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AEG Combi Steam Oven, Rust hole on enamel base

Wondering whether anyone has come across a problem with their AEG Combi Steam Oven. This is an oven that can both steam and bake. I bought it around 8 years ago, and recently discovered a 4mm hole in the enamel base of the oven. I clean/wipe it dry with dishwashing water at the end of the day after using it. The hole is located on the edge of the water dish used to create the steam. It appears to be rusted around the hole. I also noted that there are a few other rust patches about 5 cm apart around this water dish.

I sent photos of this issue to the company and they came back to say that its because of the cleaning agent I use and because of the steam left in the oven. The only agent I use is dishwashing water and vinegar as recommended by their maintenance instruction. I wipe it dry at the end of the day.

I expected an oven to last at least 15 years or more considering it was the most expensive one they had at the time $5,000. Does anyone have this problem, if so, what did you do? I am at a loss to what to do next? Thank you for your advise.

Heal

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Welcome to the community @Heal

I looked for a manual or video guidance to confirm how it works and the maintenance and cleaning instructions, but being 8 years old would you add the model number.

There are a few subtle variations. The only commonality in the videos and manuals I looked at seem to be a vinegar solution and warnings against ‘aggressive detergents’, whatever that means in ‘AEG speak’.

One would reasonably expect that to be OK, but chemical residue is left unless it is rinsed away and ‘mopped’ up, not just wiped over. That residue subject to heat and steam could in fact attack an enamelled surface - not suggesting that is what you experienced, only that it could.

I might comment further once I have your model number and can have a look at the applicable instructions.

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Hi BBG
Thanks so much for responding so promptly.
Oven Type: MaxiKlasse 26 Function ProCombi Steam, BS9304001M.

AEG also offered to sell me a latest model of this oven BSK892330M for $2975, this is a discount of 45%.
I am hesitant to be buying another one of these, I feel that its a design defect. I am doing the right thing with the cleaning , AEG email quote’ wipe down when cool, soapy water to clean and a dry cloth’. Simple, nothing complicated.

The consistent pattern of rust patches spaced at 5cm apart located on the circumference of the water dish suggest to me that its a design problem related.

Not sure where else to go for help with this. Thank you so much for your interest.

Regards

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If you are not yet familiar with the Australian Consumer Law, it is the place to start to understand your rights, especially those regarding acceptable quality and the retailers obligations, and that the retailer cannot fob one off to the manufacturer.

Without being expert in your situation, to use the ACL you have to be formal and use explicit words and inclusions. Anything less is chit-chat as far as your obtaining resolution (since you have already been fobbed off).

Having downloaded a manual for your product and looking through the warnings and cleaning instructions there are a few on p5-6, and p22-23 none that seem to have relevance to your assertion on using only vinegar and dishwashing liquid. A caveat might (not necessarily is) be that if a vinegar solution were not flushed and wiped, that could be an outcome and what they were hanging their defence on. The residue could be ‘activated’ by heat and steam at the next use.

That being written, it would, to me, be improbable and unexpected, given the document I read, that dishwashing liquid could have a detrimental effect, although whether it (and any vinegar) was flushed and dried after cleaning could be important.

If you disagree with their assertion you should use the ‘Letter of Complaint template’ on the site I linked above and deliver it to a manager at the shop where you purchased your oven. You need to include all claims about quality and durability, quote the chapters and verses regarding cleaning from the owner manual and exactly how you cleaned your oven, and what you want and by when per the instructions.

While they offered a discount on a replacement, if you are not satisfied with the quality you have options you may seek from repair to replacement, situation dependent, as well as negotiating for a better discount.

Note the shop cannot send you back to AEG. They ‘own’ the problem and it is up to them to sort it. Harvey Norman franchisees have been fined $100,000’s for misrepresenting their obligations, and letting the shop know you know that could be helpful to your cause.

Please let us know what you decide to do, and how you go, or if you would like anything further for now.

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Yes this would be the case. I suspect that metal below the enamel coating would be steel and any slight cracking in the enamel do to heating and cooling cycles over time… or wearing around edges through cleaning, such as holes in the oven, would expose the metal. The exposed metal would be susceptible to corrosion through to an (acetic) acid reaction. Add in heat and moisture from the steaming function, and this would accelerate the rate of corrosion.

