What to know before calling for appliance repairs

Here are some expert fixes for when some common appliances stop working. Many of these fixes are simple things that are easily overlooked while others are less obvious. Here's what to know before calling for appliance repairs.

What to know before calling for appliance repairs

Before you call appliance repair

  • No matter which appliance is giving you trouble, check the power before you call anyone in.
  • Check to see if the breaker for the appliance is off, or if someone you're living with unplugged the appliance.

Electric stove burner not heating?

  • If you've recently cleaned your electric stovetop, then you might not have put the burner back into the receptacle properly
  • This keeps the burner from heating because the element's terminal isn't engaged with the receptacle
  • Or the plastic terminal block got knocked out of its holder.
  • Lift the drip dish to see what the problem is.
  • First try removing and then reinstalling the burner in the receptacle
  • Also try spreading the terminals slightly to create a tighter connection.
  • If neither of those work, you'll likely have to replace the terminal block.

No flame at the burners?

  • If you don't hear gas coming out when your gas burner is turned on, gas isn't getting to the stove.
  • Check to make sure that the gas is turned on.
  • If you hear gas coming out but the burner won't light, make sure the stove is plugged in (even gas stoves need power).
  • If your stove is getting gas and has power, clean the igniter near the burner or clean out the pilot light hole.

Refrigerator not cooling?

  • A refrigerator that's not cooling could be as simple as turning your refrigerator's control dial to a cooler setting.
  • Check the controls.
  • If the controls aren't the problem, cooling coils completely caked with pet hair and dust are also incredibly common.
  • Remove your refrigerator's front grille and vacuum the coils.

Is your freezer full of frost?

  • A freezer full of frost is a sure sign that your freezer door isn't fully closing.
  • All it takes is one too many cartons of ice cream to hold the door open a crack.
  • Rearrange your freezer's contents so the door closes completely.

Keep these simple tips in mind, and you might just save yourself a chunk of change the next time something goes wrong with your appliances.

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