Tips for Repairing Appliances
Be Energy-Wise when buying your next appliance.
While all appliances must meet federal minimum energy-efficiency standards, as indicated by the yellow and black EnergyGuide label that makes it easy to compare models, many manufacturers go beyond the standard. Consider ENERGY STAR® labeled products for your greatest savings. They use less energy than other products, save energy, money and our environment.
Tips to Lower Your Monthly Energy Bill
Is your refrigerator near the stove, dishwasher or heat vents? Move it, if you can; you’ll save money and energy.
Vacuum refrigerator coils four times a year. Dirt and pet hair build up and that makes your refrigerator work harder to keep your food cool.
Remember that old test…If you easily can pull a dollar bill from the refrigerator door, change the door gasket. You are losing cold air.
Use the energy saver option on your dishwasher. And clean the filter after each washing.
Wash clothing in cold water whenever possible. And, since a clothes dryer is one of the home’s biggest users of energy, how about letting Mother Nature blow your clothing dry on occasion.
Clean your dryer filter after each use.
Don’t over-dry clothing. You’ll save energy and reduce the heat’s wear and tear on your clothes.
Dry only full loads. Small loads are less economical.
Do a few loads in a row to take advantage of the dryer’s reserved heat.
Set your hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees. You’ll save 15 percent of your water-heating energy.
Buy a self-cleaning oven. They have higher insulation levels and use less energy than ordinary ovens.
Just like your refrigerator door, your oven door should shut tight. Do the dollar bill test and, if necessary, adjust or replace the gasket.
Clean reflectors do their job better. They reflect heat and save energy.
Washing Machines Repair
Many Washing Machines will suffer damage from lime scale, soap scum & other debris that will build up and cause blockages and breakages. Many Washing Machines will also have problems with motor burn out, belt and gearing problems and water pump breakages.
Your Washing Machine can have problems with it’s motor, belts & heating element and in most cases can be easily repaired. Before you call us regarding your dryer make sure that the front & rear lint filters are cleaned as many dryer problems occur due to this simple error.
Either way we will be happy to discuss any question over the phone prior to setting an appointment.
Installation of your Refrigerator:
Proper installation of a refrigerator is both easy and important. Make sure that the unit has sufficient clearance from the walls for proper ventilation, that it is not pinching any electrical cords or water lines, and is on the same level.
Many refrigerators must be tilted back slightly so that the doors self-close. Consult your owner’s manual for further installation instructions.
Here are a few tips on what could be the problem with your refrigerator and how you can fix it yourself.
Refrigerators have separate systems that are responsible for different features. However, not all refrigerators have all systems. Here is the list of all the systems:
- Automatic defrost
- Temperature control
- Ice and water dispenser
- Door seals and hinges
- Automatic defrost
How To Defrost your refrigerator
Years ago, all refrigerators had to be defrosted manually. You would turn the refrigerator off, open the door(s), and allow any frost build-up to melt. When the frost had completely melted away, you would turn the refrigerator back on.
Today almost all refrigerators are self-defrosting. Self-defrosting means what it implies–though frost continues to accumulate inside the refrigerator, it melts automatically. The self-defrosting system has three functional components:
- Defrost timer
- Defrost heater
- Defrost thermostat.
- Defrost timer
You’ll more quickly understand refrigerator cooling systems if you think of their action as “removing heat from the air in the refrigerator” rather than “cooling the air in the refrigerator.” All residential refrigerators work on the same principal for cooling. They all have:
- A Compressor
- A Condenser
- A Metering Device (Capillary Tube)
- An Evaporator
The compressor is the motor (or engine) of the cooling system. In built-in refrigerators the compressor is located on top of the refrigerator behind a grill or grate. In all other units it’s normally at the bottom of the refrigerator in the back. It’s almost always black and about the size of a football. If the refrigerator is self-defrosting, the compressor may be behind a thin panel.
The compressor runs whenever the refrigerator thermostat calls for cooling (and the defrost timer is not in a defrost cycle, for self-defrosting units). It is normally very quiet. When running, it is compressing a refrigerant that is in a low-pressure gaseous state to a high-pressure gas.
