My Oven Tried To Kill Me - Norm's kitchen transmogrification Blog at - 296378

Norm's kitchen transmogrification

My oven tried to kill me 
Jan. 30, 2013 5:47 am 
Updated: Jan. 31, 2013 8:43 pm
Sunday afternoon I decided to reseason my two smallest cast-iron skillets because stuff still sticks to them if I'm not really careful with them.  They were in for over an hour then after they cooled down I took them out.  A bit later on I re-started the oven to bake the bread (see my previous blog entry), put the bread in and took a shower.  

When I got out I sat down in the living room to wait for the timer to go off and started feeling light-headed.  I thought maybe I was coming down with the flue that's been going around but something told me that wasn't what it was.  I opened a couple windows and the front door and sure enough within half an hour I was feeling OK again.  I knew then something was really wrong with the oven and started thinking about maybe replacing that old $90 range we'd bought over 10 years ago when we moved into this house.  

Luckily it was unseasonably warm yesterday and I was able to open some windows while I baked our pesto stuffed pork chops but you know what?  I still got lightheaded.  There must be some kind of draft that goes straight from the oven to the couch.  I admit I was a little scared.  

So I hit all the appliance stores last night and settled on a new GE model in their new color "Slate".  It's got an oval burner in the middle for a griddle, a fast-cooking 17,000 BTU burner, a smaller simmer burner and two "normal" burners.  Plus with the deal they had going on I was able to get a microwave that goes over the stove and has a fan and light.  That will replace our ancient, huge counter microwave and fee up some much needed counter space in our kitchen.  With any luck we can get it all ordered today and hopefully delivered in time to cook dinner Saturday.  I'm pretty excited about the new equipment.  
Jan. 30, 2013 6:45 am
Oh, goodness! So glad you're okay! And, Yippee, on the new oven and microwave!
Jan. 30, 2013 1:07 pm
You're far luckier than you probably realize. A gas leak was likely the cause of your light-headedness. Gas companies mix a chemical in with the no odor gas so escaping gas smells like rotten eggs but apparently you didn't smell it. Unless you know the gas leak is surely coming from a faulty range/oven, you should get a professional plumber to check out your gas line(s) & connections. A carbon monoxide detector would also alert you to a gas leak, and should be a required safety feature in homes with gas appliances.
Jan. 30, 2013 8:42 pm
I wouldn't contradict Conky if it weren't potentially a matter of life and death, but a CO detector WILL NOT detect a gas leak and most likely if there was that much gas leaking while a flame was present from a lighted oven, that gas would ignite before you became light headed. However, as it seems you realized, an old inefficient gas burning appliance can be responsible for a dangerous emission of carbon monoxide. Even before you get that new range installed, go get TWO CO detectors with a digital read-out. I say two in the even one is malfunctioning. I had a bad scare with CO once so I take no chances now. Thank goodness you detected the problem before it became any worse!
Jan. 31, 2013 4:26 am
mimosa . . . carbon monoxide is produced during the incomplete combustion of propane or natural gas . . . you can read more here . . . I use this model and the first reviewer detected a gas leak and had the device verified by a professional . . . There are a number of CO detectors on the market that have multiple capability for detecting natural/methane, propane and carbon monoxide such as this one which displays what it’s detecting. . . I’m not that concerned with knowing it displays ‘Gas’ because if the alarm is triggered I know it is being triggered by a gas leak even if it is detecting ‘carbon monoxide’ based on where mine is installed . . . might be different in a garage where a running car engine might set it off. There certainly is debate about how well these lower priced units work but that is a different issue. You said “that gas would ignite BEFORE (emphasis added) you became light headed.” She said she became lightheaded, not once, but twice.
Jan. 31, 2013 5:06 am
Yea, it was definitely CO rather than a gas leak. I'm given to understand that it's an uncommon problem but it does occur. My brother-in-law works for our gas company and used to do service calls. He says that even a new oven might put off CO but not it shouldn't at dangerous levels. A few years ago we had a mouse problem and they messed up some of the insulation in our oven so I think that may have something to do with it. Either way I definitely know how lucky I was and am very grateful. I'll have new and improved CO detectors in the house by the end of the weekend. My old one was a very basic model and needs to be replaced anyway.
Jan. 31, 2013 8:43 pm
Again, a CO detector WILL NOT detect a gas leak. Gas detectors detect gas leaks. Thank you CJ for all those links, however, the one you referred to as detecting a gas leak, clearly states that it was a CO issue, verified by the fire department, and the two are not the same. I'm not offering my opinions here. I'm telling you facts.
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