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Complaints about my viking range

I have a basic Viking Range, 4 burner, 30" VGIC, all gas (has gas convection). I can't tell you how much trouble we have had with it since we bought it in 2001. We bought it, of course, because we wanted a high performing, solidly constructed range that we could count on for years--we cook a lot and need high heat for some of what we do. We have had this oven serviced at least 4 times since we have owned it. The oven ignitors fail and have needed replacement several times, and when the failure starts to happen, the oven can take over an hour to reach 350 and it never heats to higher temps. It is happening yet again and I am feeling especially annoyed about it. It costs A LOT every time it needs repair, of course, and it is hugely disruptive to my busy kitchen not to have a functional oven. The other thing we noticed happened this time, in addition to a failed ignitor: the pan-like burner cover that sits on the oven floor has failed, too! The spot welds holding the flame covers onto the burner cover gave way and the two pieces covering the flames are just dangling there. We bought Viking because we thought it had solid construction and would be bullet proof. We maintain it, clean it, etc. and it seems this should not happen. The other thing is that the numbers and markings on the knobs to adjust the heat for the range top and the oven have worn off, completely in some places. I have been very careful when I clean them to do so gently, using only with warm water, soft sponge, and mild soap, per Viking instructions. This routine cleaning has taken off the markings. Viking has not responded to my request that they replace my oven knob (the others I can live with but I need the markings for the oven control knob--they are expensive to buy and I don't think I should have to pay for it). I think of the old General Elec. range I had in an apartment years ago that was wholly reliable for the many years I used it. I have been so unhappy with this viking and I will never get another one. We also have a companion range hood--nice looking and works well and all but a fiasco to take apart and clean. Don't know if others have had troubles with Viking products. Is it just me???

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  1. You are not alone... 5 years ago, i did some work on the kitchen and replaced the stove. In my research looking for a 48' stove i heard many horror stories about Viking products. I decided on the Wolf and have only had one small issue, and it was covered.

    1. I, too, have had igniters fail in both the oven and burners. I believe I have the same model.

      1. I'm a happy Viking customer. Our Viking cooktop was also bought in 2001. Never had a service call. The igniters for the burners do "click" after the stove has been cleaned, but this is from water or air that has entered openings. The clicking stops within a minute and does not impede ignition. The markings on the knobs have not degraded at all.

        8 Replies
        1. re: masha

          The ignitors, or pizzos are prone to high heat and moisture failure. Most ranges, ovens and grills have a port for using a match to light as an alternate ignition method.

          1. re: masha

            I find it hard to believe you....or you just don't cook often.

            1. re: chiacchio

              We cook dinner at home on average 6 nights per week, typically using 2-3 burners each night (more in winter, less in summer since we tend to grill in the summer), plus lunches and breakfasts that use the cooktop with less frequency. It's been 3 years since my earlier post and the markings are still fine. NB the product that we have is a cooktop, not a range.

              1. re: masha

                Here is the pictorial evidence.

                1. re: masha

                  Hi Marsha,

                  Nice pic.

                  After replacing the igniters on the cooktop, I haven't problems other than the continual clicking and sparking of all burners and have learned to be patient and let it click awhile and eventually the burner will light. Of course, my cheap gas ranges I have had in the past, never had this problem.

                  MY BIG PROBLEM, HOWEVER, is that I have a range and we do use the oven frequently. My wife makes the best chocolate cookie that you have ever tasted. I enjoy making stews, baked chicken recipes, lasagna and slow cooked meats. The problem is that to hold a temperature in the oven the burners must be constantly re-ignited in the oven. I have replaced the igniters multiple times and need new igniters now. It is really disturbing to hear a loud "poof" when the burners finally re=ignite. I bought a slow cooker at Costco ($29) which is a big help for slow cooking some things, but doesn't help for cookies.


                  1. re: NadoChef

                    I feel the same way and only wish that I had been warned before I bought mine. It's unreliable.

