How to Troubleshoot Your Oven

Bone Chilling Cold: Two Common Problems That Water Heaters Face And How To Fix Them With Ease

Posted by on July 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bone Chilling Cold: Two Common Problems That Water Heaters Face And How To Fix Them With Ease

Jumping into your shower for the hot warm water is the best wake up call in the early morning. Unless, that water never gets warm. No hot water is just one of the common problems that homeowners face when it comes to their water heater. Having hot water for only a few minutes is another common problem. Luckily for you, not only is identifying the problem with your water heater simple as pie, so is fixing the problem. Below are the two most common problems you will face with your water heater and how to fix it in a snap. No Hot Water Not having any hot water is the easiest problem to fix when it comes to your water heater. It’s as simple as having a lighter. There are different models of water heaters, so the pilot light will most likely be in a different location for each one. Go to your water heater and look inside the vent to see if there is a flame. If there is no flame, you need to relight your pilot light. Look on the side of your unit for instructions on how to relight your particular water heater model. If the pilot light isn’t catching the flame from your lighter, then your problem is that the thermocouple needs to be replaced. This little piece is relatively inexpensive and can be bought at any hardware store. Before doing maintenance work on your water heater, be sure you turn the gas off. The only tool you will need for this project is a wrench. Take off the panel that covers your pilot light, then take off the hex nut that connected the thermocouple to your unit. Once the hex nut is removed, replace the old thermocouple with the new one and refasten the hex nut. Having Only A Little Hot Water So, you’ve only been in the shower for three minutes before the hot, steamy water turns ice cold. While it will definitely wake you up in the morning, it is a sure sign that your water heater’s dip tube needs to be replaced. The dip tube is supposed to regulate the hot and cold water. When this piece isn’t working properly, it will mix the two temperatures. This thin tube is what transfers the cold water from the bottom to the top to get heated. Replacing the dip tube is going to be slightly more complicated to fix than the thermocouple, but it’s still a job you can do on your own. All you will need are a pipe wrench, Teflon tape and a new dip tube. First, you want to shut off the water and a drain a few gallons. The drain valve is usually near the bottom of your tank. Releasing some water will make it easier to get to the damaged dip tube. Once the water level is low enough to get to the tube, remove the broken tube from the water valve using your pipe wrench. Next, wrap the Teflon tape around the new dip tube to prevent damage and attach it to the cold water valve. Turn your water back on and wait about an hour before jumping back into the shower. Jumping in the shower, expecting only hot water only to get cold water rushing down...

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Keeping It Cool: Avoiding Commonly Made Mistakes That Can Shorten The Life Of Your Refrigerator

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keeping It Cool: Avoiding Commonly Made Mistakes That Can Shorten The Life Of Your Refrigerator

Your refrigerator is perhaps one of the most useful appliances you own. Without a refrigerator, you would have no way to keep your food cold, therefore leading to a loss of food and money. It is estimated that 36% of side-by-side refrigerators and 28% of refrigerators with a top or bottom freezer break within three to four years when they should last longer than that. Fortunately, avoiding some commonly made mistakes can help you prolong the life of your fridge. Understand the Difference Between Full and Overfull One common mistake people often make is shoving their fridge full to the gills with far too much food. It may make sense to you to get the most out of your refrigerator’s available space, but over filling your fridge could cause it to malfunction. If you have foods piled on top of one another on every shelf, it could lead to poor air circulation, which puts a strain on the parts of your fridge. You may notice this strain and inefficiency if your foods are not as cold as they should be. Although it is recommended that you keep your fridge full so that the fridge does not work as hard to keep foods cool, overfilling your fridge is not recommended. You still need to at least leave enough space to ensure that air is able to circulate properly. Make sure there is enough room for your food items without having to stack anything. If you find yourself needing to stack items, make it a point to clean out your fridge in order to make more room. Know the Importance of Space and Cleanliness for Condensers Another common mistake entails pushing the fridge too close against the wall. Refrigerators have large, black coils known as condenser coils. The condenser coils are often found either underneath the fridge or on the back of the unit. If your fridge has coils on the backside, you should ensure that it is at least 1 inch away from the wall. Keep in mind that you should keep the coils as clean as possible. That means pulling the unit away from the wall every so often and wiping down the coils. Make sure you unplug the refrigerator before you clean the coils. If the coils of your fridge are located on the underside of the unit, you can use a vacuum to assist you with cleaning. Simply remove the kick panel from the bottom front of the fridge and use your vacuum’s crevice attachment to remove any dust and debris. A collection of dust and debris on the coils of your refrigerator can strain the unit, therefore causing it to break down before it has had a chance to complete its lifecycle. Failure to properly clean the condenser coils could also mean paying for avoidable repairs or unnecessary replacements. If you are having trouble accessing your coils, have a repair professional assist you to ensure a clean, well-running refrigerator. On average, refrigerators should last 10-15 years. Fortunately, following these tips can help you ensure that your refrigerator makes it that long. Should your refrigerator stop working or perform poorly, your best bet is to call in a professional that knows how to handle appliance...

