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Old 02-07-2012, 12:56 PM   #1
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Self-cleaning oven problem


It's a Thermador MSC224 electric oven. It's about 20 years old and everything works fine except for the self-cleaning feature. When I follow the "cleaning" procedure outlined in the owners manual, all goes as the instructions say it should until the point when the heating lamp is supposed to turn red and the heating elements are supposed to start glowing. The fan starts but the oven doesn't get hot. However, I know it's not a bad light or element, because both operate ok when using the oven for baking and broiling. It's a double oven and both malfunction the same way. I've contacted the manufacturer, but they refuse to provide a customer with a service/repair manual. Does anyone have an idea as to what the problem might be?


Last edited by LarryF; 02-08-2012 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Had the wrong model number. MSC224 rather than MSC124.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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Self-cleaning oven problem


It doesn't look like I'm going to get help with the above, but someone else at a different forum suggested the pulser, so I tried to buy one. But that didn't work out too well since the Thermador part number is out of stock everywhere I looked, and it's also not being made any more. I also heard while looking around that Thermador was taken over by Bosch. Bosch has a couple of part numbers that were supposed to be replacements for the Thermador 14-39-030 part that I need, and those numbers are AP2832670 and 415241, but they too are not available. I believe the function of this pulser is to keep the oven at a safe temperature during the self-clean operation (maybe under 1000 degrees), and since self-cleaning ovens are still being manufactured, it seems to me that there must be a replacement component for my Thermador somewhere. Can anyone help me with this by suggesting one?

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Old 02-21-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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Self-cleaning oven problem


Since both of your ovens will not self clean I would also say the pulser is the problem. Thermadore is very good at NLA parts so I believe your probably out of luck. As far as using a pulser from another brand you SOL there also. I can think of no other oven that uses such a system.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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Self-cleaning oven problem


Thanks for the reply, Hardwareman. The other guy who suggested the pulser seems to have the same negative opinion as yours about Thermador, and so does my local appliance repair shop's manager. He couldn't get the part either and suggested I phone Thermador. I did but was out of luck with that as well. But while talking to them it gave me a chance to vent in that I told them about the three consistently poor opinions of them I had received from technicians who service their products. Didn't mean much, of course, but they deserved to hear what I had to say.

The bake and broil elements work in both ovens, so I guess I could latch the door and try to clean with just one of them on. I don't know how hot it has to get inside the oven to do any cleaning, but do you think if I set it up to bake at 550 for a longer period I'd accomplish anything?
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Self-cleaning oven problem


It is a shame but I too think you are better off looking into buying a few cans of Easy Off (or setting a quarter cup of Ammonia in the ovens to see if it works) than hoping for a Thermadore part.

Self-cleaning ovens always scared me as much as high BTU ranges in residential environments not built for the heat.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:33 PM   #6
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Self-cleaning oven problem


no, temp inside the oven has to get over 800 degrees to self clean.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:32 AM   #7
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Self-cleaning oven problem


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It is a shame but I too think you are better off looking into buying a few cans of Easy Off (or setting a quarter cup of Ammonia in the ovens to see if it works) than hoping for a Thermadore part.

Self-cleaning ovens always scared me as much as high BTU ranges in residential environments not built for the heat.
Sure, we've used Easy Off for many years and it works ok, but it's not very pleasant to deal with. It's sodium hydroxide (lye), which not only is poisonous if inhaled and burns the skin badly if it gets on the body. Not too good for eyes either. Never tried the ammonia trick but I may do that some day. I presume one leaves the cup in the oven with heat on for several hours and that softens the deposits so they can be wiped off after the oven cools. At what temperature should the oven be set and for how long? Ammonia fumes probably aren't so healthy either, I would think.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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Self-cleaning oven problem


[quote=LarryF;861122Never tried the ammonia trick but I may do that some day. I presume one leaves the cup in the oven with heat on for several hours and that softens the deposits so they can be wiped off after the oven cools. At what temperature should the oven be set and for how long? Ammonia fumes probably aren't so healthy either, I would think.

Thanks for the suggestion.[/quote]
I have never tried the ammonia trick on the actual oven but would think you would warm the oven but not leave it on unless you can set yours to a very low temp.

I have used ammonia on barbecue grills, stove burner drip pans, oven grills and so forth. 1/4 cup or so of ammonia and the items to be cleaned go in a a contractor bag overnight. Stick the big in the sun to warm everything up. Works great.

Many of the newer oven cleaners are not lye based but still no fun to breathe. And you should wear gloves.

Sorry you cannot find what you need to get your self-cleaning feature working.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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Self-cleaning oven problem


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no, temp inside the oven has to get over 800 degrees to self clean.
And I've heard 900F. I guess they run the elements on full power and the temp. stabilizes because heat in = heat out.
If you can find a switch that handles full oven power that will be your self-clean switch.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #10
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Self-cleaning oven problem


I would certainly never suggest to anyone that it is ok to modify their self clean feature with any switch that might just work.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:49 AM   #11
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Self-cleaning oven problem


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I would certainly never suggest to anyone that it is ok to modify their self clean feature with any switch that might just work.
No, I wouldn't think of doing something like that. In an earlier post you wrote that no other manufacturer uses the same system as Thermador. I presume that means they don't use a pulser, which I think is the devise that limits the oven from going to an unsafe temperature which I presume is something like over 1000 degrees. Do you know how the others do it? I looked at the pulser in my oven and doesn't look like a thermostat, so I don't really understand how it functions to limit excessive temperature. Can you explain?
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:13 AM   #12
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Self-cleaning oven problem


the pulser on your oven works just like the infinite burner switch on the top of a range except it has only 1 setting. Most all stoves today use temp sensors and relays built into the control board to control temps. Back in the day before all the electronic boards they just used a heavy duty relay switch somewhere in the clean circuit controlled by the oven thermostat. I'm not really that much into Thermadors so I do not know for sure how that pulser works any differently than a relay. I would suspect it works exactly the same way.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:06 AM   #13
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Self-cleaning oven problem


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Originally Posted by hardwareman View Post
except it has only 1 setting.
they just used a heavy duty relay switch somewhere in the clean circuit controlled by the oven thermostat.
I do not know for sure how that pulser works any differently than a relay. I would suspect it works exactly the same way.
Does the self clean use a temperature control or does it allow the heaters to run wide open? IIRC the specs for my oven called for 700F to 900F which implies no thermostat control.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 02-24-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:50 AM   #14
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the pulser on your oven works just like the infinite burner switch on the top of a range except it has only 1 setting.
OK, found this on the web regarding infinite burner switches:

Failure Modes
  • The infinite burner switch can fail in two operational modes. If the switch has corrosion, dirt or a loose contact, it can remain on the high setting. If the switch wires have breaks, excessive resistance, burns or direct shorts, the heating element in the oven or stove can fail to turn on.


Sounds like my pulser falls into the category of the last sentence. Has anyone ever had success in taking one of these apart and cleaning it up or repairing "breaks, excessive resistance, burns or direct shorts"?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by LarryF View Post
OK, found this on the web regarding infinite burner switches:

Failure Modes
  • The infinite burner switch can fail in two operational modes. If the switch has corrosion, dirt or a loose contact, it can remain on the high setting. If the switch wires have breaks, excessive resistance, burns or direct shorts, the heating element in the oven or stove can fail to turn on.


Sounds like my pulser falls into the category of the last sentence. Has anyone ever had success in taking one of these apart and cleaning it up or repairing "breaks, excessive resistance, burns or direct shorts"?
Do not try to repair any kind of switch.

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