                    1. re: ronalynne

                      I believe, for those who still support Viking, that if you read and believe in Consumer Reports, you will find they their polls of users show that Viking has one of the worst repair histories among all brands. Also, in the past few years, in rating ranges, they have found that the performance of the Vikings is not very good. That said, it is hard, i think, to find another range, outside of actual commercial kitchen brands, that has 4 large burners, and all burners that can be reduced to a very low simmer. As for repair prices, I have done a lot of repairs on the top burners and oven myself, and I would say that the exorbitant prices mentioned in some of the comments on this topic, are the result of dealer price gouging - not the parts prices. I buy parts at the same prices as the dealers, and they are quite reasonable. Very comparable to other brands. But, charging $300 labor for installation of two $36 glow oven igniters, a job of about 15 minutes, is outrageous. In the end, if i were not able to do the repairs myself, i would have junked the range a long time ago. Just for kicks - here is a list of most of the things i can think of that i have replaced - the top burner spark plugs, the top burner reignition module, the top burner wiring, two burners and their attached pipes, all of the igniter switches for the top burners, a top burner gas valve, the top panel whose lettering washed off, was replaced at no charge, and a second top panel (whose lettering washed off), all of the porcelain (some was replaced by the distributor under warranty - it was such obvious junk), and a second go-around on the porcelain, in which i finally gave up retouching the flaking porcelain on the edge of the oven door with heat-resistant paint, and re-skinned the entire range with stainless, the top grate supports, the middle piece of porcelain between the pairs of burners, the oven bottom, and a few sets of glo-bar oven burner igniters. Looking at the list, actually, amazes me. Oh - and there was a wiring error made in my range, that caused the top burner re-ignition module to keep on clicking for several minutes before it stopped (that took me an hour and a DVM to finally diagnose, and I was shocked, literally, to find the wiring error). Truthfully, though - what alternative range would I buy now? None of the recommended ranges in CR has the all-large burners that all lower to a simmer, huge oven, and plain controls on my Viking.

                  2. re: masha

                    We got our Viking in 1993, so maybe they were different then. The first year, while under warranty, there was some kind of small gas leak under the front panel, I noticed it was hot enough to burn me while I was cooking. That might be more the installation than the stove? Either way, fixed free. Then it was delivered with very slightly bent top panels, and burner bottoms, and they sent us a whole new set for free.

                    The clicking thing, it does take a minute or so sometimes, but never to the point the flame is going to shoot up five feet when it ignites. One back burner ignitor stopped working long ago, but I just use a Bic long lighter when I need it (not often, two or three burners is my max except maybe Thanksgiving).

                    All the paint has indeed worn off, probably the intense cleaning products I use, but it didn't happen until I was totally familiar with it so again, no biggie.

                    Otherwise, I dread the day we move and I have to leave it behind. It's the workhorse of my kitchen, and also the star. On the other hand I don't think I have computer panels, and I definitely don't have self cleaning or convection (cheaped out) so maybe that ended up a good thing?

                    Oh there is now some kind of problem with the oven occasionally making a whooshing sound, a little scary, after my husband fixed something else in there. I think one side wasn't lighting, he replaced something himself. He is now out of commission so I'm living with it. Hasn't blown up yet (we're talking maybe 10 years)! The oven works fine, if a bit uneven, as long as I set it 25 degrees higher. But the original repairman told me all gas stoves are like that, not as exact as electric.

            2. Any manufacturer can turn out a lemon. The mark of quality includes how they deal with that when it happens. It sounds like they failed on that count.

              I'm sorry you've had these kinds of troubles. It's so painful when you spend that kind of money on something special that you've planned and waited for and then it goes toes up like this.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ZenSojourner

                Taken together from these posts, it sounds like Viking ranges get mixed reviews on both ends of the spectrum. In response to what you've said--that the mark of quality includes how they deal with problems if they arise--I cannot agree more. I have gone around with them for days on this and learned today that they will not sell me the part I need for the oven floor. The part is one that is easily set into oven without the need for any special skill to do so (my husband slid it out and then back in himself, which is how we identified the problem initially). Viking tells me that this part is one that requires an authorized service dealer to "install" for "safety reasons". There is no installation needed, really. It is not attached to a gas line or anything else that could be dangerous. It simply slides in the bottom of the oven over the burners, which are working fine except for the fact that the flame shield welds failed and the piece fell on top of them. It has been quite frustrating. The service provider, in addition to the $265 we will need to pay for the failed part that should not have failed, will charge us another $150 for a half hour visit to install the thing. Viking actually told me that it is my "choice" to have the part replaced by the service provider or not. You can imagine that I was furious with such a condescending response. This is not choice on my part (a) if I want my oven to work or (b) unless I am willing to throw away the range entirely and buy a new one. When I asked to speak with a manager or supervisor, she refused and told me she would not "escalate" the call because she had done all she could. Customer service? I am not done with them.

              2. Happy, satisfied Viking customer here - 48" cooktop and a pair of ovens. Eight years of heavy use and they're purring along happily. No issues except a minor installation glitch which was remedied immediately.