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Cleaning Your Dryer Vent To Prevent Fires

Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cleaning Your Dryer Vent To Prevent Fires

A clogged up dryer vent can contain lint and other items that are a real fire hazard. If you own a dryer, you should clean the vent at least every year, if not more often. Cleaning your dyer vent will help improve the function of the appliance and help to ensure that it’s allowing air to escape safely. Here is how you can perform a thorough dryer vent cleaning on your own. Make Some Room In order to clean the vent, you will need to get access to it easily. First, unplug the dyer or disconnect or turn off the gas if you have a gas dryer. Then, gently slide the dryer away from the wall so you can easily get behind it and gain access to the vent. A typical dryer vent is about one to two feet long, so slide the dryer out just a couple of feet. If you pull it out too far, it could accidentally cause the vent to come loose and break before you disconnect it properly. Cleaning Most dryer vents are attached using a simple “c” clamp. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the clamp in place, and then take the vent off of the back of your dryer. Use your hands to remove any large wads of lint and other debris from inside of the vent and discard them. Then, using a high powered vacuum, suck up all of the remaining lint and dirt from the vent hose as well as the back of the dryer. A shop vac or wet-dry vac has a long hose that you can insert deep into the vent tube to get most of the debris out. If you cannot reach all the way, a plumbing snake is another great way to help you push excess lint out. Exterior Vent All dryers have an exterior vent that allows the air to escape outside as it’s working. You will need to clean this vent as well. Locate the exterior vent and remove the cover. Using the same process for the interior vent, vacuum out any extra lint and debris. You can also use a damp rag to help clean the outside vent and wipe away excess gunk. Look inside of the vent to make sure you can see through it and that there isn’t anything else clogging it, then reattach the cover. Clamp the inside dryer vent back to your appliance, slide it towards the wall, and plug it back in or turn the gas back on. You should now have a dryer vent that’s free and clear of anything blocking its way and should notice an improvement in function. This will also help ensure your safety and remove the threat of a possible fire caused by blockage. To learn more, speak with a business like Cape Cod Appliance...

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What To Do When The Dryer Doesn’t Dry Clothes Completely

Posted by on February 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do When The Dryer Doesn’t Dry Clothes Completely

It can be frustrating when every time you use your dryer, your clothes don’t get completely dry, or you have some items that always seem to be damp in certain parts. This can actually be due to a few different reasons, so it helps to troubleshoot the problem before calling a professional. Here are some things to do if your clothes dryer is not drying your items completely. Check the Lint Traps This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it is something many people forget to do. Not only should you check the main lint trap located in the front or top of your clothes dryer, but also check the main lint trap that might be near the back of the dryer. This trap is more difficult to get to, so it tends to get overlooked. Not only can it be a fire hazard if it is filled with lint and other debris, but it can start causing your clothes to not get dry or take longer to dry completely. Look For Issues With the Ducts The clothes dryer duct might also be the culprit of drying issues. The duct is located behind your dryer and has a hose connected to it. Check the duct first to see if there is a sag or kink in it, as this might be the issue. Also look at the hose going into the duct and look for any signs of wear or damage. As you are checking this area of the dryer, take a moment to turn off the power of the dryer and disconnect the duct. Look inside with a flashlight to see if there is any type of blockage. Check for Heating Sensor Issues A simple troubleshooting method for figuring out why your clothes dryer isn’t heating clothing items is by checking the heating sensors. You can do this by turning your dryer on and selecting a normal cycle with no clothes in the dryer. Let the dryer run on this cycle for a few minutes, then open the dryer door. If the dryer doesn’t feel warm, the heating sensors are likely not working properly. Even after a few minutes of running, it should feel warm inside the dryer. If the igniters or sensors are failing, they will need to be replaced, as there aren’t possible repairs for these types of issues. Contact an appliance professional, like one at Prompt Appliance Services, Inc., if you can’t figure out why your dryer is not working properly, or to make any of these...

