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Our oven has been broken for a month or so now. Not the whole stove, mind you, just the oven. We have a gas range and the burners were lighting just fine, however, the oven wouldn’t heat.

I called my dad for advice. He works at a plumbing shop selling parts to whoever needs them. As the parts person, he needs to know where they go and how they’re going to fit and all that good stuff. It’s like having a plumber around, but he doesn’t have formal training in the field. (His major in college was chemistry. He’s a totally brainy dude.) Anyway, it seemed to me that he might know what was going wrong with our oven, so I asked. He knew immediately. He said we needed to replace the igniter and that it would cost about $70. He even told us where to buy the part.

The job sounded daunting, so we put it off until today. Hubby pulled the failed igniter out of the oven yesterday and we searched for a replacement online. No dice. Even though we had the part number, not a single search came up for our part. Another call to Dad for advice. He said that part numbers often get changed and we could call or stop in at an appliance store to get an alternative.

We stopped at an appliance store in town and showed the man and woman behind the counter our failed part and explained that we couldn’t find the part online. They had an igniter that wasn’t exactly the same as ours, but using the housing of ours, the igniter piece from the new one and ceramic wire nuts in the igniter kit, we could adapt one that would fit. We were told not to touch the actual igniter, which is a textured gray solid filament sort of thing, because the oils on our hands would ruin it.

This evening we adapted the igniter and put it in the oven and voila! We have a working oven again. I was so excited that I immediately baked corn and blueberry muffins in it. Our handiness made them muffins of pure joy.

But wait … there’s more.

Not only did we fix the oven today, I also replaced the diverter in our kitchen faucet today. The diverter, which diverts water from the faucet to the spray hose, gets clogged with lime and minerals over time and can cause the water from the faucet to slow to a trickle. Dad came to the rescue again, explaining the whole clogging thing and telling me how to clean out the diverter. This I had done a few weeks ago, but, while the water pressure was much improved, it was still not back to normal. We decided to purchase a new diverter. We stopped by the shop where Dad works and he found the part for us.

Erik had something else to do, so I got to work on replacing the diverter. I had the entire faucet apart and realized that the new diverter was not long enough. Back I went to talk to Dad. He discovered that I had removed the diverter with the extender attached, so he took the old diverter off the extender and put on the new diverter.


Faucet diverter and extender. The diverter is on the right.

Faucet diverter and extender. The diverter is on the right.

I took the whole thing back home and tried again. Still not long enough by about 1/4 of an inch. Back to Dad. We puzzled over how to extend the extender. Eventually, we figured out a solution, using two smaller extender screws instead of the extender to get the length I needed.

I put the faucet back together when I got home and am happy to report that the water flow is abundant and forceful, just as it’s supposed to be. One of my major joys in life is repairing devices and thumbing my nose at planned obsolescence … and then making muffins of joy to top it all off.

A muffin is calling ….