How Safe Is Your Oven Door? Exploding Oven Door Glass Is More Common Than You Think!

Is your oven door about to explode?

I received a call to do a cleaning on a KitchenAid double wall oven where the inside glass panel on the oven door exploded for no apparent reason. Upon arrival, a majority of the glass was cleaned up but there was still a lot of small pieces of glass imbedded into every crevice as well as the interior of the oven was coated with a fine layer of glass dust and particulates. The owners stated they had some remodeling work done recently and the contractor turned the ovens self clean mode on when the glass exploded. My first reaction was the contractor did something to cause this but the owner stood firm as this was not the case.

While I hadn’t personally seen the glass on an oven door shattered before, I have heard of it happening. In my research to see what would cause this it came to light that this is a more common issue than I realized. But how does this happen – how can the glass explode for no apparent reason? Isn’t the glass tempered and supposed to be stronger than normal glass?

Is it common for oven door glass to explode for no reason?

I did some research online and could not find an exact number of complaints filed each year. There didn’t seem to be one manufacturer with more complaints over another or if it was more common for the interior glass to explode over the exterior glass or vice-verse. While there appears to be no centrally documented place where the majority of complaints are made, I did notice there are hundreds of complaints littering the web from people with all the same testimonial of hearing an explosion in their kitchen and finding a million pieces of glass all over their kitchen floor. A few complaints that the glass exploded during the self clean mode while quite a few complained the glass exploded when they hadn’t even used the oven in a few days.

In a consumer news brief by KOMO Channel 4 News in Seattle they state “Repair experts point out that the number of glass shattering cases is relatively small compared to the millions of ovens on the market. But, given the pages of federal incident reports, consumer who’ve dealt with the problem wonder why there have been no safety alerts.”

What is tempered glass?

The glass on your oven door is tempered. Tempered glass by definition according to the National Glass Association (NGA) “A strong break-resistant type of safety glass that, if broken, shatters into small granular pieces. Glass heat-treated to withstand greater than normal forces on its surface” Uhh..sure, that explains a lot!? How about – Tempered glass is manufactured using high heat and a rapid cool down making it four to five times stronger than normal glass. When tempered glass breaks it is designed to “explode” into small oval-shaped pebbles or pieces instead of shards. Tempered glass can withstand high heat and heavy loads but can also be very brittle especially around the edges and when subjected to blunt force from something with a point.

What causes tempered glass to break?

During the process of tempering the glass is heated upwards of 720 degrees and rapidly cooled using cool air to change its molecular structure. It is not uncommon for the glass to develop small unseen stress fractures during this process. These stress fractures may break during the tempering process or may never break, there’s just no guarantee what will happen or when.

What are the manufacturer’s doing about this?

The typical universal statement will be “We take consumer safety serious”; sure you are but what are you doing about it? Other than “looking into the matter” and in a few cases replacing the glass for free, they are basically doing nothing about it. Why? Because there isn’t anything they can do about it; they have no control over the glass making process nor can they guarantee the glass won’t ever break.

Check your owner’s manual Care and Use guide. The manufacturers have included a statement essentially stating the glass would be replaced if damaged within the first year of installation but after that it would be considered customer failure and abuse and all costs to replace the glass would fall upon the owner.

How can you prevent glass breakage?

You can’t fix what you can’t see right? While there are may not be anything you can do due to the unforeseen stress fractures in the glass, you can help prevent creating new fractures or help prevent the existing fractures from expanding by:

  • Don’t slam or let the oven door slam closed
  • Make sure the racks are fully pushed in before closing the door
  • Don’t drop hard or sharp objects on the door when its open (I know, stupid comment)
  • If the edges of the glass are exposed on the outside of the door make sure you protect them from pots and pans or hard objects.
  • Don’t drip cold liquids onto the glass when it’s hot.
  • Don’t use your self-clean feature (Yes, I said it!)

*The self clean mode heats the oven upwards of 900 to 1200 degrees (glass is tempered at roughly 720 degrees) The high heat of the self clean mode may affect the structure of the glass over time if you use your self clean mode frequently.

Nobody intends to accidentally drop anything on their oven door or hit it with a sharp object but know that if you do, you might not cause or see any damage today but one day your glass may explode for no apparent reason and you can look back and wonder.

