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What I've learned about Bluestar in 5 years

posted by: keitel on 12.29.2012 at 02:14 pm in Appliances Forum

If pushed, they will support their product 100%. 5 years past purchase and following my 2nd very frightening arcing spark show in my kitchen, along with a very, very long list of other problems, they replaced my range. While it happened to take them 5 weeks to do so after agreeing to do it - during which time I had no oven - for this action I am truly grateful.

In 5 years, here's what's changed on the range - some things improved, some things the same, and some things actually worse:

1. The burners are still amazing, and are now improved with the individual burner ignition system. What was always best about the BS is now better.

2. Right out of the box the oven is a truly consistent performer. I've always had total faith in the calibration of BS and based on early tests and use, this hasn't changed. I do love that reliability.

3. The range looks a bit better than it used to. The kick plate is more tightly manufactured and squared off in a way that looks slicker. The island trim has also changed and looks better.

4. There are now 2 separate metal inserts that sit on the drip tray which, I think, eliminates the need for tinfoil. These inserts can now be removed and cleaned, and because they're each half the size of the total drip tray they'll fit into the sink.

5. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but the door is even hotter than it used to be. And, generally speaking, the door feels flimsy, and is indeed, now completely hollow. The glass is loose and rattles and the trim on the outside of the glass does not fit snugly. The old doors (all 3 that I went through) felt more solid and well-built.

6. I can't believe I'm going to say this too, but the knobs now get very hot while the oven is in use. This never, ever happened with my old range. This sucks.

7. The convection fan on the new range sounds awful. Buzzing and rattling to the point that it rattles the lids on pots on the stove top. This is sad as I had to have the convection fan on the old range replaced for the very same reason. Sigh.

8. There still seems to be a problem with final quality control at the company. Right out of the box one of the trim circles around one of the burner knobs is totally loose and moves around. I am mystified by the release of products from a factory with such obvious flaws.

Anyway, ultimately a good news story with a dose of reality.

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clipped on: 01.04.2013 at 12:42 pm    last updated on: 01.04.2013 at 12:43 pm

How to hotrod a Bluestar RCS model

posted by: mojavean on 03.04.2011 at 01:33 am in Appliances Forum

For those of you with the older RCS model Bluestar ranges with the single 18k btu burner in the right front hob, you can upgrade that burner to a 22K Ultranova by simply replacing the burner orifice (sometimes referred to as a spud.) with one with a tiny bit larger hole. The 18k Supernova burner has a 48 gauge drill size orifice and the Ultranova 22k uses one with a 47 gauge hole. You can find the equivalent drill sizes in both metric and English via Internet search engine.

The newest models of RCS ranges do not have the 18K burner. In that case, owners will have to order an upgrade kit from Bluestar. The parts are as follows:

Burner #729801 $77.57

Gasket #734301 $3.52

Orifice #709548 ~$11.00 (it's ten and change and I can't remember the change!) Note, this is the 18K - 48 gauge orifice. If you want the 22 then tell them to send you that instead.

NOTE: THIS ORIFICE IS FOR NATURAL GAS ONLY! Do not order this orifice if you use LP. The orifice will be a different size.

There are some service videos on this page that will show the general layout of the burners and how to remove them for the swap.

The videos don't cover replacing the orifice, but it is easy. The burner feed tubes fit right over the orifices, so they are fairly easy to see if you peek in from the top looking toward the front of the machine.

You need a 7/16" deep well socket and about a 6" extension.

Slide the socket over the orifice until it is captured. Attach your ratchet and unscrew it. Note how hard it was to remove the old orifice. (not hard)

Next, put the new orifice in the socket and using only your fingers and the extension, finger tighten the new orifice on the gas nipple. Only after the threads are started correctly should you use the ratchet to finish tightening the new orifice. Don't over-torque. The orifice is brass and you do not want it deformed or or the threads damaged in any way.

With that burner head you will be able have either an 18 or 22kbtu burner, depending on the orifice.

If you choose the 47 gauge example you will be doing the Ultranova, Baby.