                1. I did a lot of research before we did an addition that included our ideal kitchen, about six years ago. All experienced appliance repair people, online forums comments, and personal surveys said to run away from Viking stoves, and in general to avoid gas stoves. We put in a 60" Viking cooktop with serious venting and have been delighted with it. We took the advice and got electric dual ovens, and have again been very satisfied.

                  Electric ovens are inherently better at temperature control for critical baking operation, though they have less advantage over gas for simple roasting. The advice we received emphasized that most gas ovens are far less reliable than electric in terms of durability and freedom from being out of service.

                  In our case our gas supply is LP since there are no gas lines to the farm, and in the winter LP gas performance degrades somewhat compared to natural gas. That is not so critical for the cooktop, but would be a performance issue for an oven.

                  1. I had repeated problems with the igniters on my Viking range. Problems began within the first year. I had to have the computer board replaced more than once (repair person told me that these are made in China and fail on a consistent basis) and I cannot begin to tell you about the aggravation and the expense. Finally, the problem seems to have been fixed, athough there are times when I hear the dreaded clicking sound and there is a lapse before the burner ignites.

                    All I can tell you is that you have to be persistent in calling the customer service people. Try to get a name and an e-mail address, and send them links to threads like this one with the hopes that they actually do the more extensive repair, not just the quick fix. The repairman the first few times gave me sandpaper and told me to keep sanding the ignition knob....eventually the knob will wear down entirely. You also have to be scrupulous about cleaning that area.

                    One problem that I still have is that the knob for the oven is loose and there is no way to tell if it is actually right on the desired temperature.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: erica

                      I can't believe that they suggested sandpapering as a solution! I'd say they need to get you a new knob. I have had problems with the burner ignition, too--click, click, click, click..... and no flame. This happens inconsistently but regularly enough to be annoying. Sometimes I just light it by hand with a match. And sometimes the clicking continues after the burner lights and goes on for a long time after (up to 15 minutes). I do agree that persistence is needed, though, boy, it can be time consuming and frustrating to sit and wait on hold, or talk to someone who does not want to help. If you see my response to ZenSojourner above, you'll see what I went through with Viking on the phone. Finally, today, the service provider begrudgingly gave me the phone number to a part distributer where I could purchase the part (but they refused to tell me the official name of the part--was able to figure this out with the parts distributor, but come on...). The service provider also told me that the reason the part requires professional installation is because they are concerned a lay person will scratch the interior of the oven when putting it in (its the entire oven floor piece) and this will cost $150 in labor to do. Well, we took it out ourselves easily when we diagnosed the problem and then put it right back into place without scratching anything. Anyway, I ordered the part today and should have the oven back next week, no thanks to Viking.

                      1. re: liveforfood

                        EVERY TIME the "official" Viking repairman came he gave me a piece of fine sandpaper! Told me to keep sanding it cause it might have gotten wet, or dirty, from cooking. Well, it IS a stove!!!!!!!!

                        I truly had it up to here with them, and with Viking, they finally did replace the little knob, but this was after I had spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on service calls. I am talking about the little metal raised piece in the rear of the burner ring...I think it is called the ignition knob or something similar...

                      2. re: erica

                        All I can say is wow on the sandpaper.

                        I have a ... non-designer Whirlpool stove that came with my house when I bought it over a decade ago. I've had one service visit and it's been so long now I'm not really sure what the problem was.

                        One of the controls is showing some wear now, and I'm not surprised given the design ... as I say, it wasn't my choice. I am a believer in using things till they wear out, so I still have it.

                        I'm reminded of being bored at the Volkswagen dealership and picking up a brochure explaining that you really should send away for a special (free!) windshield cleaning kit so that your windshield wipers won't squeak.

                        Just make the damn wipers work, OK?! I don't really understand why manufacturers believe that their product not working correctly is OK. And a burner igniting is, well, pretty basic functionality.

                      3. Liveforfood, I went on www.epinions.com before we remodeled out kitchen. After reading about Viking, we went with Dacor and have been very pleased. It appears Viking has some real customer service issues.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Leper

                          You certainly shouldn't have BOTH customer service AND production problems! Well you shouldn't have either, but that's a deadly combination. I'll surely never waste that kind of money on a Viking after reading all this.

                        2. I just paid the high-end appliance serviceman $1000 to replace the convection fan and the third set of ignitors in 12 years. He didn't even look at the top of the stove. I would not buy this stove again. He mentioned that Viking really sticks it to their customers on the parts compared to Sub-Zero/Wolf. . . .

