Thursday, February 05, 2009

Oven Welding

Fancy-pants Jeepers and their emergency battery-welding are so 5 seconds ago...

Sunday afternoon Amanda decided to make banana bread before heading over to her parents' house for the Big Bowl. Great idea: we love banana bread! But as the time drew nigh for the oven to start beeping, Amanda decided to check the bread and told me that there was some food or something burning in the oven, and that we really needed to clean it.

Burning? Charred remains of pizzas-past don't generally burn... So I came to take a peek, and discovered that the lower element of the oven was burning. Or rather welding itself. A white-hot spot on the metal was very slowly marching from one end of the element to the other. Ok, no panic: we'll just turn the oven off.

Nope. Still burning 5 minutes later, and the spot has moved another 8 inches. Time to panic? Probably.

So we did what everyone with zero training does: we grabbed the fire extinguisher. And promptly covered the entire kitchen with fire foam. The oven, however, was not impressed, and continued welding. Time to panic? Oh, yeah, I think we're there.

So I pulled the oven out, leapt up on the counter (landing on a very gross dishrag), scrounged behind the oven, and pulled the plug. With a big arc of electricity from the plug to the outlet, the fission reaction in our oven winked out and left only a smoldering ember.

Hours later the element was still too hot to touch, and that night was a clean-up disastrophe. Don't believe the TV shows where people spray extinguishers and then go back to their merry lives: that shit gets everywhere. I had to wash everything that was exposed in the kitchen.

Later, when I'd had enough of cleaning and could actually touch the failed element, I tried to remove it. The metal, where the welding had occurred, was so brittle as to simply fall apart at the merest touch.

I will never leave the house again while the oven is on.


Anonymous said...

Nothing like a Class D fire to scare the pants off of you.

A co-worker went through a similar experience last August.

You can read about it here:

JamieSmitten said...

Why would you leave the house with the oven on?