The condenser is a series of tubes with fins attached to them, similar to a radiator. It’s always somewhere on the outside of the refrigerator. It may be:
- A large black grid mounted to the back of the refrigerator
- Folded and placed under the refrigerator
- Coiled up and placed near the compressor
- Integrated in the liner of the refrigerator
If the condenser isn’t a big grid on the back of the refrigerator, it will always have a cooling fan nearby to draw room air over the tubes and fins–to dissipate the heat from the tubes and fins.
- The high-pressure refrigerant gas, coming from the compressor, flows through the condenser and becomes a liquid. As this occurs, the refrigerant gives off heat. The heat is conducted away from the tubes by the fins.
Metering Device (Capillary Tube)
The metering device in most household refrigerators is a capillary tube, a tiny copper tube. The capillary tube is attached from the end of the condenser to the beginning of the evaporator. The capillary tube controls the pressure and flow of the refrigerant as it enters the evaporator. Once the liquid refrigerant has traveled the length of the condenser, it is forced through the capillary tube.
The evaporator is always located on the inside of the refrigerator, usually inside the freezer compartment. It also resembles a radiator.
When the liquid refrigerant comes out of the small capillary tube, it’s injected into the larger tubes of the evaporator causing a pressure drop. This pressure drop allows the refrigerant to expand back into a gaseous state. This change of state from liquid to gas absorbs heat. The gaseous refrigerant travels through the evaporator tubes, back out of the refrigerator and down to the compressor to begin the circulation process again.
Because the evaporator is absorbing heat, it is very cold to the touch. The coldness causes any humidity in the air to freeze on the evaporator as ice or frost. (See the Automatic defrost section). The fan inside the freezer compartment circulates the air of both the refrigerator and/or freezer to keep the temperature constant.
All refrigerators have a thermostat to maintain the proper temperature. These are usually very simple devices. When the refrigerator reaches the set temperature, the thermostat interrupts the electricity flow to the compressor, which stops cooling.
Refrigerators with internal lighting normally have only one functional component–the switch–which is usually a white push-button mounted inside the refrigerator near the door. When the refrigerator door closes, the door pushes the switch to turn the light off. When the door opens, the button automatically pops back out to turn on the light. The light bulb itself is usually a standard appliance bulb.
The ice maker is a small appliance within a freezer. It’s usually independent of the other systems of the refrigerator. Ice maker systems have two basic functional components: the icemaker itself, and the water fill valve.
This is the most common ice maker operation cycle:
The ice maker sends a signal to the water fill valve (normally located on the outside back of the refrigerator, near the bottom) to open and let water into the ice maker tray. The amount of water is determined by a cam and switch within the ice maker control panel. The icemaker sends the signal to open the water valve for a certain length of time (7-10 seconds)then stops the signal.
The ice maker waits until the water is frozen–which it senses with a small thermostat located near the water tray. When the tray reaches approximately 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit , the ice maker begins to harvest (eject) the cubes.
To harvest the cubes, the ice maker first turns on a small heater beneath the tray. The heater warms the tray slightly, which allows the ice cubes to move freely.
Then a sweep fork rotates and pushes the cubes up and out of the tray.
While the ice maker is dumping the cubes into a holding bin, a metal wire similar to a coat hanger swings up to let the cubes drop below it. When the cubes have dropped, the wire comes back down. If the holding bin is full of ice, the wire cannot come all the way back down, which stops further production of ice.
When the wire is allowed to come back down all the way, the ice maker refills with water and repeats the process.
Ice and water dispenser
There are several different systems for delivering ice and water through the refrigerator door. What follows is an explanation of the common attributes of all of the systems.
For a refrigerator to provide ice through the door, the ice maker first dumps the ice it produces into a large bin. To request ice at the door, a person presses a lever that activates a switch. The switch turns on a motor that rotates the auger. When the auger rotates, it pushes ice out of the bin, through a chute to the user.
The water dispenser works much like the ice dispenser. To request water at the door, a person presses a lever on the front of the refrigerator that activates a switch. The switch turns on an electric water valve at the back of the refrigerator. Water flows through the valve into a tube, then flows into a container in the refrigerator to be chilled. As new water enters the container, the water that is displaced flows through a separate tube to the user.
Door seals and hinges
All refrigerator/freezer doors have a seal–a rubber-like gasket attached to the door. Usually white, almond, black, or brown, the seal’s job is to keep the cool air inside the refrigerator and the room air out.