                          1. My Viking Range Service Record

                            Jan 2001 - 30" Viking range was installed in my new kitchen
                            Jan 2005 - Replaced stove top burner igniters. Insulation was wrapped around convection fan and had to be removed. Repair cost $390.
                            Jan 2009 - Replaced oven igniters. Repair cost $310
                            Nov 2010 - Both oven hinges had to be replaced. Repair cost $170
                            Nov 2010 - Only one burner in oven will light. Other burner is burned out.
                            Dec 2010 - Have waited a month for a new burner to come in. Hope to be repaired in time for Christmas dinner.
                            Just cooking for the two of us. I have had much better luck with the prior cheap GE gas range. My Viking gas grill has had similar igniter and burner problems. Have been told that replacement burners are not available for the gas grill.

                            1. The topic of Viking range problems, quality and repair costs seems to live on. I have a 4-burner model Professional that we bought in 1996. From the get-go we had problems with porcelain - there were several parts, like the inner door liner, and the top center support that had voids in the porcelain to bare metal. Those were replaced almost immediately by the distributor (not the retailer). However, the porcelain problems continued on - the oven floor pan has burned through in many spots, leaving bare, rusty metal, and the oven outer door skin porcelain long ago started peeling at the top edge. When it peeled over the edge and started to peel on the front, we decided to re-skin the entire range in stainless steel. This by the way is not a job for the mechanically challenged, and the parts are fairly expensive. While I had the range apart, I replaced the glo-bar oven igniters. These have a life time of about 2 years, according to many sources. As they age, the permit less and less gas to go to the two oven burner tubes, reducing the max temperature that the oven can reach, and increasing the time it takes to reach temp. The parts cost is not too terrible, but I have read of labor charges that bring the entire replacement cost to about $500 a pop. That is grossly excessive, as the replacement takes less than 1/2 hour and consists of removing the old glo-bars by removing four sheet-metal screws and replacing with new. I have heard lots of silly complaints and misunderstandings of how the oven ignition system works - but here it is - the glo bars are designed to remain on continuously as a safety feature. Electric current must flow through them to keep the gas valve open. When they fail, it is impossible to accidentally light the oven, or worse, blow up your kitchen. Unfortunately, they wear out from the high temperatures in the flame; it is a trade-off between safety and cost of ownership. The infrared gas broiler works the same way, btw. The other problem which seems to be endemic is the top burner re-ignition system. There are all kinds of complaints about this. The system is, again, designed for safety - a switch behind each burner knob activates the ignition module. It sparks at every burner, but, of course, only the one whose knob u have turned will light. As soon as it lights, the presence of flame between the spark plug and the burner edge turns off the module, and the sparking stops. If something boils over, and extinguishes the flame, the module starts sparking again, preventing the kitchen from exploding. The theory is good. There are several causes however, for the module either not sparking, or sparking even after flame is established. Since 1996 two modules of my have failed, and we are on our third. The first one just died and no sparks were produced. The second had a component failure, and started sparking one day, with the range knobs all turned off. The third, current module, almost worked correctly, except that it wouldn't stop sparking for several minutes after flame was established. Recently, however, while debugging a problem with the broiler igniter, I was checking continuity and wiring polarity with my digital multimeter, and, when I got to the line cord, i noticed that the hot and neutral wires were reversed. It appears that when mine was made, there was no color coding to the line cord conductors, and so they could be inserted into the range disconnect connector either way. The receptacle on the range probably was not polarity enforced either, so, it is likely (although I do not know for certain) that about 25% of the ranges made with similar line cords have the line and neutral polarities reversed. Detecting this problem and fixing it is definitely NOT something that the end user should even consider doing unless they are very very knowledgeable about electric wiring. As soon as I repaired that little oversight, however, the reignition module started functioning correctly and now shuts off immediately when flame is established. My guess is that the original equipment module worked ok because at some point wiring internal to the range had the line and neutral reversed to make the module work. When I replaced the broken first module i replaced the wires as labeled and color coded, so the second module would not stop sparking for several minutes after ignition - it was now wired backwards. The third module, the current one, similarly wouldn't stop sparking until i fixed the line cord problem. For those reading this wondering why the reversed wiring didn't just blow a fuse, it is because the wiring in the stove is floating. Again - don't play with this as there are lethal voltages present, especially at the spark plug, but, the problem can be fixed by someone who understands what I have written. In sum, the porcelain stinks - got rid of that, the oven igniters - that's just the way they are, and the reignition module problem can be fixed. When it all works, it is hard to beat the size and heat range of the top burners, and the size of the oven cavity. For me it was worthwhile to refurbish and re-skin in stainless - less than 1/4 the price of a new high-end range. Two other problems that should be mentioned. forget about preserving the markings on the stainless panel behind the burner knobs. No matter how careful u are, they will wash off. Use a label maker to replace. Also, the oven door assembly on mine warped a long time ago, so a little twist is required to get the top left edge to seal. We are used to that. Would I buy another Viking? Well I was at the distributor's show room recently and looked at new ranges of the same size and type as mine. Very attractive. The over door and hinge seems more substantial. The complaints, however, still abound. Your mileage may vary. I probably would look for an alternative.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: btberlin

