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Dave's Appliance Service Blog

Questions to Ask Before Repairing or Replacing an Appliance

June 3rd, 2021

Appliances are essential aspects of life and understanding when they need to be repaired or replaced is important. In this post, we examine some basic questions you should ask yourself before replacing or repairing any appliance.

How Much Would It Cost?

Generally, the larger the appliance the costlier it is. So if your stove breaks, you’re looking at a major investment to buy a new one. But if your microwave goes, you can purchase one for under $75. Consumer Reports advises that if the cost to repair your appliance is greater than half the cost of a new one, it makes sense to replace it. Obviously you won’t know how much the repair would cost without consulting an appliance repair service. At Dave’s Appliance, our experts can diagnose your appliance’s problem and give you an estimate for the repair. With all of that information, you can make an informed decision.

How Much Do You Value It?

Other than cost, you have to consider how much you value your current appliance. Your refrigerator/freezer may have external ice and water dispensers, pull-out shelving, and other features you really appreciate. Your washer and dryer may fit just perfectly into the space in your utility room. Maybe you love to cook and bake and your stove suits you perfectly. Your appliances could be built-in and that customization is worth preserving. It might even be that your appliances coordinate with your decor. These are definitely legitimate reasons to hesitate about replacing them when they break. Again, a visit from one of the friendly members of Dave’s Appliance team will help you understand the extent of your problem.

How Old Is It?

In the appliance world, there is a general 50% rule: replace an appliance that is more than halfway through its expected life span and requires repair work that’s more than half its original cost. The average lifespan of appliances are as follows (in years):
Dishwasher: 9
Dryer: 13
Electric stove: 13
Exhaust fan: 10
Freezer: 11
Garbage Disposal: 12
Gas stove: 15
Microwave: 9
Range hood: 14
Refrigerator: 13
Trash Compactor: 6
Washer: 10

How Energy Efficient Is It?

Often, the environmental impact of repairing or replacing isn’t considered at all. But it’s something for you to consider. If your appliance is old and inefficient, it’s using a lot of electricity. That’s bad for the environment and bad for your utility bills. If your appliance was made after 1992, it should have an Energy Star Rating to let you know how efficient it is. You can compare it to current appliances’ efficiency. On the other hand, your old appliance can’t just be thrown out. Major household appliances are banned from landfills in Wisconsin and the state urges that they be reused or recycled. In many places in Wisconsin, appliances are not picked up at the curb with other recyclables, nor are they accepted at many general recycling drop-off sites. It may be the more environmentally-responsible choice to repair rather than replace.

Would Appliance Maintenance Help?

The lifespan of all of your appliances will be extended if you are conscientious about maintenance. You can do a lot of the maintenance yourself; you can clean out the dryer vent, vacuum the condenser coils of your refrigerator and freezer, and keep your stove-top clean. Those small maintenance practices will make a difference. You can also call the experts at Dave’s Appliance to come and give your appliances a tune-up once or twice a year. Getting into this habit will prevent problems from happening and definitely minimize the need for repair or replacement.

With the right information, you can make a sound decision about whether your appliance needs replacing or repairing. With the right maintenance, that decision will be postponed. If you have worries or concerns about any of your appliances, contact the experts at Dave’s Appliance. We will help you sort out your options.

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Washing Machine Off Balance?

May 13th, 2021

When your washing machine starts vibrating madly it can be alarming. But is it actually an indication of a problem? Yes, it is. The problem may be something easily dealt with or it may be an indication of something more serious. In any case, if your washing machine is shaking, thumping, and threatening to walk out of its place, you need to pay attention.

Distribution in the Drum

When your washing machine gets off balance only occasionally, the cause may well be the distribution of the items in the drum. Sometimes a particular item may be much heavier than others and its presence can make the machine start to shake, especially during the spin cycle. For instance, if you are washing your bath mat along with your bedding, the material of the bath mat absorbs much more water than the cotton sheets. The difference in weight between that single item and the others is enough to throw the washing machine off balance.

Overfilling

Another reason that your washing machine may get off balance sometimes is overfilling. When too many items arein the drum, the agitation and the spin cycles of the machine are compromised. You may think that you’re saving time, energy, and water by filling your washing machine beyond capacity, but you’re not. If the clothes can’t be vigorously agitated, they can’t be cleaned properly. If they can’t move around enough for the spin cycle to be effective, it will take much longer for the dryer to dry them. So now you’ll have several problems instead of the one issue of your washing machine being off balance.

