(please note, I am well aware this post is likely the most boring thing one could possibly write about. Stop reading now)

Very well.

  1. Lamp in my cooker ceases to function (after 2.5 years of faithful, light-giving service)
  2. Consult helpful Neff service manual, which details the procedure for changing the bulb. Step one is ‘unscrew the glass lens/cover over the lamp’.
  3. Attempt step one. Comprehensively fail, despite exerting progressively larger amounts of force on a piece of glass, in the top back corner of oven. Task is made harder by the fact the glass cover is essentially smooth and round, the metal fixing it’s located within is exceedingly thin and fragile looking, and I can easily exert enough force to move the entire oven.
  4. Conclude I am an idiot, or there is ‘a trick’.
  5. Ask an innocent bystander to follow procedure, in case my grasp of the English language has once again failed.
  6. Innocent bystander concludes that the instructions don’t really work, or that the glass cover is indeed stuck fast.
  7. Phone Neff service center, who answer on the sixth try.
  8. Helpful service guy does the ‘ahhhh, yes’ thing, complete with sound.
  9. Helpful service guy explains that the glass / socket interface gets gummed up with cooking fat and grease over time, which then burns in to form substance seemingly harder than diamond. Perhaps they should be coating the shuttle in fossilized bacon fat, I don’t know.
  10. Helpful service guy says the usual remedy is to switch the oven to its highest power setting, leave it on for half an hour, which should ‘loosen things’ up, and then remove the cover.
  11. Having put down the phone, contemplate the health & safety implications of trying to grapple with a stuck glass cover at the back of an oven where every piece of metal, glass and ceramic is at 300 degrees.
  12. Switch oven to highest power (which has in fact never been used before, ever – what the hell needs that kind of temperature to cook?) and wait.
  13. Don rigging gloves, and attempt to loosen cover (with a tea-towel between gloves and cover). Fail utterly.
  14. Attempt to try with just the gloves, and let go of the cover after about 300 milliseconds, since heat is really quite profound.
  15. Conclude that second-degree burns are the only outcome of this lunacy.
  16. Note that a replacement glass cover is £4, and a complete light assembly is £25 (on the parts section of the Neff website)
  17. Phone Neff again. Explain that lunatic heating procedure failed to loosen cover whatsoever. Helpful service lady suggests sending out an engineer, of course with a minimum call-out fee.
  18. Order replacement glass cover on Neff website.
  19. Cover turns up (the next day, I might add).
  20. Wearing gloves and safety goggles, take centre-punch + hammer to glass cover, which withstands several blows unscathed.
  21. Note replacement cover is ‘pretty thick glass’.
  22. Really beat away at the glass cover, which eventually half breaks off.
  23. Destroy remainder of cover with pliers.
  24. Finally remove shattered remains of bulb, clean up mess, insert new bulb and (gingerly) screw on new glass cover.
  25. There is light.

And so, from now on, assuming I remember, I will be loosening the cover once every six months or so.

Posted Saturday, March 1st, 2008 under Uncategorized.

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