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Four Tips For Refrigerator Care

Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips For Refrigerator Care

There are a few key areas of your refrigerator that need to be maintained on a regular basis to prolong the fridge’s running life. Here are some of the important areas to check when caring for your fridge.  Maintain the Seal The rubber seal on your refrigerator needs to be airtight to ensure that the appliance runs efficiently (and cool air doesn’t get out). The refrigerator seal can become faulty over time if the material dries out and develops tiny cracks. Or, the entire seal can become loose from the door getting opened and closed repeatedly.  There are a few things that you can do to prolong the life of your seal. Make sure that there is no food residue on the seal, which in itself can cause air leakage. You can use a toothbrush to gently remove food particles. You can also test the strength of your refrigerator seal by placing a dollar bill (or a piece of paper) in the door and seeing if it falls out immediately. If it does, it’s time to call your refrigerator repairman to replace the seal.  Clean the Coils On the back of your refrigerator, the condenser coils are a central part of your appliance’s cooling system. However, they can become more inefficient over time as they collect grime and dust. Be sure to clean them once a year. It’s best to leave this up to a professional to avoid damaging the coils.  Keep it Cool There are also several things that you can do to keep the fridge cool with little effort. For instance, be sure that your fridge is near full; objects in your fridge will help to retain the coldness much more than air, which will go rushing out of the fridge whenever you open the door. If you don’t have enough food to fill the fridge, you can still keep it full by using gallon jugs of water. This tip can help extend the running life of your fridge by creating less strain on the cooling components.  Check the Thermometer Another trick to maintaining your fridge is to check the internal temperature using a standalone thermometer. If your refrigerator’s temperature isn’t reading close to the temperature it’s set at, this could indicate a number of problems with the power supply and condensers. Have a repair person troubleshoot to make sure your machine is running efficiently.  A well-maintained refrigerator can help to prevent energy waste food spoilage, so a few minutes devoted to your fridge can go a long way. Follow these steps to keep your appliance in great...

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2 Ways To Correct A Washing Machine With Spinning And Agitating Issues

Posted by on November 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Ways To Correct A Washing Machine With Spinning And Agitating Issues

Washing machines use the dual processes of spinning and agitation, or shaking, to fully clean your clothing. Failure of one of these forces can lead to clothes that simply sit in the tub marinating in soapy water. There are a few different reasons the spinning and agitating on a washing machine can act up. If you have some appliance repair experience, you might be able to perform the fixes yourself. Otherwise, leave the fixes up to the appliance repair professionals. Lid Switch Malfunction There is an electronic switch assembly in the lid of the washing machine that checks for whether or not the lid is raised. If you raise the lid during washing, the spinning and/or agitating is supposed to stop until you put the lid back down. If the lid switch is malfunctioning, your washing machine might read the lid as being open even when the lid is closed. The machine will then fail to spin or agitate because the machine will never read the lid as closed. You can check the health of the lid switch with a multimeter, but a malfunction means the assembly will need to be replaced. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on ordering a new assembly and install according to its included directions. Make sure you unhook both the power and water from the machine before completing the fix. Don’t have appliance repair or electrical experience? Leave the fix to an appliance repair technician. Motor Issues A few different motor issues can cause spinning and agitating problems in your machine. The motor control panel is a good starting point because problems there are going to ensure that the motor doesn’t work and the washer doesn’t spin. You can check the health of the panel using a multimeter and the guidelines outlined in your user’s manual. Control panel check out fine? Time to check the motor coupling that connects the machine’s motor and transmission and protects the mechanics from overstress due to an oversized load in the washer. The coupling will turn off the washer if the overloading occurs, but the turning off can also happen if the coupling fails. Use your owner’s manual to locate your coupling as the location can vary between models. Check that the fittings are secured and look for signs of damage or deterioration. If you see damage, you will need to replace the coupling. The motor itself can sometimes fail but this should be apparent from the washing machine failing to function at all not just spinning and agitating issues. Remember that only a qualified person should perform repairs on your machine or you run the risk of causing permanent damage to the entire unit. To learn more, contact a company like A OK Appliance...

