The good news is it’ll save on propane…

I got my new kitchen stove today!


Took much of the day to drive to the big town about 50 miles away and get it, but I got it. And except for the fact that they seem to have gone out of their way to make the propane conversion process as complicated as physically possible, swapping out the new stove for the old went a lot smoother than I feared. I even had the right gas pipe adapters, which … simply shocked me.

This stove has a feature I did not find welcome at all, and maybe I’m going to wish I’d done more research before buying…


…and at first I thought/hoped it was only there because there’s a lightbulb in the oven I don’t expect to use very much.

Then I saw that big heating element where the pilot flame is supposed to go. And when I got the whole thing in place and all the pieces attached and tested the oven for operation…


Ouch. So much for using it at night. I knew the stove burners had clickers, that didn’t bother me, but I didn’t think to research whether the oven had a pilot flame. I guess I can take heart that it doesn’t overamp my inverter, because that would really suck. At least it’s not on constantly while the oven is in use.

We’ll see how well this works over time – Plan B is going to be negotiating a swap with Ian, who has a working old-fashioned propane stove and a much bigger battery bank than I do. “Hey, Ian! Want a brand-new kitchen stove?” That would probably work, now that I think of it…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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13 Responses to The good news is it’ll save on propane…

  1. bmq215 says:

    Did you test it through an entire bake cycle? In addition to not being on all the time, those ignition elements are designed to resist/heat less as their own temp rises. That’s wh at allows them to only open the gas valve when the element is hot enough to ignite it (making it fail safe). I suspect it’ll draw less energy after ignition and potentially even less once the oven is up to temp.

    Hey, at least you’re not wasting gas on a pilot light anymore (or having to go to the trouble of lighting it every time).

  2. Ben says:

    So when does that heater operate? Do you have a way to measure the power drain? Is that just for the oven?

    At least you seem to have a viable plan B.

  3. Joel says:

    I haven’t baked bread with it yet, I just set it up and put the tools away. I did let the oven heat up all the way and left it on to see what the heating element did – on a sunny day the drain looks like it’ll be tolerable. I need to dig out my Killawatt and see what the amperage is but all I really care about is whether it’s really pulling the batteries down while the sun is shining – it’s not – and whether my inverter can stand the draw – it can.

    And yeah, this is just for the oven. The clickers on the stovetop burners don’t pull enough juice long enough to matter. If I got this stove back in the cabin’s early days when it just had a laughable placeholder of an electrical system this wouldn’t be usable at all. As it is I think it’ll turn out okay.

  4. Robert says:

    Wait, there’s an electric heating element that mimics a gas pilot light to prove you have gas? This mind boggles. Such un-needed complexity would never have occurred to a normal person, Joel.

  5. Mark Matis says:

    Those oiezo-electic igniters generate their OWN electricity.

  6. Kentucky says:

    That’s a strange arrangement IMHO . . . but I’m no expert.

  7. bmq215 says:

    Yeah, discovered it a while back when the igniter on my oven went bad. Seems like it’s pretty common on new stoves now. Possibly all but the most bargain-basement models? Pilot lights use roughly $100-200 per year in gas and generate a remarkable amount of heat which is obviously less than ideal during the summer (I suppose in winter one could consider it a tiny, cumbersome space heater though…) The new style is actually rather elegant unless you happen to be an off-grid hermit (sorry Joel). Resistive heating element in line with a electronic, normally-closed valve. The element is made with an alloy that has decreased resistance at higher temps and balanced with the valve so that it only passes enough electricity to open the gas line when things are above ignition temp. Not sure if it’s any safer than a pilot but it’s no less safe and it does save $$. Of course I’m also a sucker for clever engineering so I might be a bit biased in my appreciation.

  8. Titan Mk6B says:

    Maybe wire in a light switch to mount on the wall and only turn it on when you need the oven? Pretty easy to make a pigtail that hangs off it to plug into the wall and plug the oven into that. Well, I guess you would have to have a wall socket and a light switch in the box that would hang on the wall.

  9. Mark Matis says:

    Oh come on now, Titan Mk6B. Just do it the hermit way: Couple of bare wires and a wire nut. Twist ’em together when you want it to light!!!

    By the way, my comment above is supposed to be “piezo-electric”

  10. Kentucky says:

    I’d sure like to see the schematic of that pilot/heater/valve/main control valve arrangement.

  11. Ruth says:

    Thats what the ignitor on my less than 10yr old Kenmore oven is like. We just had to replace it too, when it suddenly started not being able to heat hot enough to start the oven. I WILL note that the replacement was fairly simple, if annoying to get to in the first place. The replacement part was upwards of $100 though.

  12. Mike says:

    I guess that there’s no option to return the oven, is there? Damn…

  13. Mark says:

    I made a switched outlet box / extension cord for my christmas tree because un plugging and plugging it to the wall is a shitty way to turn the lights off and on.

    Easy to do that for your range/ oven.

To the stake with the heretic!