January 20th, 2020
Your garbage disposal works hard getting rid of all kinds of organic material. Sometimes, though, some of that material remains and eventually, a nasty smell starts emanating from the garbage disposal. If you’re dealing with this situation, there are a number of strategies you can use to clean your garbage disposal and eliminate the odor.
Hot Water and Dishwashing Liquid
This method is the most basic, and if used regularly, it can prevent any nasty smells developing in your garbage disposal. Simply put a plug in the drain and fill the sink half full with hot water, then add a couple of squirts of dishwashing liquid. Swish it around, and pull the plug. Turn the disposal on as well so it sucks the soapy water into the mechanism quickly. The dishwashing liquid will disintegrate any built-up grease and the speed with which it goes through the gears will dislodge food particles.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
You may have heard that baking soda and vinegar, separately and in combination, can clean almost anything. That’s true for your garbage disposal too. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down your disposal, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. It will bubble and fizz. That’s good; it means it’s working to break down the organic debris. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and also kills bacteria. Let it do its work for about 10 to 15 minutes, then turn on the garbage disposal and run hot water down it. You should be aware, though, that because vinegar is acidic, if you use this method too often, it can damage the rubber parts of your disposal.
Ice Cubes And Kosher Salt
Throw a couple of handfuls of ice cubes down down your garbage disposal as it is running, and follow it up with a handful of kosher salt (or any kind of large flaked salt). Shards from the ice cubes being ground up can dislodge any stuck-on foods, and the salt will scrub the sides of the disposal’s upper tank.
Ice Cubes And Lemon/Lime Wedges
This is a variation of the ice cubes and kosher salt method. Put the ice cubes down the disposal first, and then throw in a cut up lemon or lime. The ice cubes do the dislodging work, and the lemon or lime wedges serve several purposes. They deodorize the disposal and give your whole kitchen a fresh smell. Also the citrus oil will coat the inside plate and rubber elements of your disposal helping to prevent future odor issues.
You can prevent organic material building up on your garbage disposal blades and the tank becoming dirty by using your garbage disposal properly. A lot of people turn it off as soon as the sound of the grinding stops. There could still be a great deal of smaller particles in the works and if the grinding stops, they stay there and harden onto the garbage disposal surfaces. If that happens every time you use your disposal, a nasty smell is almost inevitable. Instead, run your disposal about 10 – 15 seconds after the initial sound of grinding ends, and once you turn it off, continue running the water for another minute. That way, any particles are completely ground up, and your water heater is flushed too.
If none of these tips on how to clean your garbage disposal eliminate the odor, then you should call the professionals at Dave’s Appliance. It may be necessary to disassemble and clean each part, or it could indicate some other problem.
January 20th, 2020
Your dishwasher does more than clean your dishes; it is an important part of maintaining your family’s health. One way it does that is by draining away wastewater through the air gap. When your air gap leaks, it indicates a problem. The last thing you want is for wastewater, with the bacteria it contains, to flow back into your dishwasher. You need to eliminate that air gap leak. In this post we’ll look at several ways of dealing with a dishwasher air gap leak.
New Garbage Disposal
If you have just had a garbage disposal installed, and suddenly your dishwasher is backing up all over the place, the likely culprit is the small insert where the hose connects to your garbage disposal. This knock-out insert should be removed at installation, but sometimes it isn’t. Obviously with nowhere to go, the wastewater goes everywhere. Simply disconnect the hose, hold a screwdriver against the insert and tap the end of the screwdriver with a hammer until the insert is pushed into the disposal tank. Once this blockage is removed, your dishwasher air gap should work perfectly.
The most likely cause of a dishwasher air gap leaking is a clog. Most of the time, you can make this dishwasher repair yourself. First remove the metal casing from the air gap and then take off the plastic top. Depending on your make of dishwasher, this plastic top may unscrew or it may lift off after pinching the sides. Once you have access to the air gap itself, check if you can see any material clogging any part of the air gap. If so, simply remove it with tweezers.
Blowing Clog Away
If no obvious clog is visible, try blowing the clog away. Simply place a roll of paper towels over the air gap and blow hard through your end of the tube. You’ll be able to tell how significant the clog is from the air resistance. Hopefully, a couple of powerful blasts will dislodge any clog. Finally, pour hot water down the air gap to deal with any greasy particles. If you can’t get any air movement or a clog is still present, you may need to snake it out.
Snaking Clog Out
Just like snaking other plumbing features, you can eliminate a clog in your air gap by forcing a tool through the pipe. Traditional snakes are too big, though, so you’ll need to use something else. A long bottle brush works well, or a length of cable. Push the tool through the larger hole at the bottom of the air gap outlet and work it back and forth as you progress. Be careful not to exert too much force as you could puncture the tube, creating an entirely different problem. Watch the drain in the sink or garbage disposal, and when you see the end of the tool emerge there, you know you’ve dislodged the clog.
Another strategy when your dishwasher is clogged is to vacuum the clog away. Take your wet/dry shop vac and put the hose end on the air gap outlet. Be sure the switch is turned to suction. Fill the sink or disposal area with hot water, then turn on the shop vac. The force of the suction should dislodge the clog. Allow about a gallon of water to run through after the clog is cleared, about 30 – 40 seconds.