                                i have a Viking wall oven and a Wolf cooktop and vent. Both work fabulously and have never had any problems. But I just cook like crazy and enjoy them. Maybe mine are the exception, but, on the other hand, I do not look for problems either. If Viking was as bad as folks make them to be , they would have been out of business a long time ago. Go get a GE and have fun. For some folks, if the sun is shinning, they will complain about the increased risk of skin cancer.

                                1. re: SpringRam

                                  Great line -- "For some folks, if the sun is shinning, they will complain about the increased risk of skin cancer." Thank you. This is in line with "the food was terrible and the portions were so small"!

                                  I posted several months ago: "Happy, satisfied Viking customer here - 48" cooktop and a pair of ovens. Eight years of heavy use and they're purring along happily. No issues except a minor installation glitch which was remedied immediately." Compliments do not garner as much interest as complaints.

                                  1. re: Sherri

                                    And, there are also folks who go out unprotected in the sun, develop freckles that bleed, and choose to go with, "Oh, it's just a freckle." There is an interesting side to making a large-dollar purchase, like a Viking - if you admit to yourself that your purchase has flaws, you have to admit to yourself that you made a mistake - in the case of a pro range, a $4000 mistake.

                                    Of course, your range and hood may be perfect. Some percentage are problem free. Note that for my posting I calulated that IF there was no production process to insure line cord polarity was correct, and IF there was no production process to insure that the disconnect socket was wired correctly, about 25% of the ranges would, in theory, suffer from the re-ignition system problems I found. There certainly are a lot of people complaining about that. I suggested that the problem can be fixed - i.e., if you understand the cause, you can apply a repair.

                                    However, let's try the approach of evidence-based thinking. Try using google with these search words, "viking range problems." Visit some of the links returned from that search. What u will find is multiple complaints about certain types of failures - the top-burner reignition system probably leads the pack for problems, followed by oven glo-bar igniters (which can be very costly to replace - up in the vicinity of $350 and more, and requiring replacement every two to three years), lettering on the stainless steel panel behind the knobs washing off, followed by an assortment of problems like oven floor buckling, porcelain flaws, oven door hinge problems.

                                    To say merely that some people complain about everything is to say, - "they are all lying to me me - their oven door hinges didn't really break, their top burner reignition systems don't really keep clicking, the porcelain on the oven door didn't really peel off, the oven igniters don't need replacement every few years, at an exhorbitant cost, and so on." Evidence, unfortunately, points to these reports being truthful.

                                    At one time a few years ago, Consumer reports included Viking in their brand repair history. Although Viking is no longer represented in their current report, my recollection is that based on 10's of thousands of reports, the Viking, as a brand, had many more problems than other brands. I cannot confirm that recollection as the brand is no longer in their repair history, but, that is what I believe i read.

                                    1. re: btberlin

                                      I hope you have gotten rid of the Viking by now. Otherwise you are one of those that just love to bathe in the comfort of eternal unhappiness. As to going online and using google to find out about how many folks are unhappy with their Viking, I have other things that matter much more to me, like my family and happiness in general. I do not need a cause. My hobby is cooking rather than writing long-winded mutli-paragraphs about something very few people care about. In other words, the topic you seem to be so enthralled to carry on about in simply boring.

                                  2. re: SpringRam

                                    My son is a plumber and in many homes. If he spots a certain brand of oven that we had in our kitchen briefly, he will ask how they like it. You would be amazed how many people have trouble with their oven and do nothing about it, because "We really don't use it very much"

                                    1. re: wekick

                                      Click click click click click. It doesn't stop. It is like Chinese torture. It will drive you bonkers. I have done everything. Cleaned etc. Customer service is worse than the cable company. Repairman at $100 an hour. Call them and they know exactly what you are talking about so the problem is widespread.

