Saving Old Equipment, making customers happy by helping save cost. Mercury Rangemaster cooker.
Is it infuriating when you have a piece of equipment or an appliance you like or need to use, with time and use one component on it stops working properly or fails completely?
You contact the manufacturer and they advise the part is obsolete or discontinued. You search the internet for other suppliers of the part but there are none; what do you do?
That is just what happened to some of our customers recently. Within a few days we were contacted by two customers who have a very expensive range cooker.
These Mercury Rangemaster Cookers were integral to the kitchens of the customers and functioned very well but eventually the grill elements failed. It is a necessary function of radiant grill elements that they have high watt density elements that glow red when in operation; they will fail generally faster than elements used for other lower temperature operations (if elements never failed we would be soon out of business). This, expensive, and much loved and much used range cooker was now out of service for the sake of a grill element.
As promised, I’ve followed up on your request for some further information:
Does it Cook / Grill evenly? YES
Does it Cook / Grill faster? Not really sure, since we regulate the power to cook things at the right temperature/speed. I can’t measure against the old element, because you have it, but it certainly has a much brighter glow and is hotter.
Is it fully controllable with the Existing controls? YES. The controls show no signs of excessive arcing/wear as a result of the increased current.
Did the element fit easily as a direct replacement? A better question is “Was the element an accurate replica of the original?” – the element is a complete pain to fit, but that’s due to the oven design not your handiwork! The old element was difficult to remove. However, I didn’t have to bend/cut/adjust/grind anything for your one to fit. The original element screwed to a small plate that provided the earth post, and this plate then screwed to the back of the grill. I think this is due either to an element change by design or the element coming from another application. A small improvement would be for your mount-plate to be full size to save having to get the plate off the old element.
Would you recommend others to use this Replacement element? YES, definitely. This model of Mercury cooker was hand-made by Lincat. The newer Mercury cookers are mass produced by Rangemaster and are nowhere near as solid/good quality. It was a £3k cooker, so replacing an element for your cost after ten years seems to me to be perfectly reasonable. Plus, you chaps are the only ones that (now) supply the elements – you’re onto a winner! (except that there probably aren’t that many of these cookers around).
My biggest concern was the increased current draw and how the house wiring handled it. The cooker is on a 10mm cable and a 40A RCD, so the cable’s fine and the MCB can just about take it. Some customers might have it on a 6mm cable and a 32A MCB – the cable will be fine but the MCB would need to be changed. Current draw:
Small oven: 11.7A
Large oven: 9.7A (odd, I know, but it’s fan assisted).
Grill small: 7.8A
Grill full: 16A
Max draw with all elements lit (cold): 37.7A
These are measured at the consumer unit with a clamp meter. The grill seems low based on the simple P=VI formula, but we do have slightly high voltage (c 250v) because we’re rural so are fed by transformed 11kV supply. I’m not complaining, since I’ve not had to change the MCB!
Anyway, I hope this information if of use.
Another day, more happy customers. And best of all their bacon cooks evenly across the grill.