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How I fixed an Americana (GE) anti-tip bracket that didn’t work

I’m fixing up a house that has an Americana (a GE budget brand) gas range in it. One of the last things I did before getting the St. Louis County inspection was to check to see if it had an anti-tip bracket installed. It did, so I didn’t worry about it. The house failed inspection based on two things, basically–a dead battery in the smoke detector downstairs (funny, I installed that about two months ago), and the anti-tip bracket.

The bracket that came with this range is a little different. Rather than grab the leg like most anti-tip brackets, this one grabs a hook on the back of the stove. The problem with mine was that the bracket couldn’t reach the hook on the back of the stove. The gas line comes through the floor about an inch from the wall, so the stove can’t sit close enough to the wall for the bracket to catch. Further investigation revealed that even if the bracket could have reached, it wouldn’t have done much since it was only screwed into drywall. The stove’s weight would have pulled it straight out.

But the remedy was simple and only involved a two-foot scrap of 2×4.

What I did first was to perform some exploratory surgery. Lacking a stud finder, I drilled some holes to find something to secure the 2×4 to. I couldn’t find the wall plate at all–the board that runs along the floor. I believe the floor sits on 3/4″ plywood subfloor, with ceramic tile on top of that, so the plate probably is actually underneath the existing floor. That’s the theory I’m going with. So I looked for a stud. I found one a good foot away from the hook on the back of the range. So I had to abandon my initial plan of using a short scrap of 2×4 in a corner. I attached the long 2-foot length of 2×4 to the only accessible stud with three of the longest screws I could find in my stash. Next I measured the hook on the back of the range, and determined that the optimal placement for the bracket was about 4 inches from the corner. I attached it to the 2×4 with the screw that (presumably) came with the range.

Unfortunately the only other nearby stud was behind the gas line, so I couldn’t use it.

I slid the range back into place and tried to tip it. I felt the bracket engage the hook, then keep going. Not good. I stopped, pulled the stove back out, and the bracket looked fine. The hook looked less fine. The holes for the sheet metal screws that held it to the range were stripped. My first thought was to cut threads for 6-32 machine screws, but the holes were too big, and I didn’t have any thread-cutting 8-32 screws. I settled for attaching it with a pair of 6-32 machine screws secured with a nut from the inside. There’s an opening right next to the hook that makes reaching in easy.

Then I slid the stove back and tried again. I immediately felt it catch, so we were good. I tried it a few more times, and each time, it engaged. I think I’m good now.

And as a bonus, that 2×4 now limits how far the range can go back. I don’t think I can damage the gas line by pushing a range up against it, but it’s nice for that risk to not even be on the table.

Regarding Americana, I have no idea where those are sold, but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one. The last time I checked, GE made the best ranges, and the Americana, being a budget model, has no bells and whistles to fail. To use it, you turn the appropriate dial. So I expect this range to last decades.

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