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Discover Our 3 Quick and Easy Oven Cleaning Home Remedies

3 Quick and Easy Oven Cleaning Home Remedies

Cleaning the oven is undoubtedly one of the most difficult aspects of keeping the kitchen looking pristine. Often it takes a great deal of physical strength to get the grease and grime off an extensively used oven. Worse still are the harmful smells of industrial-strength oven cleaners available in the market. Popular oven cleaners have highly caustic chemical such as butane and sodium hydroxide that can be hazardous to your family’s health.

The good news is that there are effective homemade solutions for oven cleaning that are safer not only for you but also for the environment. If your oven does not have a self-cleaning function, here are three relatively chemical-free ways of keeping your oven sparkling clean.

1. Baking soda with water

Use water and large quantities of baking soda to make a paste. The baking soda paste does not have an unpleasant odour like the harsh oven cleaners available in the market. Apply generous amounts of the paste to the walls and doors of your oven using a cloth. Spread the paste evenly. Let the paste remain for a couple of hours. This softens the stains, which can now be removed using a wallpaper scraper. Use a soft cloth dipped in warm water to wipe clean any residual paste and stains on the oven. Your oven will now be sparkling clean.

2. Lemon juice with water

Citrus oils have natural degreasing properties. Cut two lemons and squeeze the juice onto a baking dish that is one-third full of water. Place the lemon pieces in the dish as well and put the dish in the oven at a low temperature for about half-an hour (or longer depending on the state of the oven). The vapours from the lemon solution loosen the grime stuck on the oven walls. Turn off the oven, remove the baking dish, and let the oven cool. Remove the grime in the oven using a scouring pad, the same lemon solution, and a sponge. Wipe dry with a soft cloth. This technique is great for cleaning convection ovens.

3. Baking soda and vinegar

Spray vinegar inside the oven and sprinkle baking soda over it.  Allow the mixture to fizz for 30 minutes to an hour depending on how bad the grime situation is. Like the lemon juice method, scrub the walls and base of the oven using a scouring sponge. Since vinegar is a great degreaser, dip the sponge in vinegar as you scrub.  Wipe clean the oven using water and a soft cloth.

If you have been using chemical oven cleaners, perhaps it is time you tried one of these homemade oven-cleaning solutions that are safer for your family as well as the environment.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Simple Tips for Safe Hob Cleaning

Simple Tips to Safely Clean your Hob

The hob is often a place you prepare food every day, so it’s an essential place in your home to keep clean. The best way to ensure that the hob & cooker area is hygienic is to wipe after each use when any food residue or stains are still fresh.

Despite doing this, it’s still possible for a layer of oil and grime to settle on your hob. Depending on which type of cooker you have, using the right cleaning agents and tools can help you remove this stubborn material with relative ease.

Hob cleaning products and tools

You will find a wide range of cleaning products in the supermarkets specifically for the kitchen. For ease of use look for products that come in spray bottles. Alternatively, instead of using cleaning liquids with strong chemicals, you can try using some of the more natural hob cleaning products that are better for your health, as well as for the environment.

In addition, before you clean the hob, it would be helpful to have the following cleaning tools on hand:

  • Rubber gloves to protect your skin
  • A blunt blade or plastic scraper available at hardware stores, to remove the softened food residue ( after using the stain remover)
  • A scrubbing brush with a medium bristle
  • A microfiber cloth to clean the hob and give it a good smear-free shine

Cleaning the hob

Hob cleaning techniques differ depending on whether you have a gas, ceramic, enamel or a combination cooker.

  • Enamel hobs are relatively easy to maintain as they can take some forceful cleaning. Use a blunt blade to remove the stains, while being careful not to scrape the curved surface of the hob.
  • Ceramic and induction hobs are more prone to scratches and therefore need to be tackled carefully. Use a plastic scrapper to remove the grunge. In case of the ceramic hob, prevention really is the best cure. Wipe off any spills as soon as they happen.
  • The majority of the gas hobs have an aluminium base. Soak the base and burner lids in soapy warm water for a while. Clean the base with a scouring pad to remove the grime. Enamel burner lids can also be cleaned the same way.
  • A stainless steel hob should be cleaned rather gently. Clean the hob using a microfibre cloth and a mild bicarbonate of soda solution. To maintain your cooker, never leave any food residue on the hob as it can easily create permanent stains on the stainless steel surface.
  • Cleaning a hob with cast iron racks can be cumbersome. Wash the racks in a warm soapy water solution in a dipping tray. Use soda crystals and a wire wool to scrub clean the racks. Avoid washing them in the dishwasher as the salty dishwater can cause them to rust.

