Dear General Electric

I am not a do-it-your-selfer.  The prospect of trying to fix things that I did not myself in some manner create is very intimidating.  I am ashamed to admit that if something quits working my first assumption is that it’s time to get a new one.  I am also not the kind of person that writes letters to manufacturers thanking them for their products.  I believe it is the manufacturer’s job to create a good, quality, long-lasting product.  For that they should be compensated fairly and expect to make a reasonable profit.  Everyone is happy.  Kudos are not in order in this arrangement.

However, there are exceptions to everything.

We were blessed to purchase our home and said home includes one of your 1959 wall-ovens.  We jokingly asked the man we bought the house from if the oven even worked.  He assured us that it not only worked, if anything it was a bit on the hot side.  His words proved true over the past two-and-a-half years of baking and general food creation.

However I was not surprised when a few weeks ago the oven quit heating properly.  It’s over 50 years old.  Of course it’s going to break!  And, typical to my nature, I presumed that we just had to buy a new oven.  Until I realized how expensive those puppies are now-a-days.  Which prompted me to do a bit more troubleshooting.  I discovered that the bottom element had corroded in one spot.  I then discovered that this is called the bake element (as opposed to the top element, which is the broil element and still worked fine).  Half-heartedly I Googled to see if you could get a replacement bake element for a 50+ year old GE oven.  The Home Depot carries one that looks like the old one, and has the same measurements.  I ordered it, still fairly convinced that I was wasting $37 because it wouldn’t work or be able to connect to this ancient oven.

I was wrong.

I installed it in about 5 minutes, flat.  The connectors are exactly the same as 50 years ago.  The plate that secures the element to the back of the stove was designed in such a way as to accommodate the original mounting screw locations.  I have rarely had any project go so smoothly and easily.  I am amazed and so very, very grateful.  Thank you for not gratuitously changing the type of elements and connectors and what-not in your ovens, or at least for continuing to provide elements that are compatible with your older models.  You made me feel like a genius in solving this problem, but the real genius is your engineers.  I hope you’re paying them their pensions as you promised them.  They’ve earned it.

P.S. – Your electrical schematics were exactly where you claimed they would be – hidden behind the control panel in a very, very brittle little envelope.  I have no idea what they mean, but I’m impressed that after 50+ years of baking, the schematics were intact and readable.  Impressive!

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