Home Improvement

Appliance Repair 101

Appliance repair technicians on Kitchen Cabinet Painting Naperville IL diagnose and fix problems with household appliances. They are trained to work on various brands and can work on-site or in repair shops.

When comparing options, customers should ask about the company’s certifications and whether they are “factory authorized” or “certified.” The manufacturer’s warranty will cover the appliance repairs.

Refrigerators and freezers are one of the few appliances that work constantly, day and night, keeping food cold and fresh. So it’s amazing that they break down so rarely. But when they do, it’s a huge inconvenience and can cost you money in lost food. Luckily, some easy DIY refrigerator repairs can help you avoid costly repair bills or having to go out and buy more groceries.

If your fridge isn’t cooling, first check to make sure it’s plugged in. A loose or broken plug or power cable might be the reason you’re finding ice in your milk or having to throw away old food. Replacing the plug or fixing the power cable is an easy fix that can save you the hassle of calling a technician or visiting the grocers more often.

Next, make sure that your fridge coils are clean. These radiator-like parts are responsible for removing heat from the appliance, so they must be free of dust, pet hair, and other debris. Keeping them clean helps the fridge run efficiently and can save you a lot of energy in the long run. You can find them behind or underneath the fridge, and getting to them usually involves snapping off a grill or removing a few screws.

Also, if your fridge is making a loud humming noise, unplug the refrigerator and try to determine what’s causing it. If it’s still buzzing after this, you may need a professional refrigerator service technician to diagnose and repair the problem.

Lastly, if your refrigerator is leaking water or producing less ice than usual, it may be time to change the water filter. A dirty or clogged water filter restricts the water flow to the ice maker so that it won’t produce any. Changing the filter can solve this issue easily and quickly.

If your refrigerator isn’t producing any cold air, remove the metal cover plates or cardboard access panels on the back of the appliance to look at the circuit board. If you see any burn marks, the compressor relay is probably bad. Buying a new circuit board isn’t as difficult as you might think; you can replace the part with an inexpensive one from an electronics store.

Dishwashers are electrical appliances that connect to your plumbing system. Because of this, they can be more complex to repair than most other home appliances. If you decide to attempt a dishwasher repair, always make sure the appliance is unplugged or shut off its electrical circuit and water supply valve before working on it. This will prevent you from getting shocked or damaging your machine and save you from voiding your warranty by trying an unsafe DIY fix.

If the controls light up, but there is no power to the machine, or if it doesn’t start running after activation, you may have a blown fuse or tripped breaker. Turn off the dishwasher at the main entrance panel or a separate control switch, and check to see if a fuse or breaker has been blown or tripped. If so, reset the breaker or replace the fuse.

Many dishwasher problems are caused by food, soap, and other debris that clogs the spray arms and the drain line. Attempt to spin the top and bottom spray arms by hand to ensure they rotate freely. If they don’t, you can clean them by removing the arms and using a wire or pipe cleaner to clear the blockage.

Excessive noise can also indicate a problem with your dishwasher. Loud humming could suggest that the pump is overheating while rattling and grinding noises can signal that the bearing ring or spray arm seals are worn out.

Leaking from the dishwasher can be caused by a broken door gasket or an improperly-loaded machine. Look for cracks, brittleness, or looseness in the latch plate. Alternatively, you can tighten the door by adjusting the strike plate centered at the top of the frame. Be careful not to over-tighten the latch, as it can cause damage to the gasket.

If this fails, you may need to change your water supply line, often in the basement or crawl space under the sink. This will help reduce the mineral buildup that damages your dishwasher and leaves a chalky residue on your dishes. You can also purchase a water softener for your home to help minimize hard-water buildup.

Dryers use heat, gas, or air to vaporize the absorbed water from wet materials such as textiles, sugar, pulp and paper, wood, metal fabrication, and automotive parts. These materials are then deposited as solids or liquids into a collection container. The dryer is a vital appliance for many households, and it is important to keep this appliance in good working order.

While some issues with dryers require a professional to fix, many can be resolved by a homeowner. Common problems include a dryer that is not heating, a dryer that won’t turn on, or a dryer that makes squealing sounds during the cycle. Some of these problems are easy to troubleshoot with basic tools such as a multimeter, screwdrivers, nut drivers, and adjustable wrenches.

For dryers that won’t start, the first step is to check the switch. The switch is usually a push-button type, and its leads can be tested with a volt-ohm-milliammeter (VOM) set to RX1 scale. After disconnecting the switch leads, clip one VOM probe to each switch terminal and press the switch button. If the meter reads zero, the switch is bad and needs to be replaced.

Another possible problem is a broken belt or drum. A broken belt or drum can cause the dryer not to spin properly, and this issue is usually quite easy to fix.

If the dryer is making a squealing sound, there is likely a lint buildup in the dryer. Lint can block the dryer vent and cause it to overheat, so a good cleaning should be done before trying to restart the dryer.

If the dryer turns on but shuts off quickly, this is often a sign of a thermostat or thermal fuse failure. These fail-safes are designed to prevent overheating, which can lead to a fire. In most cases, a blown fuse can be replaced easily with an inexpensive new fuse. For more serious issues, it is best to contact a professional for help.

While not a part often considered “broken” or needing repair, the oven’s heating element can go bad over time. Fortunately, this is a fairly easy component to replace and doesn’t require the help of a professional.

First, ensure your oven is turned off and disconnected from the power source (including the gas supply). Next, remove the oven racks to access the broiler or bake elements. Inspect the elements for signs of wear, including bubbles and cracking; if they’re visibly damaged or not working, the element may need to be replaced. Select an identical replacement element, as a different one can damage your oven or cause further problems.

If your broil or bake element isn’t turning on, this could indicate that the infinite switch is faulty. This component controls the heat settings for the oven’s surface elements, so if it’s broken, the element will not start or remain on. Before attempting to restore or replace the infinite switch, consult your oven’s manual or online guidance to determine how to disassemble it.

Once you’ve removed the panel covering the infinite switch, turn on your oven and observe if there is any sign of it running (this can be difficult to spot since it is often covered with a metal plate). You can also test the infinite switch for continuity by connecting one wire from each pair of terminals to the multimeter (refer to our how-to guide on using a multimeter for more information). If there’s no continuity between the two ends of the infinite switch, you will need to replace it.

Keeping up with repairs and routine maintenance is an excellent way to extend the life of your appliances. Still, if you need more confidence to fix a problem independently, it’s always best to book a professional appliance repair service. With Asurion Appliance+(TM), you can get hassle-free coverage for all of your home appliances, plus 24/7 troubleshooting support. Learn more about our protection plan today!