Photobucket

By the way, I would like to add that I do not insist that anyone modify their stove if they do not want to. I am simply relating something I did that worked pretty well. Use it and enjoy if you feel it might be something you are interested in doing, otherwise, don't! We'll still be pals!

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clipped on: 06.17.2012 at 02:22 am    last updated on: 06.17.2012 at 02:22 am

Bluestar Simmer Fixed! Do's and Don'ts!

posted by: buffalotina on 04.02.2012 at 10:22 am in Appliances Forum

Well I thought I would post the outcome of my Bluestar 22K burner adjustment exercise because it shed valuable light on the process for me and I hope it will be useful for others who may attempt this. If anyone read my other thread you will see that I had previously tried to adjust the simmer on my bluestar burners and claimed, wrongly it seems, that the lowest flame was achieved by turning the simmer set screw to the end of its travel. At least that is what I THOUGHT I was doing. In that case it seems though, as Stooxie warned, that I was actually involving the movement of the main valve shaft too. Thus CLOCKWISE was raising my flame and ANTICLOCKWISE was lowering it. However going anticlockwise I seemed to feel an "end point" which I assumed was the low point of the simmer adjustment. Yesterday I decided to have another go at one of the 22K burners to see if I could get it lower as I had never reached the point reported by others where you go so low that the flames almost go out and the ignitors click. I inserted the screwdriver and as before clockwise raised the flame and anti clockwise lowered it. After talking with Mandy at Bluestar today I realize that even though I was pretty sure the valve stem was not moving in fact I must have been moving the valve stem to get those variations. Anyway, yesterday I kept on going, with more force, in the anti clockwise direction and that is when I felt like something gave way or stripped inside the valve and the flame got higher. Then I was just not able to get the flame back down to its previous level. Mandy told me to adjust the simmer while the valve is in the off position. Sure enough now I was able to turn the screw in the proper direction: CLOCKWISE to LOWER the flame and ANITCLOCKWISE to RAISE the flame (makes a lot of mechanical sense). It turns out that this adjustment was never possible for me before, I think because the set screw just was too tight and would not budge. Evidently my extra force in the anti clockwise direction must have freed up the screw but by that point I was still not able to get adjustment because I think the valve stem was moving easier the the screw. Today with the screw loosened and the valve in the off position I was now able to turn the screw clockwise, indeed until I had no flame at all in the low position!! So now I have adjusted the flame and it is actually much lower than my other 22K burner. After talking to Mandy I decided not to try to adjust the other one because that screw is definitely stuck: with the valve in the off position it will not turn clockwise. It feels like it would be easy to actually strip the head of the screw and so I think I will leave it as it is.

To summarize:

1. Although I thought I had adjusted all my burners a while back it seems that they were in the factory set position because the screws were quite tight and unknown to me I was actually moving the main valve slightly (thanks Stooxie - that is what you said!).

2. Applying extra force to the simmer set screw loosened it in the anti clockwise direction which is actually the flame raising direction. Presumably when I felt something "give" it was actually the set screw loosening.

3. In order to get the flame back to very low I had to turn the now loosened screw in the CLOCKWISE direction (but this was only possible with the main valve/shaft in the off position).

4. My now adjusted 22K is much lower than the other one which is at the factory preset position. However I don't think I will touch that one now for fear of stripping out the set screw. It is definitely not moving too well and Mandy said I would need a whole new valve if the screw head stripped....

5. Mandy also warned NOT to hold the valve shaft with pliers or anything while you adjust the set screw because it is possible to snap the shaft off that way....thankfully I did not do that.

So now I have two kinds of 22K burners: one with factory set low and one with "bossa" low. There is definitely quite a difference: If I put my hand over each burner I can get my hand much closer to the lower one before it feels uncomfortably hot. I was never actually that unhappy with the simmer before all this but I did find I had to move things back to the smaller burners quite often to finishi off stews etc with the longer cooking times. I think this newly adjusted burner will be very useful.

Sorry this was so long winded but I wanted to post it as a guide for others. Mandy, as always, was very helpful and many thanks to all who replied with help on the other thread.