What To Do

You may be tempted to just ignore your washing machine if it gets off balance once in a while. Don’t. Every time your washing machine goes off balance, it is straining and potentially damaging the internal workings. If you hear it thumping and shaking, you need to act. If the problem is unequal distribution, remove the heavier items and spin them separately. If the problem is overfilling, take some of the items out and restart the washing machine to be sure your clothes get clean. Doing this may cause some inconvenience, but it may save your washing machine.

Machine Not Level

Both of the examples above result from specific laundry loads causing the machine to go out of kilter. If your washing machine vibrates and shakes every time you use it, there’s something else going on. It may be that your machine is not actually level. All buildings settle and it’s entirely possible that your laundry room floor is not completely level. In order to determine if this is the issue, simply place a level on top of your washing machine. If it indicates that there’s a problem, then adjust the feet of the washing machine until the level shows true.

None of the Above

When you have eliminated all of the above causes and your washing machine is still threatening to walk out on you, it’s time to call in the experts at Dave’s Appliance. It’s probably an issue with the internal parts of the machine. Anything from loose or displaced screws or bolts to a broken belt could be the culprit. In any event, it’s important to get the problem resolved. Just as driving a car that has no oil can ruin the entire motor, ignoring an off balance washing machine can ruin the whole machine.

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What is the average cost of appliance repair?

May 13th, 2021

Appliances are so important in our day to day lives that when they break down, we want them repaired immediately. However, many people fear the cost of repair, and have no idea how to anticipate what a reasonable price for an appliance repair would be. This post will help you to understand appliance repair costs so the next time you have an appliance break down, you’ll know what kind of bill to expect.

Is the Repair Necessary?

Before you get too upset about having a broken appliance, make sure you actually have a broken appliance. Check the obvious things first: Was the circuit breaker tripped? Is it getting power (or water)? Will a thorough cleaning eliminate the issue? You’d hate to have to pay for a service call when something simple is needed. If your appliance does need repair, remember to check the warranty. If it’s still under regular or extended warranty, the repair might be free.

Repair or Replace?

The rule of thumb is that you should repair the appliance if the price to fix it is less than half of the cost of a new one. You should also consider how old your appliance is. While refrigerators used to last 20 years or so, the expected lifespan is much shorter now. It would be wise to find out the typical lifespan of the appliance that is broken; then you can make a more informed decision.

National and Local Average Costs

As you may suspect, appliance repair costs vary widely. Which appliance needs repair and where you live make a difference. Obviously, a garbage disposal repair would cost significantly less than a water heater repair. Other factors that contribute to determining the cost of a repair are: parts; service charge; and labor. Because professionals need to come to your home to fix your appliance, there is a minimum service charge, usually equivalent to the cost of one hour of labor. The average expense for most appliance repairs is $175, and the typical range is from $50 – $500. The usual charge for labor varies greatly, from $50 to $150 an hour. Milwaukee’s average cost of appliance repair is $184, and the labor charge is between $53 to $158 per hour.

Typical Repair Costs for Specific Appliances

Water heater repairs are probably the most expensive, averaging $500. Considering that a new water heater costs well over $1000 though, repair is almost always a good idea. Refrigerator/freezer units generally cost between $200 to $300; if you have a built-in unit, the cost could be higher (though it would also be much more difficult to replace). Stand-alone freezers cost a little less to fix, running between $200 and $250. Whether your range is gas or electric, the average repair cost is between $100 and $200. And completing the kitchen appliances, dishwasher repairs average $160 while disposals are $150. In the laundry room, fixing your washing machine will run you between $125 and $250. If you have an electric dryer, its repair is usually between $150 and $3000. If you have a gas dryer, you can add between $50 and $100 more onto that tab.

Of course, these are very rough estimates. They don’t take into account what is actually needed to fix your appliance. But they give you some idea of what you might expect when an appliance breaks down.

Give the experienced and helpful appliance experts at Dave’s Appliance a call. They’re happy to help you figure out your best solution.

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Dave's Appliance Service Blog

Is Your Appliance Worth Repairing?

May 13th, 2021

Appliances help us keep our lives on track. Where would we be without our refrigerator/freezer, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, and garbage disposal? When any one of these stops functioning, it can quickly turn from an inconvenience into a disaster. Your immediate impulse might be to replace the appliance that is broken. But is that always the right option? Here is a quick guide to help you decide whether your appliance is worth repairing.