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Solving A Smelly Front-Load Washer In Three Simple Steps

Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Solving A Smelly Front-Load Washer In Three Simple Steps

Front-loading washing machines may have a lot to offer when it comes to efficiency and function, but their air-tight design brings about an issue that was typically not a problem with older top-load designs. Odors can become a major problem with these washing machines, especially if you are unfamiliar with proper operation instructions and maintenance. Washing your laundry should never stink, so if you are experiencing bad odors when you wash clothes, it is definitely time to take note. Here are three simple steps to get rid of the odors that are coming from your front-load washing machine.  1. Run a Washer Sanitizing Cycle – Front-load washing machines are normally equipped with a sanitizing cycle that uses ultra hot water and vigorous tumbling to clean the basket of debris. You should be running this cycle through once every so many washings, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, the manufacturer of your machine may tell you that you should use this cycle after every 15-20 cycles.  2. Clean the Hidden Odor Harborers – The front-load washing machine has certain areas that need to be cleaned on occasion to eliminate odors. Many models have a trap at the base that catches hair and small particles. If this is not cleaned often, it will allow mold and mildew to develop, which will cause a noticeable odor inside of the machine and perhaps even on your clothing after it has been washed.  3. Thoroughly Air-Dry Your Washing Machine – Allowing your washing machine to thoroughly dry after cleaning, or even after every cycle, is crucial to making sure it does not develop a bad odor. Leave the detergent tray open or remove it completely if possible, and always leave the door open for a few hours after washing a load of laundry to allow plenty of fresh air to circulate through. After a thorough cleaning, you should follow these same instructions.  If after all of these steps your front-load washing machine still offers up a bad odor, it is time to call on a washing machine repair technician, like those at Affordable Appliance Repair, for help. In a lot of cases, mold and mildew can develop beneath the drum of the washing machine where it is out of sight and difficult to reach. The washing machine will have to be disassembled, thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and the technician can sometimes install a ventilation line in older models that will help alleviate the...

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How To Know If Your Appliance Is An Electrical Hazard When Making Repairs

Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Know If Your Appliance Is An Electrical Hazard When Making Repairs

If your appliance dies, you can pay a repair technician to repair it, you can simply replace the device or you can repair it yourself. But many electrical appliances can potentially shock you, so you will need to make sure your appliance is safe before performing the repairs yourself. Check the Power Cord Before repairing the appliance, make sure that it is plugged in properly. Even if the plug looks like it is plugged in, the prong might be loose. Then, make sure that the cord is in good condition. If the cord looks frayed or loose, you may simply need to replace the cord and the repair will be much easier. Make sure you replace the cord because a frayed or broken wire can be an electrical hazard. If you are still not sure if it is the cord causing the problem, use a voltage tester to test how much electricity is passing through the cord. Test the Outlet Besides the cord, the problem might be with the outlet. You can determine whether the outlet is functioning properly by plugging a different appliance into the outlet. Unplug the Appliance Before Working On It When you are working on your appliance, the only way to truly know if you will not get an electric shock is to unplug it. Simply turning the appliance on or off is not enough because some components do not rely on the on/off switch. The Appliance Might Still Be a Hazard If there is something wrong with your appliance, the switches might be faulty. This can lead to the appliance still being on even if the switch is turned off. Also, cheap wall sockets sometimes only have a single pole. If that pole is then wired with reverse polarity, this can lead to the electricity being stopped when it is on its way back to the appliance. This leads to an appliance that is switched off but wires inside that are still live. Live wires can still give a fatal shock. Also, just because the heater or valve is not running, doesn’t mean that electricity is not being fed into the appliance. Call an Appliance Repair Technician if Necessary Now that you are sure that the appliance is not an electrical hazard, you can begin making repairs. But if you are still unsure of whether the appliance is safe to work on, you should instead hire an appliance repair technician from a company like DBH Appliance...