                                2. If it were me, by this point in time I think I would sit down and write a very detailed heartfelt letter of concern and complaint to the company. Ok - so to be honest the first thing I would do is write a really bit"hy letter that lambastes the entire organization and their ..... you get my drift, then I would throw out that letter and start the other one. If it were me I would tell them that I have had it with the issues with my oven/stove and will be replacing it with another brand as soon as possible due to lack of responsiveness on their part. I would also let them know that you have posted your dissatisfaction with their company/product on several popular foodie websites. Put a stamp on it and mail it in. If they don't do anything about it, you are only out the cost of the stamp and sometimes, at least for me, writing the letter can be therapy in itself. If they decide to take your situation seriously someone will contact you and resolve your situation.

                                  1. I am not trying, here, to negate the issues that other users have experienced. I am simply trying to provide a positive counterpoint based on my own experience.

                                    We purchased a VGIC in september of 2011 from Tasco. I liked the basic nature of the stove and I LOVED the simmer, the easy to disassemble and clean top, and the broiler. It beat out the Wolf 30" as the hot spot on the simmer for the Wolf was a deal breaker for me.

                                    We started to put it through its paces but did experience a service issue right off the bat. When the oven would heat up, it would stop re-igniting when it was time for the heat cycle to start. I contacted Viking, they were very responsive and said that this was an issue that I should take to the dealer. The Dealer was responsive and sent a technician.

                                    The technician lifted the bottom plate out of the oven, used his screwdriver to lightly bend the igniter a bit more towards the burner, and voila. Problem fixed. This is why I wanted a stove like this to begin with - no touch screens, no computers.

                                    I asked the tech a bunch of questions about the stove. He said that the ignition circuitry in the new models (post 2009) was improved and they have less service issues as a result. He said, in his experience, that the VGIC was a great stove and then most issues can be resolved simply - IE igniters are something that you can do very easily yourself if its out of warranty.

                                    I have really put this stove through its paces. Its a pleasure to use, the burners are great, the oven works well, the broiler is totally excellent. It doesn't hurt that it looks fabulous as well.

                                    Anyways I love my VGIC 30 and would not trade it in for any other model in this price range-ish.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: justints

                                      I too purchased a Viking stove with the understanding that this was a quality product. My range was ordered in 2007 and installed in 2008 in our vacation home. Within the first month I had issues with the ovens failing to ignite and/or sustain heat. Despite numerous service calls over the years, this continues to be a problem. This stove has failed while entertaining family and friends on many occasions (including Thanksgiving, New Years and Labor Day weekend). After all these repairs, corporate is now saying that it's my problem in that I must have "low" gas pressure - I've never been told that before! They have come to this conclusion without taking any pressure readings (according to their customer service representative). I find this hard to believe, as I would think this would be at the top of the list for an igniter issue. I am told they are basing this upon review of my service records. So where does this leave me? I am following up with having a pressure reading taken from my gas provider; however, if the pressure is within normal specifications, than I still have a problem that Viking seems to want to ignore. After reading the above string of related complaints, I can see why!

                                      1. re: cindypetersohn

                                        Cindy - Until about two years ago, Consumer Reports rated Viking stoves when they did their stove testing. At some point they noted that the repair history of Viking was so awful, and the performance so poor, that it wasn't worth rating them any longer. Mine is a much older model than yours, but it has been trouble from the git-go. See my past posts in this section. I doubt you will get any satisfaction from Viking. From my own perspective, if i were not able to buy replacement parts at a decent price, so i can do repairs, i would have junked it a long time ago. The two nice features that appealed to us when we bought it, the huge oven cavity and the 4 huge burners, still have their appeal. But, if had to pay for repair labor at a $100 per hour, plus full list price for parts, i would have moved it to the curb for white-metal pickup a long time ago. My advice is to Google around to see if there are any other boards on which your specific problem is discussed, and also to see if you can find a store whose repair technicians come highly rated for being able to figure problems out.

                                        1. re: btberlin

                                          You all are reminding me of something. My original repairman made a point of telling me the ignitors are like spark plugs, and you have to be very careful when cleaning them so you don't change the gaps. Maybe that's why I haven't had those problems, at least to speak of?