Whenever you clean your hob, follow basic safety tips.  If you are cleaning the hobs with a chemical based cleaner, then keep kitchen windows open for ventilation. Also, wear gloves and goggles for protecting your hands and eyes.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Why isn’t My Oven Fan Working? Try our Troubleshooting Guide

Why isn’t My Oven Fan Working? Try our Troubleshooting Guide

An oven that’s not heating correctly is one of the most common problems that our engineers are called to resolve. When you switch on your oven, it’s fan evenly distributes the heat generated by the element. A fault in either the fan or the element will prevent your oven from heating effectively. There could be other minor faults as well.

Let’s look at this problem in more detail.

Faulty oven fan element:

If the oven is blowing cold air (which means the fan is working), and the oven thermostat light is on, then the element surrounding the fan could be damaged.

Ask a technician to unplug the appliance and remove the back panel inside the oven. This will expose the oven fan and element. On close inspection if the element appears burnt in some places, then the  appliance technician will almost certainly need to replace that part.

Note, sometimes the damage to the element is not visible, but it could be broken inside the element casing. Your appliance technician will need to confirm this. Replacing the oven element will cost you in the region of £75 – £125.

Faulty oven fan motor:

There could be a problem with the oven fan motor if:

  • the oven fan appears noisy or works more slowly than usual
  • the oven light is on and the element gets hot, but the heating is ineffective

With the oven turned off and unplugged, the technician will remove the inside panel and give the oven fan a turn by hand. If it appears stiff then the fan motor is faulty and needs replacement.

The technician is also likely to:

  • Check if a fan blade has come loose, which may be causing the fan to become ineffective and make strange sounds.
  • Check if the oven fan is covered with grease and muck from cooking. Giving the oven fan a good cleaning may solve the problem.

Incorrect oven setting:

If neither the fan nor the heating is working, the oven may have been set in ‘auto’ mode. Reset the oven to ‘manual’ mode. Your oven should start working now. Refer to your user manual for more details.

Faulty oven thermostat:

Finally, if the oven fan is not working and there is no light in the oven, then there could be a problem with the oven thermostat.

Call an appliance engineer to handle replacement of any part in the oven.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions – found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Why does Your Fridge Freezer Blow its Fuse?

Why does Your Fridge Freezer Blow the Fuse?

Like all electrical appliances, your fridge is vulnerable to the whims of electricity. This means that you can occasionally expect your fridge freezer to blow its fuse. Your fridge’s fuse can blow due to any the following reasons:

  • A power surge causes a temporary increase in the electricity travelling through the circuit. Some fuses are designed to withstand short bursts of high electricity, while others are not.
  • Overtime, the fuse itself may simply weaken.
  • Circuit overload caused by multiple appliances plugged into in the same power source. When the circuit draws too much power, the internal safety system in fuses breaks an internal wire to prevent overheating and possible fire.

Your fridge freezer should generally not cause the fuse to blow. If the fuse keeps going phut then the most likely explanation is a circuit overload.

Read these troubleshooting tips for blown fuses so you’re better informed when you call the technician.

1.     The circuit load

A technician will check the AMP of the fuse connected to the fridge freezer’s circuit. The AMP rating signifies the amount of load that the circuit can handle. To calculate the actual load on the fuse, technicians have to measure the power drawn by all devices/ appliances connected to the fridge freezer circuit.

If the total power drawn by these individual devices exceeds the maximum load that the circuit can handle, relocate some of devices to another circuit to free up some load.

After relocating devices, keep the fridge unplugged for some time before switching it on again.

2.     The electrical socket and power cord

If the above-mentioned process does not work, unplug the appliance and check the electrical socket and the power cord for any damage. An electrician can replace any damaged cords or wires.

Why does your fridge freezer blow bulbs?