How Much Would It Cost?

Generally, the larger the appliance the costlier it is. So if your stove breaks, you’re looking at a major investment to buy a new one. But if your microwave goes, you can purchase one for under $75. Consumer Reports advises that if the cost to repair your appliance is greater than half the cost of a new one, it makes sense to replace it. Obviously you won’t know how much the repair would cost without consulting an appliance repair service. At Dave’s Appliance, our experts can diagnose your appliance’s problem and give you an estimate for the repair. With all of that information, you can make an informed decision.

Which Appliance Is it?

Other than cost, you have to consider how much you value your current appliance. Your refrigerator/freezer may have external ice and water dispensers, pull-out shelving, and other features you really appreciate. Your washer and dryer may fit just perfectly into the space in your utility room. Maybe you love to cook and bake and your stove suits you perfectly. It might even be that your appliances coordinate with your decor. These are definitely legitimate reasons to hesitate about replacing them when they break. Again, a visit from one of the friendly members of Dave’s Appliance team will help you understand the extent of your problem.

How Old Is It and Is It Still Under Warranty?

Major appliances like refrigerators or chest freezers often last from 10 to 20 years. Other appliances like trash compactors have an average life span of about 6 years. Most appliances also come with warranties, and often those can be extended if you choose to do so. When an appliance breaks down, it would be a good idea to find out if its warranty is still in force. If it’s not, check to see what the average life span is for your brand of that particular appliance.

What’s The Environmental Impact?

Often, the environmental impact of repairing or replacing isn’t considered at all. But perhaps you should think about it. If your appliance is old and inefficient, it may be using a lot of electricity. That’s bad for the environment and bad for your utility bills. If your appliance was made after 1992, it should have an Energy Star Rating to let you know how efficient it is. You can compare it to current appliances’ efficiency. On the other hand, your old appliance can’t just be thrown out. Major household appliances are banned from landfills in Wisconsin and the state urges that they be reused or recycled. In many places in Wisconsin, appliances are not picked up at the curb with other recyclables, nor are they accepted at many general recycling drop-off sites. It may be the more environmentally-responsible choice to repair rather than replace.

Whatever your appliance concern, the experts at Dave’s Appliance will be able to tell you what the problem is and help you decide whether or not it’s worth repairing. Give us a call.

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Is it Worth Getting a Fridge/Freezer Repaired?

May 13th, 2021

Your refrigerator/freezer unit is a major appliance, and therefore a major investment. And it’s also a major problem when it breaks down. After all, you can’t have all the food in your fridge/freezer spoiling, so it feels pretty desperate when it stops working. Contact the professionals at Dave’s Appliance to get a quick diagnosis of the problem. Once you know what’s wrong, you can consider which course of action to take, repair or replacement. Here’s a brief guide.

Fluctuating Temperature

The food in your fridge isn’t cool enough and you’re finding that it spoils much too soon. Maybe the ice cream in your freezer is always soft serve. That’s not good. On the other hand, you might find your milk with frozen shards in it and your ice cream requires a chisel to extract it from the container. Fluctuating temperatures can be a really small problem, or they can be a really big one. The problem might be as minor as the thermostat getting bumped. Make sure that no family members are trying to “fix” the problem by repeatedly resetting the temperature. Even if the thermostat itself is broken, that’s a relatively minor repair. At the other end of the spectrum, fluctuating temperature may indicate a problem with the compressor or motor. The experts at Dave’s Appliance will be able to get to the source of the issue, and can let you know if it’s worth repairing your fridge/freezer.

Water On The Floor

Water on the floor by your refrigerator might indicate a big issue with your appliance, and even if it doesn’t, it’s a safety hazard for you and your family. You don’t want anybody slipping on the water and getting injured. It doesn’t necessarily mean a costly repair, however. It might be that the doors aren’t shutting properly, possibly due to a faulty latch; the seals could be the culprit. The water could be coming from the accumulated condensation within the unit not draining as it should. It could be that the hoses that go from the compressor to the drip pan are cracked and leaking–an easy, inexpensive fix. It might be that the drip pan itself is broken. Again, that’s not a big deal. It’s important to find out the exact cause of the problem, though, and Dave’s Appliance can help you there.

