A little flavour of what's in store...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Replacing a Diplomat Electric Fan Oven Element - Model: Diplomat Pelgrim APL5706

Before I start - a warning - STOP! Don't trust all the online how-to resources and video how-to's that claim you won't need to remove the back of the cooker. They may be not entirely accurate, as I found out at the weekend.

I'm not the world's most competent, enthusiastic or machine minded person when it comes to mending home appliances (anything for that matter) but the online tutorials I'd watched made it look pretty easy and I was sure the hardest part was going to be removing the oven door (more on that later).

All the versions I read and watched showed clearly that if you were replacing an oven thermostat or a grill element - even the fan motor, then you needed to remove the back of the oven to access the required bolts.

They all showed / stated that the oven heating element was exempt from such actions and merely required (once the door and inner shelves / covers had been removed) the removal of two or three self tapping screws - pulling the element carefully forward and removing the trailing wires, replacing the wires on the new element and re-fitting.


So I removed the door - a tip here - the online resources just spoke of flipping the little hinge cover up - YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE IT FLIPS RIGHT BACK AND ENGAGES WITH A SIMILAR 'LUMP/LOCATOR' AT THE TOP OF THE HINGE 'ARM'.

Only then when lifting the door up will the hinges disengage and come out on the door.

Now to removing that oven element. I located the two screws and tried undoing them - no good - they just spun in their holes. I quickly realised that they had nuts on the back of them - I was going to have to pull out the oven (a heavy range type design) and remove the back of the oven.

Of course taking care not to trap the electric cable or stretch or break the gas piping to the rear (for the hob which included a lovely fish pan style burner).

Once pulled free of its built in 'old chimney' location, removing the back cover involved 3 screws down each side (closest to the rear panel) - the panel then fell backward (it seems to be fixed at the bottom - I couldn't see but the metal was flexible enough to fall back and allow access).

There were the two screws (with nuts) holding the oven element in place amidst a sea of yellow insulating fir.

I undid the nuts and removed the cables - I'd already isolated the electricity supply - then I hit a snag - the old bolts were threaded though the bracket of the old oven element but wouldn't turn out - they were stuck and I had no replacements supplied with the new oven element.

Luckily, Mandy's craft draw came to the rescue with a suitable replacement bolt and nut set - reusing the earthing crinkle washer, the new element was quickly fitted and wiring re-attached.

Back cover replaced, it was time to put the oven/hob back into its space but first a clean up of the back and sides with some stainless steel cleaner and a wipe of the walls and floor. It may be a long time (hopefully) before it comes out again.

Re-fitted the inner covers of the oven from the front and re-attached the door.

Done! And if it hadn't have been for the messing with screws that were bolts and trying to use old bolts that wouldn't come free, then the job would have been a quick one. As it was, it took the best part of two hours.

Now the oven works but the door doesn't quite shut properly - it sticks at the top when closing (although it will close with a shove).

I think the problem might be the oven frame is twisted slightly - i.e it's not standing level - so I'm going to try some packing under one or more of the feet and see if that improves the situation.

I thought iI'd fitted the door incorrectly but it seems to only fit one way so that rules that out.

Wished I'd taken more note of the space between the bottom heating drawer and the underneath edge of the door - that might have given me a clue as to the lining up of the oven door following the successful DIY replacing of the oven heating element.

If you've got a phone camera, then a few snaps before you start (or to remind you as you go along) is a good idea. Wished I'd have used my iPhone4 - I'd have had some shots to illustrate what I'm talking about.

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