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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Burning down the house

... well almost!

We have this microwave/hood combo unit in our new house which sits above the stove. We wanted to remove it and thought it shouldn't be too difficult. It's not rocket science, right? Ha! Boy were we wrong. We couldn't figure it out after wrestling with it for a while. There were 3 long screws holding it from the top. When we removed these 3 screws, the microwave/hood did not seem to want to budge much. What was holding it up? We removed several screws from the bottom to see what would be revealed by doing that. The metal plate on the bottom just swivels downwards, it's still attached at the back end. It looks like it hooks onto the metal backing that's stuck on the wall. Still not sure how the thing is held up. So we had to admit defeat. We'll let the experts remove the microwave/hood and install the new hood sans microwave.

The microwave/hood is really gross. There's thick sticky grease all over the thing. It's on the inside and outside. And it's way beyond trying to clean it. The inside of the bottom metal plate was completely covered in grease, and so was the fan directly above it. It was just gross gross gross. There's grease stuck on the insides of that cabinet just above the microwave/hood. Yuck...

We have discovered that we ARE capable of burning down the house though. We nearly started a fire while attempting to remove this microwave/hood combo. We had a plastic sheet and a big cardboard box on top of our electric stove at the time and we somehow accidentally turned on the front right burner. We thought it smelled like something was burning while we were futzing with the microwave/hood. We were puzzled, until we discovered that one of the stove burners was ON! We had melted plastic on the stove top and there was a huge black spot on the cardboard box. We set aside the cardboard box, removed the unmelted portion of plastic, and continued futzing with the microwave/hood. A while later, I decided to take a look at the cardboard box which had the black spot facing the wall (away from us) and I noticed that there was now a BIG hole where the black spot used to be. And the edges around the hole was still smoldering!!! There was just the faintest bit of redness around the edges, and the hole was slowing growing. Eeeks! It's a good thing we looked at the box before leaving the house. It would have been a bad thing to come back to the house on Sunday to find it burned down.

The photo above shows the damage on the stove top. This was not exactly the way I imagined breaking in the new stove...

Here's what the burnt box looks like.

We came back to the house on Sunday thinking we'd paint the wall where we had our pocket door removed. You can see what the wall looks like here. The only difference now is that there is some white stuff covering up the seams and where the nails were put in. But by the time we got to the house, we decided that we didn't have enough time to do everything (sand, clean, mask area, primer, wait for it to dry, paint the wall, wait for it to dry, mask area, primer/paint trim around the door) before we had to go back and pick up M from the inlaws.

So I spent some time scraping off the melted plastic on the stove top. Fortunately I had a straight edge razor blade. I have never had one of these glass top stoves and was worried about scratching or breaking the surface. It turned out to be a pretty tough surface, however I couldn't avoid some scratches on the surface from my attempt to remove all that plastic. And there's also discoloration in some areas too. It's kinda hard to see the scratches and discoloration in the photo below. Sigh... this wasn't exactly the way I envisioned cleaning my stove top for the very first time.

I'm starting to wonder if I could ever learn how to cook on an electric stove like this. I mean, it looks like I can't spill anything on the surface. What if something bubbles over? Then I'll have a sizzling mess?? I've always had a gas stove where I didn't have to worry too much about spillovers, they weren't that difficult to clean afterwards. I'm not sure how that works on an electric stove while you're trying to cook something. It's not like you can stop what you're cooking, wait for the surface to cool before cleaning the mess, and then try to resume cooking. Hmm...

DH spent some time removing old caulk on 3 sides around the kitchen sink, and then putting in new caulk. I took a few photos, but they're not very interesting to look at. You can see the color of my kitchen counter top. I hate it. It's so blah...

Of course we moved more boxes to the new house on both Saturday and Sunday. I managed to line more shelves in the kitchen and closets which meant I could unpack a few more boxes. So I felt good about getting that done. Some of M's things went into her closet shelf. Some of my things went into my closet shelf. And misc stuff went into the other bedroom/hallway closet shelves in an attempt to make space in the family room. It was getting crowded in there, and we needed to make space for the FixIt Team to come in and do the electrical upgrade on Monday. I still need to line a few more shelves in the kitchen. Need to get more shelf liner...

Well, that was my weekend in a nutshell. Where did my personal time go? Very little knitting this weekend. I only managed to knit a few rows of this purple scarf while in the car. I couldn't knit while trying to talk and keep DH awake while driving.


4 stitch(es):

Becca said...

Oh, I know all about how to take down a microwave after the time we had ANTS all over ours! Nothing like trying to wrestle all those screws out with ants crawling on you.

I have a stove top like that also. It's great in that you can use it as an extra counter top, but I have melted 2 cutting boards, a nearly full container of butter (what a mess), a spoon handle, and a Target bag. Once the burner cools, stuff scrapes off okay.

My kids use the stove, so things boil over all the time. I have found that a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and some elbow grease will pretty it right up. Be careful, my burners stay hot for quite a while after I turn them off.

I hope the rest of your moving in goes well!

Anonymous said...

How awful! You have enough to deal with, moving into your new home!

Chrissy said...

Oh man! That sound awful! At least there wasn't a fire. Look at it this way, it'll make a great story to tell in a few years.

hakucho said...

Gosh..I'm so glad you didn't burn your new house down! Sorry about the damage to your new stove. I'm a gas stove person...I don't think I could ever get used to gas.

I HATE those over the stove microwaves. When we remodeled our kitchen we thought it was a good thing. When the first one died, we foolishly replaced it. Then last fall that one died too. Now we have a rolling cart with our new "cheap" microwave. I'll never ever put one over the stove again!!

Good luck with everything :)