What to do if your oven door glass explodes

  1. Take pictures of the damage and surrounding area
  2. Call the manufacturer and file a complaint
  3. File a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission
  4. If your oven warranty has expired, be prepared to pay for the replacement yourself.
  5. Thoroughly vacuum and deep clean your oven by hand. Do not use the self clean mode with the glass missing! There may be chunks of glass in between the door and cabinet frame, glass dust and small particulates inside the convection fan cover or coating the upper heating element. You want to make sure no glass residue gets into your food.

Conclusion

If you are in the market to purchase a new oven I highly recommend reading online reviews or getting a copy of Consumer Reports and researching what other buyers are saying. Sure, there may be an oven you have your mind set on because it looks nice or has some bells and whistles but if there are a lot of complaints than maybe you should be looking at a different model.

Have you ever experienced your oven door glass exploding? If so, tell me about it and what did you do to get it replaced?

This article references these sites and reports;

http://www.komonews.com/news/consumer/Exploding-oven-doors-Isolated-incident-or-greater-safety-concern-179774651.html?tab=video&c=y

Step-By-Step Instructions Of Glass

Glass – How to Buy It

A homeowner can get a lot for his money or a little when he buys glass for windows, doors or partitions. But if he knows which glass will do what, and how to buy it, he won’t pay double or triple prices for plate glass when he could have used heavy sheet glass, nor will he waste money by ordering glass by the sheet when he could have used a case.

Window glass, also called sheet glass, is the most commonly used in the house. In fact before glass walls and picture windows were used it was usually the only kind. It comes in two thicknesses, single strength and double strength; and in two qualities, A and B.

Grades A and B differ only in the number of small defects and waves. However, the difference is not ordinarily noticeable, and many dealers don’t even stock A quality because they do not believe that it is worth a 25 % premium.

Whether to use single or double strength depends mainly on window size. A good rule to follow is to use double strength for anything over about two feet square. How large can double strength glass be? If winds don’t exceed 70 m.p.h., double strength glass may be used in sizes up to 38″x48″, or 34″x72″.

The next price jump to crystal sheet or plate glass is very sharp. If you want a window wall consider the possibilities of working it out using the indicated dimensions of double strength instead of plate glass. This can be most attractive and at about one-fourth the cost. Go right across the room with 30″x72″ double-strength glass placed vertically. The distance of approximately 30″ to the floor can be plain wall or used for built-in bookcases, cabinets or ventilating louvers.

Case Lots

Buying window glass by the case is one way to save money. Glass by the case doesn’t cost much more than half as much as by the sheet. It’s also easier to handle. At economical prices you can afford to use glass liberally in anything you build or remodel or enclose. And, buying by the case does not mean you’re stockpiling it for years to come. Usually a case of window glass is whatever number of sheets comes nearest to totaling 50 square feet. Cases of very large sheets contain 100 square feet.

Crystal sheet, which is heavy window glass of good quality, is the economical thing to buy when the opening is too big for double strength.

Plate glass, which is polished to optical perfection, may be 1/8″ thick or for a big view window, 1/4″ thick. If you have a long-distance view through your window, you will need plate glass. Otherwise you can use crystal sheet; for short distances you will never notice the slight waviness.

For plate and usually crystal sheet, in sizes too big for you to handle and too expensive for you to risk breaking, you must figure on paying a higher installed price, which includes an expensive labor cost.

Heat-absorbing plate glass, while no substitute for air conditioning, does screen out approximately 29% of the sun’s heat. It is used in west windows of seaside homes, as well as in car windows. It costs about 5/2 times as much as regular plate glass.

Obscure glass is used where you want light but no visibility. For example, a wall of it might be just the thing for a basement recreation room where part of the basement is used as a garage or workshop. For this you would need the thick kind, say 3/8″.Thinner figured glass serves for entrance panels, cupboard doors and shower enclosures.

Transparent mirror glass is often used for one-way vision in entrance doors. Ready-made it is extremely expensive, but a glass dealer who makes mirrors can usually prepare it for you at about half the price.

Insulating glass is the modern, superior replacement for ordinary windows plus storm sash. Like any insulation, it usually pays for itself over the years in fuel savings as well as comfort. It consists of two or three panes sealed in units, with air spaces between the panes. A typical double glazed unit has two sheets of 1/4″ plate glass with a 1/2″ air space between. Originally all insulating units were made of plate glass, but it is now made in window glass as well. Unless you need large windowpanes, you can save about one- third by using the window glass kind.

