[homeclinic] Homeclinic'ers, Here's Your DRSNews!

  • From: Dave Harnish <drs@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: homeclinic@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 20:26:56 -0600

The DRSNews
November 2004
Hi Homeclinic'ers!

I apologize for getting this issue out so late! 
November really sneaked up on me, even though 
I'm pedaling as fast as I can. You'll probably notice 
that this issue is shorter than usual, too, but I 
promise to do better next month - 'will even have 
a Christmas present or two for you! 
I hope you have the best Thanksgiving ever! 

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In this issue:
1) How to Calibrate Your Oven's Temperature
2) A Couple of Great Ebay Tools

You'll find back issues of this newsletter here (all the way 
back to the first one, May 2002): 

1) I always find myself calibrating lots of ovens this time of 
year, with Thanksgiving and Christmas closing in. 

That oven that's been a little too hot or that you've had to set 
50 degrees higher needs to be *right* for all the baking you 
see in your near future, and this can be panic time! So I 
thought this night be a good time to go over a couple of the 
basics of oven temp's. 

First, even though electronic controls can be adjusted up or 
down a bit, they rarely need it, so I'll focus mainly on 'analog', 
or 'hydraulic' thermostats here. If it has a rotary knob and no 
digital display, this describes yours. 

If the temperature's 'off' in your electronic control oven , I'd 
contact your local pro, as there are so many different adjustment 
procedures for these, depending on brand, there's not space 
here to get into them.

We will be talking a bit about the various error ('F') codes in 
the electronic range controls next month, though.

Contrary to popular opinion, when you set your oven temp to 
350F, it doesn't heat to 350F and *stay* there. (In a perfect 
world, it would, but in this old fallen one, it just doesn't work 
that way <grin>). 

An oven 'ramps up' in preheat - usually 5 to 10 minutes - to a 
temp that's usually well above the 'set' temp. At 350, for example, 
you'll see the average electric oven heat to around 400F before 
cycling off the first time. 

After preheat, the average 'differential', or range of temp's 
between on and off, will vary from one oven to another. But a 
50 degree F differential is considered very accurate, and even 
electronic controls don't get much better than this in the real 

So what we want at the 350 setting is an *average* of around 
350 or a little less. Ideally, this is an 'on' temp of around 325F 
and back 'off' at around 375F, yielding an average of 350. Setting 
this a bit lower than 350F isn't a bad idea, though. I usually aim 
for an average of 340F or 345F, because it's easier to put your 
food back into the oven for a few minutes if under - done than 
it is opening the door to find a 'burnt offering'. 

OK, so now we know what to 'shoot for', so how do we measure 
the actual oven temperature? Well, let me answer that by telling 
you how *not* to try it. Don't rely on those $2.99 dial - type 
thermometers from the local grocery or hardware store. They're 
never very accurate, and it's pretty much impossible to get a 
good idea what's going on inside the oven using one. 

One note that I'll insert here, before you start: check the 
position of the sensing bulb inside the oven. Make sure it's 
fastened securely in its mounting, usually with two small steel 
clips, and is *not touching the oven wall*. This is very important. 
The tstat senses air temperature, and if its sensing bulb's 
touching metal, the accuracy will be severely 'off' - usually 
averaging very low (electronic sensors are mounted more securely, 
but it pays to take a quick look at one of those before you start, 
too, just to be sure).

The best way to read this accurately is with a remote - reading 
thermometer. And these days, digital ones are very inexpensive, 
and one will last you a *long* time. I've had my old Maytag unit 
for nearly 20 years (!), and use it several  times per week, at least. 
Way back when I bought it, cost was around $70, but these days 
you'll often see temperature capability built into inexpensive 
digital volt-ohm meters. Radio Shack sells them at very reasonable 
cost, as do other retailers, and they work very well. Usually accurate 
to within *one degree F*, which is more than enough accuracy for 
our purposes here. 

When testing, place the end of the meter's thermocouple in the 
center of the oven - I usually twist it around the center of a rack - 
and you watch the temp change up and down with the door closed. 

Allow about an hour to run at least 3 on/off 'cycles' up and down, 
then adjust, and run 2 or 3 more to verify that it's right. 