The other part of your fridge that can blow is the bulb. The bulb can blow for several reasons, not least of which is faulty bulbs. Cheap bulbs don’t last as long as more expensive bulbs which are better quality. The elements in cheap bulbs are very thin, so any surge in power can make them blow. Even in the world of fridge freezer bulbs, you get what you pay for, so try to buy the best quality you can afford.

If the bulb wattage isn’t the type specified by fridge-freezer manufacturer for your model it could overload the electrical socket and blow the bulb. Always use the bulb specified in the owner’s manual and make note of the wattage.

Another possible cause may be found in the light socket. It may be that there’s an electrical short in the socket itself. The repair for this isn’t DIY as it requires expertise. It’s far better to contact an appliance repair specialist rather than trying to give it a go yourself. This is especially important if your fridge-freezer is still under warranty, since tampering with faulty parts could result in your warranty being voided.

If you need to replace the bulb, the first thing you need to do is switch off the power. Your owner’s manual should contain complete instructions on how to replace the bulb. Once you’ve replaced the bulb according to the instruction manual don’t forget to switch the power back on!

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call an NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Discover 10 Reasons Why Your Oven is Overheating

Discover 10 Reasons Why Your Oven is Overheating

Most ovens have traditional thermostats that control the temperature of the oven.  If your oven is overheating on the outside and burning food, the most probable explanation is a faulty thermostat.

However, there are a few other possible causes why your oven is overheating.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most common reasons for the problem.

  1. Thermostat knob:  A faulty thermostat knob will result in an inaccurate temperature setting in the oven.  The knob should be securely attached. A technician can also recalibrate the knob.
  2. Thermostat-sensing bulb: Conventional ovens have a thermostat-sensing bulb usually at back left side or the rear. If the bulb has come loose from the holder or is damaged, the thermostat will malfunction and overheat the oven.
  3. Grime: Sometimes the thermostat can malfunction because it is covered with food and grime. Removing the thermostat and cleaning it may just solve the overheating problem.
  4. Oven-vent: Blockages in the oven vent is another common problem.
  5. Control panel: Some ovens have an electronic control panel. A power outage can cause a glitch in the control panel. To resolve this, an engineer can reset the circuit breaker and unplug the oven for a few minutes before turning it on again.
  6. Thermostat: Test the temperature of the oven using a heat resistant oven thermometer. If the oven temperature is higher than the level set, then most likely the thermostat needs replacement.
  7. Heating elements: The oven can also overheat if there is a malfunction with it’s heating element. The technician will check for any damage to the element or if the element has come loose.  The outer casing of the element could hide damage to the element.
  8. Temperature sensor: Electrical ovens have a temperature sensor that ensures that the oven functions at the correct temperature. This is a long thin tube like part located usually in the top rear of the oven. A problem with the sensor can cause the oven to overheat.
  9. Selector switch: The selector switch in the oven acts as a communication device between the thermostat and the heating elements. It receives the temperature signal from the thermostat and regulates the heating elements. If the selector switch has a short, it may signal a lower than actual temperature, causing the heating elements to overheat the oven.
  10. Oven fan: If the oven fan is not working at the correct speed, the oven will overheat. To know more, read our ‘Oven Fan not Working Troubleshooting Guide ’.

For safety’s sake

Don’t meddle with the wires and whatnot in your oven to try fix the problem yourself. Rather call Surewise.com, report that your oven is overheating, and let them arrange for an engineer to fix the problem for you. If you meddle on your own, you are likely to violate the terms of your insurance policy.

Please remember:

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding servicing your appliances. You’ll find this in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

8 Common Hob Problems & Repairs

8 Common Hob Problems & Repairs

Most of your cooking is done on a hob (either gas or electric), so it can be very inconvenient when they start giving you problems. There are several different types of hobs that have different features and functions. Knowing what type of hob you’re using will help you narrow down the potential cause of the fault.

Let’s take a look at eight of the most common hob malfunctions, so that when you have to call an engineer, you can properly explain what the problem is.

Problem 1: Erratic flames in the gas cooker

Gas hobs should give off stable blue flames if the burner is operating correctly. If the flames from your gas cooker look yellow or uneven, or if the flames look smaller than usual, this indicates that there is debris in the gas burners or jets.

