Our CO/gas detector alarmed last week, indicating the presence of gas in the house. My wife called the local gas company in Houston, which dispatched someone to have a look. He said our Kenmore gas range was improperly vented, slapped a "CAUTION: DO NOT USE" sticker on it, and closed the gas supply valve.
I believe this model is considered "freestanding," though in our case it's slid into a countertop. There is no wall behind this portion of the countertop, nor are there cabinets (or hood, or anything at all) above the cooktop. So it's pretty much "freestanding," except there are cabinets and countertop on both sides.
I've spent a few days now asking people their opinions on this. I'm having a hard time finding anyone to back up the assertion that this range is not properly vented. A home builder has told me there is no requirement in the local building code that a range be vented to the outside. I called Kenmore, which denied any of its ranges need to be vented outside as far as they're concerned. I went back and looked at my home inspection report (we bought the house in August), and the inspector found "no defects" with regard to the range.
I hadn't noticed it before, but it turns out there's a ventilation conduit running through our cabinets from the range to the outside, as if the side of the range might have an exhaust vent on it--but this range doesn't have a vent there. Is that something that older ranges had?
Can someone clear this up for me? Do gas ranges need to be vented at all? I'm thinking all the gas is burned in the process of cooking--there is no gas that needs to be vented to the outside while you cook. So what was that conduit for? To remove excess HEAT?
Is it possible this particular range isn't supposed to be confined within a counter, so that's a problem? I mean, is it the case that any range that's going to be slid into a counter will have a vent on the side?
I'm confident enough that there isn't a problem that we've turned the gas back on and have used the range a little bit the past couple of days. I think the CO/gas detector is defective, frankly. But now it's opened a can of worms and I have to figure out what to do with them.
Thanks in advance!