Avoiding Costly Appliance Repair with Timely Maintenance

Appliance repair

Appliance Purchases are a Significant Investment

Buying a new home is a major investment. Outfitting that home with appliances required for just basic modern necessities is also a major purchase. Even when purchasing an existing home, many homeowners opt for new appliances, rather than having an appliance repair technician service components that come with the home.

A refrigerator, kitchen stove, clothes washer, dryer, dishwasher, and hot water heater are all basic appliances nearly every home has. The price tag for such appliances adds up to a significant investment. One that most homeowners want to protect with a sensible preventative maintenance program.

Protect Your Investment

Repair needs sometimes arise that require a home appliance part and the expertise of a major appliance repair service provider. However, most of the time the expense of repair service can be avoided by a program of regular maintenance.

While preventive maintenance is wise for both small appliance and major appliance care, today's small kitchen appliance design is, for the most part, “disposable.” Appliances such as electric can openers, toasters, blenders, and even a microwave oven are designed to give a service life of 5 to 10 years, before being discarded. For instance, a microwave oven that used to cost hundreds of dollars, may currently be available for $50 or under.

On the other hand, a clothes washer and dryer set that used to cost $600 to $800 may now have a current market value of $1200 to $1800. With such significant cost increases for major appliance purchases, it only makes sense to protect your investment with preventative maintenance.

Regular Maintenance Program; the Best Type Do it Yourself Appliance Repair Possible

For do it yourself appliance repair, the best appliance repair tip is to provide regular proper care and maintenance for your appliances:

    • Every appliance large or small comes with an owner manual. An all important first step in operating and caring for your new appliance is to familiarize yourself with the manual. Before setting up and using an appliance for the first time, carefully read the appliance manual and become knowledgeable with all the information. Follow instructions exactly to avoid personal injury or damage to the unit. And also so any accompanying warranty will not become void.

    • Regular cleaning and maintenance - the best way to avoid unnecessary repair costs.

The following are cleaning and maintenance guidelines for most major appliances:

    • Cooktop/gas stove/electric stove - clean spills immediately once stove top has cooled. Use only cleaners recommended by the manufacturer on one piece cooktops. For electric or gas stoves, clean drip bowls under the burners immediately after spills, once they have cooled. Replacing old stained drip bowls with new ones can significantly spruce up an older stove. A small investment; usually under $20.

Immediately clean oven spills once the oven has cooled. Regularly inspect oven door gasket for a snug fit; replace when necessary.

When it comes to a gas range, the color flame on the pilot light can give an indication of gas efficiency. When properly adjusted, the flame will be blue. If poorly adjusted, the flame will be yellow.

    If the range has one, clean and de-grease the hood and exhaust fan every 3 to 4 months.

    • Refrigerator - use a vacuum with brush attachment to clean coils on the back of the unit monthly; this can increase efficiency and avoid overheating.

Clean the door gasket using baking soda and warm water every 3 to 4 months. Inspect the gasket for a snug fit; replace when necessary.

For refrigerators with and automatic ice maker or water purifier, replace the water filter at least twice each year. Use only manufacturer recommended replacement filters.

    • Freezer - avoid ice build up (which reduces efficiency) by defrosting every 3 to 4 months. Clean the gasket using baking soda and warm water. Inspect the gasket for snug fit; replace if necessary.

Clean coils on the back of the freezer using the same procedure as for a refrigerator every 3 to 4 months.

    • Dishwasher - clean the dishwasher interior; de-scale the unit by running a wash cycle with at least one cup white vinegar every 3 to 4 months.

Clean the strainer using warm water and detergent every 6 months.

Remove and gently clean the spray arm using a wire or stiff brush annually. Remove mineral deposits from the spray holes as much as possible.

 Annually inspect the water supply hoses to ensure they are tight, with no kinks or leaks.

    • Clothes washer - clean detergent or bleach spills immediately to avoid possible damage to the finish.

Most units have a filter of some type on the clothes washer plumbing supply inlets. Clean or replace it at least annually. Also inspect supply hoses to ensure they are tight, with no leaks or kinks.

    • Clothes dryer -clean the lint trap after each load of clothes. A clogged lint trap can drastically reduce air flow and compromise dryer efficiency. Clean detergent or bleach spills immediately to avoid damage to the finish.

Make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outside; never vent a dryer to the inside of the home. Clean the vent and hose annually to prevent lint build up and avoid a fire hazard.

    • Hot water heater - a common problem leading to tank failure and a leaking water heater is the build up of minerals inside the tank. Most of the newer gas water heater or electric water heater models (1998 to present) have a special lining that resists build up. However, it is still a good idea to hook up a garden hose to the valve on the bottom of the tank and drain it; purging out any mineral sediments 1 to 2 times each year. Be sure to turn off heater and water supply while draining. After draining, shut the valve, turn on water, and then turn thermostat back on once the tank is full.

More Maintenance/Repair Tips

One of the best appliance maintenance/repair tips available is to know your limitations. Some types of appliance maintenance repair is best left to the professionals.

For most homeowners, troubleshooting or repair efforts that go beyond the guidelines in the owner's manual could result in serious bodily injury or unnecessary damage to the appliance.

Stove repair, dishwasher repair, and clothes washer repair involving the electronic control circuitry requires the expertise of a professional; one trained in troubleshooting electronics. Other types of repair such as the transmission on a clothes washer, extreme refrigerator temperature problems (too warm or too cold), or a water heater problem with the thermostat control are also best left to an appliance service professional.

In addition to the above, services such as refrigerator repair may involve handling substances such as Freon that have strict government guidelines for use and disposal.

Calling in the Professionals

By utilizing these helpful guidelines for home appliance maintenance and repair, you are sure to get the most out appliance purchases.

Canadian homeowners seeking a Toronto kitchen appliance professional to repair a serious dishwasher problem, or any other type appliance problem, can find local reliable service providers; quickly, easily, without cost or obligation, at

Homeowners can sign up absolutely free and post their appliance repair projects online, where it is immediately visible to local service providers 24/7. Member contractors also receive e-mail notification of new project postings within their scope of services, and provide competitive bids in days, even hours after project posting.

Use Trustedpros's online resources to view each candidate's portfolio. Including company profile pages, references, insurance/licensing/certification credentials, customer comments, and photos of recently completed projects. And then make an informed hiring decision, or hire no one at all. Remember, there is no cost or obligation whatsoever.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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