Guide to Troubleshooting Your Appliances

Owning your own home with dozens of appliances at your disposal is part of the American dream. Wake up in the morning to appliances automatically brewing your coffee and warming the home. However, these modern conveniences become a problem when they break down. There’s no reason to call an expensive professional when you can troubleshoot the appliance yourself. Consider these simple tips so that you can prolong the appliance’s life and save money simultaneously.

1. Check the Power Cable

A common issue with any appliance is a faulty power cable. Unplug the appliance, and take a close look at the cable and plug. No frayed wires should be visible. Any breaks along the length are suspect because even a kinked wire within the cable contributes to power issues.

Go a step further by pulling out a multimeter. These handy devices are smart investments that work on multiple projects around the home. Check the continuity between the plug and appliance. This connection verifies if power has a clear pathway from the plug to the interior components. If it lacks continuity, swapping out the cable is probably your fix.

2. Clean the Filters

Several appliances in a home have filters attached to their fans and other components. The gas furnace has a filter that captures particulates as they enter the system. Clean or replace the filters on a regular basis. Dirty filters only create obstacles to the moving air. In severe cases, the system shuts down entirely when the air cannot move in an efficient manner. Get familiar with your appliances so that filters are quick and easy tasks to complete for any household member.

3. Look for Leaks

Laundry washers, dishwashers and refrigerators have the ability to leak. Observe these appliances on a regular basis because the leaks can go unnoticed for a long time. Use a flashlight to look under the refrigerator. Some leakage occurs because of condensation, but this moisture should evaporate away. Puddles on the floor aren’t normal. There may be a blocked pipe or cracked evaporator. Don’t forget to evaluate your hot-water heater too. This tank can leak over the years as the water corrodes the metal cylinder.

4. Observe the Switches or Buttons

Every appliance has some control panel that centralizes its operations. Take a close look at the main switches or buttons. Consider any broken or loose sections. Many of today’s appliances require an entire swap of the control panel if there’s an issue. Older models often have small parts that can be replaced. Don’t force a switch or button into a different position. This short-term fix will soon break, which leaves you with a nonoperational appliance.

5. Learn About Reset Buttons

Certain appliances, including the garbage disposal, have reset buttons. When there’s a blockage or power surge, the appliance’s circuitry sets off the reset button. In a second, the appliance no longer operates at your touch. It may seem entirely broken. Look for a red or black button on the appliance’s main body. Press it, and start the system up again. If the problem has been cleared away, the appliance works normally once again.

6. Remove Blockages

Air movement through any appliance is necessary. Cut off this flow, and you have instant problems. Some appliances shut down altogether without air flow, such as with the furnace or air conditioner. Walk around your home to remove the blockages to your central-air system. Pull boxes and furniture away from the vents. These simple alterations breathe new life into your system while reducing the strain on its internal parts.

7. Consider Level Floors

A detail that’s often overlooked is flat floors. Your laundry system, dishwasher and refrigerator cannot operate well without a level surface. Use a hand level to verify each appliance’s position in the home. Use shims, such as thin wood pieces, to carefully lift or lower an appliance’s corner from the floor. A stable appliance operates without issues over the years.

If you find yourself dealing with a complex repair, calling the professionals may be a better solution. Heavy appliances and multiple failures are obstacles to the DIY repair process. Use your common sense to determine which projects to take on. You’ll be proud of your accomplishments while piecing out the difficult work to expert technicians.