Why Do Oven Doors Shatter and How to Prevent It? – The Truth Revealed!


    A woman named Willie Mae Truesdale was disturbed by a loud bang coming from the kitchen. She quickly checked what happened and saw the glass door of her oven shattered into a million pieces. At the time, the oven was off. “It was shocking, and you had to really see it to believe it,” she explained. “It was like, what in the world? Glass shattered, glass was out here on the floor.”

    However, Truesdale’s case isn’t unique. Other women have also shared their experiences with the same issue. Among them was Cheryl, a suburban mom who noticed that the temperature of the oven she had purchased three months before was off by about 25 degrees while she baked muffins. This happened during COVID, and once the quarantine was over, she contacted a repairman to fix her oven. Before that, she decided to run a self-cleaning cycle, at the end of which there was a loud explosion, and the inner glass on the oven door shattered.


    Similarly, Michelle Wheat’s oven door exploded. Just like Truesdale’s oven, Wheat’s oven wasn’t on at the time of the explosion. Glass scattered all over the kitchen, and luckily, none of her four children were injured. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received approximately 450 reports of such incidents since 2019. The ovens in question were from different producers.




    The three women encountered difficulties with the manufacturers after the incidents. Truesdale’s oven was under warranty, but still, a Frigidaire technician blamed her for the explosion and forced her to pay for a new door herself. NBC’s intervention led Bosch to replace Cheryl’s oven. Wheat, whose oven was out of warranty, had to pay a technician $100 just to confirm the glass was broken, with the replacement costing another $314.

    Frigidaire recommended she buy an extended warranty in case it happened again. Frustrated, Wheat remarked, “This should not have happened. That was the point I was trying to make to them.”

    Mark Meshulam of Chicago Window Expert provides an explanation for why these explosions may occur. “There are two scenarios for why oven glass can break spontaneously,” he said. “One type of oven glass is soda lime glass, which is window glass that is heated and cooled rapidly so that it becomes tempered. Another type is borosilicate glass, which is used in laboratory glassware or the old-time Pyrex glass, and it tolerates heat and cold very well. The shift to soda lime glass has brought about an increase in these types of breaks because it’s not as tolerant of the thermal cycles that the glass will go through.”


    Another possibility is that explosions are caused by a nickel sulfide inclusion, which is a tiny flaw in the glass. “It’s only about a tenth of a millimeter in diameter. That little ball has some strange properties,” Meshulam said, adding, “Over time, it’s fighting to get out. Sometimes, a high-heat event like an oven cleaning can finally bring about that spontaneous failure.”


    He, however, reassures people that the self-cleaning feature of ovens is generally safe. “Most people will use the self-cleaning feature their whole lives without encountering this problem,” he said. He also believes that tiny chips and imperfections can cause ovens to explode even when they aren’t on. This is especially concerning because the door can break long after the original damage occurs.

    These points of damage are beyond the control of homeowners because they usually happen during production, shipping, or installation. Additionally, using aggressive cleaning methods and applying excessive physical force can cause microscopic scratches or chips on the glass.

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