How To Repair Appliances (And Know When To Hire Help)

By Staff Reporter - 17 Oct '19 10:23AM
  • How To Repair Appliances (And Know When To Hire Help)
  • (Photo : Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels)

Appliances are made to last, especially when you maintain and use them the correct way. It's easy to forget to clean vents or to follow the manufacturer's instructions, and it can lead to a breakdown. When it stops working, we're perplexed because we don't know why it's malfunctioning or how to fix it.

Before we begin, we need to go over important rules to follow when dealing with dangerous tasks with bulky appliances like fixing a refrigerator or dishwasher repair. We understand that you're trying to save time and money, but if you're not careful, you might hurt yourself or the appliance in the process. 

Important Rules To Follow

Know Your Limitations

Repairing something without the proper tools or instruction will make matters worse. You should know what you're doing is dangerous, and it might cost more for the repairman to fix what you tried to. 

For instance, you may have the tools for screws, bolts, or other quick fasteners, but not for appliances that are pieced together with rivets or welds. Call a professional servicer to do a job you cannot complete by yourself. 

Refer To The Manufacturer's Manual

There you will find the most information on troubleshooting the appliance, along with a description of how it works and the labeling for different parts. If you need the manufacturer's name, address, and contact information to order new parts, it will be in the manual as well.

If you don't have the manual, you can find the manufacturer's contact information online. By then, you should be able to request a copy of the manual from their customer service department. 

Avoid Any Safety Hazards

Take your time to make sure the electric or gas supply is disconnected before you dismantle the appliance and begin working. If you turn the power back on to check on the progress, do not touch the machine after turning it back on, only observe it.

Use caution when dealing with electrical components, especially in double-insulated appliances. Double-insulated appliances are designed to buffer electrical currents and should be repaired by a professional. Without proper care, the machine or tool that you use can carry a harmful electrical shock. 

Most important of all, make sure your appliances are grounded and do not work with wet hands, floors, or tools. If you can, invest in a ground-fault circuit interrupter.


As the famous proverb goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Complete a quick check to make sure there is no external factor that could be affecting the appliance's functionality. 

See if the appliance is properly plugged in, and test the outlet with the voltage tester. Then, check the fuses and circuit breakers to see if they have not blown or tripped. If you have 220-240v appliances like ranges or an air conditioner unit, you may have more than one electrical entrance panel. 

Large appliances like washers, dryers, and ranges have reset buttons to press that should restore power.  Check machines that use gas or water; they may not be receiving a sufficient supply. Some ranges have plug-type fuses that may have blown out.

Find Out Where The Malfunction Is Located


In order to fix an appliance, you need to take it apart first. Keep in mind that you need to put it back together, so lay out the parts in the order that you remove them. Locate knobs and fasteners; they can be flipped, clipped, or screwed into place. 

Never force the appliance to open; there may be hidden spring clips that could break. Spring clips are often hidden in between panels and can be pushed with a thin tool to open. Check the appliance components and functions, clear build-up, and dust that accumulates around and inside the machine before reassembling it. 

Clear Any Obstructions

Debris can interfere with the function of the appliance and are a quick fix. After turning off the power and water supply, check vents, pumps, inlet screens, and other areas that need proper air or water flow. If you don't remember the last time it was cleaned, chances are it's blocked and can be easily cleared. 

Replace Worn Out Or Broken Parts

Significant appliances have similar components, so you should be able to switch out old parts or new ones at ease. For instance, power cords can be tested with a continuity tester and replaced if it is frayed or no longer making electrical contact. If water-based appliances are leaking or not cooling, check the door gaskets for cracks and tears. 

Final Thoughts

Hiring a professional is the right thing to do, but if you're not in the best place financially, doing the job yourself may be the next best thing. Just remember to take great care and all the precautions when doing so.

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