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clipped on: 06.17.2012 at 02:19 am    last updated on: 06.17.2012 at 02:19 am

RE: Bluestar Owners...come in! (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: mojavean on 05.11.2011 at 01:49 pm in Appliances Forum

I didn't deal with the distributor at all. I called Bluestar, gave them the part numbers:

Burner #729801

Gasket #734301

Orifice #709548 (#48 Orifice -- 18K BTU/hr -- "Supernova")

and ordered them shipped to me.

If I were looking to upgrade an RCS burner, the very last place I would turn would be the distributor's rep, though. That strikes me as something like asking the Rottweiler to give you his bacon.

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clipped on: 06.14.2012 at 03:40 am    last updated on: 06.14.2012 at 03:41 am

RE: How to push a range into place (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: sfjeff on 11.05.2009 at 08:30 pm in Appliances Forum

I just did a 36" (and all the times in and out to get it leveled properly). First suggestion is that you hang something smooth over the counter corners, as well as lining the "slot" along the countertop at least with some heavy "builder's paper" or the like. Second thing is to get rid of some of the weight -- pull the grates and even the door.

It will go "straight in" and you will be able to start it back out using the front legs, or grabbing the structural beam that the front legs screw in to.

The kick panel is not structural, nor is the oven door handle a good place to grab it.

I did it with a lot of patience and pair of heavy-palm garden gloves since I was grabbing the range in some generally inaccessible places. At times I needed to gently lift the rear to get the legs over irregularities in the floor.

More than likely, you will need to take it in and out twice or three times. I'd get it in once, check the level and how much you need to adjust it, pull it out enough so that you can level it, and only then connect the gas and electric.

You may want to also consider calling BlueStar to find out who does the White Glove service in your area and finding out how much they would charge for just the set-in. Other installers are possible as well -- in San Francisco, independent installers (not the firm BlueStar contracts with) wanted to charge me $200 to take the range up the half flight of stairs and install it.

You might want to find out if a local rental house can get you an "air dolly" or "air sled" or the like. I didn't try, and wish that I had.

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clipped on: 06.06.2012 at 06:50 pm    last updated on: 06.06.2012 at 06:50 pm

RE: BlueStar Manuals and Installation Guides (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: peter-a on 08.04.2008 at 12:12 pm in Appliances Forum

Greetings Housefamous:

I have just installed our new BlueStar 30 inch range (the $1,999 stove from Costco), and I'd be pleased to share my learnings with you.

1. The stove is incredibly heavy at nearly 400 pounds. However it comes mounted on a wooden pallet, and can be skidded into position. My 17-year old son and I managed to get the unit from the back of our minivan (it had been loaded on its side into our minivan by Costco), out onto our front drive, up through the front door and into our kitchen, mainly by sliding it on two pieces of OSB panel board. We skidded it along, one foot at a time, alternating sides, each of us lying flat on the ground for traction!

2. We discovered the range feet within the oven. And there we also found the installation instructions (though they are not exactly comprehensive). And a gas-pipe connection set.

3. To get the stove OFF the pallet, we discovered that it merely rests on the pallet at the back, but is screwed down at the front. Unscrew the kickplate at the bottom front of the stove, and then unscrew the two steel screws that attach to the pallet. We found an easy way to take the stove off the pallet. First, install the "feet" on one side only (which includes sliding the stove back slightly to get access to the front foot location), and then slide the stove off the pallet sideways until you can lower the two feet to the floor. Then install the other two feet, lift the stove to release the pallet, then lower the stove to the floor.

4. The installation kit provided with the unit contained almost all the fittings that we needed to install to the gas main. It even contains a sachet of pipe-thread compound and leak-detection solution! We were replacing an old gas stove, so we already had a gas supply in the right place. I picked up from Home Depot a new stop-cock and a 0.5 inch diameter female to female coupler, and the gas connection then took me 30 careful minutes. (I would not consider installing a new gas supply to the kitchen, but if a supply point has already been installed, the connection to the stove is straightforward, provided you do some research about gas connections.)