A technician should remove the burner assembly and inspect for blockages around the jet and the burner head. They should then clean these parts thoroughly with water and remove the grime.

Do not attempt to clean the blockages with harsh chemicals or wires as you may enlarge the burner holes and worsen the problem.

Problem 2: Gas leak from a gas hob

If you have a gas cooker you should install a natural gas detector or a carbon monoxide detector that will sound an alarm if gas levels exceed their safety threshold. A slight whiff of gas is common from gas cookers, but if the smell of gas is stronger than normal, you may have a gas leak somewhere in the hob. Open your windows and doors to let air in and turn off the gas hob. Do not turn on any lights or light a match if the smell of gas persists in the kitchen. Call the gas agency immediately and do not attempt to fix the problem yourself.

Problem 3: Ignition not working

If the burners aren’t working it could be due to a fault in the igniter, the burner or the electronic ignition system. To find out more about this problem, read our Cooker Ignition Not Working – Troubleshoot Guide.

Problem 4: Turning on an electric hob trips the electricity

If turning on the electric hob causes your electric system to trip, you can unplug any other appliances on the same circuit and reset the fuse box. Turn on the cooker and try again. If the electrics trip again, you may need to have a technician replace the faulty hob.

There could also be a problem either with the circuit, the oven power plug or the oven itself.

Problem 5: Cooking plate of electric hob not heating up

If one of the cooking plates of your electric hob is not heating up, the cooking plate element may be faulty and you’ll need to call the appliance technician for a replacement.

Tip: You could also experience problems with the cooking plates if you use pans with uneven bases, so replace old dented pans with new ones.

Problem 6: Heating problems with an induction hob

Induction hobs are a little different from other electric hobs in that they transfer heat via magnetism. This enhances their efficiency and makes them safer to use, but it means that only pans made from ferrous material will work on them (ferrous means the material includes iron).

To check if your pan is composed of ferrous material, hold a fridge magnet to its bottom and see if it sticks. If it does, it will work on an induction hob. If your pan or pot is composed of ferrous material but the heating still doesn’t work, then the issue is with the hob itself and cooker repairs may be required.

Problem 7: Unable to adjust heat

If a burner turns on but the heat level can’t be adjusted (for example, it stays at high temperature as long as it is switched on, no matter what you do with the settings), it could be the result of a faulty ignition switch. To determine if the problem is with the switch itself, turn off all switches, unplug the burner and fit it into a different receptacle. Turn on the cooker and try adjusting the switch on that burner to see if it works. Any faulty switches should be replaced.

Problem 8: An ‘E’ symbol keeps flashing on the hob controls

The ‘E’ symbol indicates that a switch is being continually pressed. You could try cleaning the hob to remove any dirt that might be causing the error. Note, however, that cleaning might also cause the issue if any areas of the hob are still wet, so try using a hairdryer to get rid of any damp.

If none of these tips work, try rebooting the power switch for the hob. If you still have a problem, you may need to have the touch board replaced. You can call a technician to install a replacement touch board, or do so yourself if you’re confident in your ability to repair electronic devices.

Types of hobs

Now let’s take a quick look at some of the different types of hobs and the problems you’re most likely to experience.

Gas hobs

Gas hobs provide an even distribution of heat immediately. They come in two types: Standing pilot and electric ignition. Common problems with both include gas cooker rings not igniting, in which case it’s probably caused by debris, either from food or fibres from your cleaning cloth. You will have to remove the burner cap and wipe the rings clean. Use a special cloth that is not going to leave fibres or lint behind.

Make sure you dry the rings and hob properly when you clean it because any remaining moisture could cause incessant clicking when you switch it on. If the clicking persists you might need to replace the switch under the relevant knob.

Gas-on-glass hobs

These hobs have gas burners mounted on top of ceramic glass, which adds to their style and makes them easier to clean. They take longer to provide heat but they are also more precise. Unfortunately, the spiffing ceramic glass is easily stained, so you will have to use a special cream-based hob cleaner. The glass can also be pock-marked or even cracked by hot oil splashing or sugar spills or when food boils over.

