Mar 18

Oven Does Not Work After A Clean

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

When you first start cleaning your first ovens after training you are going to be a bit cautious as you still don’t have the faith that everything works in the real world and you still worry about things  fall

Scourer close-up

Scourer close-up (Photo credit: net_efekt)

ing apart. One of our franchisees had a problem with the door on his first job, it was SMEG 90 cm range exactly the same as I’ve got in our training kitchen and he took the door off and then put it back on okay but he could get the lock mechanism off the hinge. As he was close to us I sent one of our guys out to fix the door, it was just a case of jiggling the door then the lock came off.

Mark our new franchisee rang me today as he had been called by the client of one of his first jobs (it’s his first week – one job a day so far). She was unable to get the gas ignitor to work on the main oven. Mark had checked it at the end of the job so it was working then.

I went through the problems I’ve had with gas ignitors:

1. I once found that one of the two metal prongs which the spark jumps over was bent so it was too close together and I just bent it back.

2. Sometimes the timer if it has got one was left on Auto and it has timed out and hence the oven won’t work.

3. The old common one I used to get when I started until I started covering the burners – the burners themselves have their holes clogged up by the flakes of scrapped off carbon.

Mark went back and it was none of these. A small piece of steel scourer

had gone onto the prongs on the ignitor and he just took this off and it worked fine.

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Mar 16

Mercedes Benz Citan Oven Cleaning Van Fit

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

This a video of me talking about our Mercedes -Benz Van Fit out. I recorded it last Summer, hence I say “new van fit” when the van registration plate  looks  a year old now. But this is the fit as we currently deliver to the franchisees. We have vans available ready to fit out straight away and we aim to get the van here as the new franchisee starts their training so they can use it to get to and from the local hotel where they stay whilst training.

But things to note: The van in the video is the Mercedes-Benz Citan 108CDI but new franchisees get the Mercedes-Benz Citan 109CDI, so 95 bhp, with Blue Efficiency so has stop start, and with the Drivers Kit added which gives a middle armrest and storage, reversing sensors and electric folding wing mirrors. We got an excellent new deal with our local Commercial Mercedes Company and it went down by approximately £100 a month when they upgraded the spec from the Citan 108CDI to the Citan 109CDI!

In all I haven’t driven a better van, the level of the fit in the cabin is fabulous and the handling and performance of the van is a real pleasure. I love the stop start technology, I’ve got it on both my own cars now too. The van fits everything that I was looking for in a van for our business: it’s layout is the best one for  a professional oven cleaner, it averages close to 60 mpg (I haven’t checked this but the manufacturers figures are 62 + mpg, it is the safest with NCAP rating of 4, and it is a Mercedes upgrade, they have put a Mercedes touch to everything including the suspension) of the already excellent Renault Kangoo van. I’m still not that keen on the cruise control layout in the van, I find my car one easier to use, and the handbrake gets some getting use to, and why did they put the 12v socket where it is so the cable to my sat nav can get snagged on the handbrake?

I mention five jobs a day as when I did five jobs a day, in the early days of 2005 and 2006 I needed to pack the jobs in to get a return on the day and also to make the waiting time shorter – at one point we were booking in clients five weeks in advance. Also we have done 5 or more jobs in a day since then on the times we have done student halls of residence.

I worked out the fastest way of getting the jobs done and having the side door on the driver’s side really helped, I noticed the difference when I went from my first van – Ford Transit Connect with one side door  – to my second van Ford Transit Connect with two side doors (I don’t recommend the Ford Transit – we had three engine fails on the two vans we had, one twice: in warranty and out of warranty).  It wasn’t just the van layout I thought through I looked at everything else to. But what I’m saying here is you want the optimum set for a van then this is it.

The average number of jobs you would be looking at as a franchisee would be three, with a target of £240 being a healthy one. We haven’t done five jobs a day for a while now, but the principles of getting yourself into a system to get the job done in the fastest, most efficient, way still applies. Our insulated dip tank that stays hot all day on one charge obviously is another key thing in this.