The seal is lined with a magnet that runs its length and width. The magnet helps to hold the door closed and create a tight seal. The screws that hold the seal to the door also hold the door liner in and help to “square” the door.
The hinges allow the door to swing open. Some hinges also assist the door in closing. For the door to close properly, the hinges must be correctly adjusted.
Always make sure the Condenser coils (underneath or behind the refrigerator) are clean and unrestricted.
Try not to block the fan vents in the freezer and refrigerator section.
Keep Grease build up from occurring.
Do not use oven cleaners on self cleaning ovens
Q: Is there a best time of day or year I should run the self-clean cycle on my range?
A: I recommend that you run your self-clean cycle on a day that it is warm outside so that you can open a window for ventilation. As for how often, it depends on how much you use your oven. One thing I Suggest: DO NOT clean your oven just before a Holiday! As luck would have it, this is when bake elements seems to burn out most often, so refrain from running the self-clean cycle just before you'll need your oven most.
Q: Is it true that I have to use special pans on a smooth top range?
A: You should use smooth, flat bottom pans on a smooth top range. The preferred pan is a good quality stainless. You should not use poor quality aluminum pans, as they can warp when heated. I do not recommend using cast iron, these pans are heavy and they can scratch the top. Copper bottom pans are not recommended as they will reflect the heat back into the burner and shorten the life of the burner.
Make sure all loads are evenly distributed in the tub. Check water supply hoses periodically for cracks
Since we all wear clothing every day, laundry is a necessary part of our regular routines — unless of course you’re lucky and financially stable enough to afford a maid. Today’s laundry appliances aren’t like your mother’s appliances though, other than that they wash and dry your clothes. Rather, many of today’s appliances are designed to save energy, water and money, while still keeping your whites white and your colors bright. More companies are focusing on green living, but even if you aren’t looking for an energy-saving appliance, there are some great machines on the market.
High Efficiency (HE) washers are the latest trend in laundry machines. HE washers are designed to use less water, energy and detergent, saving you more money in the long run on your water and electric bill. Most, but not all, HE washers are front loaders, but all of them are missing the agitator commonly seen inside traditional washers. One convenient feature of the front-loading HE washer is that they are often stackable, meaning you can put your dryer on top of the washer, saving space in your laundry area.
There are a few drawbacks when it comes to using HE washers, however. HE washers use less water, which also uses less electricity to heat the water. The downside is, wash cycles often take twice as long to complete than they would if you were using a traditional washer. On the other hand, multi-tasking while doing laundry is common for most of us anyway, so you cold always think of it as extra time to get your other work done.
Traditional, non-HE washers are still popular. Many models now carry the Energy Star, meaning they are more energy efficient than previous washer models. A lot of people find them to be easier to load, because you won’t be forced to bend down to put clothes in and take them out of the washer. Look for the Energy Star when shopping for a washer, as they are energy saving, which means you also save money in the long run. Everyone likes to save money!
When buying a dryer, there are a lot of things to consider. Space is a major factor, so if you’re considering buying an HE washer, you might want to also consider a companion dryer so you can stack them. You also need to think about how you will power your dryer. There are two options when it comes to powering your dryer: electric and gas. Each have their advantages and disadvantages.
If you use your dryer a lot, gas is the more cost efficient way to go. The downside is, if you don’t already have a gas line, you will have to connect with your local gas company and have a professional install your dryer hookup. Electric dryers use a lot of electricity, but if you tend to hang a lot of your clothes to dry, an electric dryer won’t run your bill up too high. You may also need to have a professional hookup in order to connect your electric dryer.
As with every major appliance, do your homework and research before making a major commitment. A good quality washer and dryer should last you for years. The nice thing is, as technology evolves, so too do cleaning appliances. They become more energy efficient and manufacturers focus on ways to save water, electricity and money.
Make sure the vents are unrestricted and not kinked. Clean out lint trap before every load. Dryers can suffer damage from lime scale, soap scum & other debris that will build up and cause blockages and breakages. Many Dryers will also have problems with motor burn out, belt and gearing problems and water pump breakages.
Your Dryer can have problems with it’s motor, belts & heating element and in most cases can be easily repaired. Before you call us regarding your dryer make sure that the front & rear lint filters are cleaned as many dryer problems occur due to this simple error. Either way we will be happy to discuss any question over the phone prior to setting an appointment.