You’ve probably heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if you could save money by repairing your broken appliance instead of replacing it?
I have a friend who just bought a new washing machine. She told me that she had to buy an expensive repair kit before her old one finally died for good. All because she didn’t want to take the time to learn how to diagnose and repair her appliances when they break down.
So I wanted to write this article for all those people out there who are too scared or unsure about how to go about diagnosing and repairing their home appliances safely without breaking them further right away. It’s not as hard as you think, and once you understand how appliances work, this will be your first step to saving money on expensive appliance repairs.
How do I diagnose a faulty home appliance?
When trying to pinpoint the source of the problem with your broken appliance, there are three important parts that need to be checked out before taking apart the whole machine.
1. The power supply
2. The control panel
3. The motor
The power supply is the main source of electricity that your appliance receives to run. Make sure it’s turned on and plugged in securely before you continue with further steps. If it fails this test, then you can assume there’s a problem with the actual wiring or fuses and you should call a professional for further advice and repairs.
The control panel is the brain of the machine. It houses the motherboard and relays signals to your appliance’s motor. There are usually only two possibilities when it comes to this part of your broken appliance either there’s a problem with an electrical connection between the control panel and the motor or it may have a problem with its circuitry. Again, if you’re not up to replacing this part yourself then contact a professional for further help.
The final step is to check out your appliance’s motor by turning it on manually. Make sure that it runs smoothly after you move the dials around and press down on the start button. If it fails this test, then you have a serious problem with your electromagnet coils and will need to replace your appliance or call a professional for further advice.
How do I repair a faulty home appliance?
Now that you know where the problem is, you can begin planning on how to go about repairing the broken appliance.
The first thing you’ll want to do is find out if there are any online manuals or guides available for repairing your appliance. You can do this by searching for the model number of the appliance on Google, along with keywords like ‘repair manual’ or ‘guide’. If there’s no information available online, you may need to contact the manufacturer to find out if they have any other resources available.
While you’re waiting for information online or elsewhere, make sure your space is clean and clutter-free to avoid misplacing tools or other parts while working.
When you’ve got the resources in hand, carefully follow along with them as you execute each step required to complete the repair. If you don’t have the necessary tools to complete the repair, do not skip over any steps! This could result in further damage to your appliance or injury to yourself, both of which will cost more.
You’ll want to take detailed notes as you go along so that you can reference them later if you need to make additional repairs to your appliance. This way, you won’t risk forgetting important steps or having to go back and redo work multiple times because you forgot about a small detail.
If the instructions are not clear, be sure to ask for clarification before you begin work on your appliance. You don’t want to fail by accident!
Know the difference between a repair and replacement
Knowing the difference between a repair and replacement can save you money in the long run. Rather than replacing your faulty appliance outright, you are much better off calling an appliance technician to diagnose the problem before deciding what to do next. As well as this, be sure to have all of the necessary tools for repairing your appliances on hand, such as screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, cables, etc.
Be prepared with tools on hand
One of the keys to easily and affordably repairing a faulty appliance is to be prepared with the right tools. For electrical problems, you’ll need to have a multimeter and an electrician’s screwdriver handy. For non-electrical problems, you’ll need things like a socket set, faucet pliers, pipe wrench, and more. Once you’ve diagnosed the problem and turned off your power supply (or unplugged your appliance), you’re ready to get started fixing it up.
Diagnose your appliance’s problem before you start making repairs
Start by checking your appliance’s power cord. A faulty power cord might be the reason why the appliance doesn’t work. Check for frays, tears, or broken insulation near the connections. Remove any tangled wires to see if you can find the problem. Replace your power cord with a new one if you find any damage or issues. Next, check for loose wiring. Make sure all the connections are tight and secure by looking for bent pin plugs, loose screws, or blown fuses.
Sometimes appliances may stop working because of a loose wire grounding out in an outlet or extension cord. If this is the case, use a voltmeter to test for current flow between pins 12 and ground (ground should read 0 volts). To fix this, remove the ground wire from the terminal strip. Then tighten all of the set screws in the back of the outlet or extension cord to ensure no wires are loose or disconnected. If you have a voltage tester, this might be helpful if your voltmeter isn’t able to indicate there is power at your outlet.
Check for any leaks around your appliance’s water supply
If you have a dishwasher, check underneath it for any leaks. Disconnect the water supply line under the sink and turn it on to see if there are any water leaks or drips. If you find that your dishwasher has a leak, turn off the water supply and replace your washer hose with a new one.
If your appliance is leaking water somewhere else, check the supply line for leaks and replace any washers you find damaged with new ones. Once everything is dry, reconnect everything in reverse order to have your appliance working again.
Look for dust or dirt buildup around your home appliances
Buildup can be a specific problem with air conditioning units. If you have a window unit, clean the filter out every month by taking it out of the slot and vacuuming any dust off. Make sure it’s put back in place to allow optimal airflow through the unit.
If you have central air conditioning, remove the cover of your furnace unit to check for too much dirt buildup on the coils. Clean the coils off with a brush or use your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust.
Find out what you need to repair your appliance by following these steps
Sometimes, appliances will just plain stop working because of simple issues like loose wiring or burned-out light bulbs. Replace knobs and covers if yours are broken or discolored. Check for any water leaks in your appliance and fix these problems to prevent any costly damages.
If appliances aren’t working correctly, the problem might stem from a loose connection or a faulty switch which can usually be repaired easily. If you’re not sure how to check what’s wrong with your home appliance or don’t have the tools for this job, call an appliance repair company.
Maintain your appliances and keep them running smoothly
Adding insulation to the back of deep freezers will help the appliance run more efficiently and save you money in energy costs, so it can pay off in the long run. Cleaning coils and cabinets regularly will save you time and money by helping to prevent expensive repairs down the road.
Follow instructions carefully when repairing an appliance
Often when repairing an appliance, you will be working with the wire connections. Make sure that you use pliers to grip the wire firmly when untwisting it. It is good to apply pressure when pulling the wires apart because not pulling them too much means that it will be easier to attach them back together. When attaching wires together, make sure they are aligned correctly and make sure not accidentally cross any of the wires in the process.
You also need to pay attention to what type of wire connectors or wire nuts you are using because they mean different things for different appliances. For instance, twist-on wire connectors are used for copper wiring while screw-on ones are used for aluminum wiring. Twist-on wire connectors are also used for appliances with two or fewer wires. Any more than that and you would need to use screw-on wire connectors. Wire nuts are used on the inside of the appliance so they don’t interfere with its appearance.
Be careful when working around water connections
Water piping is an important part of your home appliance because it is what makes it safe to use by containing any electrical currents. It is important to not cross the pipes when making repairs because doing so can result in death or even more severe injuries that require extensive medical care.
This means that you should never try to fix electrical appliances near standing water, although standing water might occur after a flood, it’s best if you do not make any repairs until the floodwaters have receded. If you are ever in doubt about whether electrical appliances can be used safely, take it to a professional!
Appliances should only be fixed by qualified technicians
There are some things that might seem easy to fix but are not. For example, if your appliance runs slower than usual or doesn’t start then you should not try to fix it yourself. Instead, call a professional who can quickly come to your aid.
Appliance repair technicians are qualified and experienced in fixing appliances because they know how they work and what to do when something goes wrong. They also know how to correctly handle the different components of an appliance so that nothing breaks while they are fixing the appliance.
It is important for home appliance owners to know what can or cannot be fixed so that they do not try to fix something which requires professional help, especially if it’s too complicated. This will just end up costing more money in the long run by having to take your appliances back for repair multiple times instead of once.