Top 10 Easy Tips How To Troubleshoot Your Broken Appliance

I own an appliance repair company in Florida and a vast majority of our appliance repair calls could have been prevented if the homeowner knew what they were looking at besides a machine that isn’t functioning correctly. We appliance repair service companies charge $50 to $100 just to come visit you, which you’ll pay even if we don’t fix anything. So doing a basic once-over should be the minimum that you do to make sure you’re not just giving money away. Below is our top-ten list of things to look for and possibly fix before calling a repair professional.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to explain how to fix everything, but we do offer some tips. If you start with this list and determine the problem, and you still want to fix it, then use Google to find out how to fix it. Otherwise you can still call an appliance repair company to come fix it for you, but you’ll sound so much more informed and maybe he’ll just have the part with him when he arrives.

Refrigerator Not Cooling, Freezer Is Fine

1. This is probably one of the most common problems, so I listed it first. Most people don’t realize that the refrigerator section works entirely by blowing cool air from the freezer to the refrigerator through a vent with a fan. That’s it, that’s how it works. It doesn’t get as cold in the fridge because the vent is small, and if the vent is blocked then it will not cool the fridge properly. Check to make sure you don’t have a box of Bubba Burgers® or a bag of peas in the vent.

2. Sometimes the fan stops blowing the air. In this case you probably have a bad fan. It’s frigid in your freezer, that’s how they got the name, so take it easy on that little dead and frozen sailor. You can change the fan pretty easily.

3. Maybe you’ve got a bad seal. Don’t club it like they do in the frozen great white North, I’m talking about the seal around the door. Air has moisture in it, and if a little cloud gets into your freezer then it’ll make icicles in your vent leading to the fridge. That’s as bad as your meat eating lifestyle. Even the smallest hairline crack can do this. Replace the seal. If the fridge is old then get a new fridge because they’re hard to come by, and trying to splice in a seal for another fridge is next to impossible.

Freezer and Refrigerator Not Cooling

4. Spin the wheel and win a prize. You could win big or lose it all on this one.

If the compressor is having a hard time starting you could have a bad capacitor. This is easy to fix. Capacitors are like little batteries, but also like donkey kicks to the head. They hold a ton of juice and are used to jolt motors into starting. Once the compressor is started they can recharge and wait for the next donkey kick. You can piggy back a second capacitor onto the existing one. It’s really not hard. There are two wires that go onto two connectors. Most terminal blocks are already built to take them.

If the compressor itself is bad, take your fridge to the metal recycler and bring home a new fridge. Unless your fridge cost you over $1200 and is relatively new it’s probably not worth it to fix. Today’s cooling systems are self-contained and most appliance AC repair st cloud Florida  companies won’t touch them. Sorry.

Water under the Refrigerator

5. Usually this is caused by the drip-pan overflowing. Why do you have so much ice in the first place? Probably a leaky seal around the door. You could also have a busted water line or a loose connection to the ice-maker. If you’ve blamed the dog for peeing on the floor already and then realize it wasn’t his fault, give him or her a cookie for being loyal to an unworthy master.

Oven Won’t Bake or Broil

6. Turn on the broiler, does it come on? (The broiler is the burner element on the top of the oven.) Turn on the bake, does the bake element come on (The bake element is on the bottom of the oven.) If one or the other works, but not both, then you probably have a bad element. If neither works all of a sudden then you could have a bad relay, circuit board, or timer.

To check an individual element, take a flashlight and shine it on the element that isn’t working. Look for a spot where it appears to have melted. If you see a melted spot on the element then it needs changed. You can buy any of these parts online and some of them at Sears. Elements are easy to change, shop online for yours. Relays are easy too. Unplug the oven before attempting any repair and you should let it sit 30 minutes to let the power and heat drain. To change a relay, remove the back panel of the oven to expose the old relay. The new one just plugs in its place.

Stove Burner Won’t Heat

7. Probably a bad element. These are very easy to change if you don’t have a glass-top. Just unplug it and get a replacement at Sears, Home Depot, or Lowes. As always, make sure it is not plugged in or hot before touching the element. Be very careful if you have a glass-top, they’re heavy and delicate. Put a towel on the ground where you plan to place glass or it will chip every time.

Washer Does Not Spin

8. It’s fun time! This is the big money-maker for appliance repair companies. We just hate it when you call us for this! It’s probably the lid switch. There, I said it. May the appliance wizards strike me dead. There is no easier fix in appliance land than this. It works like this, the lid on the washer, when closed, triggers a switch to shut off the motor. Turn off the rap music and brain-draining TV and listen to the click as you open and close the lid. The switch is probably bad if you don’t hear it. Find that thing. They often rust and break off. There will be a pair of wires going to it. You can twist the wires together and bypass it entirely, but don’t sue me if you stick your arm in the washer while it’s on and make yourself look like a cheater on the Lifetime® channel. The purpose of the switch is to avoid liability by the manufacturers, so the machine detects and stops spinning when the lid is opening. You’re a grown up (supposedly), so take responsibility for yourself and don’t worry about it. Cut out the switch off, twist the wires together, and put some black tape on it. You’re good to go. Keep arms and legs clear of fast and dangerous things at all times. If you have a cat or a child, this may not be a good idea, so get a replacement switch.

Washer Does Not Drain

9. Wonder no longer where your socks go. Did you really think there was a mystery land with Charlie the Unicorn? He doesn’t even wear socks. Take the back of your washer off and remove the pump, there’s an old sock in it.

Dryer Does Not Heat Sufficiently

10. It says right inside the dryer door to clean your lint filter after every use but you probably already know that. If you haven’t cleaned it, then pull it out and peel off the inch of insulation and put it in your attic. If you’ve been cleaning it, then you’re still on the right track. Air under pressure can’t go anywhere, just like a plane if it doesn’t have a destination as well as an arrival location. Check the exhaust tube leading to the outside of your building. Make sure the tube is clear all the way to the grapefruit tree in your parent’s yard in Florida. If you’re in an apartment building, that could mean calling the maintenance man to clean out the tube. That’s what we would do, and you can do that.

There are lots of other things it could be, but this is my top ten list of what you can troubleshoot and possibly fix yourself pretty easily. But by all means, if you want it professionally fixed, call around and get a good price, but I don’t recommend that you use Craigslist for this. The repair companies on there are usually shoddy, operating without a business, and you won’t get good service. If they burn down your house or flood your wood floor, are they insured to handle the expense? Probably no.

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