Repair-Prone Kitchen Ranges

With the holidays coming, every cook needs a reliable stove. But Consumer Reports' survey of its readers finds some brands have been much more likely to break down than others.

Repairman Vinnie Giordano says ranges always seem to stop working just when you're about to cook a big dinner.

Giordano says, "People call in a panic because their stove's been broken. They want to get it fixed as quickly as possible."

Consumer Reports' survey covering more than 67,000 gas and electric ranges bought in the last five years finds big differences in reliability.

For instance, popular brands like KitchenAid and Jenn-Air were among the most repair-prone.

Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman of Consumer Reports says, "We do this survey every year, and while we don't have repair histories of individual models, we've found you're much less likely to need repairs if you buy from a brand with a good record of reliability."

The most reliable electric ranges: Hotpoint, General Electric, and Whirlpool.

And if you're in the market for a gas range, among the most reliable have been Hotpoint, GE, and Kenmore.

What about pro-style ranges that can cost thousands? Consumer Reports surveyed more than 500 of its readers who own one.

Lehrman says, "The repair-rate is significantly higher for these expensive ranges. Of those bought in the last five years, more than a third needed to be repaired. And nine percent of them needed to be repaired three times or more."

That means you'll have less chance of needing Vinnie if you skip a pro range and get a regular stove from one of the more reliable brands.

Consumer Reports says repairs for pro-style ranges averaged a hundred dollars more than those for standard stoves. And it was also harder to find a qualified repair person for the pricier ranges.

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