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Our last stove broke and our landlord had to replace it. We got one from GE Hotpoint and it seems like an OK stove. It's a gas model. We have had it for a few months now but haven't been able to cook in the oven just on the top range.

When we first got the unit it let off smoke and a very odd smell. I read the manual and called GE and they said it was normal and it should stop after a few hours of usage. The cause was the binding agent used in the fiberglass insulation that surrounds the stove. IT burns off or something. The woman recommended we run the stove on 500F or so for a while to just get it over with. We tried this and at first the smell was really bad and it's getting better. But it's been months. We have turned it on for about 6-10 5+ hour runs at around 450-500F. We had to limit ourselves due to wind direction and that somebody is home only 2 times during the week when we can stay with it.

Anyway it's been some months now we still have it. We just had the over on 400, 450 and now 500F for about 5 hours. There's no smoke any more but I can still smell it. I'm afriad to use it to cook with.

Is this really normal and how long does it take to go away for those of you who have had new stoves.

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This apparently is normal for at least some GE ovens, as can be gleaned from Consumer Affairs complaints filed by

In two of the three complaints the smoke became intense enough even to discolor the oven-door glass. (A good deal can be inferred from that, but doesn't need to be gone into here.)

Nonetheless, (as this has been going on for years), with exposure to enough rounds of high heat the adhesive will eventually undergo a phase change (to a solid) and stop creating smoke or even a hint of the former problem. It is a shame that any company would foist such a problem onto the general public, but we're probably right to suppose it will always be a buyer beware marketplace.

Beyond this initial disappointment I hope you get years of pleasure out of your appliance. But in the meanwhile, please do your best to keep yourself or any animals from inhaling these fumes.

[EDIT]

If it is not possible to achieve the required amount of ventilation during the process of burning off the glue, there are a couple of things you can do (short of donning a mask) to make the process bearable and, most importantly, safe.

One is to employ an air purifier proximate to the oven while it's generating fumes. Do a visual check on the smoke to determine whether it's rising (lighter than air) or falling (heavier than air), so that you can be sure to place the purifier as close as possible to the point of aggregation.

The other is to employ an activated carbon felt blanket, perhaps even in conjunction with the air purifier. If used alone, you would cover the stove entirely by tucking it in at the wall, spreading it left and right over the counter tops, draping it to the floor over the front of the oven, and doubling up wherever possible. If used in tandem with an air purifier you would follow largely the same process for the blanket, but would shape it on one of its sides in such a way as to feed the fumes into the purifier.

Air purifiers of course are readily available and come in at a wide range of prices. Activated carbon felt however tends to be a bit pricy and difficult to find. Examples of sellers are here and here. But it may also be possible to locate one through a welding supply store. Just make sure that its carbon is active, not inactive.

The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) specs for activated carbon felt can be found here, and includes the following description,

Activated carbon cloth and activated carbon fabric is characterized by its large adsorption volume, fast adsorption speed, heat resistance, and chemical resistance.

  • Well what are we supposed to do. You can't leave the oven on and we need to stay home with it. We open the window and put in a fan but I am not sure of what else we are supposed to do. – Biff Nov 21 '14 at 4:54
  • I will emend my answer, Biff, to address your deeper concerns. – Tom Raywood Nov 21 '14 at 5:11
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I think your problem might have changed now. Considering you've now burnt off all the left over residue the smell is likely now being caused by the smoke and debris left behind inside your oven. Id be willing to bet if you gave it a good clean over with a bit of soap, then a thorough rinse with just water. You'll find the smell has gone.

Hope this helps.

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We have a GE stove and experienced this the first few times we used it. Our model happened to be self-cleaning so we ran it through a self-cleaning cycle and after that the smell never came back.

  • Well we put it on 500F and only then does it really start to smell. How long did you run it for? We have done it at 500F for probably 15-25 hours total so far. But in bursts. We did it tonight again. 450 for a few hours with little to no smell. The moving it up to 500 and it smelled again. Ran it for maybe 3 hours tonight. – Biff Nov 21 '14 at 4:49
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    Usually the cleaning-cycles run hotter than the normal operation temperatures - like 800F - 1200F depending on the model. And they usually go for a few hours. It could be that at 500F it takes quite a bit longer. – djmadscribbler Nov 21 '14 at 18:49
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At this point, I would try to invoke the manufacturer's warranty. You've already tried patiently going through the burn-in period they recommended.

If they told you the smell would be gone by now, but it's still there, then there could be something else going on that really does need attention. The gas burner could be malfunctioning, possibly releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

You might also contact your local gas utility company and ask them about it. They'll probably come to your home at no charge to test it. If the gas company says there's a problem, then you'll be able to put more pressure on GE to make it right.

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I just received a new cooker today and the guy installing it recommended heating all plates on the hob for 5 minutes on full power, then when it had cooled again, wiping off the residue. And the same for the oven, full power for 30 mins, then wipe all surfaces inside when cool. I'm hoping this will work for me too!

protected by Community Feb 3 '16 at 21:25

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