It all started with the Captain’s morning toasted bagel, his usual breakfast. I have used my Force 10 broiler for his toast since we moved aboard in September 2013 almost daily. (The Force 10 Gourmet Galley two burner range model #63251 with an electronic (momentary) ignition was installed new June 2013.) The toasting process started getting longer, then the electric broiler igniter was working sporadically. I could light it with a butane lighter. Then it stopped. No toast. Yes, I know I can toast in a dry skillet. Or use a “camp-type” toaster, which we tried – it works ok, but it’s a hot tool sitting atop the stove – not my preference for underway use – although the Captain likes it. Those were options, but I wanted to get that broiler fixed.
The Force 10 manual has some information and there is a bit more in the FAQs online. I don’t find enough detail for a non-mechanical person like myself. I can change the electronic ignition battery annually (it’s on the back, right-hand side). That’s the extent of my skill set.
I called Force 10 Customer Service for advice (800-663-8515) – at least three times one day. Their suggestion was to clean the orifice. Ori-what? And make sure that the electric ignition sparker was in the right position to spark the broiler. I had a spark. Each of those things didn’t solve the problem. Then I was advised to check the thermocouple. Where is that? It is attached to the broiler gas arm. I took out the two screws for the igniter to move it out of the way; took out the four screws holding the broiler element in place; then gently pulled the broiler down out of its space. The broiler element just disintegrated in my hands. (It was toast – sorry) At this point, I was talking to Brad Clark, VP at Force 10. Oh, if the ceramic element has a crack that could be the problem. Ah, ha. I hadn’t seen that anywhere in the information and I hadn’t seen the crack. Maybe it was an unusual situation? No idea how the ceramic element broke, but then again the sailboat has crossed the Gulf Stream six times and ridden out a few storms.
Next, order a new element (part #890051). Now wait, and wait. Since we are full-time cruisers the package has to find us. Wrong address delay, Christmas deliveries delay. Finally, the part is on board. With some bubble wrap on the bottom of the oven for protection, I installed the element directly by inserting it on the gas arm and re-screwing the four screws and putting the igniter back with its screws, and voila, the broiler works!
While the oven was pulled apart it got a good cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend. I’m glad to have the oven back in good working order. And the Captain is glad to have his toast.
FYI – If you have an older Force 10 with an ignition microswitch with spring, check out the Practical Sailor information or Force 10 Customer Service about the issues with those.
Note: I know that this post had nothing to do with sewing or crafting, but I’m including it…because it’s my blog!