Ceramic hobs

These hobs are very elegant and very easy to clean. They are electric hobs, so they have an extra element of safety if you have young children. They heat quickly and modern hobs come with touch controls. However, common problems include being cracked and broken by dropped lids or even pots and the surface is easily scratched. They are currently quite expensive to repair (if you don’t have an extended warranty) and you have to invest in special cleaners so you don’t damage the surface with anything abrasive. You may also have to buy new cookware because they don’t work with glass or copper-bottomed pots and pans.

Induction hobs

Induction hobs are gaining in popularity because they are energy-efficient and cost-effective. The downside is that, like ceramic hobs, they require special posts and pans with ferrous metal bases. It’s ok if your hob makes low-level whirring noise because it’s just the induction fan working as it should. Note, however, that repairs can be expensive.

Electric hobs

Electric hobs are usually the most affordable option. The most common problems are related to faulty switches and elements. The signs are difficulty regulating temperature, plates not switching on and tripping the electrics when you switch the hob on.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which you can found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call an NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent further damage.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

3 Reasons Why Your Oven Keeps Tripping Electrics

3 Reasons Why Your Oven Keeps Tripping Electrics

It’s a Sunday and you’ve planned to cook the perfect roast for the family, but as soon as you switch on the electric oven, it trips all the electrics in the house. You curse and reset the fuse box before turning on the oven again; only for the same thing to happen. Now you’re worried. After all, Sunday roast only comes once a week.

If the electric system keeps tripping, it could be due to one of numerous problems. As a general rule, if the trip occurs whenever an electric oven is switched on, then it’s usually a problem with the circuit or the wiring. If it occurs when a specific function on the oven is used however, then it may be because a component linked to that function is faulty.

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There are a number of checks your technician can perform to narrow down the potential cause of the trip. Here are a few examples:

1) Problem with the circuit

The technician will check for a circuit overload. As a first step, they will look to see if there are multiple appliances connected to the same circuit as the electric oven. If that is the case, then unplug the other appliances and switch on the oven again. It should no longer trip. You may then have to upgrade the over circuit to increase capacity or add the appliances to a different circuit – there is usually a separate circuit for ‘Plugs’.

If there are no other appliances connected on the same circuit, they are likely to perform the following checks:

  • Using a clamp-on ampmeter, they will measure the current power load on the circuit when the oven is on. If the load is to great for the circuit, you will have to upgrade.
  • Electricity could also be tripping if there is a faulty circuit breaker or a problem with the wiring in the circuit. Have a qualified electrician check for any damage in the insulation of the circuit wires. For the electrician to test the circuit breaker, he could swap it with a breaker of the same rating from another working circuit.

2) Problem with the oven power plug/wiring

A technician can measure the current when the oven is off. This should normally read zero. If the current is > 0.3A, then the oven wire could be damaged. After unplugging the appliance a technician can inspect the power plug for any soot or damaged wiring.

Some manufacturers equip ovens with terminal blocks designed to be used across Europe. In order for these to be compatible with UK circuits, the links need to be positioned in the correct way. So if you’ve recently purchased the oven, check the user manual for Instructions on how to correctly position the links.

If it’s an older product, however, check to ensure that the terminal block is still in workable condition. Terminal blocks tend to deteriorate over time, in which case it will need to be replaced; be sure to seek advice from a technician as to which would be the correct model to purchase.

3) Problem with the oven components

To check if there is a problem with the electric oven itself, ensure that no other appliances are connected on the same circuit. Turn on the oven at a low temperature. If the electricity doesn’t trip immediately, this confirms that there is no short in the fuse into which it is plugged.

Now raise the temperature of the oven. If the electricity trips when it reaches a higher temperature, there is most likely a problem with one of the heating elements. You need a new element to solve the fault. Call out an appliance technician to replace it for you.

Other components that could potentially cause your electrics to trip include:

  • Selector switch (used to change oven functions)
  • Fans
  • Thermostats
  • Internal lamp

Through a process of elimination you can determine the general area in which the fault is occurring, by selecting certain functions to see whether the oven only trips when those functions are being used.

There are also certain tools designed to measure components in ovens to see if they are working correctly. You can find detailed information on how to test the thermostat on UK Whitegoods, for example. However, it’s recommended you seek the assistance of a technician if you are not trained to work with electronics.