Loud Motor/Funny Noises

All refrigerator/freezers make some noise. The motor needs to come on to run the condenser. If you’re hearing your refrigerator running continuously, that could indicate something seriously wrong. You should call one of the experts at Dave’s Appliance to find out more. Likewise, if you’re hearing your refrigerator running loudly when you’re not even in the kitchen, that’s another good indicator of a significant issue. Someone from Dave’s Appliance team can diagnose the problem and let you know whether or not you should repair it.

Age and Efficiency

Other factors that you should consider are the age and efficiency of your unit. If you have a refrigerator that was made before 1992, it won’t even have an energy efficiency rating and you can bet that it’s costing you more in electricity than it should. Otherwise, your unit should have an Energy Star rating. You can compare it with current ones and make an informed decision. The kind of fridge/freezer you have also has an impact on how long it lasts. It varies by design and by brand. The general rule of thumb is that if it is over 5 years old, you should investigate the average lifespan of your particular unit. Of course, if your fridge/freezer is under warranty, you should certainly get it fixed.

When your fridge/freezer isn’t working as it should, call Dave’s Appliance and make sure you know exactly what is wrong. Once you do, you can make an informed decision about whether you should repair it or replace it.

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Should I Repair or Replace My Broken Stove or Oven?

April 8th, 2021

Stoves and ovens are a little tricky, because they are a little dangerous to use under the best of circumstances, so when in doubt call in expert help. You can check out our DIY guide on gas stoves here, and our DIY guide on electric stoves here, but if you are at all uncomfortable performing your own repairs, skip those and call the helpful, knowledgeable folks at Dave’s Appliance now.

If your oven or stove isn’t working the way it used to, if it’s taking a long time to heat up, or (in the case of gas) not igniting properly, or heating unevenly, or not performing well in any other way, you have to decide whether to repair or replace.

As a general rule, we are inclined to repair when we can. You can expect most stoves or ovens to give good service for at least 15 years. As with any other kind of appliance, some are better quality than others, made with better parts and generally more durable. Some have parts that are harder to replace, or are otherwise not as well supplied with replacement parts by manufacturers. Some are simply made to be more disposable than others. People who have more money to spend, more room, and who are more serious about their cooking are more likely to shell out for better quality stoves and ovens, and some are serious enough to want commercial quality cooking gear, which will last significantly longer than most home appliances.

The 50% Rule

In general terms, though, as with other appliances, the 50% Rule applies: if your appliance is over 50% of its expected lifespan of 15 years, and it costs more than 50% of its replacement cost to repair it, it may be time to think about replacement. Obviously, that calculation also changes if you are remodelling and want something that’s a better fit either in style or dimension, or if (in the case of an electric oven, particularly) you want something more efficient than what you’ve been using.

Cooking with Gas . . . Maybe Now’s the Time To Buy

It seems likely that under new fossil fuel policies, natural gas prices may rise considerably, though obviously the quantities used in cooking are much less than in home heating. Some people simply prefer to cook with gas, though, and this is a good time to consider whether it might be best to purchase a new gas stove now, before any governmental agencies decide to make it harder or impossible to get them. Chances are such devices will have to be grandfathered in for a couple of decades, anyway.

Warranty Issues

Although consumer surveys indicate that on average people are happier with repairs performed by local repair services over factory repairs, you’ll want to call on your warranty if it’s still in force. If it’s not, the experienced repairmen at Dave’s Appliance can help. A telephone consultation is free.

Installation Fees

Don’t forget that installation costs can be significant for major appliances. Those are included in any quotes that Dave’s Appliance give you, so you’re not going to be unpleasantly surprised: No Hidden Costs, Ever.

What To Keep In Mind When Purchasing a New Oven or Stove

1) Don’t buy anything with bells and whistles that you’re unlikely to use. Those are things that are also likely to break.

2) When purchasing for the elderly, try not to buy anything with advanced electronics they might find hard to use.

3) If you’re going with gas, make sure your home is set up for it. Otherwise, you may shell out significant money getting that set up.

4) Go with a quality brand with a good warranty, and buy an extended warranty if the peace of mind seems worth the cost to you, but do some research to make sure the insurer isn’t fly-by-night.

5) Make sure the dimensions are right for your space. Measure and check, and check and measure again, making sure to leave enough room for hookups.