                                          1. re: btberlin

                                            I definitely remember the Viking ratings on Consumer Reports. We did a major kitchen remodel back in '95 - before the internet was abuzz with tons of info (and misinfo) at one's fingertips. So Consumer Reports was the primary source for gaining perspective on a broad statistical survey on consumer goods. We were considering going with Viking since they appeared to be built like tanks. What few opinions I could get from owners, they were mixed. The real telling was when I asked a sales person at probably the largest retailer of appliances in the area - he didn't like Viking products because they were unreliable and Viking's customer support was poor. If he endorsed Viking products, this would make him look bad and knew he'd never have return customers. His views jived with Consumer Reports' survey results which were consistent year after year on Viking - poor. He said that his general view on "high end" appliances whose manufacturer names carry cache are not for the average consumer. The units tend to be unreliable/temperamental, the parts are hard to get, expensive, and require an authorized technician to repair/install. Not that I'd attempt fixing anything but the most simple if issues on any major appliance, but his comments stuck with me. He said at least 95% of appliances sold are represented by the big manufacturers - GE, Whirlpool, Amana et al. They may not carry the same cache as Viking or Miele, but the ability to get parts and service should that be necessary would be far easier and less expensive. And because these manufacturers invest huge amounts of capital in R&D, their propensity to create a product that is effective and reasonably reliable are far greater than the luxe line manufacturers that represent such a minuscule segment of the market.

                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                              So we bought our 30inch range in 1996 or 1997. I've read consumer reports, and blogs, talked with parts department counter guys, kitchen remodelers, and so on. The general consensus is quite negative. So, either Viking's product manager is so provincial s/he never reads anything that expresses a negative view of the product, or simply doesn't know how to assess commonly held views of the viking ranges. In either case, despite the many sources of information about how the ranges perform in the real world, the engineering has continued to be substandard. Example- the design of the oven igniters in my range is not very good. Yes, they are part of an ignition system that should prevent blowups. But there are more durable glow igniters they could have specified -- for example my gas hot water heater has a glowbar ignition, and has never needed a replacement. The failed flame spreader welds just simply shouldn't happen. The clicking top burner igniters after the burner lights, in my case turned out to be the result of miswiring, in a way that could have been easily prevented by choosing a keyed connector to the line cord. Of course three spark modules and two sets of spark plugs is beyond the pale as well. And, most recently one of the burners on top, itself a replacement for an original, has burned through leaving a small hole through which gas leaks. Fortunately the leak ignites, like the row of holes above. In past posts I have written about the appalling quality of the porcelains, and that a friend and I finally replaced it with stainless steel skins, and new porcelain parts for about $800 for the parts and a couple of hours' labor-still less than the price of a new range with four big burners from another manufacturer. So sure--write a nice complaining letter to Viking management. If they haven't improved the product by now, following all the published complaints and reviews, they ain't gonna any time soon. I've said this before. If I were not able to buy parts at the same price as the dealer, and replace them myself, I would have junked it a long time ago.

                                      2. OH No not just you.....been suffering for 12+ years....it's just the worse piece of garbage ever produced. Keep reading different sites - What i can't understand is why has this company not been sued from some of the horror stories i have read. My old gold kenmore stove that was 25 years old when we bought the house continued to work perfectly for 10 more years before we got the viking. The kenmore was still a champ the day we got rid of it!

                                        1. High end appliances are like that, its part of ownership experience. Our 8 Miele appliances have had years of running over $1,000 in maintenance costs (knock on wood this year has been problem free).

                                          Fortunately the service, in two different locations, is immediate and superb. But the cost of parts is obscene. Miele's repair person has already told us to look forward to a $900 tab on the washing machine as the bearings on the drum are starting to wear.

                                          Its like a BMW, its a consideration when one makes a buying decision. Unfortunately the warranty periods on appliances are a lot shorter than for cars.

                                          1. We have an electric Viking range, but it too has had more than its share of breakdowns and repairs. It goes through heating elements rather quickly, it once had a burner that would not turn off at all (necessitating trips to the basement to the breaker box to turn the oven off and on for 3 weeks while we waited for a part to come in).

                                            The oven door once locked itself shut (like it does during a cleaning cycle, except we weren't cleaning). Another multiple week wait for parts and *then* the repair guy broke something else on it while making the repair (and yes, insisted on charging for that too). We haven't hired this "authorized" guy back since then. We use an independent repair company (much quicker getting parts, and no attitude).

                                            The original repair guy was a bit of a jerk. He'd always comment on how these are really high-end expensive items for upscale consumers and I thought that was inappropriate. Silly us, we didn't buy it as a money statement, we bought it because we use it - a LOT. We needed something that would hold up, and assumed Viking was it. When I commented on how the heating elements didn't seem to last long (compared to our old oven) he said we "used it too much". I had no clue these were just for show.

