Consumer Reports: Pro-style ranges often have more problems
Posted November 22, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — It's a thought many would rather not have, but what would you have done if your oven had gone out Thursday?
After the yelling, screaming and gnashing of teeth was finished, your Thanksgiving feast would have been put on hold.
Repair man Vinnie Giordano says ranges always seem to stop working just as people prepare to cook a big meal. This time of year, there are way more of those.
"People call in a panic because their stove has broken," he said. "And they want to get it fixed as quickly as possible."
Consumer Reports reached out to its readers to find out which brands are more reliable than others, and of the more than 67,000 gas and electric ranges bought in the last five years, they found some big differences.
Popular brands like KitchenAid and Jenn-Air were among the most repair-prone.
"We do this survey every year, and while we don't have repair histories of individual models, we've found you're much less likely to need repairs if you buy from a brand with a good record of reliability," Consumer Reports' Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman said.
Electric ranges that fall into that category include models from Hotpoint, General Electric and Whirpool. For gas ranges, Consumer Reports recommends Hotpoint, General Electric and Kenmore.
As for the professional-style ranges, they aren't often worth the extra thousands they cost.
"The repair rate is significantly higher for these expensive ranges," Kuperszmid Lehrman said. "Of those bought in the last five years, more than a third needed to be repaired. And 9 percent of them needed to be repaired three times or more."
On top of that, repairmen with the training to fix more expensive, pro-style ranges are often harder to find.
To avoid having to call a repairman in a panic during this holiday season or any other time, Consumer Reports says people should stick with normal ranges from reliable brands.