The range-back had us puzzled for a few minutes, because the installation instructions are unclear. But we found that there was really only one possible fit, and six screws later it was solid. Two screws left over, but we couldn't find anywhere to stick them.

5. We peeled all the protective film off the stove.

6. We slid the stove the final three feet into position, and turned on the burners. Click, click, click for 10 seconds while the internal piping filled with gas, and the lovely blue flames appeared.

7. We carried out the proscribed oven preparation. Just a few drops of machine oil can be incredibly stinky. I thought that my wife was going to ban the new range forever. If I was going to do this again, I would open the doors and windows, and ban the family from the house for a couple of hours.

I am delighted with the stove, by the way. It replaces a fancy Kitchenaid Superba range with all the bells and whistles, but which has never worked properly. The new BlueStar is a simple unit. It has no digital display, no clock, no touch-sensitive control pad. It is easy and straightforward to operate, and so far it seems to do a good job. The burners are MUCH hotter than our Kitchenaid, so I need to hover nearby until I have learned how to use it.

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clipped on: 06.01.2012 at 08:31 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2012 at 08:31 pm

RE: New Bluestar RNB48 V1 owner (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: littlesmokie on 11.07.2010 at 10:57 am in Appliances Forum

Stooxie, we, too, are waiting on an RNB48 and I appreciate your post so much. Congrats on your purchase and hope you enjoy it for many years to come!

Like sayde, my main hesitation-besides booming ovens-are the hot door temperatures. I am so hopeful to hear you find that the door heat issue seems to have been improved- there was a recent BS 36" (it may have been a 30") owner who posted her oven door was still screaming hot.

I started researching appliances & reading this board fall of 2009. Trevor's videos at eurostoves influenced us in our decision to go with an open burner design. Seeing a live bluestar sealed the deal for us. Of course Trevor now advocates the Capitol Culinarian, but as someone already said here, I think both the Bluestar and the Culinarian seem overall like excellent units. We love the more no-nonsense look and feel of the Bluestar to the more refined shiny Capitol, too.

We ultimately decided we would only purchase something we had seen/played with in person, so since we had nowhere locally to see the Capitol, for us we were between the Wolf all gas or the Bluestar & went with the BS.

For anyone else shopping for a range, I'll link to the videos. I found discussions of the sealed vs open burners (more even heat conducted through the pan on open burner and cooler pan handles); the oven (maintains very even temperatures & you can take the bottom out and bring it to the sink to scrape/soak,) and how to clean the burners (regular soapy water then turn them off to fully dry the cast iron) and how to adjust the flame and change an igniter (intimidating, but not so intimidating) most helpful.

I don't know the man/company, but in my opinion, Bluestar was stupid to lose their relationship with eurostoves. These videos made us choose a Bluestar.

http://cst.clickstreamtv.net/mpi/cst.html?account=eurostoves&clip=&flashVersion=9&playlist=Bluestar_Play_List&realVersion=&route=2&cstSessionID=531373&sessionID=M20091019136512C140C&server=&speedZone=300&wmpVersion=0&referenceID=&emailCampaignID=&recipientID=&fileID=

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestar videos

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clipped on: 06.16.2011 at 06:27 pm    last updated on: 06.16.2011 at 06:27 pm

RE: Miele LaPerla out of Box vs new Excella vs new Optima (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: lip2000 on 01.28.2010 at 01:44 am in Appliances Forum

I bought a Laperla(II for you americans) direct from Miele Canada. It had a nick on the door handle but since I was taking the door off to put on a custom door myself, I was not bothered in the slightest...
I got a crazy deal however. I paid $1800CAD(~$1600USD) when the retail is ~$3100CAD with the standard Miele warranty (plus 1 year with my amex card)...
I love it...it's just so awesome...one of the things I really love about it besides the extreme quietness and cleaning ability(my wife can't get over how clean the stuff is that comes out with no crud ever) is the drying plus funtion that opens the door at the end of the drying cycle to help drying even more...really works good and is just another cool function that makes you appreciate the Germans...

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clipped on: 06.13.2010 at 04:36 am    last updated on: 06.13.2010 at 04:37 am