Any suggestions on how to most cost effectively address this issue on an electric stove that's maybe 10 years old, if that?
Have someone check to see if it can be repaired, if not replace it.
Both are cost effective.
I might be in the minority but if it were me I would probably take a look at it and if it wasn't something obvious like a burnt out element I would just replace it. It's going to cost $100 to have a repair man take a look and there is a chance it can't be fixed cost effectively anyhow in which case the $100 is gone. If it can be fixed it will cost probably between $100 and $250 and you'll still have a 10 year old range. For $450 or so you can have a brand new one delivered and be done with it.
Question: how do you know it's only putting out 250 degrees? Is it that the electronic temperature selector won't go any higher, or is it that they're using some kind of thermometer? If the latter, I wouldn't trust that at all. If they insist it won't reach baking temperatures - oven temperatures are known to vary wildly, especially if it's not a convection oven - I would agree to cover the cost of a repair technician if there is a problem found, and charge them if no problem is found - or reimburse them in a similar fashion.
Probably what I would do first is find out why the tenant says the oven only goes to 250 degrees.
Get a used one from Craigslist.
It's 10 years old. IRS prescribed useful life on this is 5 years. That being said, I personally use a stove that's over 30 years old. If you're reserving for repairs appropriately, you should have had this paid for 5 years ago with the money earning interest in the bank. Personally, I would just buy a new stove/oven and be done with it. If you want, you can hire a repair person to fix it...depending on if it's worth fixing. It's up to you...
get the model number and google the problem and pray for a youtube clip.
If this is a standard range but has the heating element "covered" I can almost guarantee that the element has burnt out. If that's the case $20 bucks and approx 4 screws and you're done.
If the heating element is exposed and doesn't show to be burnt out you can use a voltage meter at the contact points of the element and also in the outlet. If they're the same it will be your thermostat. If they're different usually the regulators.
So many good points.
And though the stove is replacement worthy by IRS standards, I'd start with the $7 thermostat.
I would buy a good used one off of craigslist for a couple of hundred. Usually can find excellent prices on units a couple of years old. No reason to put new in rental and a used one will likely last as long as new. I always keep an eye out for used deals and have spares. Make sure all units use basic white appliances. Stay away from glass top units.
I would take the time to test and repair the tenants stove, if possible, and keep it as a spare for future use. Chances are it is simply a dead element or defective thermostat...easy and fast fix to simply swap out unit.
The biggest issue with new appliances is the electronic circuit boards. If it has failed, which is often the case, the stove is junk due to the high cost of replacing the board.
I just replaced the heating element on a oven on a S.F.H I just bought super easy .I talked to my my repairman . he told how to do it .
check you tube with model and what is wrong etc...it can be very help full some times !
Ordering parts on line can be very cheap.
I went to a locale warehouse simply tell them you are company, if you say you are a home owner look out BOOM full retail price.
I Have to add with new stoves the electronic board goes it cost big money.
I avoid bells and whistles on all appliance they tend to go out a lot, the cost to replace is half the value of the dam thing.
Between coordinating with an appliance repair company and finding one that is actually competent enough to show up you are better off buying a new one for $400 rather than the headache of coordinating a $150-$250 repair with no guarantee the repair will hold up.
Here in Connecticut we have scratch and dent stores and they can be a good source for appliances. Also, I bet Lowes or HD has some sort of holiday sale. Just make it so it is being delivered for you and make sure you verify they will take the old stove. Most do, you just want to double check.
I have surprised myself with my ability to fix appliances by looking at the videos at Appliance Parts Pros. So visit this site, see if you can get a good idea of the problem and potential fix. You will get the cost of replacement parts. I am willing to try to fix any appliance that I can unplug!
However, I would probably just replace a 10 year old oven.
Situations like this are the reason that pro active landlords have lower repair costs and happier tenants. I often get next to new appliances for next to nothing (some free) and by having spares available to me I never have to worry about emergency repairs. Swap out and repair later. Less expense, lower stress, happier tenants.
If you are a small investor with less that 10 doors this is the easiest method of maintaining units. Standardise the size of your appliances, avoid all bells and whistles and simply have a spare stove, fridge, washer, dryer etc. available to do a switch. Cost savings by buying used and repairing appliances after you switch them out is considerable. Your full inventory of spare appliances can cost under 1K to set up and maintain. The savings in time alone to get a tenant back in service is worth the effort. This obviously is geared toward those that self manage. Those with a PM simply write checks.
If you value your time, buy a new one.
Penny pinching on craigslist is time consuming.
Thanks for all the feedback. Here's a video I'm using for this model to try to diagnose it myself
@John Kim When done in advice it is no more time consuming than buying new and 99% of the time when purchased on your own time schedule are as good as new at a small fraction of the cost. Not penny pinching it is reusing/recycling for penies on th edollar.
Nothing wrong with buying new. New is better suited to arm chair investors that do not wish to put the additional effort into saving money.
This is likely the heating element. Easy 10 minute fix, 2 screws or 4 screws and the part is like 20 bucks. Do it yourself, you tube it! :)
I have read all the replies.... so far I have no idea why anyone would want to even bother purchasing a new stove when the cost of all repair parts are under $100. So you could try replacing all the parts and either have a stove that's good as new for under 2 hrs of repair work for a novice or 30 minutes for someone with experience.
Go to the rental and turn the oven on.
Once it heats up past 200 degrees open the oven door.
If you look at the bottom of the oven compartment you will see the element bright red.
If you look up at the top of the stove you will see another element that will be bright red.
They are bright red because they are hot. Don't touch them.
If both are red hot the oven is working great and your tenants brain is the issue.
If one of the two elements is red and the other is not, the one that is not red is a bad element.
Go to applianceparts.com and order the element for under $25.00.
It will be two bolts and removing the back of the oven cover to replace.
And you can YouTube how to replace if needed.
Tell them that it is a special "Sous Vide Oven!"
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