06/23/2020
by Louis Diego
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The Electrical Appliance Guide – Repair, Buying and More

If you are a homeowner who values safety, convenience and saving for emergencies, you will want to make all the right decisions when it comes to repairing or buying an appliance. If you find that your appliances can be repaired, you’ll want to call a trained professional like this Frisco appliance repair company rather than tackle the task yourself. 

Remember, there’s a downside to settling for DIYs. Oftentimes, it is better to leave major repairs to the more experienced professionals. Misdiagnosing, compromising existing warranties, and exposing yourself to unnecessary risks are just a few repercussions of repairing appliances on your own. 

On the other hand, if buying a new appliance turns out to be more practicable, you have to make preparations too before making that purchase. 

But before you go into a “buy” mode, try to look into the repair option.

Common Appliance Issues That Are Best Addressed by a Repair Team

Refrigerator

It can’t be denied that the refrigerator is the most important appliance in your home. Without it, your food will spoil. Also, you have to shop for fresh produce every single day. During their lifespan, especially towards the end, refs will have issues like a faulty thermostat, faulty water inlet, leaking valve, malformed damper door, blocked drain, clogged diffuser duct, and defective condenser motor. If you are faced with any of these issues, do not delay calling for a repairman.

Electric stove

One of the most regularly used appliances in your home is the electric stove. So a broken one can cause you days of headache if you don’t call a repairman right away. After years of using it, you may have experienced any one of the following: damaged coils, faulty indicators, burners that will not heat, and other issues that call for professional help. Don’t attempt to fix it yourself if you don’t have the expertise. If there’s something wrong with your unit’s internal components, this is best checked by a repairman. 

Dishwasher

A dishwasher is an essential kitchen appliance. Most homeowners complain about a unit that isn’t heating at all. Another common problem among dishwashing units is that it doesn’t drain fully or worse, stops at certain wash cycles. When this happens, it’s best to have it fixed by a trusted repairman. Issues that are mechanical or electrical must be checked thoroughly. 

If dirt spots remain on your dishes, simply try to change the detergent you are using or try to run the plates with warm water in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher.

Washing Machine

Do you know that most of the time, repair service companies receive calls for help with broken washing machines? This is partly because these appliances have many moving parts when in operation. Issues vary from leaks to faulty transmission to malfunctioning detergent dispenser. These are complex problems that must be looked into by a repairman. Sometimes the control pad wears out easily, especially if the unit is subjected to hard use. A professional can advise if the control panel needs replacement or not. 

If the only issue is a smelly machine, you can try to leave the door slightly open after use. This will let air circulate inside preventing moisture build-up which can cause foul odors.

Clothes Dryer

When a clothes dryer takes a longer amount of time to dry than it usually does, it may be time to call for help. Also, a visit from a technician is warranted when you notice clanging or thumping sounds coming from the unit. This may be due to a mechanical malfunction thus, it’s better to call a technician instead of trying to fix it by yourself.

If it is simply lint that has accumulated, you can just pull them out gently, but make sure to unplug the unit first. 

When searching for answers, it is sometimes helpful to formulate questions you can reflect on and use as a guide.

What to Ask Yourself When Your Appliance Breaks Down

When a major appliance breaks down, a dishwasher or a washing machine, for instance, homeowners are more likely to break down too. If not for this, you should have been sitting on the couch by now, watching your favorite series on Netflix. But not this time. For today and the following days, you break your routine. You have to finish washing a stack of dishes from last night’s dinner and the only thing you are thankful for is owning a sink that’s deep enough to hold a pile of dirty plates, used mugs, and greasy pans. 

Are you wondering if it’s time to replace a broken appliance just to avoid getting stressed? At the same time, do you counter your line of thinking, and convince yourself to take the “repair” option?

Posing questions is a good exercise when faced with a decision to replace or repair a broken appliance. Asking questions to yourself helps you organize your thoughts and eventually find the answers after much pondering. To help you come up with a decision to “replace or repair”, read on and find out what these questions are. 

Five Important Questions Homeowners Ask After an Appliance Breakdown

Am I still covered by a warranty?

Stores where you buy an appliance more often than not advise a customer at checkout to keep the receipt as proof of purchase. This receipt is important as it becomes the basis for determining if you are still covered by a warranty period which normally starts on the date of purchase and ends after a prescribed period. 

If you are well within that period, by all means, go and have your unit repaired and avail of the warranty. If you are no longer covered by a warranty, find out how much it will cost you to have it fixed by a reliable repair technician.

