When I worked on Windows Phone 7 for Microsoft there sometimes a risk you could load a new version of the O/S you had just built on the phone and it would fail so catastrophically that it couldn’t even boot up enough to load a new O/S to replace the broken one. We called this “bricking your phone”. You had turned your smart phone into an object that was about as useful as a brick.

A few days ago Barb L. decided she needed to use the self-cleaning feature on her oven. The oven is fairly new and she had always cleaned it by hand and sometimes with oven cleaner spray. But this time she “dinked around” with the controls and got it to do a self-clean. After about two hours she decided it was probably done and turned it off. She went back to the oven a while later and the door was still locked. The display was off and all the controls were dead. She went to breaker box and cycled the power. It was still dead. She left the power off over night and turned it back on. It was still dead with the door locked.

Barb is the only person I have ever heard of that is able to brick an oven. That takes some special talent. She’s a keeper.


16 thoughts on “Bricks

    • I don’t think so. The oven door is still locked shut. We can’t open it until the controls are functional again.

      Repairman is due to show up on Tuesday.

      • What? too soon?
        It was a play on words: You ‘bricked’ your oven / ‘brick oven’…

    • Agreed.

      My hypothesis is that there was a loose electrical connection that went “open” from the heat. I would try to fix it myself but it is a built in oven I don’t see how to get access to anything with the door locked.

      • Now that you said it was a built in model, it sounds like too much work to me. Better to let a repairman do it.

  1. @SPQR, RabidAlien, @Phssthpok,

    Barb and I had a good laugh at your comments. Thanks. She’s been feeling kind of bad about “breaking her own oven” and not being able to do any baking.

  2. According to appliance repair sites that I look at, it is quite common for the main board (cpu) to die on ovens. Typical life expectancy is around 5 years. They tend to be so expensive that it generally makes little sense to repair the oven. The problem is heat, of course. The electronics are usually up at the top of the unit, when they really should be at the very bottom, with just the minimum input controls near the top for access. And, those need to be isolated from the heat as much as possible.

    Remove the bezel around the oven, and pull the whole thing away from the cabinet/wall. Power cable should have enough slack, or the outlet will turn up when access panel(s) are removed. (Normally at the bottom rear.) Sometimes, the power cord/outlet is found in the back of a storage shelf next to the oven.
    But first, do a search of the model number, and price replacement parts, to get a feel for where this situation could go. And also price a new oven for reference.

    • Holy mother of…
      A freaking oven with a freaking CPU. Well there’s your problem right there. I suppose it has (or had) WiFi capability too, so you could talk to your oven over your iPhone. Oy!

      Nothing that can’t be solved with the right application of high explosives, and then a new oven, with no CPU. Maybe it would be better to build a fire on the kitchen floor and cook over that. At least it would be an EMP-hardened cooking system and wouldn’t need an IT/computer technician to keep it going.

      Bring that thing out to Boomershoot and we’ll have a poke or two at it.

      • This morning I actually suggested this might be an application for Boomerite. I don’t think she blinked or even glanced in my direction at that comment.

        The software I’m working on is explicitly intended to be embedded in and for communicating with your toaster, oven, refrigerator, and light bulbs. This oven was not so endowed.

  3. So anyway, yeah; the one time my wife and I tried “cleaning her oven” it “overheated the element”. I however could fix the problem myself. I simply “shoved in a new one” and we could go back to “baking” on a regular basis.

    That oven is old enough it has no CPU. Even the digital clock is purely electro-mechanical (a motor driving a “Rollodex” of number cards), so it hasn’t failed in the decades since it was built, other than that “overheated element”. We just don’t use that “self cleaning” feature of her “oven” any more. I do my own “baking” a lot the time now too, though she still occasionally “makes dinner”.

  4. I’m happy to report that the oven is now working! It turns out the way to unlock the not-so-fancy lock is to slide a metal wire from right to left and the oven opens right up. Someone along the line in my discussions with technicians certainly could have told me that (and I could have supplied them with a model number). At 2.5 years old, the oven was still under warranty. It was a fuse and the thermostat. It still needs another part, which has been ordered, and I’ve been told not to use self-cleaning until that part is installed. I’m not sure I’ll ever use self-cleaning again.

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