Question about KitchenAid Architect® KEMS378S Electric Oven

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This KitchenAid combination wall oven and microwave unit was purchased in 2002. Except for having to replace a fuse in 2004, it worked fine until the microwave started acting up recently. In September 2010, the latches were replaced by a Kenmore approved service company; but afterward there was a constant humming sound coming from behind the control panel even, when the unit was not in operation. The same service company managed to stop the humming, but less than 2 weeks later the microwave stopped heating, leading to the replacement of the magtube in November. Immediately upon testing the unit with the new magtube installed, my wife discovered that 4 buttons on the touch control panel were no longer functioning (2,3,6,9,oven light buttons); otherwise, the oven and microwave could still be used for cooking. The same repairman returned to fix the control problem, but he only managed to make the control panel go out completely so that nothing works anymore. The error codes are F2-E0 and F2-E1. Another repairman from the same service company determined that the ribbon connection was probably pinched and that the touch panel needs replacing. My questions are: Is this unit worth fixing? Does it appear that the control panel problem was caused by the repairman? The owner of the service company is only offering to return the cost of installing the magtube because he claims the ribbon problem could be a factory defect. KitchenAid is offering a 25% percent discount on the price of a new control panel uninstalled. I know that the microwave is usually the weakest link in a combination unit, but I chose to fix it because it will be costly to fit a separate microwave and wall oven into the existing space. My previous combo-unit was a Magic Chef installed by my home builder, and it lasted almost 20 years! After 8 years, it appears this KitchenAid Superba, supposedly a higher-end brand, might now be ready for the junk heap!

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  • Jack Dec 09, 2010

    I agree with you that the control panel failure was most-likely caused by one of the KitchenAid-authorized repairmen because of the timing of the problem, and so does KitchenAid. The choice I am faced with making now is either to: 1) accept the small refund being offered by the service company, junk my KitchenAid unit, and replace it with something new, OR; 2) make one final attempt to fix my KitchenAid combo by having the control panel replaced. The oven and microwave with its new magtube, after all, were working fine before the panel problem; and successfully replacing the control panel would be much less costly than buying new appliances. My real concern is that replacing the control panel will only lead to more problems. What choice would you make in this situation? Thanks, Jack

  • Jack Dec 10, 2010

    Thanks. Based on your good advice, I will further investigate the repair of the control board.

  • Jack Dec 10, 2010

    Thanks very much Taran. I will approach the service company to see if I can get them to agree to do the repair and guarantee their work as you have suggested. This is highly unlikely, however, because I have discovered that this KitchenAid-authorized service company has an "F" rating by the BBB. So I probably will have to find a new service company to do the work.

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Good Question. I work on all brands of appliances, and I swear by KitchenAid-Whirlpool appliances. That being said, I do not recommend oven-microwave combinations, because the ovens will last 30 to 40 years, but the microwaves start having major repairs from 6-10 years on. I would bite the bullet and put in a separate Panasonic microwave (with an inverter) and a seperate KitchenAid Oven. You also need to install a 2000 Joule or higher surge protector, for your microwave oven. Panasonic microwave ovens are better than the KitcheAid ovens at this time.
I would suspect that the touch panel-control board failure may have been caused by the repairman, just because the timing is a little too close to the mag repair. No way to tell you for sure, and I myself have had control board failures the same day that we changed a light bulb, so anything is possible. Usually a factory defect is going to show up before 8 years. In the last 4 years in the greater Seattle area, 70 - 80% of our business is from power surges hitting the electonics in the different appliances, so this could also have been what has caused your repairs. On a 240 volt Oven, the only way to protect it from power surges is to have a whole-house surge protector installed on your house electrical panel. You still need to have individual surge protectors, above 2000 joules, for your appliances that are 120 volts. Good Luck, Appliance Specialists

Posted on Dec 09, 2010

  • Norm Dickerson Dec 10, 2010

    Good point , with the mag tube and the control board replaced, you will have the two most common and most expensive repairs already completed. If the labor costs to change your board are not too expensive, then it is probably a good use of your money at this time. You of course have to compare the cost of this repair, versus the cost of two new units. You can have more repairs on your microwave oven in the near future, but it is unlikely, as the other components that can fail are not very common repairs. Good Luck, Appliance Specialists

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Hi,

Before i proceed with the detail, i would like to inform you that this is a common error on this model. These both error states that there is either a short keypad or safety flip flop problem.Both the error codes indicate that you need to replace electronic range control ( ERC ) or clock or control board.

Even though it could be due to tech mishandling the oven, the main thing is to choose the path where you could get some benefit. The thumb rule is,if the oven is more than 5 years old and the repair cost is more than half the value of the product, it is wise to invest in new oven. I hate to say, however even though you would spend so many $$$$, you would not get ovens that were used to be 90's. The ovens which are available now a days have an average life span of 10 - 12 years.

This is a myth that replacing the control panel would increase the problems. If the repairman is offering a discount and a warranty that if this problem would not resolve, he would return the money - i would advise to go ahead and get the control panel replace. This is really a common problem on most of the models. If by spending few $$$$, you could use it for few more years, i would rather spend money on repair.The main concern here is, whether the repairman knows what's the exact fault is. Did they check and found that the ribbon connection was pinched or just speculating? This is not uncommon, though unfortunate. I would advise you to speak to the repairman and ask the explanation of what they found. Then, how much they could offer as a discount and would they guarantee that this problem would be resolved by replacing the control panel as there are many things to be checked for this error.If they are willing to offer a guarantee, get the unit repaired.

Let me know,if needed further assistance.

Hope i helped you.

Thanks for using ' Fixya ' and have a nice day!!

PS - Do accept my solution,if you find it of any help so that i could get the credit for my time.

Posted on Dec 10, 2010

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