Write down the 'on' and 'off' temps for several cycles, and divide 
the difference between the two to get the current average.

Adjustment procedures vary widely between brands and models, 
but often you'll see a pair of screws on the back of the tstat  knob, 
and by loosening these the indicator can be rotated to the correct 
setting, matching the *average* on your meter. 

If your tstat knob has no screws, you'll commonly see a tiny screw 
inside the tstat shaft, and this is turned a bit to change setting. 
On most of these, turning that little screw CW lowers temp, CCW 
raises it. The 'trick' is finding (or grinding down) a screwdriver 
small enough to fit. We used to buy them from our parts distributors, 
but I've had trouble finding them the last few years, so have had 
to carefully grind small 'pocket' screwdrivers down to fit. 

If you can't get enough adjustment to bring your oven temp into 
line using the available range on the knob or with that little screw 
(or if the screw's 'frozen' - not uncommon), you'll have to 'bite the 
bullet' and replace either the tstat or the range, I'm afraid. 

If it should come to that, drop me an email with your model number 
and I'll be happy to research one for you. We have some pretty 
good parts sources, and I can get parts to you pretty fast. I get a 
'kick' out of helping handy folks, especially when they realize that 
they actually *can* do way more in this area than they previously 

2)  If you're a member of Ebay (and most folks are these days, it 
seems), here are two resources that I very highly recommend: 

* If you do any selling on Ebay, you'll save yourself a ton of time 
by using one of their selling tools. The (free) one I use daily's 
called 'Turbo Lister', and I don't know how I'd keep up without it. 
A very easy tool to learn, it allows you to save auctions on your 
own computer, modify them, and post them straight to Ebay at 
your convenience, either immediately or at whatever time you 
schedule. (Best time to end auctions is around 10:00PM Eastern 
on Sunday nights, btw).

I have over 150 items saved in TL right now, and it's really 
convenient to open one up, or open a template I've saved earlier, 
modify it, add or change the pictures, and send it - all in just a 
few minutes! Try it! It's a free download: 

* If you run a business and are looking for more advertising 
exposure (who isn't ?!), here's a tool that teaches you how to use 
Ebay to really boost your numbers! 

I highly recommend it - because it's changed my life! A really 
sharp guy named Jim Cockrum has come up with what I call a 
'stupidly simple' system for diverting a portion of all that 
(worldwide!) Ebay traffic over to take a look at your business, 
no matter what it is - works with *any* business - and I can 
testify that it works *great!* And it's perfectly ethical and 
within Ebay's rules and guidelines!

There's another huge benefit from this technique that few people 
'get': When you use this system of advertising, * all of your Ebay 
fees become deductible advertising costs! * (Didja get that?!). 

This saves me a bunch of money every month in fees, AND gets 
me tons of new traffic! (hmmm, maybe I should start charging for 
this newsletter - this information's just too good! <grin>)

Anyway, there's more to it than I can go into here. Get Jim's 
e-book that explains, step by step, how to do it. It's called 'The 
Silent Sales Machine Hiding on Ebay', and it's a very simple 
download: http://hop.clickbank.net/?birdguy/silentsale

And if you need a business to promote using Ebay, retire with, 
then hand down to your kids, all while working from home, this 
is for you:

I save a ton of money every month just by using their 
long distance phone service (I no longer need our 
local phone Co.'s LD). They offer so much for so little, 
I call the Financial Freedom Society the best - kept 
secret on the Net today: http://www.FFSI.com/26556 
(be sure you watch the free 9 minute web-seminar!) 


Thanks again, Homeclinic'ers, for inviting me into your inbox. 

Feel free to invite others to subscribe. They can just email 
me with ?Subscribe DRSN? in the email subject line, or sign 
up here: www.DavesRepair.com  

And as always, if you have any topics you?d like to see 
discussed here or covered in an online article, let me know 
and I?ll do my best to oblige. And don't forget those testimonials! 
Thanks to those of you who've already sent yours in! I'm posting 
them just as fast as I can! 

Happy Thanksgiving! May God richly bless you & yours!


Dave Harnish
Dave?s Repair ServiceNew Albany, PA
(570) 363-2404

Nehemiah 9:6

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