During a visit to the 2008 NARDA convention
in Las Vegas, I attended a training seminar on the new Viking dual fuel free standing range (see the previous post
) but really wasn't able to go into the level of detail I like to put into my posts. Fortunately, our local Viking distributor had a training session that featured this new range along with a couple other new items, so I was able to get some more detailed information along with a few more photos to highlight what I think is a design that finally takes servicing the product into consideration.
To start with, this range is entirely serviceable from the front, with the noted exception of the cooling fan which requires access to the rear panel for removal. The door is removed in typical Viking fashion by locking each hinge with an appropriately sized pin (or nail) and then lifting it out of the receivers. The front control panel is all one piece and can be removed once the bottom screw is removed from behind the inner burner knob bezels, and from both sides of the upper vent. Lifting the panel up and forward will give us full access to the surface burner valves and individual spark modules as well as the two oven control potentiometers and indicator lights. Each spark unit is self contained and they are easily interchangeable for those times when substitution troubleshooting proves to be helpful.
A couple screws hold on the bottom trim piece (you will find the tech sheet taped behind it) which covers the only control board on this range. Viking has always enjoyed having multiple boards in very hard to reach locations, but a couple screws and this one slides out on it's own mounting tray with wire to spare. A very nice service feature.
Just above the control board tray is the cover which allows us to remove the hidden bake elements. Once again, a couple screws and the entire element assembly can be removed from the chassis for replacement or inspection. The wire leads to the element are a bit shorter and less forgiving due to the limit space, but removal in under a minute is a nice change of pace. The broil element is just as easy to remove after a couple screws and pulling the wire harness out the front where the wire connectors can be disconnected. The temperature probe (RTD) is mounted just under the broil element and like most other probes, proved a little difficult to pull through the back wall connector and all, but it is rumored the opening will be increased to help improve the success rate.
A new style surface burner is used that will hopefully limit the discoloration that occurs over the years with use and abuse, and each spark igniter is mounted directly to the burner for easy removal. There is a gasket on each burner to reduce the chance of spills making there way under the range top as well as to control the makeup air during the combustion process. A putty knife was needed to break these burners free from the top so if all the screws have been removed, its just stuck. Once all the burners have been removed, it is possible to remove the entire top by taking the side trim pieces off along with four more screws, but unless you are replacing the top or converting the regulator to LP, there is nothing else under it necessitating it's removal.
My last couple shots are of the oven cell showing the over sized convection fan (it spins both clockwise and counter-clockwise during preheat) along with the removable rack mounts for a pretty clean look. The rear shot shows the squirrel cage cooling fan on the upper left and on the right, the single wire bundle that runs from the control board below to the rear and panel mounted components.
Viking has been known for a good cooking product for years and the customers that purchase a Viking range generally have a high expectation level from their appliance. As a technician, I often rate appliances on how easy it is for me to service (because lets face it, they all break) as opposed to how little I need to service it. Given the attention to service on this product, I think this range will rank rather high on my serviceability scale.