a grand total £480 including VAT and posting, and as the cooker only cost £2000 back in 1998 it is daylight robbery! I tried to get a discount for being trade, but they told me that I can’t get trade because we are a cleaning company.  Strange as we have accounts to get trade price with lots of other companies, for example cleaning products and bits to repair other ovens.  In all the company with the exclusive right to sell everything Lacanche in the UK who I was dealing with weren’t very helpful at all. I think their attidute is that they have the exclusive rights so why should they budge?

On reading the reviews on the review centre http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews50914.html the reviews there aren’t very positive so there are a lot of people on there who agree with me. This might be because it is a venting place for people who have had to buy spare parts and been shocked by the prices for replacement and on going servicing costs. For example I was shocked myself to see that people have been paying £600 for a LaCanche Cooker Service. What does the service involve that means it comes to that amount? And a thermostat is £250.

So my advice is if you are thinking about a Lacanche, I know they look great and are built like tanks, but  have a look at the AGA Rangemaster 110 or if you want something a bit posher go for the Falcon which is also made by the AGA Rangemaster Group but has a higher quality feel, forget the LaCanche. And of course if you want a real range in your kitchen I always recommend the one I have got a 30 Amp AGA Cooker.

 

If you have any ideas of why the pot stands on the hob went grey  please comment here.

 

 

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May 01

Oven Gleam is Nine Years Old

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

The last big event recently for us  was last week as it was OvenGleam’s birthday so my oven cleaning business OvenGleam is now 9 years old. That is nine years ago was my first day of cleaning ovens and I drove to Wellington in Somerset from my home in Taunton and cleaned a single oven for elderly lady and also for her sister next door, exactly the same oven again. I remember I had problems with cleaning an aluminium tray which was in the oven, I can’t remember exactly where it was but to make a good impression I scrubbed it to get it clean. I won’t do that these days as I know a quicker way! So it was all go on that day. I had the brand new Ford Transit Connect, all sign written and looking very smart and me brand new too.

So after those two jobs I then drove a short way down the road and cleaned an oven for an even older gentleman who was in his eighties. The oven was an older style one and I can remember that I thought it was an easy job. So in quite a good first day. But then it was just me in the business on my own, so I was doing everything on that day. I remember really taking a long time to get going I think really from lack of confidence but once I had ordered the van then I had to put things in place. When I started I had the other business too, which I had lost interest in, the Time For You Franchise I had bought a year earlier and which I found really boring to do as it was so straight forward. So it was me running both companies doing everything. It was really lucky that I met my now wife Catherine a month after doing all this and she started helping me by taking the calls and booking in appointments which allowed me to concentrate on the marketing stuff, such as Google Adwords which helped us to grow the business.

Now nine years later I haven’ t been out cleaning since January and am in the office working on marketing for the business and doing other stuff like, still managing the Adwords, thinking of videos to put together and sorting out some new training for AGA renovation which I intend to roll out across the network, and I am remembering the reasons why I went into oven cleaning in the first place. Being back in the office is, well boring, it doesn’t match a day out oven cleaning, with the effort to get things done and the satisfaction from the great comments, and driving the van around, and the visits to the coffee shops.

But the reality is now we are a larger business and we now we have lots of franchisees and have employees in our office and the best bit is we also have the new Mercedes Benz Citan van for the business – with another one turning up at the beginning of next week, so really exciting times.

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