Glass Blocks

In the long list of building materials, glass blocks rank as one of the most versatile. They can be used for exterior as well as interior walls or for partition walls that do not go entirely to the ceiling.

Glass blocks provide light plus privacy. They come in many sizes and shapes and there are special blocks made to control the sun. Furthermore, glass blocks are easy to maintain and special units are available to provide ventilation through glass block walls.

Glass blocks can be installed within a wooden frame or in a bed of mortar. Once you understand how to set class blocks in mortar – a project you might want to undertake to replace an existing basement window with glass blocks – then you will be able to handle glass blocks within a frame inside the house. Literature on interior framing of glass blocks is readily available from glass block manufacturers.

How to Work with Glass Block

The proper mortar materials and mix are important whether for laying bricks or glass blocks.

The proper mortar materials are Portland cement, hydrated lime, sand, water, and waterproofing compound. The addition of an integral water-proofer of the water-repellent type is an added measure to insure watertight joints. Manufacturer’s specifications concerning the use of this material should be followed very closely. Where a waterproof masonry mortar is used, no additional water-proofer should be added to the mix. For better results, accelerators and antifreeze compounds should not be used.

ACCURATE MEASUREMENT

The accurate measurement of materials is important. Generally a 1-1-4 mortar mix is satisfactory. However, reasonable variations from the mix are permitted and allowable limits are covered by manufacturer’s specifications.

MORTAR CONSISTENCY

The consistency of the mortar mix has a direct bearing on the strength and weather-proof ness of the joints. Since glass blocks have no suction like bricks, the mortar must be drier… it should not flow or have too much slump. Too wet a mix makes it extremely difficult to get proper alignment of block joints, and cleaning time is greatly increased. The mix should he not too dry, not too wet, but just right. Here is a good thing to remember: Do not re-temper mortar after the ┬íniti.il set has taken place.

PANELS OF GLASS BLOCK 35 SQ.FT. OR LESS

In this type of construction the maximum area is 35 square feet with maximum width 5′ and height 7′. The general practice is to use an expansion space at the side jambs of all glass block panels. However, for small panels as illustrated here the blocks can be mortared in solid at the side jambs. It is necessary, however, to keep a finger space between brick withes about 3/4″ deep. This allows the mortar to key in at jamb and secure panel.

Glass block panels, regardless of area or size, are nonload bearing and require space at the head to take care of expansion and lintel deflection.

PANELS OF GLASS BLOCK BETWEEN 25 AND 100 SQ.FT.

Where it is desirable to show the full face of the block panel, chases cannot be used for lateral support. Proper support can be obtained by using wall anchors if the area is not over 100 square feet and neither panel dimension is over 10′. The wall anchors should be spaced 24″ apart – and occur in the same joint as the wall tie. To permit free movement of the panel, the anchors are crimped or bent in the expansion space. As a space for calking must be provided, a standard expansion strip is easily cut to 3″ width to be inserted between the anchors with gobs of asphalt emulsion. Local code authorities in some areas may restrict the use of wall anchor construction.

Glass Cutter

This tool is used to cut glass to size. Usually, a glass cutter has a small rotary wheel or diamond set in the handle.

There are also glass cutting bits for drilling holes in glass. These special bits require the use of a lubricant while cutting. It is best to make a ‘well’ or ‘dish’ around the spot to be drilled by using putty to form the walls. Then pour a little turpentine or oil into the ‘dish’ to lubricate the bit while it is cutting through the glass.

Glass Cutting

While you can usually buy glass cut to size, there are times when it is necessary to cut the glass yourself. When you watch an expert cut glass, it looks easy enough. Well, here’s how to cut glass like an expert.

All you need is a quality glass cutter, a straightedge and some lubricating oil.
It is essential that the glass be perfectly clean. Wipe the surface off with a clean cloth for any dirt or a film over the glass will prevent the glass cutter from making a uniform cut.

Using a Handmade Glass Sink in the Bathroom – Combining Art & Function

All About Glass Sinks

The hottest trend in bathroom design today is the handmade glass sink – often referred to as a glass vessel sink – which has become the latest must-have for luxury homeowners. Combine the versatility in color and design offered by glass with the vessel mount trend and it’s no wonder that our company, Glass Artists Gallery, can barely keep up with demand. Vessel-mounted, fused, slumped, mosaic, under-mounted and hand-blown sinks have even influenced the faucet manufacturers’ designs because of their unprecedented popularity.