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A Few Tricks To Keep Your Dryer Safe And Efficient

Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Few Tricks To Keep Your Dryer Safe And Efficient

Even though you can hang your clothes out to dry if the dryer is on the fritz, sometimes the weather or timing is off and you need the clothes now. One common problem with a clothes dryer is the lint that accumulates from the clothing. Not only will a buildup of lint keep the air from circulating so the clothes take longer to dry, but it poses a fire hazard. Here are a few tricks for ensuring your drier vent stays clear of lint no matter the situation. No Outdoor Access Sometimes, you have to place your drier in the middle of the house or apartment, making it difficult to stretch and wrap the hose to reach to a vent on an outside wall. You do not want to have the lint flying around in the house and yet the lint cannot be allowed to collect inside the unit. Here are a couple simple ways to capture the lint. Use a sock or nylon – Connect the open end of the sock or nylon to the exhaust flange. Place a clamp over it to hold it in place. The sock or nylon will trap the lint as it is expelled from the dryer. It is important that you remove the makeshift vent after every load to keep the sock or nylon from getting clogged. Use a water trap – Connect a regular dryer vent hose to the back of the dryer. Place the open end in a bucket of water. The water traps the lint without causing a back up of the lint. Empty the dirty water after each load. Clearing the Dryer Hose Even when you have the dryer vented to the outside, it can become clogged with lint. The moisture in the lint makes it adhere to the ridges in the vent hose and the exhaust flange. Anytime you notice lint sticking to the outside vent it is a good idea to disconnect the hose from both ends and clear it. Clearing it can be done with a vacuum or leaf blower. Switch the vacuum hose from the input to the exhaust connection so that it blows air instead of sucking it in. Use it the way you would a leaf blower, putting the end into the vent hose and blowing out anything inside. Keeping your dryer, hose and vent lint free will help your clothes to dry faster and completely. This means less energy is used and you will save money. Of course, it also means you don’t have to worry about the buildup of lint in the unit catching fire. For more information, contact a professional like Automatic Appliance...

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Central Air Conditioners: Maintenance And Repairs To Be Expected

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Central Air Conditioners: Maintenance And Repairs To Be Expected

A central air conditioner can be a great option for your home. If you’re considering having a central air conditioner installed, you may want to consider the three things below. While these things shouldn’t deter you from purchasing one, they’ll give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of operation and maintenance of your new system. Ongoing Maintenance To ensure that your central air conditioner remains in good condition and lasts for its intended lifetime, it’s important that you maintain your system on a regular basis. While yearly maintenance is important, there are a few things that should be done every few months as long as the unit is in use. One such task is the cleaning or replacing of the air filters. Not only can this provide you with 5% to 15% in energy savings per year, but it can also ensure your family remains cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. Other important ongoing maintenance tasks include cleaning debris away from the outside unit and ensuring the unit stays level. Professional Maintenance For certain tasks, it’s best to hire professional HVAC servicers. These tasks may include cleaning of the air conditioner’s coils, as well as the drains and fins. The coils can be difficult to access without the proper training and tools, which is why professional maintenance is recommended at least once per year. Improper cleaning can result in damages to the system, as well as reduced functioning. A clean and well-maintained air conditioner will run efficiently, enabling you to cool your home quickly and save money on energy costs. This professional maintenance can also prolong the life of your system, as well as catch any small issues with the system before they become bigger and more expensive. Troubleshooting and System Repairs On rare occasions, a well-maintained system may require diagnosis and repairs. Depending on the age of your system and the agreement you have with the manufacturer, you may be covered if you have proof of regular maintenance by a professional. Common problems include leaks and improper cooling. If you’ve done everything to remedy the issues at hand (replaced tubing for a leak or cleaned all filters and fans for problems with cooling), you’ll need to call in a professional for diagnosis. As mentioned above, this appointment may be covered by the manufacturer or HVAC service company, but if not, diagnosis by a professional can still save you hundreds of dollars. Improper diagnosis can lead to larger problems down the road, as well as inefficient energy use. Maintaining and repairing your home’s central air conditioning system doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming. If you’re considering installing a system in your home and feel you can keep up with the ongoing maintenance involved in running an AC unit, contact an HVAC professional today. They can help you to understand what your cooling needs are, as well as the annual costs of maintenance and...

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