                                            It *is* truly gorgeous, I will say that for it. The matching hood has been trouble-free, it's just the stove itself that seems to fall short of expectation.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: Stardustgirl

                                              I have to say that the idea that a hood could be problematic had never occurred to me ;)

                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                I've learned over time that *anything* has the potential to be problematic, lol! I probably should've knocked on wood when I made that post.

                                              2. re: Stardustgirl

                                                Don't you hate that? Whe people assume you bought a Viking because of status or something? We wanted something that would perform and last because we cook a lot. Thught this was it too. I am resgned to replacing oven ignitors every six months now--we just had to replace the oven burners, too. Again. What a piece of junk! Why don't the parts last? And we don't cook "too much", we just cook. I am sorry to hear of your troubles with it, too.

                                                1. re: liveforfood

                                                  I agree with your sentiment, but my dear brother-in-law and wife do not cook, yet had one put into their McMansion about a decade ago and it gets used about a few times a month to boil water. When I asked early on if he liked it, his reply was I bought it solely for resale of the house. Wow!

                                                  1. re: liveforfood

                                                    I've been in a few "trophy kitchens" so I know they exist, but I was taught it is very rude to comment on the cost (or lack thereof) of someone's things. Double that if you're doing work for someone.

                                                    I'm bummed it hasn't been as high-quality as I'd hoped because it's made in the US. That was a selling point for this. Experience with the new appliances from our now 13-year-old remodel is that the European-made things have been the reliable workhorses.

                                                    Our original microwave didn't make it past the 3-year mark (and was subject to recall), and our original dishwasher was also a fire-hazard recall at 5 years, which we replaced with an ASKO. Both of the original items were made in China.

                                                    I guess compared to those the Viking isn't doing too bad, but it sits next to the Gaggenau grill (a lucky score at an 80% discount due to it being a demo model) that hasn't had a single issue whatsoever - the only appliance to be able to make that claim. It gets used 2 to 3 times per week.

                                                    1. re: Stardustgirl

                                                      I agree that the repairman of all people should keep his trap shut about it and do his job [and frankly be glad he works on something that needs repaired]. I grew up and presently reside in Iowa and I can remember a time where you could not only buy decently made American appliances, but Iowans could buy two brands that were largely manufactured in the State of Iowa [Maytag, Amana] and one assembled there [Electrolux]. With the closing of the Electrolux Plant in Story City, Iowa a few years ago and Whirlpool buying out Maytag [and closing the plants in Newton, Iowa] and Amana [that I think currently manufacturers Whirlpool products with the Amana name], I have switched to Bosch appliances in a kitchen remodel a few years back with above-average success to date. I know that they are not high end, but have shown to be more than competent for my cooking needs. The interesting thing is when I did a remodel and pulled out the house's Amana wall oven, microwave, and refrigerator and the JennAir Ceran Stovetop/Indoor Grill, I did quite well selling them to someone that "preferred" owning the early-1990's appliances I was ready to retire.

                                                2. I can really be sympathetic to you because I had all the same
                                                  problems you experienced, plus more. Bought a Viking for the same reasons you did...wanting reliable hard-working range, as I test recipes, cook for 8 - 10 folks on a regular basis and love being in the kitchen. The first problem was with the burner igniters. They would click, click and NEVER light. Then, my oven refused to light then would ignite and practically blow the door off the oven. Scary. Viking fixed that problem. Then after several more years of the imps living in the igniters, I paid a distributor to fix the range which cost me mega$$$. The final straw was while I was cleaning the oven ( oh, did I forget to mention that I bought a gas stove that didn't self-clean? Mea Culpa, but it was 1998) anyway in the middle of this clean up the piece of metal that shielded the oven burners simply fell off the weld. I had had it up to my eyebrows with this clunker and though it still looked great, I called Sears, ordered a Bosch (self-cleaning oven) gas stove. It's a beauty, has worked now for three years with nary a set back. The numbers have come off the dials, but I'm good at "guessing" and could order some new ones, but am too cheap. The dials look like chrome, but are cheaply made plastic. If that's the only problem I ever have with this Bosch, I will be one happy cook. Never, never, never will I buy another Viking...ANYTHING... I love the fact that they are made in the USA, but if we can't do better than what comes out of that factory, we deserve to buy foreign. It's really a shame.

                                                  1. I share your pain on all accounts - I could have written your comments.