FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
One of the most common questions we get asked is in regard to whether an appliance should be repaired or replaced. Here are some things to think about on that subject. Is the appliance in good mechanical condition (other then the current problem)? Is the appliance in good cosmetic condition, no dents or scratches? Are there any strange odors or evidence of rust? Are there any funny noises or leaks? What is the normal useful life of the appliance and how old is it?
Although there are exceptions, we generally do not recommend that you invest more then half of the replacement cost in repairing an appliance. For that reason it is a good idea to scout out the replacement cost before getting too far into the repair. Here are some things to think about when considering the total cost of replacement. First, consider the cost (plus tax) of a new appliance. Next, consider the cost of disposing of the old appliance, and finally, the cost of installing the new appliance. On many built in products such as refrigerators or dishwashers there are often custom door panels involved. Will your old panels fit the new unit? Can you find a new unit that will fit in the current installation without necessary modifications?
If we can extend the useful life of your appliance another two years or more, it is often actually more economical to repair the old unit then to replace it
DISHWASHERS: The most reasons for dishwashers not getting things clean are: 1) Water not hot enough – it should be at least 140 degrees. 2) Old detergent that is not melting. 3) Not properly draining due to a plugged drain or plugged air gap. 4) Large objects obstructing the wash arms so they can not rotate properly. 5) Too much soap. Over time the excess soap can build up and cause trouble. Run the machine empty and check mid cycle to see if there is evidence of soap in the water. If so repeat until the excess is gone. For more dishwasher repair tips, click here.
REFRIGERATOR: The most common cause of refrigeration problems is failure to clean the condenser. This component must be able to vent heat into the ambient air around the refrigerator or freezer. If it is clogged with house dust or animal fur for example, it will reduce the efficiency of the unit at best and at worst cause components to overheat and perhaps be damaged beyond repair. Your owners manual probably recommends cleaning the condenser on a regular basis. Is the door closing properly? If not it can cause the interior light to stay on and that will affect cooling. A defective door switch can do the same thing. Here is a way to test the door seal. Open the door and place a piece of paper between the seal and the body of the box, then close the door. Is the paper easy to pull out or does it fall out on it’s own? If so you may have a sealing problem. Another sure sign of this is frost around the area where the door seals. That indicates warm air is getting into the box and when it mixes with the cold are it forms frost. You can also make sure nothing in the box is obstructing it from closing completely. For more refrigerator repair tips, click here.
DRYERS – If your clothes are taking too long to dry make sure they are coming out of the washer properly spun dry. If they are too wet it will take the dryer a very long time to get them dry. Also make sure that the dryer has not been pushed back and is not pinching the vent. We sometimes also find animal nests in the vent on the outside of the house. Anything that obstructs the vent will cause problems. Of course make sure you are cleaning the lint screen every time you put in a new load. This will also save you money on your fuel bill. Note that some fabric softener products also clog the lint screen much faster and some manufacturers actually recommend that they not be used. They can also affect the sensors that tell some dryer models if the cloths are dry yet or not. For more dryer repair tips, click here.
WASHERS – Front loading use much less soap then top loaders. Make sure you are using the type and amount of soap recommended by your manufacturer. Oversudsing and detergent build up in the clothes can result. Do not overload these machines either as they depend on the tumbling action for part of the cleaning process and packed in clothes don’t tumble well. For more washing machine repair tips, click here.
OVENS – Today’s electronic ranges use cooling fans to protect the sensitive components on the control circuit boards. It is common for these fans to not come on immediately and also to stay on after the appliance has been turned off. They will normally turn themselves off once the ovens internal temperatures reach a safe level. For oven repair tips, click here.
GAS COOKTOPS – Most modern gas cook-tops use electronic ignition to light the gas. This ignition system provides a spark until the flame appears then automatically shuts off. If the sparking continues after the flame is burning it may be because of a burner cap out of position or dirt on the cap or ring. Try cleaning all the burners and making sure everything is seated properly. For gas cooktop repair tips, click here.
ELECTRIC COOKTOPS – If one of the top burners is not heating and it is the type you can unplug for cleaning, make sure it is properly seated in the plug. You can check to see if the plug itself is the problem by moving elements around. If the problem stays in the same place there is most likely a wiring problem that will require a technician but if the problem moves with the element then it is probably bad. For electric cooktop repair tips, click here.