Electricity tripping can be due to a short circuit at any place in your home. If a household appliance trips more than once or twice, you must contact a qualified electrician to look at the problem.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which are detailed in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call an NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent it from seriously damaging the appliance.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

5 Simple Checks for Freezer not Freezing

5 Simple Checks for Freezer not Freezing


Having your kitchen freezer break down can be expensive both with regard to the frozen food that spoils and the cost of having your freezer repaired.

If your freezer suddenly stops working or becomes ineffective, perform the following quick checks:

  1. Check for excessive ice in the freezer: Excessive ice in the freezer prevents the cold air from circulating. If you see an unusual build up of ice in the freezer, defrost the freezer completely. Now plug in the freezer to check if it is working as before.Remember, this may only be a temporary solution. As a normal process, self-defrost freezers turn off the compressor for a few minutes every 6-12 hours. Repeated excessive build up of frost in the freezer means that the freezer’s auto-defrost system is not working. Therefore, either the defrost heater, the defrost thermostat, or the defrost timer have a fault. This needs the attention of a professional appliance repair person.
  2. Check the thermostat: Perhaps the thermostat is stuck. Try turning it up and down again, and see if it clicks when you turn it. Set the temperature at the level recommended in the appliance manual and use a fridge thermometer to check if the problem has been resolved. If not, then you may have to replace the freezer thermostat.
  3. Check if something is blocking the freezer fan: Excess loading of the freezer renders the cooling system ineffective. Remove any food items that may have been stacked against the freezer fans. Also, if you cannot hear the fan operating when you open and close the doors, then you need to call a technician.
  4. Check the freezer door seals: If you see that the freezer door is not closing completely, check for damage of the freezer door seals. Sometimes simply cleaning the freezer door for any debris that may have accumulated can solve the problem. In case the freezer door gasket is damaged, it would need to be replaced by an appliance professional.
  5. Check the coils: All freezers have coils. These coils contain the refrigerant that absorbs the heat inside the freezer. If there is dust on the coils, the cooling function of the coils is affected. Unplug the fridge and very gently clean the coils with a vacuum cleaner or a dust magnets. If you are not sure how to do this, call a repair person.Your freezer may also not freeze for the following reasons:
    • There is a gas leakage, or a blockage that is restricting the gas flow in the fridge freezer
    • A noisy compressor indicates damage to the compressor motor. This part can be expensive to replace. Depending on how old your freezer is, it may be a wise decision to buy a new freezer.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions – found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Cooker Ignition Not Working – Troubleshooting Guide

Cooker Ignition Not Working – Troubleshooting Guide

If you take good care of your appliances, checking for problems regularly and cleaning them properly, chances are that they will last longer and save you money in the long-run. To take proper care of your cooker (and other appliances) it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about the workings and possible problems that can crop up. This means you can carry out some quick DIY if the problem is a simple one and you’ll save money by not having to call out the technician something annoying goes wrong.  After all, good maintenance is always preferable over costly repairs.

Some of the most common problems cookers relate to ignition issues, simply because igniters are used so frequently.

Generally, gas ranges these days have one of 3 basic ignition systems:

  • Pilot ignition: It’s a mechanical system that needs to be lit manually.
  • Hot surface ignition: It’s an electronic system with a glow bar or glow coil – aka an ignitor.
  • Spark ignition: It’s an electronic system and often cookers with this type of ignition have different systems on the oven and the range.

There is an older style (early to mid-1970s) electronic ignition system that can also still be found in some cookers: The ‘constant’ pilot electronic system. However, chances are that your cooker has a much more modern ignition system, unless you’re cooking with a family heirloom.

Obviously, the exact problems differ from cooker to cooker, but there are some commonalities that apply to malfunctioning ignitions.

Remember: If you have to call a technician, ensure they’re Gas-Safe registered.

If you want to try a DIY solution – only if you are confident in your abilities, because if you tinker and make things worse it could affect the validity of your claim – then you can try some of the following trouble-shooting tips.

