Now What Am I Supposed To Do?

Something pretty terrible happened to me this week.

I thought that the worst thing that could happen to me, a person who loves to cook and bake, had already occurred.  That incident happened last summer, when my herbs, spices and my gel icing colors were "accidentally" thrown in the trash.

But this is much worse!

The trouble started four years ago.  My two year old stove wasn't working well.  The flame coming out of the burners wasn't as strong as it used to be.  Baking anything in the oven took anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes longer than usual.  But I persisted and made very minor adjustments in my cooking.

I continued to use my stove for another year.  Then one day, two of the burners and the comal (griddle) in the center of the stove,  stopped working.

It's not easy to cook for six people, with only two functioning burners. So Hubby called the oven repairman, who poked, blew, twisted and jiggled the different parts in the stove and oven.  All four of my burners were now functioning and the flame was almost as strong as when the stove was new.  But my oven flame got weaker.  It now took me almost twice as long to bake something.  My cakes and cheesecakes resulted even moister, but roasting a chicken was out of the question.

Again, I adapted.

But in October, I noticed that the stove flames were at an all time low.  The oven repairman was summoned once again, but the results weren't what we expected.  This time, the damage was irreparable.  

On Thursday, I was baking a cake for my mother-in-law's birthday.  The baking time for the cake layers was 25 to 30 minutes.  But with my malfunctioning oven it would take atleast a hour.

After the hour had passed, I peaked through the oven window to see if the cakes looked done.  Imagine my horror when I noticed that the cakes hadn't risen at all and the cake batter looked the same as when I had popped it in the oven.

I left the cakes in the oven a little longer to see if they would cook.  But after another thirty minutes, nothing had changed.  Knowing that my cake had no chance of surviving, I opened the oven door and immediately noticed that the oven flame looked as if it were struggling to stay alive.

The first thing many of you might be thinking is that we ran out of propane gas, but we just filled our stationary propane tank with 300 pesos worth gas this week.  That's enough gas to last us about 3 months.

Yes, it's true.  My oven and stove are quickly ceasing to function.

Hubby and I have toyed with the idea of calling the repairman.  But we are also pretty sure that there is nothing that can be done.  I know that some of you are handy at fixing things and I'm wondering what you think should be done.  Is it a lost cause or should I start shopping for a new stove?

With Love,


  1. Get a new one, I'm sure you won't regret the decision. I know sometimes we try to not be waistfull and try to repair instead of buying, but sometimes repairs can be just as costly. :)

  2. Buys a nice shiny new one! A convention oven is the best when it comes to baking and roasting! Go for a convention oven. I love mine!

  3. I disagree. Stoves are usually quite dependable. What aren't dependable are the repaimen. Find a good one and let him service the stove and core out the burners and it will be like new again. The problem is something simple.

  4. Yes, I agree with Bob, I think perhaps you got some dirty gas or something, the lines can get fouled and it will mess up the flame. (that's as technical as I can get!)

    When i managed a 1920's apartment building in Seattle (in the 1990's) most of the original gas stove were still functioning and if they had a problem it was usually something needing to be cleaned.

  5. OVEN DELIGHTS: I'm really struggling with letting go of my oven. But if I can't get it fixed, I'm definitely getting a new one. I don't think I'd be able to live without baking! :D

    CALYPSO: Really? I thought for sure you'd have some fix-it advice!

    OTTAVIA: Lucky you for having a convention oven. I am SO jealous!

    BOB and NANCY: I agree with both of you. I always thought that stoves were supposed to last for a longer time than 6 years. I think that if it were the stove, none of the burners would work. Hubby and I clean the burners and the thing where the gas flows through in the stove, all the time, for that same reason. I was actually wondering if the gas pipe connected to the stove could be clogged. I'm going to tell Hubby to mention it to our gas guys.

  6. Agree with Bob and Nancy, gas stoves are pretty straight forward. Think it just needs cleaning or something simple.

  7. I am with Bob, Nancy and Trailrunner. I think the issue with a gas stove is more in the line rather than the fixture.

  8. A short term solution might be to adjust the gas flow if that's an option for you. We haven't finished building our kitchen yet, so the gas pipe is exposed and we have a valve for adjusting the gas flow through the pipe to the oven/stove. I open and close the valve all the time to adjust the flames based on what I'm cooking or how many burners I've got going. If you have such a valve, or could get one, that might help your situation, since it seems to be a recurring problem. I bet, like has been said, it's something to do with the line, so at best this would only be a short term thing while you wait for a repair person to help you out. Good luck!

  9. Leslie, I feel your pain. I don't know what I would do if my stove malfunctioned. I suggest getting your stove's pipes checked again as suggested above. And if that's not the problem, I highly recommend buying a commercial stove. They are built to be used and withstand lots of mistreatment. I have one and I LOVE IT!

  10. Have your husband get an airtank filled with air, connect the fitting to the gas line and first remove part by part, then blow it out. The parts in the burners sometimes have metal flakes caused by moisture in the propane that flake of and block the small holes, the only problem may be that if you find some burners or jets are rusted out, getting the replacement parts will be hard on a older stove. If you have a regulator in addition to the one by the tank it can become intermittent also.
    Otherwise, reward yourself with a new stove, but you have a good chance that you may not need one. Good Luck!

  11. MT and CHRISSY: I'm beginning to think my problem isn't the stove at all. We're going to call our gas guys and have them take a look at the gas pipe connected to the stove.

    VADOSE: A friend of mine said the same thing. That the problem just might be the pressure regulator. We're going to give it a try. At this point, I'm willing to try everything!

    BETTY: I never realized how much I rely on my oven until I could no longer use it. It's the worst feeling.

    TANCHO: I knew you would have some great suggestions! My hubby has a "compresor de aire" that he uses in the shop. Would that work?

  12. Honestly, at this point, get a new one. It may be more money now, but you'll have less of a headache later!

  13. Leslie,
    I hope that you blog again about the stove and let us know how this soap opera turned out :)

  14. First time on your blog. Reading this story... my advice would be to get a second opinion. It maybe possible that the repair man 100% correct. I mean the difference you'll spend in buying a new stove to getting someone in there to take a look at it is vast. Have a good one.

  15. Have you gotten anything done about it yet. Im sure you will get it going I cant imagine needing to buy a new one. But if you do have fun shopping

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  17. get a new one its the best thing you can do for your family-healthy meals

  18. I vote for a new stove! I am impressed that you have lasted this long with a malfunctioning one. My stove and I are attached at the hip (pretty funny image, considering I am 5'0") and I am always checking to make sure it is in prime working condition.

  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog (the bread and tortilla one)... I have another (The Coffee Shop) I hope you'll stop by too! Your life looks very interesting... it's or same situation (but ... backwards!) lol! I am sure it was hard for you! I can't t wait to read more!!!