Is my appliance over 15 years?

Generally, an appliance that’s over 15 years old may be due for replacement. But it all depends on how you’ve maintained it through the years and the type of appliance you are considering (For example, a compactor has an expected lifespan of 6 years while a gas stove, a longer 15 years). Some may have gone past their expected lifespans but are still functioning well with little to no repair.

Get hold of a list of expected lifespans of each appliance you have in your home and be guided by these, along with other considerations. Of course, you have no choice at all but to buy a new unit if stores no longer carry needed spare parts due to obsolescence. 

How many times has it been repaired?

It’s good to keep track of repairs done on every major appliance you own. A record of repairs will show you how much you’ve spent and the cumulative amounts you’ve shelled out for one particular unit. It will also reveal how often you’ve been bothered by repairs. If you see that repairs have been happening quite too often already, it might be time to unburden yourself of this problem and buy a new unit. 

How much will it cost to repair versus replace?

When calculating the cost of repair, always include other possible charges like installation, delivery, and entrance fees, if applicable. Take note of future repair costs. You can estimate these based on past experience. If the repair cost is more than half the cost of a brand new unit, experts advise that buying a new one may be a better option. But if the repair cost is negligible, then you might consider having it fixed in the meantime and observe if the unit will run like new. 

Is my appliance energy-efficient?

Using energy-efficient appliances helps you save energy and of course, money. You may not feel the savings you make daily but when you calculate how much you have saved in a year, the figures might blow you away. Apart from the financial benefit to your household, it is good to know that you are helping the environment too. If your current appliance is outdated anyway and is prone to repeated breakdown, it may be good to buy a new one and take advantage of appliances with energy star ratings.

Now on to the “buy” mode.

Getting Ready for the Big Purchase

Having a home appliance repaired is quite a challenge but buying presents a much bigger challenge, especially from a financial standpoint. After all, these are worth more than just a few dollars. It is like an investment, which when not given enough thought and pondering could cost you a lot more money. 

Deciding on gut feel isn’t the way to go when buying appliances. Choosing an appliance just because it looks good in your kitchen, isn’t a wise move either. And you don’t just go to a store and buy on a whim. Once you step into that store, you must come prepared. Here’s a to-do list that will help prepare you to get ready for that big purchase:

Decide on a budget

Having a budget in mind is one of, if not the most important preparation when buying an appliance. Once you have an idea how much money you are willing and able to part with, you are setting a limit on which make, model, or brand you are going to skip and strike out of your list. By doing so, you don’t waste time checking out every two-door ref you see. Also, when you stick to your budget, you don’t run the risk of spending money earmarked for other purchases.

Stick to your needs

You might have planned on buying other items too aside from an appliance. So it’s wise to have a list of those items you need to buy on that day. When you have a list, you are reminded that you’re also buying other needs, probably of other members of the household. While that dishwasher may be on top of your list, it’s not an excuse for ignoring other essentials you’ve listed below it. It also works both ways. A list on hand helps curb your appetite for extra purchases. Assuming of course, that a simple list is enough to restrain you.

Compare similar items 

It’s good to have an idea on which brands offer appliances that are similar to what you have in mind. Take note of the prices of each brand. Compare the pros and cons of one brand versus the other. For instance, before buying a washing machine, look for details like energy-saving features, warranties, and technical information. 

Look beyond online reviews

You can turn to online product reviews when deciding which one is the top choice among consumers. However, be cautious too. There’s no guaranty that the reviews you’re looking at are from an actual, real-world consumer, or from someone who is just posing as one. Do not be content with online reviews. Look beyond it. Ask friends, colleagues, and relatives who own an appliance brand you are eyeing at the moment. Ask about the good and bad experiences they’ve had with it, including after-sales service.

Choose function over beauty

It’s wise to value functionality over beauty. But if you can have both, why not. However, remember that appliances do break down and you don’t want to have a beautiful but useless stovetop in your kitchen for weeks. An appliance is not a décor. It must serve its purpose and should make life easy for you for a good number of years.

What now? What’s the bottom line?

The bottom line is, when choosing between repairing or replacing, check if the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Always look at the warranty. If your appliance is well within the warranty period, have it repaired cost-free.

If an appliance is repeatedly showing signs of malfunction and has served you a good number of years, it might be wise to replace it already, especially if there is a sale and you are considering an upgrade.

But always be prepared. Whether you choose to repair or replace, both scenarios call for spending money. So, better have an emergency fund that you can use when the need arises.