Check the burners

Turn off all the burner dials and switch off the main gas supply. Lift the hinged top of the and check to see whether there are bits of food clogged around the ignition. If you see a build-up of grime and food, clean the burners by wiping them down gently with a soft damp cloth. Use a magnifying glass and needle to clear as much of the muck between the igniter and gas supply as possible.

Is the burner clogged up with grime from the metallic tubes?  Clean tubes, holes and valves carefully with a damp cloth rinsed in vinegar.  Turn on the gas supply and test again.

These are both delicate jobs, so if you aren’t comfortable, call in a Gas-Safe technician.

Note: If you have problems with one burner, another might be about to give notice. It’s a good idea to check them all just to be sure.

Gas supply

If this doesn’t do the trick, try checking your gas supply line and check the oven’s system. If your stove-top ignition system is working, but there’s a problem with the oven’s system then you don’t have a gas supply line issue but a problem with the oven’s system. Take a look at your gas levels in the gas tank to make sure the tank isn’t empty.  Double check the valves by turning to them on, if there’s no gas they won’t light.

Electronic ignition system

If you still have no luck in getting your cooker to work, try testing the electronic ignition system. If there’s no spark when you switch on the burner, there might be a problem with the electric circuitry. Check that all the plugs are plugged in and the electricity is on. If it trips there’s a problem in the circuit breaker. Switch off the current and check for loose wires between the igniter and the burner assembly. If there’s still a problem with the ignition system, it could be the igniter switch, in which case it’s time to call the Gas-Safe Technician.

Problems with the igniter

Check the igniter for sparks. Turn the gas off and try the ignition button on your stove. You should hear the ‘clicking’ sound, check whether there are sparks, if not then it’s time for a new igniter. The igniter could also be clogged with dirt. Clean the igniter with a toothbrush to remove dirt and debris. Gently scrub the surface of the igniter with the toothbrush and softly blow on it when you’re done cleaning. The igniter is located in different places in different cookers, but generally you can find it near the burners for the oven. You may need to remove the bottom oven cover to expose the igniter.

Calling a technician

When you do call in a Gas-safe registered technician, explain the steps you’ve been through. The technician might repeat them to double check the problem, but at least they will know that what’s been tried and where the potential problem could be.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which are in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent further damage.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

5 Quick Checks for Fridge Freezers Not Working

5 Quick Checks for Fridge Freezers Not Working

The fridge freezer is an essential appliance for a fully functional kitchen. Good fridge freezers are silent hard working machines that operate round the clock to safely store your food supplies.

However, at times a few glitches may cause your refrigerator to stop working or become ineffective. Common symptoms are:

  • It stops cooling
  • The fridge light does not come on
  • The appliance starts making some strange noise that you have never heard before.

Before, assuming that there is a major electrical problem with your appliance, we recommend you do the following quick checks.

  1. Check the power cord: If your refrigerator stops working or if the light does not come on when you open your refrigerator door, the problem is likely due to a loose power cable. Pull the fridge away from the wall, and check whether the plug is firmly fixed into the socket. In addition, unplug it and inspect the electrical cord. Have it replaced immediately by an electrician or technician if you suspect any damage. Also, ask the electrician to check for any blown fuses in your house or tripped circuit breakers in the appliance’s circuit breaker box.
  2. Turn power off / reset: If the electrical cord is not the problem, you can try turning off the power to the fridge and starting it again. Also, check the appliance manual on how to reset your fridge freezer to ensure that there is no problem with the settings.
  3. Check the seals and the gaskets: If the light remains on when you close the refrigerator door, the problem is most probably on the door seals and the gaskets. Check the door seals for cracks and rips. If the seals and gaskets are broken, an appliance engineer should replace them.
  4. Check the thermostat: It is possible that the thermostat temperature has been accidentally turned up, causing the interiors to be warmer than usual. Ensure that the thermostat is at the ideal temperature recommended by the manufacturer.
  5. Check the freezer: The refrigerator and the freezer have different controls and can malfunction separately.
  • The freezer fan may be blocked.
  • Condenser coils located beneath or behind the appliance may have collected debris. This would prevent the freezer from cooling properly.
  • There could be a problem with the defrost timer. The refrigerator compressor goes silent when it is in automatic defrost mode, which lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. If the compressor motor does not start after this time, the defrost timer may need replacement.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions – found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles