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Monday October 10, 2016

Gas Range Controls Panel Targets On-Off Failures

Members of an ANSI Z21 panel looking at gas range controls October 6 reviewed the wording of a provision to protect against on-off control failures. The concern is complaints of gas flow – and heat – continuing unintentionally. Additionally, the focus is on the oven and broiler areas, so there is more likelihood that users will lack a visual – flame – indication of a problem. Indeed, a suggestion to remove the phrase "oven or broiler" from the wording prompted concern that the provision then would cover any burners, which is not the intention for now.


The only change to the suggested wording during the session was to replace position with function. That followed worry that the original might allow some controls to be interpreted as exempt, especially components that themselves are not electronic but still trigger an electronic function.


The wording is "An electronic control that has an off function [was position] shall be designed such that a single component failure shall not result in unintentional gas flow to an oven or broiler burner." The group tagged the question of removing "oven or broiler" for further consideration by the larger committee. The language would replace an earlier proposed sentence that was wordier and more complex.


The panel also heard a presentation of data on commercially available sponges. The concern (PSL, 6/13/16) is to ensure that cleaning and other activities do not cause electrical faults, and the panel is targeting worst case problems via considering protocol that would force liquid into or above electrical controls. Resulting problems could include arcing, short circuiting, insulation breakdown, or unintended operation. The attention to sponges involves uniform wetness without moisture being lost at the ends of wipes.