Flush Mounted Ovens: The New Danger Appliance Makers and Dealers Overlook.

Appliance makers have a long history of disregarding safety concerns in order to give customers what they want.

It usually takes a decade of calamities before building code is changed to force appliance makers to address the safety issues that they already know about but simply prefer to ignore.

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For example, professional cooktops and ranges were sold to homeowners for residential use with high powered hoods for about ten years before building code was changed to require a replacement air system for all hoods over 400 CFM’s. Up until the building code was changed in 2011, untold thousands of homeowners and their families were exposed to carbon monoxide pulled back into their homes from their chimney exhaust by the powerful blower’s appliance makers knowingly sold to residential customers. See #7 in this blog from 2015

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Another danger that continues to this day and causes the death of a couple of children each year is ranges installed without an anti-tipping lock. Small children open range doors and stand on the door tipping the appliance on top of them. Although securing all ranges is code it is often overlooked even in appliance showrooms.

The newest danger that is growing in popularity and encouraged by appliance dealers is installing ovens flush mounted with the oven doors even with the face of cabinetry. This gives a custom and seamless look particularly with inset cabinetry, but exactly how dangerous this is haven’t been determined. Most cabinet makers void their warranties when ovens are installed this way and appliance manufacturers make no claim as to safety when their ovens are installed with the door of the oven flush with the face of a cabinet and the seal between the door and the oven box is set behind the face frame of the wooden cabinet. However, appliance centers frequently showcase this look encouraging customers to ask for their ovens to be installed in this manner.

Dangerous flush mounted ovens in full overlay cabinetry
Most dangerous of all. Flush mounted ovens in beaded inset cabinetry. Oven seal is behind cabinet face frame.

It does not take much imagination to foresee the risk of a fire on a flush mounted oven should the seal on the oven door fail when the oven is on. Particularly when the oven temperature is high when broiling or set to the self-cleaning cycle of 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Ovens are designed to mount with the rim around the oven covering the cabinet front and sealing the oven box from the interior of the cabinet such as shown in the photo below.

Safe oven installation with oven seal outside of cabinet.

Cabinet doors and drawer fronts are recommended being over an inch away from the oven for safety. So how can appliance dealers show appliances with the oven seal pressed against the side of the cabinet and the oven box actually behind the face of the framed wooden cabinet? The answer is that unless someone makes a law and changes building code appliance dealers and manufacturers rarely address safety!

Showing this flush mount installation of ovens is irresponsible. Appliance makers surely know this but once again they have put profits above safety.

Hoping your appliance salesperson, kitchen designer and installer protect you from this particularly bad idea.

During these difficult times we wish you a safe and heartfelt . . .

Bon Appetit!

Paul, Julie, Ed, Chris, Lauren, Tom and Stacia.

Main Line Kitchen Design

One Reply to “Flush Mounted Ovens: The New Danger Appliance Makers and Dealers Overlook.”

  1. justaJ

    Thank you for your wonderful article young people especially have this assumption that everything is just really safe if its sold or installed by “pros” and that if you’re looking for dangers and being cautious over certain things sometimes they’ll look at you like you’re being too paranoid when in reality there’s a lot of things to be cautious about that are overlooked and just accepted as a norm. Bottom line is that concerns should be looked into and not ignored simply because one feels too busy to deal with it , get a checklist and put it on your list of things to research later when you have time if that’s your attitude, Chances are you’ll find yourself doing some serious entertainment in the next few days and that time could’ve been used to research the certain kind of safety issues rather than overlooking everything, due to inconvenience: due diligence saves lives. So do guardian angels God bless all!

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