If your stove or oven can be safely and cost-effectively repaired, Dave’s Appliance will get it done for you. And if not, they’ll let you know and help you find something new. Give them a call.

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Should I Repair or Replace My Broken Refrigerator?

April 8th, 2021

When considering whether to repair or replace a malfunctioning or broken refrigerator, it’s best to have a little guidance. If the refrigerator has a history of breakage or poor performance, or if it’s quite old and inefficient, or if you’re just plain tired of what you have for any number of reasons not having necessarily to do with performance, such as capacity or layout or features, that may make your decision easier. You might also decide to replace your refrigerator because you are moving or remodelling, and it doesn’t fit a particular space or decor. That said, this article is for those who want to have some clarity as to whether it’s better to repair a refrigerator that you’d rather not replace if you don’t have to.

Replacing a refrigerator is a somewhat expensive proposition, if quality and features are factors, and most buyers will invest considerable time and effort into scoping out the alternatives. Luckily, refrigerators are pretty low-maintenance as major appliances go, and those manufactured by quality brands are liable to have reasonably long warranty coverage, which can be extended, usually by an insurance company associated with the sellers for added peace of mind. Generally speaking, you should expect for a new refrigerator to last from 10 to 20 years.

That said, the consequences of a broken or malfunctioning refrigerator can be significant, particularly if you use the freezer to store expensive cuts of meat. If that’s the case, it’s not a bad idea to keep a high-quality cooler on hand, just in case your refrigerator breaks or the power goes out for an extended period of time, or just for when you wish to defrost or deep clean the unit.

As with any other appliance, the more features and conveniences there are, the more there is to break. It’s nice to have an ice and water dispenser on the outside of the fridge, but it’s one of the most breakage-prone parts of an expensive fridge. I know I’m one of the people who just limped along without the water dispenser for awhile every time it stopped functioning the last time I had a refrigerator with one. Some people prefer to have dedicated ice makers and tap-attached water filtration at the sink for just this reason. If something goes wrong, it’s just that smaller appliance that’s affected.

All that said, here are the situations in which you might consider replacing rather than fixing your refrigerator.

Overheating

Your refrigerator compresses and expands gas to absorb and move heat. That’s why you’ll feel heat emitted out of the bottom of your fridge if you place your toes down there. The compressing is done by a motor, and the motor itself may overheat. Relatedly, some compressor motors are louder than others. You can hear them kick in when you leave one of the doors open long enough to trigger the thermostat. That sound may also be accompanied with a beeping to alert you that you should close the door as soon as possible to preserve the temperature.

While it’s normal to feel some heat when you touch the back of your fridge (and there should be sufficient space behind and above to permit the heat to radiate away without building up too much), if your fridge becomes positively hot to the touch such that you have to pull away for fear of burning yourself, there’s either something wrong with the thermostat or the other mechanical elements of the unit. The coils in the back that radiate the heat that’s transferred from inside to outside your refrigerator are insulated, but if it gets hot back there try first to remove any dust or grime that has accumulated on the coils. A paint brush and vacuum attachment work well for this operation. If that doesn’t help, call a repairman to come look. It may be that your refrigerator has leaked some coolant, which can be replaced, but it might be something more significant.

Overfreezing

On the other hand, your freezer unit may be positively freezing over. Obviously, you want your frozen food frozen, but on the other hand you shouldn’t have to see the foods inside turning into a glacier. If it’s starting to look like a new ice age in there, check that the temperature isn’t set to max cooling. Move anything you want to keep into alternate cold storage (such as a large cooler, or, if you live where it gets cold in winter, you can use those temperatures), throw down some old towels to absorb the meltage, and unplug the unit to let it defrost thoroughly before plugging it back in. This would be the ideal time to try cranking the freezer setting back a little to see whether that suffices. Most modern refrigerators have auto-defrost, so this recommendation largely applies to older models.

If the problem persists or gets worse, it’s best to have a pro get a look at your refrigerator to see what the issue may be. The friendly repairmen at Dave’s appliance will probably be able to sort it out pretty quickly.

Leakage or Extreme Condensation

This may be a simple matter of the seal around your refrigerator or freezer door. If heat is escaping, ice may be melting in the freezer and causing leakage. Alternately, moist air from outside might be entering the refrigerator and condensing, then leaking out of a bad seal. Check the stripping all the way around the door. You may be able to reaffix it yourself, or buy new stripping if you’re handy. But leakage near the refrigerator can pose a health hazard, either by slipping or through accidental electrocution, so BE CAREFUL.

