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MAY 7, 2008   

Range (of) options

If you thought romance was dead, get this: my Mother's Day present for Joanne this year is going to be a new gas range. Makes you all teary-eyed, doesn't it?

She has asked for a new one, several times in the last couple of weeks when it became clear that our old (20+ yrs.) oven wasn't going to light about three out of four times. In recent weeks I've gotten it to light by 1) holding a lit match to the oven burner; 2) holding a lit match under the thermocouple; and 3) tapping the thermocouple/valve with a pair of pliers. Problem is, each of these methods work one time but not the next. It's getting to be seriously annoying to turn the oven on and have it not light.

The range is old enough that besides the dysfunctional oven and the clock that stopped working years ago, the porcelain top is badly chipped and scratched. Oh, and all the lettering has worn off the controls. What mom wouldn't love a replacement range?

Maytag rangeChoosing

I've made two visits to Sears, done a bit of googling, and read back issues of Consumer Reports. As usual, different sources have different recommendations. Consumers Guide likes the Maytag, which also gets a great review at JD Power and Associates.

But Consumer Reports lists Maytag as needing repairs much more frequently than most, not a category in which you want to be at the top. CR gives Hotpoint its top rating, although I'm leaning toward the JD Power report, which is based on consumer experience, not lab tests.

The only thing that all of them seem to agree on is that Kenmore, the Sears brand and my initial choice, is middle-of-the-road at best. So I've crossed Kenmore off my list.

It looks like I need to decide between Maytag and GE. Maybe tomorrow. Local retailer B&B Appliance handles both Hotpoint and Maytag.

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MAY 2008

APRIL 2008