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09 November 2004 @ 07:37 pm
two reasons why I'm a bit of an asshat  
1. Spider in my office:

So, I was sitting here, working on my NaNovel (and when I say that, I do mean surfing the 'net pretending to do research), and on the wall of my deck-converted-to-office appeared a huge spider. HUGE. Not Australia-HUGE, but bigger than the first joint of my thumb HUGE. Naturally, squooshing it was out of the question. Don wasn't home, so it was up to me. After staring at it for a full two minutes (I swear, it was staring back!), I went to get a plastic cup and an envelope. I planned on scooping it into the cup, covering the opening with the envelope and carrying it outside, where it could live a full, happy life.

I put the cup over it. It shouldered it off. Then, it turned to look at me. Curling its lip in disdain, it scuttled rapidly away, all the while clearly demonstrating the skull-and-crossbones marking on its back.

Not five minutes ago, it showed up again. I went to turn on the light and grab the cup... and when I turned back, it was gone. And I'm no little bit freaked.

2. My stove:

Some of you may recall my railing against the gas stove that is in my kitchen. Only two burners work properly. A third works at about half-strength and the fourth does not work at all.

Well, the fourth burner does need some work. No biggie there, and no bad on my behalf. As for the weak burner? Heh. Funny thing... it's a simmer burner. Yeah. Designed for those long simmering dishes such as sooup, step, and sauces.

Funnier thing... it says it is a simmer burner on the front of the stove.

ay, me.
moileaflette on November 9th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
Urgh. Spiders. X( Feel your pain.
Sunflower Inkwellwritingrat on November 9th, 2004 06:55 pm (UTC)
EEK. Spider! Big spider.

*hopes the spider dies very soon*

Spiders do not belong in houses. They belong outside. I won't kill a spider if it's outside, but if it's inside... bye bye!
Ilena Ayalanetsearcher on November 9th, 2004 11:45 pm (UTC)
I used to sell stoves. There may be *nothing* wrong with yours, so check the following before you call a $ervice rep in. It's probably either operating normally, or at most needs to be cleaned.

Since you have a simmer burner, I'm betting you have a "sealed" range. (An "open" style one is the sort that you can actually spill food below the surface. Usually on open burner styles all four burners are the same strength. The stove tops on those can be lifted for cleaning under the top.) On a sealed burner style (the sort that has little enameled "mushroom caps" over the top of the gas diffuser), the top is closed off to keep food spills from getting inside. Furthermore, it's *bolted* down and meant to stay that way unless it's being serviced. The diffuser piece itself may or may not be bolted down. If you are lucky, it'll lift right out for cleaning.

(Word of advice: if you remove more than one at a time, arrange them in the same orientation as they are on the stove and clean them one at a time rather than dumping them all together into a soapy dishpan. That way you don't have any problem figuring out which pieces go back where later on!)

Since you have a simmer burner, it's also quite possible that the "weak" one may be working normally. It's common on many sealed gas ranges to have several burner strengths-(usually two or three)- so even if all three that *aren't* the simmer burner *look* the same size, they may have different BTU ratings.

If you aren't sure, check the owners manual; it may tell you the BTUs on each burner. (It also may *not*, especially if the manual is written to cover several models. So don't go nuts if you don't see the information in there.) If you don't have a manual (or it doesn't tell you the BTUs), locate the model number (probably on a plate inside the bottom drawer - get on the floor and look, but bring a pad and pen to record it!), and the manufacturer can tell you based on the model # what the various BTU strengths should be on the different burners. (If you need help reaching them, let me know who made it; I can get you the appropriate phone # to call.)

If you determine that it is in fact, supposed to be the same as the other two, it may just need a bit of a cleaning.

As a quick alternate sanity check to hunting for BTU ratings, try turning the 'weak' burner on. Then take a good look and see if the flame looks uniformly weaker all around, or if it's stronger in some spots than others or 'spotty'- possibly due to some of the holes being partially or completely clogged. If it's uniform, I'd guess it's probably operating normally and just designed to burn at a lower BTU rate. If it's spotty, it may just need cleaning, and you can do that yourself. (But remember to let the burner cool off first!)

It's a common problem - stuff spills on the piece that the gas is supposed to come out of and clogs the little holes.

If the holes are clogged, you simply need to clear them out. If the diffuser part is removeable, just wash it and scrub the holes clear with a stiff brush and let it dry before replacing it. Otherwise poke the holes clear with a needle or bit of wire. (If the diffuser part needs to stay where it is while you do this, you can use a small mirror to see the back parts while you work.)

Hope that helps. Give me a holler if you need more info.
Ilena Ayalanetsearcher on November 9th, 2004 11:58 pm (UTC)
I just realized you said the fourth burner doesn't work *at all*. I thought *it* was at half strengh.

If you can light it with a match or fireplace lighter, the igniter (the bit that sparks) is *probably* the bad piece.

(It's fine to light the top burners (*not* the oven) by hand, and if you won't be using that one much, that's an option.) If you want to try repairing it yourself, before you spend money on parts, you can swap one of the igniters from another burner to that burner and see if the problem follows the igniter.