Alternately, the drip pan may be broken or out of place, or hoses may be broken or kinked, or a malfunctioning latch or other problem may be preventing a door from closing properly. Often these are the culprits if you find the inside of your refrigerator is wet to the touch and drips.

Your Refrigerator Runs Loud

Some of us are just more sensitive to this kind of noise than others, but if it seems to have gotten louder than you remember, you can pull the plug and then replug it in, and this may take care of any buzzing. If not, give your repairman a call. Your refrigerator could be on its last legs.

Food Spoilage

Obviously, this gets expensive quickly, and it can pose a health hazard. Check to make sure that door latches and stripping are good, and that your setting hasn’t been dialed way back. Check the back of the unit for overheating, as mentioned above.

In Conclusion

If your refrigerator is older, say 12+ years, and/or if it’s needed significant repair one or more times before, or if it’s not efficient, or you’re ready to move on, a new refrigerator may be your best option.

If you’d rather not replace it, and if you’re handy, you can look for online resources to help you take a stab at fixing such problems yourself, but when in doubt, call on the experts at Dave’s Appliance. They’ll fix your refrigerator if that’s the best course of action, or recommend a new one if that’s your better bet given your situation. And Dave’s carries all the best value, top quality brands. Give them a shout if your refrigerator is having troubles. They’ve seen it all. They’ll get it straightened out for you.

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Benefits of an Appliance Repair Service

February 11th, 2021

If you’re really handy, and you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, there are plenty of cases where you can give fixing your own malfunctioning appliance a go. There are plenty of helpful articles and videos online that will give you an idea of how to go about making repairs, and sometimes in this space we give tips and pointers about when you might want to attempt your own repairs, and how difficult that may be. In those articles, we also talk about when it’s best to leave repairs to the pros, and when it’s probably best to go ahead and replace an appliance rather than have it repaired.

That said, there are plenty of reasons to go with an appliance repair service.

Convenience

Obviously, convenience counts for something, or we wouldn’t occasionally pay for bread and milk at the local convenience store when we fill up our gas tank. When you hire a knowledgeable, experienced professional appliance repairer from Dave’s Appliance, the job is likely to get done better and faster than you might be able to do it yourself. That’s not a knock on your abilities, it’s just a measure of how much more experience a pro is liable to have dealing with a particular issue. He’ll usually have a better idea of what to look for in diagnosing a problem. The likelihood is that he’s seen precisely this problem before, and dealt with it. If not, he will be much more likely to have seen something similar, and that will cut down on the trial-and-error time that most of us would spend.

A repairer will also have the right tools available. Sometimes we can make shift with what we have on hand, if we have a not-very-complete set of electrical tools, but other times we are in danger of further damaging an appliance if we are trying to make do. And in many cases a repair person will have whatever parts may be needed with him when he calls to make repairs, anticipating what the problem will be. If you’re in trial-and-error mode, you may end up ordering one part to replace, only to discover that another part is necessary. That can be very frustrating, especially when you’ve got to order by mail and factor in the time-lag.

Peace of Mind

When you have your appliance serviced by someone with knowledge and experience, you can rest easier about the results. It may cost more than performing the fix yourself, but when someone who has seen the insides of thousands of appliances gets a look inside, he sees more than a casual repairer would. The repair specialists at Dave’s can get a look at what needs doing right now, and also diagnose troubles that might be developing with other parts of your appliances, and suggest solutions. That will often mean that developing problems are nipped in the bud, preventing multiple service visits in the long run. They can also give you helpful tips about the long-term maintenance of your appliance. In the long run, it’s possible a service call can save you money over self-repair.

And if something does go wrong because it hasn’t been solved, the repair pros from Dave’s Appliance will return to sort it out quickly, so you can rest assured they’ve got you covered. If the better play is to replace the appliance, they’ll give you their honest opinion on that, and try to get you pointed in the right direction. Whether it’s a kitchen range, a garbage disposal, a hot water heater, a refrigerator, a washer or dryer, Dave’s partners with the best value manufacturers with the most reliable products.

