Thread Number: 73448  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Removing rust from solid element units
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Post# 969860   11/25/2017 at 12:35 (181 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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I found a Farberware two burner cooktop at the flea market. It has those cast iron solid plate burners with the circular ridges in them. One of them has a little bit of rust on it, all of the used ones I've seen get this. I was wondering the best way to get it off. The instructions say NOT to use steel wool or scouring pads on the units.

Also how do you seal the burners to keep it from coming back? I was thinking of wiping cooking oil on them like you do a cast iron skillet, but I don't want them to catch on fire when I turn them on.

Post# 969864 , Reply# 1   11/25/2017 at 12:50 (181 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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There is a special product for cleaning and restoring solid burners called Collo Electrol. I have never used it, but I remember something similar was being used on our solid burners sometime in the 80's. I found the product on Amazon.

Post# 969989 , Reply# 2   11/25/2017 at 21:52 (181 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Yes, that's the stuff. I had a GE cooktop with those elements in Atlanta...the polish is approximately like black shoe polish that you apply then burn onto the element. The stuff is essentially Vaseline and graphite. Get rid of all the rust with steel wool then treat with this product to return the finish.

Post# 970006 , Reply# 3   11/25/2017 at 23:43 (181 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

When my parents were growing up with cast iron stoves, the stuff was called stove black.

Post# 970040 , Reply# 4   11/26/2017 at 07:16 (180 days old) by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Solid elements have been around forever in Germany. Guess the reason for that could have been a very early Siemens or AEG patent. We`ve also had open coils in ceramic at the beginning of electrification but they were rare and I`ve never seen one.
The Calrod type simply never existed here.

Compared to Calrod coils they are easy to clean, distribute heat more evenly and I think they are more efficient as long as the bottom of cookware is 100% level.
Huge disadvantage is they respond very slowly, but after a learning curve you should be fine. If something starts to boil over because you haven`t turned the heat down in advance simply shift the pot a little bit away from the burner.

As a German I`ve probably seen thousands of solid burners and trust me there is no need to keep them black. Most people just scrub them with a green Scotchbrite sponge or with an abbrasive cleanser so they get more of a grey color instead of the original black in no time. Products to keep them black exist but are very hard to find because there seems to be next to no demand for these.

This post was last edited 11/26/2017 at 08:35
Post# 970051 , Reply# 5   11/26/2017 at 08:30 (180 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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IIRC the stuff my parents once used gave a nasty smell and some smoke when they turned the burners on after the cleaning. They never used it again. Just scrubbed a burner when something had gone wrong.

Post# 970054 , Reply# 6   11/26/2017 at 08:44 (180 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

We had a Kenmore range that had those. It came with a house that we bought. My wife hated it, and if we had stayed in that house, we would have replaced it. (The solid burners weren't the only issue. The oven cleaning cycle made the panel so hot that the membrane touch pad would start to warp. Every time I ran the clean cycle, I had to set up a fan on the counter to blow on the panel to keep it cool.)

The previous owner passed a container of the stove black on to us. I was pretty diligent about treating the burners with it, although the black didn't last very long and the burners fairly quickly reverted to the iron gray color. The directions on the can said to put the black on and then put the burners on medium heat for a few minutes. The stuff did smoke some as it burned off, but not terribly. I used steel wool to get rust off, although we didn't have a lot of trouble with them rusting.

Post# 970295 , Reply# 7   11/27/2017 at 17:58 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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Yeah, I remember Electrol being sold in the Sears catalog when they sold those solid burner ranges.

It looks like I may have a more, severe problem though. I didn't notice this until I got home, but the cover over the wiring box looked a little melty. I decided to take the cover off and investigate (fortunately I have a torx screwdriver set).

I didn't see any burned or melted wires, but it looked like the cord clamp was tightened so much from the factory, that it essential has mushed the cord flat as a pancake. I attached a photo of the cord with the clamp removed, and also the melted cover placed to the right of it.

Do you think the cord may have overheated due to the extreme compression? I did plug the unit in for a moment and the pilot light came on, and both burners turned on and seemed to work fine. The powercord didn't seem to get hot there, but I only used it for a few seconds.

Do you think I should cut the smashed part off of the powercord and reconnect it to the lead wires, or is it fine? It surely must have gotten too hot to melt the cover like that, but I don't know how it didn't melt the cord clamp also.

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Post# 970710 , Reply# 8   11/29/2017 at 21:34 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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Well, I'm still not sure what happened. I turned both burners on and let them heat up for a while, and the flattened part of cord only felt vaguely warm. I'm thinking it may be fine and perhaps it was something else that melted the plastic cover afterall. Like maybe something boiled over, spilled down the back of the stove and melted that cover?

Not sure I want to cut off and resplice the cord and have to find new crimp connectors, not knowing if they are special heat proof ones or not.

Post# 970717 , Reply# 9   11/29/2017 at 23:11 by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        
After cleaning, you can:

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Apply a LIGHT coating of plain vegetable oil with a cloth. Just enough to give a mild gloss to the burners. Turn on full heat and wait for a small amount of smoke to give off, then turn back off. Cleaning rust can be done as others have mentioned above.

I've got these solid elements on my 1988 year JennAir and am one of the few who LOVES these (but then again, I'm Austrian and am used to cooking on these things). Not really worth to bother with blacking products, honestly

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