Under normal conditions the rate of corrosion may be at an acceptable rate compared to the expected working life of the oven. The vinegar would accelerate this increasing the rate and possibly more prematurely than otherwise would be the case.

The manual says that the water tray can be cleaned as follow:

Steam Cleaning

  1. Remove the worst of the residual dirt manually.
  2. Pour 250ml of water with 3 tablespoons of vinegar into the steam generator.
  3. Activate Steam Cleaning in the main menu. The process duration is shown in the display.
  4. An acoustic signal sounds when the programme has finished. Press any button to
    switch the signal off.
  5. Wipe out the appliance with a soft cloth. Remove any residual water from the steam
    generator.
  6. Leave the appliance door open for around 1 hour. Wait until the appliance is dry.

AEG does recommend vinegar for limescale/carbonate buildup within the water drawer and steam generator so it appears that if you followed these instructions to the word and didn’t use any cleaning cloths which may rub the enamel off, then the oven should be resilient to vinegar use.

I agree with @TheBBG and it would be worth taking it up further with AEG/retailer.

However, their offer also sounds reasonable as well. A 45% discount to a new oven assumes that the oven’s life would be about 15 years which seems reasonable. The 55% you will pay in effect could be seen as a pro-rata cost for the old oven’s use.

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Thanks again BBG. I just saw on the Product Review site a number of people have had the exact same problem as I, that is rust around the rim of the water dish. AEG claim they had misuse the oven. They too question the quality and design fault.

I think i will prepare a complaint letter and send to Harvey Norman at Highpoint where i purchased the oven. Harvey Norman was my 1st point of call and they directed me to AEG. I will follow your suggestion that by law i should go back to the seller.

Will keep you posted.

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phb, i too was thinking on the same line as you. The consistent pattern of corrosion around the water dish suggest sacrificial corrosion is happening between the different types of metals. The water dish is silver metal while the oven base is constructed of enamel. Not sure what is under the oven enamel to cause the rust patches. I suspect it could be some sort of connection points, being consistent around the rim of the water dish.

This to me suggest a design fault.

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For ovens most typically pressed steel sheet. Which is what is at a guess corroding.

The enamel coating may have failed. There are are a number of possible explanations. Non abrasive cleaning as directed would seem an unlikely cause.

Enamel coatings can have or develop micro cracks invisible to the eye. A few atoms wide is all that is required to set up the conditions necessary for corrosion to occur. If a dissimilar metal is used for the removable tray, EG aluminium, the rate of corrosion will likely accelerate.

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Thanks Mark M, I am learning a little more about ‘Industrial porcelain enamel’.

The water dish and cover at the base of the oven is silver and light weight, at a guess it feels more like aluminium base composite steel. The interior surface of the oven is enamel, while racks are made from the commonly seen shiny steel.

The corrosion patches about 3cm x1cm spaced at 5cm apart around the rim of the water dish, has penetrated the enamel coating. I suspect more holes will be appearing soon. I am curious as to the consistent pattern of rust patches around the rim of the water dish. I am guessing that they could be welding points to hold the heating element under the water dish. There is something not quite right about the manufacture/construction of this oven.

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Any point where there is a change in shape or attachment to the enamelled steel oven liner (Visible side or on the back side) will cause a stress change as the oven heats and cools. In particular where there may be differences in temperature in operation. I’ll leave the technical aside. Consistency of the corrosion patern across a number of the same model and age ovens you have already commented on. A pattern consistent with a design feature or shape of the enamelled steel sheet across all examples would be significant evidence.

A detailed expert assessment might be relevant if the corrosion could lead to a subsequent serious failure, EG electrical fault. Depending on the age of a property the oven and any cooktop circuit is independent and it is not protected with an RCD. There was a change introduced in 2018 as noted in the link.

It may be a question to word appropriately in your pursuit of a better outcome. It is reasonable to ask for an assurance the observed defect cannot ever result in a failure that could lead to an electrical fault or fire risk. If there is galvanic corrosion occurring, it will likely accelerate with continued use and the presence of water/steam.