Why would you want to do it in slow time, slower time, like you’d do if you have a van with one side door, or no side doors at all, which I have seen, or a gas burner set up where you heat up at every job?

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Mar 15

AGA Dual Trading in Your Old Gas AGA

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

I have noticed that in this months AGA Living magazine there is an article where AGA are encouraging people to trade in their old gas and oil AGAs to buy a new AGA Dual control. This is because with the new Dual they will get the same ambient heat but it will be cheaper to run. So why would you trade in your trusty AGA for the new kid on the block?

AGA Cleaning Salcombe

AGA Cleaning Salcombe (Photo credit: GrahamRogersOnline)

The main benefits as far as I can see on the new AGA Dual:
1. Running costs are a lot lower, £10 a week in Eco mode and top plates turned off compared with £25 ish (I’m not sure) for the gas AGA.
2. It has three ovens (your old AGA probably has two).
3. You can switch off the top plates and reduce the amount of heat in your kitchen in the Summer.
I’ve got a gas AGA which I bought 12 years ago new and is now in a house I rent out so I have had a think about this. Cost of new AGA Dual would be about £9000; the running costs would be a lot cheaper. Also I’d save on servicing costs though to comply with the warranty I’d need to pay for servicing but this will be cheaper than the service on the gas AGA. But, and a big but,  I don’t pay the fuel bills in that property as its a rental so  I won’t see any benefit.  And if I did why would I pay out£9K for an AGA that looks exactly the same as the old one. It would take me about 16 years to pay back the amount I was saving in weekly running costs to cover this outlay. So I’m thinking anyone who trades in their old gas AGA must have lots of spare cash and want to have the new AGA to keep up with their friends or want to be seen to be green which for me might be the better more compelling reason – that ‘Eco Mode’ on the Dual is something to tell your friends about, like the green sticker on your car.
Also will the AGA Dual have any teething problems it is the stripped back version of the 13 Amp AGA without AIMS (AGA IntelligentManagement System). The 13 Amp AGA problems have always been to do with the PCB control board, does the Dual have this? I don’t know. So the Dual may have some teething problems, it was has only been available since October 2013. I’d guess it it’s bit new for there to be any problems to highlighted.
 My gas AGA is been really reliable, I bought it in 2000 and other than the servicing costs of £160 a year we’ve  had only one bigger bill of £350 to fix a problem with the ignitor. My AGA has only two ovens but we have got used to that, not knowing any difference, and although I know the extra oven on the Dual would make a difference if you know how to use a Cold Shelf you can get around the problems of burning your cakes etc in a two oven AGA.
So going back to my rental the new AGA Dual might make the house easier to rent out, but my AGA stills looks like new after we have cleaned it up and as it is I think it helps to rent the house out, my big kitchen with the AGA in; the AGA the heart of the house. Also if I changed from a gas to Dual I’d lose the boiler on the AGA which would be a huge change as at the moment it provides lots and lots of hot water, which I’m sure all my tenants love. So a huge change. Because the AGA had the boiler it was complex plumbing installation when I was renovating my house. Also I’d have to find £9K to buy the new Dual. And as the Dual arrives in one piece would we get it into the kitchen?I noticed that in my local AGA shop, Spillers of Chard, the other week they had four gas AGAs for sale second hand, which had been renovated and looked as new, as they are doing the trade in deal on the new electric AGAs. So people are taking up AGA on the trade in offer.
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Mar 04

Oven Cleaning Cambridge OvenGleamers New Franchisee

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Here is Mark Brown our new Franchisee for Cambridge East. He has just finished today and driven his van full with lots of kit back to Cambridge. You might be asking why did we finish on a Tuesday? Well Mark had a holiday booked in Portugal and wanted to be trained before going off on it. We had a holiday booked for the half term week so his training fitted into the space between us coming back off our holiday and him going off on his. So it was a case of coming back from holiday and then starting the training with Mark. Look out for my next post on the training we did.

I put this video together using my new Panasonic GH3 camera editing in Final Cut Pro and colourising it with CineLook plugin.

For details of our oven cleaning franchise opportunity click this link.