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March 18, 2017, 06:35 PM

Repair and servicing an old New World Rangette gas cooker

By Thornton Kay

New World Rangette new from Radiation Ltd in 1957 [newspaper ad November 1957

 
New World Eureka JGD 189 - forerunner of the Rangette
 
New World Rangette for sale on the internet
  

UK - "We have a vintage New World Rangette gas cooker. After 13 yrs in storage we tried to get it into our newly acquired home in Bristol but its just been failed by a Gas Safe fitter cos it leaks. Needs fully stripping down, seals etc plus bringing up to modern safety standard. How can we find someone who does this sort of thing," asked SalvoNEWS reader 'Fleming Hell' in March 2017.

"In 2015 we bought a New World Rangette 173A. I am actually hoping that someone might be able to help me with spare parts and service - we are having such trouble finding someone to come and service and install it! It never occurred to me that we'd have a problem with this as we have old cars and stupidly assumed that old appliances would be just as easy to find people to work on. Any help greatly appreciated. I'm not sure what parts we might need (if any) but any leads would be incredibly welcome," wrote another SalvoNEWS reader.

The 173A model dates from 1961. The earliest we found was described as new in an old advert (see pic above) in a late 1957 newspaper.

Firstly the spare parts. Hartill's of Wolverhampton is recommended by some, but the only listed New World Rangette spares we could find is at Cookers Galore (see link) of Chichester. There are probably others but we could not find any in March 2017. Some adverts on Gumtree, eBay and Preloved over the past few years have offered parts from New World Rangettes - so these might be worth keeping an eye on for broken or missing plastic knobs and handles. Although seals and gaskets may be unique to a Rangette, many parts for gas cookers of this era may be interchangeable, and it is worth bearing in mind that metal and fibre parts such as gas jets and doors seals can be replicated by specialist engineers. It has been suggested that the best places to find the skills needed could be in steam or engineering museums where old equipment is maintained to a high working standard.

Secondly - UK law on the reuse of secondhand gas stoves is unclear.
It is probably a legal requirement that instruction books or user manuals are obtained. John Wright & Co, an ironfounders, bought the Eagle Range Company in 1894 and began making gas stoves. In 1919 Radiation Ltd was formed to buy John Wright & Co and the Richmond Gas Stove Co. Radiation first started making the New World brand of gas cookers in the 1930s with cookers such as the JGD 189 New World Eureka Gas Range, the forerunner of the Rangette branded John Wright & Co and Radiation Ltd (see pic). Radiation began making the New World Rangette from 1957? until in 1967 when Radiation was bought by Tube Investments, in turn bought by Smiths Industries, later the Smiths Group, in 2000. There is no trace of Radiation Ltd company archives on the internet, although it is likely that manuals exist for all Rangette variants somewhere in the UK or abroad, including coal gas to natural gas and possibly LPG conversions (essentially changimg the jet sizes). Without this information, in the UK it seems unlikely that repairing or modifying a Rangette will be carried out by a Gas Safe or other approved gas engineer, but it could be by the owner of a house in which the gas stove is already fitted if he or she, or someone who is prepared to do the work unpaid, is competent to maintain or repair the item.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 apply to UK gas stoves and state '3.- -(1) No person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or gas storage vessel unless he is competent to do so.'
The regulations obliquely cover aspects of the reuse of secondhand gas stoves:
Materials and workmanship
5.- -(1) No person shall install a gas fitting unless every part of it is of good construction and sound material, of adequate strength and size to secure safety and of a type appropriate for the gas with which it is to be used.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1) above, no person shall install in a building any pipe or pipe fitting for use in the supply of gas which is- -
(a)made of lead or lead alloy; or
(b)made of a non-metallic substance unless it is- -
(i)a pipe connected to a readily movable gas appliance designed for use without a flue; or
(ii)a pipe entering the building and that part of it within the building is placed inside a metallic sheath which is so constructed and installed as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, the escape of gas into the building if the pipe should fail.
(3) No person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or gas storage vessel otherwise than in accordance with appropriate standards and in such a way as to prevent danger to any person.

A few brave souls are prepared to aid in the reuse of old stoves, as can bee seen on various chat rooms and internet forums. For example, Greg in 2015 wrote that his old gas stove was replaced by something "almost as old, but more reliable a New World Rangette. (Mind you, I had to take it apart, degrease it (euw) and re-assemble)."

There is no law preventing dealers from selling secondhand gas appliances, but the Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995 stipulates that they must be safe. Does this law apply to private sales? It does not seem to. In its rules SalvoWEB requires trade sellers of old gas appliances to comply by the law - but this requirement may be breached or ignored and we would not know. BUYER BEWARE.

In 1916 the Guardian newspaper Money section ran a story about old kitchen appliances including gas cookers with a photo of a Rangette which was captioned 'A 1950s New World Radiation oven that is still being used daily in some households'. The article said that the present owners mother bought the it in the 1950s and passed it on to him. It's still used daily. "When it needed a bit of renovation a decade ago, second-hand cooker shops laughed at us," said the owner, David. But they found help from an usual corner - a local expert in renovating steam engines, who managed to fix it.

Disclaimer: We would recommend seeking advice from a registered gas safe fitter.
Find online: gassaferegister(dot)co(dot).uk/

A professional wrote:

I have only ever repaired one, that was going back some 8 - 10 years ago and actually found the parts on Ebay. If this is the one I am thinking of, a two door oven, ( with plate warmer ), hobs either side with a fold down grill and a lighter at the side - a Radiation New World Rangette my goodness! The cooker I repaired had already been converted to Natural Gas, so a kit was available at some point.

You can tell if it's been converted, under the gas rings plates you will see brass rings, that is a good indication. And on the cooker plate there maybe some kind of label. If not, IMO a lost cause unless you can find a kit but that is not the end of the story, you will need a new thermostat among other things and the grill will require a conversion strip.

And of course depending on where it's fitted, it may require a separate FFD (Flame Failure Device - ed). Given all of that, and the right parts a competent registered fitter can convert,--- it will cost you and of course it will need an instruction book.

It would take me about 2 1/2 hours to strip, convert and check everything and I would charge you between 280 and 350 for the job + parts if they were available. The couple that owned the cooker I repaired were stuck in a late 50s time warp. The kitchen cabinets were of the steel kind, their kitchen was in great condition.

I still come across these type of cabinets and drawers still in use today, when you open a drawer, your ear lugs go north,--- screech.

My feeling about this thorny topic is that, despite the allure in this retro minded age, someone who does not feel competent to take an old cooker apart, repair, rebuild it (in accordance with the regs) and then test it, probably should not buy one in the first place, unless they know someone who can, or has the instruction booklet and can persuade a Gas Safe cooker person to do it.

A woman with plenty to do,
Had a holiday all summer thro'
She bought a Rangette,
From then on you bet,
She was Cool and Contented,
Are you?
(From the back of a Rangette brochure in Canada.)

Cooker Galore: New World Rangette spares
Guardian: 'My fridge is 60 years old' the appliances that just go on and on

Story Type:  Letter

ID: 99389

Date Modified: March 19, 2017, 03:34 PM

        
 
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