Safety

Most importantly, a skilled repairer will make sure that everything’s the way it should be before you plug the appliance back in and start it up, with no jury-rigging and everything secured in its proper place and properly tested. This helps to extend the life of the appliance, sure, but also to protect your home from hazards caused by a poor attempt at a fix. While we recognized that there are non-professionals who have the skills and tools necessary to do a good job, and that there are some repairs that are much easier than others, people’s abilities vary a lot. While we are not against people learning by giving things a try, we do want to say that if you feel at all queasy about trying to fix something yourself, it’s probably best to give Dave’s Appliance a call. And if you’ve begun a repair and then started having second thoughts, chances are we can still sort it out for you.

We’re here for you.

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Appliance Breakdowns Can Be Stressful and Purchasing New Ones Can Be Costly

February 11th, 2021

Under the best of circumstances, having an appliance break down can be stressful. During these CoVid times, it’s liable to be even moreso.

Early on during the pandemic, people thought it might be a good idea to spend some money at home that they might otherwise have spent on travel or entertainment or dining out. That meant that there was a big run on major appliances. Many people suddenly found themselves spending much more time in their homes than they had before, because they were furloughed, or because they were transitioning to working from home, and because they no longer were able to visit the places they liked to go and spend time doing the things they liked to do. Some suddenly had fewer excuses not to get around to those projects they had promised to get around to, or began noticing and being bothered by things that previously they were able successfully to overlook.

All of that meant that there was a run on appliances, even as factories were crippled either by scarcity of parts or labor, or (in early days) even by logistical challenges. Naturally, if large numbers of people were suddenly embarking on home remodeling projects, or getting around to replacing balky appliances, or undertaking general home improvement with an eye to upgrading performance and efficiency. Those demands led to scarcity, and new appliance prices have climbed as availability has decreased.

In more normal times, it might be possible to limp along better with a poorly working appliance, but it has become more difficult, particularly for those who have to isolate due to vulnerability. It’s harder for them to get out to get a good look at what is available. And even if they have something new delivered and installed, viewing something online or in a catalog isn’t quite the same as inspecting it in person.

The upshot of all of these factors is that it has become more desirable to opt to fix appliances than it has been in the past, and the demand for service calls has been steadily increasing. The general rule of thumb was, for major appliances across the board, that if a repair cost half or less of what it would cost to replace an appliance, taking into account installation of the new one and removal of the old one, it probably was a good idea to repair, assuming that the appliance hadn’t had a major repair before and the efficiency and performance would still be relatively similar to something newer. That equation still works to some extent, but consumers find that availability is lower than usual and prices higher than usual, so many are opting to repair, instead.

Whether it’s a refrigerator, a washer or dryer, a water heater, a furnace, or a range, it’s challenging to find the usual range of options for replacement. Studies show that a larger portion of customers are satisfied with repairs performed by an independent appliance repair firm than with factory repairs, though obviously if your appliance is still under warranty, you will want to go that route. You need certified appliance repair technicians who have seen it all, and that’s just what you will find at Dave’s Appliance.

The knowledgeable technicians at Dave’s Appliance will be happy to consult with you and give you their best advice regarding your needs. They take every pandemic precaution on each home visit, and they come prepared. If it turns out to be in your best interest to replace an appliance, despite the challenges of the market, they will let you know, too, and they have the relationships with the best manufacturers to see that you get the best of what is available, should that be necessary.

Give the helpful people at Dave’s Appliance a call.

Posted in uncategorized | Comments Off on Appliance Breakdowns Can Be Stressful and Purchasing New Ones Can Be Costly

Dave's Appliance Service Blog

Troubleshooting Garbage Disposal Problems

December 1st, 2020

It’s probably not necessary to remind you not to put your fingers down a garbage disposal unit, but here’s a friendly reminder anyway. It’s not going to remove your fingers or make hamburger of your hands, but it can bruise you up pretty well if you switch it on when you’re reaching in there, or if you dislodge something that’s impeding the impeller. The impeller forces materials against the sides of the cylinder, which are designed to present cutting surfaces to reduce what’s put inside into drain-friendly bits that pass through the perforations and down the drain.

1) No Power

If you activate the disposal and don’t hear any hum from the motor, chances are there’s an issue with power getting to the unit. Some of us don’t use the disposal very often, so, taking care to run some water, make sure that you’re hitting the right switch.

If you are certain that you’re hitting the right switch, but still getting no power, make sure that the unit is plugged in. It sounds pretty basic, but appliance servicemen report that this is the most common problem that they encounter.