The prorata offer in respect of replacement suggests the manufacturer is aware of an issue as you have generally described. If all else with your purchase has been a positive one it may be a fair offer. Later models from reputable brands see design changes. Some typically resolve defects, others may create new ones. A preparedness to respond to warranty suggests they are invested in building a positive reputation. There is also a viewpoint that the observed failure has not at this time caused the oven to be ‘unfit for purpose’. You oven may indeed continue to be usable for many more years to come. @phb has suggested similar for your consideration.

Out of curiosity any good pics can be posted using the tool with the miniature ‘mountain and sun dot’ symbol.

An aside.
Your description of the tray.

In cook ware there are several industrial processes for joining steel to aluminium sheet. It’s usually stainless steel sheet one side and aluminium alloy on the back. It makes little difference to your observation, assuming the water dish is aluminium backed. I’ve a frypan of that construction, which keeps the weight down. The SS cooking surface is highly polished. The back side where bare has a matt non gloss silver surface like older style aluminium pots and pans.

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Hi Mark M

New to this site, thanks for the tip on uploading some photos. Should give you a clearer understanding of what i have been describing.

Yes, this whole issue is becoming very technical as i try to understand metal properties and how corrosion occurs.

I am also concerned about short circuiting if i continue to use the oven. Cooking juice or steam or water to produce steam in the water dish can escape through the hole causing who knows what other damages.

Will be using some of your points to help support my case to Harvey Norman asking for a refund. I find the Australian Consumer Law site most useful.

Thank you for your interest

image01 !

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Could only upload 1 photo at a time.

image11

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More photo.

image31

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As you spend more time on the community and rise to a higher trust level that limitation will be relaxed. It happens automatically by ‘the system’ (aka Discourse).

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Ahh, thanks for letting me know.

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Great to see the pics, including where there is now a small hole Corroded through the floor plate. We can all see what your concerns are more clearly.

As @TheBBG has pointed out, how you put your claim to HN is important in ensuring your rights under Australian Consumer Law. As @phb suggested there is also an argument for compromise, depending on all the circumstances. If it were a seven year old Holden with rust, it would seem unlikely they would offer to replace it with a brand new Ford.

Hope you can get a satisfactory outcome with HN with your next approach.

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The rust looks unrepairable which is why they may have offerred a significant discount for you to buy a new one…eventhough it is 7 years old.

It may also suggest that AEG accept a fault/design fault/quality issue and offering a compromise discounted replacement to try and suit you.

I would possibly avoid another steam oven just in case the newer model has the same problem in 7 years. Maybe see if AEG is able to offer a great (better) deal on a non-steam model.

AEG did say that the rust hole is irreparable hence the discounted offer for a new oven. I am very confident that they are very aware of this problem.

Their discounted offer would still cost me more, if this happens again in 8 years time, assuming oven expected to last 15 years. Instead of paying $5000 for 15 years of use, I end up paying around $8000. That can get me a new kitchen renovation.

I was comparing the durability of this oven to all my kitchen appliances in terms of price and usage. This is the most expensive appliance I own and have the least number of use. Yet it is dying on me first. I am comparing it to the fridge, cook top, exhaust fan, dishwasher even the retractable pullout tap. All these were installed into my new kitchen in 2012.

What a waste of money thinking price correlates to quality and less usage to be associated with longer performance.

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Most manufacturers who produce a lemon learn from it and the new models might be ‘fixed’. I have a Miele product that probably should have been recalled but was not. At 9 years on Miele recently took care of ‘me’ and I know what to do in future to keep the product going well, so I am happy. Miele’s subsequent products were redesigned to avoid the issue.

Presume little, assume nothing, but being dismissive may not be to your benefit. Research the newer replacement models and your push back might be reinforced, or nullified.

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Yes, you are right. Shall push forward with this and present a case for a full refund or replacement.

From the Australian Consumer Law site, something along the line of : if it doesn’t feel right, its not right.

Thanks for telling your story BBG.

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