Some of our appliance repair calls can be prevented if the homeowner tries some basic things before calling. All appliance repair service companies that I've known charge $50 to $100 just to come visit you, which is minimum even if we find it's unplugged and we don’t fix anything. So doing a basic once-over can help you save some money before we come out. 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 or Youtube to find out how to fix it. Otherwise you can still call an appliance repair company to come fix it for you, and 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 usually works entirely by blowing some of the cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator through a vent with a fan. 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 or a bag of food blocking the vent.
2. Sometimes the fan stops blowing the air. In this case you probably have a bad fan. Fans operate in frigid conditions and they do wear out. Changing a fan is not overly expensive or difficult to do.
3. Maybe you’ve got a bad seal. Air has moisture in it, and if regular atmospheric air gets into your freezer then it’ll make ice in your vent leading to the fridge. Even the smallest hairline crack can do this, and if you find that's the case just replace the seal. For new refrigerators a replacement seal isn't hard to get, but for old refrigerators they make universal solutions.
Freezer and Refrigerator Not Cooling
If the compressor is having a hard time starting you could have a bad capacitor or relay. This is easy to fix. Capacitors and relays usually come in a kit. 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 time they're needed. 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, the evaporator, or anything inside the sealed system is bad, you'll need to hire a licensed professional to tap in and get the part replaced. This entails acetylene torches, a vacuum pump, a manifold and guages, and freon. We perform this service at Brevard Appliance Repair.
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. There are numerous other causes that can cause leaks but these are the most common.
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 may chip or get damaged.
Washer Does Not Spin
8. These can be big money-makers for appliance repair companies. Watch your wallet and evaluate accordingly if you want to do a repair because repairs can and often exceed the price of a new machine. If the washer fills but then fails to agitate or spin, it's probably the lid switch that has gone bad. A lid switch is a saftey mechanism that prevents the machine from completing its dangerous cycles with the lid open. If the switch is broken then it can't properly detect if it's closed and it won't run.
Washer Does Not Drain
9. Sometimes small garments like socks actually go down the drain and get clogged in the system. You can open the back of the washer and open the drain pump to remove this debris. If the drain impeller is broken you'll also need to replace the pump.
Dryer Does Not Heat Sufficiently
10. Make sure the lint tray is clean first. If that's not it, there may be a clog in the exhaust. Lint is supposed to go out the exhaust and then out the attic or through the wall. Your rooftop will have an inverted "U" shaped exhaust to keep the rain out, but lint will get stuck at the very top. You can remove it and clean it out. It's also useful to get a vent cleaner brush to clean the whole vent system.
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.
For more information on Brevard Appliance Repair, please call: (321) 604-6736
About Brevard Appliance Repair
Brevard Appliance Repair LLC.( http://www.brevardappliancerepair.com) is licensed in Cocoa, FL and has been serving Brevard county since 2011.