We find ourselves answering questions and dispelling myths surrounding sinks just about every day. This article was created to answer some of the more common questions such as “What is a handmade sink?” “Are they expensive?” “What are the differences in the glass sinks I see in the showrooms and online?” “Are they durable?”

Types of Glass Sinks

To better understand the three main categories of glass vessel sinks, it helps to understand the three main types of glassmaking:

Cold Glass — Working with glass at room temperature. Examples are mosaic glass, stained glass, glass carving and etching.

Warm Glass — The process of fusing, slumping or other kiln forming techniques at temperatures between 1100 and 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hot Glass— The process of blowing glass using a furnace that melts the glass at 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the glass is gathered on the end of a pipe, the artist forms the hot glass using a “Glory Hole” (an oven that maintains a temperature of around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit). The resulting work is then slowly cooled in an annealing oven.

With the above in mind, there are three main categories of artisan crafted glass sinks you will find at Glass Artists Gallery:

Fused & Slumped — Glass fusing is the process of joining together pieces of glass. When the right kind of glass is heated and then cooled properly, the resulting fused glass piece will be solid and unbroken. Using fusing techniques, the artist creates patterns and designs in color. The resulting sheet of fused glass is then slumped into the vessel shape. In the slumping process the glass is laid into, or on top of a mold and heated just to the point where it “Slumps” to fit the form of the mold. Once the glass reaches the desired form it must be cooled quickly enough to stop the movement that will result in cracking. Although this might sound simple, the resulting sinks can be quite intricate in their design and require hours of painstaking labor.

Blown Glass — Hand blown glass sinks are created through a much different process. This “hot glass” process allows an artist to create myriad different styles, colors, shapes and sizes that are always unique. Layers of glass are “gathered” onto the end of a “rod” or “pipe” and formed, blown and worked into a vessel shape. Color is applied in many different forms at the beginning of the process. Once finished, the piece is “annealed” for a minimum of 48 hours for maximum durability. Due to variations in the glass blowing process, every sink will be unique.

Mosaic Glass — Pieces of hand-cut colored art glass are adhered to the inside surface of a 1/2″ thick annealed glass bowl. Annealing is a process of bending the glass at extremely high temperatures to assure durability of use in the most extreme temperature conditions. The sink is then grouted with a specially mixed blend of sand and tinted cement, then sealed and finished with a protective clear polymer coating to create a smooth surface which is colorful, sturdy, easy to care for and a breathtaking focal point for any bathroom.

Handmade or Production?

As you can see from the types of glass sinks that are available, you have many different choices for incorporating a stunning centerpiece in the bath. The choice you will need to make is whether you want an original “work of art” – an artisan created sink – or a “factory produced” glass vessel. The trend in glass sinks has created a flood of offshore imports that are now available. We liken the current choices to the art world where you can find original art as well as “prints” or “reproductions”. Production sinks made in a factory are mass produced generally using single sheets of glass. Many are painted with a design. Few, if any, are truly “slumped & fused”.

Durability of Glass Sinks

How do we, as glass specialists, reassure the end user of a glass sinks durability? The analogy I use is that the glass sinks we sell are made by professionals and are able to withstand similar abuse as a porcelain sink. In other words, if you drop a heavy object into a glass sink with enough force to break it, you would have also broken a typical porcelain sink. They both have similar strength characteristics.

The difference between these two materials is that glass is more prone to “thermal shock”. Thermal shock can occur when there is a sudden temperature change of more than 70 degrees. For example, you don’t want to pour scalding hot water (over 120 degrees) into a glass sink. Hot water from the tap is generally 100 – 110 degrees, so the temperature difference is well within the safe zone. The most common occurrences of thermal shock happen when a sink is left on a jobsite where the temperature is unregulated.

When installing a glass vessel sink, be sure your contractor knows that thermal shock can be a problem if the jobsite is not yet heated. In addition, make sure they know that the drain assembly should be hand tightened only. Over-tightening the drain is the second most common cause of breakage.

At Glass Artists Gallery, our clients use glass sinks not only in the powder room, but also in the master bath, guest baths and even children’s baths. When treated and installed properly, they are durable, safe and fantastic design options. With proper lighting, they will “glow” and cast wonderful light and shadow effects throughout the bath. They will certainly set your project apart!

To see all of the glass sinks available, as well as artisan crafted sinks in other mediums including stone, metal, ceramic and even wood – please visit Sinks Gallery