If it’s properly plugged in, and there’s no power, the next thing will be to see whether the reset has tripped. Generally, this will mean that a small red button on the bottom of the disposal has popped out a small distance. Press it back in to re-engage the mechanism.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, check to see whether the circuit breaker serving the disposal has itself tripped, and reset it if necessary.

If you’ve eliminated those causes, it’s possible that there’s a problem in the switch itself. Make sure that you have switched off the proper circuit breaker before you pull the switch, generally on the wall or under the sink.

Pull the switch out and inspect the wires. It may be that one of them has detached, in which case the fix is simply to reattach it. Or it may be that the contacts have become oxidized, in which case some contact cleaner and a scrub with steel wool should set things right.

Make sure to switch on at the main service panel before testing. If your disposal still doesn’t work, a new switch may fix the problem inexpensively. It’s worth a shot trying.

If your disposal still doesn’t work, it may just be time to get a new one. Naturally, if you are uncomfortable with any of the above steps, it’s best to call in the guys from Dave’s appliance to check things out for you.

2) You Hear the Motor Hum, But the Disposal Doesn’t Grind

Probably the flywheel is jammed, though usually this trips the reset button pretty quickly. You don’t want to have the motor trying to move a stationary flywheel for long, because this can quickly damage the motor.

Almost always, there’s some object stuck in the unit that’s preventing its operation.

For starters, shut off both the wall switch and the circuit breaker. You don’t want to accidentally bump the switch and have it start up when you’re trying to remove something from the grinding chamber.

You should have received a special offset wrench with your unit. If you’ve misplaced it, a large hex wrench may suffice. Insert the wrench and turn it clockwise to release the flywheel/impeller assembly. You should feel it begin to turn freely. If you don’t have a wrench that will work, a local seller of your brand of disposal may be able to get one for you.

You can also try your luck with the wooden handle to one of your kitchen implements. Again, you should feel the flywheel unstick and begin to move freely if you can move the impellers clockwise.

Get a flashlight and get a good look into the chamber, if you can. Remove any foreign objects or debris with a needle nose pliers or similar implement.

Switch power back on at the mains, hit the reset button, run some water and hit the wall or under-sink switch. Anything left should be easily disposed of by the unit.

If it’s still not working, it’s time to call Dave’s appliance.

Leaks

Leakage at the Flange

The most common leak issue develops at the flange, because the vibration of the disposal motor loosens the seal.

Turn off the power at the mains before anything else.

You should see a mounting ring. Turn the disposal counter-clockwise from the bottom to loosen it and detach it from the ring.

This should expose 3 bolts that secure the flange to the sink. Tighten them.

If the bolts don’t seem loose, it could be that the plumbers putty that helps make the seal has deteriorated or come loose. Loosen the bolts and push the flange a little ways above the sink to provide room to bead on some new putty (it’s best to remove what you can of the old). Retighten the bolts and wipe away any excess with a rag.

Reinstall the disposal unit on the mounting ring, switch on at the service panel.

Run some water and check for any leaks.

Leakage at the Dishwasher Connection

Often dishwasher wastewater is discharged into the garbage disposal. Check to see whether the clamp has loosened up and tighten it down. If it’s not the clamp, it’s probably time to replace the hose.

Leakage at the Discharge Drainpipe

A rigid plastic pipe discharges water from the disposal to the sink drain trap. The issue may be with the gasket, and the treatment is the same as with the flange. Attempt to tighten the bolts, and if that doesn’t suffice to replace the plumber’s putty in the same way.

If the Disposal Drains Slowly

There’s probably some clogging. Disassemble the drain pipe and the trap, and remove any materials that may be impeding the flow of water and disposal debris. If you can’t find any, the problem is likely further along and needs snaking out with an auger.

A handy guide to what not to put down your disposal:

Bones are not generally a good idea.
Potato peels, pasta, or other starchy foods.
Grease.
Fruit pits.
Celery or other very fibrous materials.
Coffee grounds.
Egg shells.

As always, if you have any questions or need help, the friendly and knowledgeable folks at Dave’s Appliance are happy to help!

Posted in disposal | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Garbage Disposal Problems

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Helpful Hints

Things to check before you call:

  • CHECK for a blown fuse
  • CHECK that the appliance is plugged in
  • CHECK that the dryer vent is clean
  • CHECK that refrigerator controls are at the proper setting