Unlocking a Self Cleaning Oven

Alright. Let’s file this one under miscellaneous.

My wife and I have a Sears Kenmore Elite Electric Oven. It has a glass top and it is self cleaning. The model number, if it helps, is 911.99003991. We ran the oven through a self clean cycle a couple of days ago and after the cycle was finished, the door would not open. The “Locked Door” text was steadily lit. We let the unit cool down. Still the “Locked Door” text was lit. The door was indeed locked. My wife is a baker. I had a new item to add to my “honey do” list. So I did the next obvious thing in the developed world… I searched for a solution on the web. I’m writing this post for those that try the solution at the URI listed in the following paragraph.

Several articles pointed to this solution from applianceAid.com:

The article suggests several options for troubleshooting this problem. The easiest was to unplug the unit and then plug it back in again. That did not work — the first time. I unplugged the unit, waited several minutes, plugged the unit back in, set the clock, and pulled on the door. Nothing.

Then I had a flash of insight. What if the mechanism is simply stuck and needs a little help? I tried it again. I unplugged the unit, and waited a few minutes. This time however, I proceeded a bit differently. Rather than plugging it back in immediately, I started pushing and pulling the door handle (vigorously). I reasoned that if the mechanism was controlled by a solenoid and depended on electricity to function, then removing the electric current would release the mechanism unless there was a mechanical lock. If the gizmo was simply stuck because of a layer of baked on oil or grease, then jarring it would release it (perhaps). So I jarred it – repeatedly. Not in a maniacal sort of way, but determined. I felt it starting to give way. I felt it open. Success.

Next, I plugged it back in. The “Locked door” message was flashing. I pressed and held the Clear/Off button. The Locked Door text went out.


My wife is now happily baking again. I think we will investigating an alternate approach to cleaning the oven in the future.

A note on citations: Giving credit where credit’s due

I’m seeing many instances where students are providing opinions, definitions, and other data on topics without citing the source(s) of their information. In some cases they don’t seem to understand the necessity. Mashups are common in today’s creative environment. Opinion based commenting is common on discussion forums without regard to citing the origin of the data. Also, some students think that everything is editorial – that they are simply answering a question based on their knowledge without regard to where that information originated. If it’s in their heads, it belongs to them.

Right? Wrong? Who cares? Your reader… that’s who.

In any academic or professional writing it is important to properly cite your resources if you are not the originator of that thought. Why? Because the reader wants to know that what they are reading can be trusted. If you are not an expert on the subject and the information that you are so confidently passing on is coming from another source, you are implying that your source of information is accurate. Maybe your right. Maybe your wrong. Maybe your source has no clue as to what they are talking about.

Sometimes finding the reliable source of information is like playing the old game telephone. One person whispers a sentence into the ear of the person next to them. That person then whispers what they thought they heard into the hear of the next person. After this behavior is repeated several more times, the end person states what they heard. You then compare that information with the original and compare.

Without properly citing a source of information, it is difficult to confidently repeat that data. You are trusting that your source has done the research and can defend their conclusion. Which is fine as long as you understand the limitations of your knowledge and let your reader know that the expertise does not rest in you. It rests in another. And in there lies the power of citation. It allows you to admit your limitations and still use the information for your argument even though you may not have the expertise to thoroughly defend it. You borrow your source’s expertise. Your off the hook – more or less.

Assuming you feel any sense of responsibility for distributing accurate information or have an inclination to help your reader know where the expertise lies (so they can make a reasonable conclusion), a method for accomplishing this is well established. In written communication, properly citing a source depends on the medium in which the source resides; i.e. a book, article, electronic format, or web URI. One accepted method can be found at the following URI (Links to pages on how to format references can be found at the bottom of the page.):


Additional Reading

Lamb, Brian (2007), Dr. Mashup or Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix, EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 42, no. 4 (July/August 2007): 12–25, http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/DrMashuporWhyEducatorsSho/44592