Keeping your air gap in good working order is important for your dishwasher’s proper function, and more importantly, for your family’s health. If you have concerns about your dishwasher air gap leaking that you’re not comfortable dealing with, call the expert’s at Dave’s Appliance.
December 18th, 2019
If you’re finding the food from your freezer has freezer burn, or isn’t properly frozen, you’ve got a problem. Likewise, if your freezer is leaking water, or has frost buildup, something is definitely wrong. There are some simple things that you can do before calling the professionals at Dave’s Appliance. Here are some common freezer issues and how you can do some freezer repairs yourself.
Frost buildup can be very annoying. It decreased storage space in your freezer, and it may trap odors, or encourage freezer burn. It may result from improper fridge position, poor seals, dirty coils, or clogged freezer drain.
Freezer Not Freezing.
If your food isn’t actually freezing, then you are at risk of illness, in addition to losing food. Check the coils. If they are clean, it may be a problem with the evaporator fan motor, or the starter may not be working right. Those issues will require one of the experts at Dave’s Appliance.
Freezer Runs Constantly.
If you’re hearing your freezer run all the time, then your freezer is working too hard. Check the temperature setting; it may be too low. Otherwise, it could be the condenser fan motor or evaporator fan motor. Those repairs need the expertise of Dave’s Appliance.
A clicking sound from your freezer means that you should call Dave’s Appliance. It may be a malfunctioning starter relay, or it could indicate that coolant is not moving through the coils properly. In any event, it is an issue that requires professional attention.
Freezer Leaking Water.
If it is only the freezer and not the refrigerator that is leaking water, it is probably a clogged or frozen defrost drain.
Frozen Defrost Drain.
If you’re uncomfortable removing freezer covers to expose the defrost drain, or are worried about what you may find once you do, just call Dave’s Appliance. In addition to the typical issues with the defrost drain outlined below, there’s the possibility that the drain strap may have fallen off or deteriorated. If so, Dave’s Appliance can fix or replace it.
Proper maintenance of your freezer will eliminate a lot of the usual problems, so here are some things to check.
Refrigerator position. The refrigerator needs to be positioned away from the wall slightly to allow enough room for the air to circulate. The heat from the compressor needs to have sufficient room to dissipate.
Temperature. Sometimes the temperature setting becomes inadvertently moved. Your freezer should be set to 0º to keep food properly frozen. It’s a good idea to keep a thermometer in your freezer to monitor the temperature.
Freezer door seals. The seals of the freezer should be clean and in good repair. Simply use soapy water and then apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to maintain the seals.
Coils. The condenser coils can become dirty and dusty. Use a vacuum to clean the debris off.
Defrost drain. The defrost drain may become clogged or frozen. To deal with this situation, unplug the refrigerator and remove freezer covers so you can get at the drain. Then pour hot water down the drain until it is dripping into the drain pan under the refrigerator. That will deal with any ice, and may dislodge a clog. If necessary, use soapy water with some ammonia.
Observing the maintenance advice above can eliminate or fix a lot of freezer issues. If not, just call Dave’s Appliance, and we’ll set it right.
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Frost Buildup, Freezer Not Freezing, and More
December 18th, 2019
You rely on your refrigerator every day, and a malfunction could mean losing all the food in it. Refrigerator repair isn’t necessarily an automatic call to the experts at Dave’s Appliance; there are some simple things that you can do to eliminate problems. Even simple repairs require care and attention to detail, though, so if you aren’t a do-it-yourselfer, just call the professionals at Dave’s Appliance.
Why is my fridge leaking water?
One of the most common problems with refrigerators is the appearance of water on the floor near the fridge. Most people assume that the fridge is leaking water. Sometimes that’s the case, but sometimes it’s not. Refrigerators are designed so that condensation accumulated in the interior of the fridge drains through a drain hole and then into a drain pan underneath where it evaporates. So the first thing to do is to figure out the cause of the water. Here are some common ones, and the refrigerator repairs for them.
Refrigerator isn’t properly positioned.
If the refrigerator is completely level or tipped slightly forward, the water may not be able to flow into the drain. All you have to do is adjust the front legs so that the refrigerator tips back slightly. That tilt also makes the door swing closed after you turn away from the refrigerator. Be careful when adjusting your refrigerator, though. It is designed to be nearly level, and tipping it too much can create significant problems with other systems.
Refrigerator isn’t sealing properly.
When your fridge doesn’t seal properly, it runs constantly causing excessive condensation on the coils, and water overflows the drain pan. Check the rubber door seals on your fridge and freezer to make sure you’re getting a proper seal. If you find a problem, wash the seals with warm water and soap and apply a thin film of petroleum jelly.
Drain pan is cracked or damaged.
Your leaking refrigerator may just have a cracked or damaged drain pan. Remove the drain pan from underneath your fridge where it is located. If it has a crack or is otherwise damaged, contact Dave’s Appliance about getting a replacement as soon as possible.
Why is my food frozen instead of chilled?
Another common problem is when food is freezing instead of cooling. Most often, you can determine the reason for this problem and perform the refrigerator repair yourself.
Temperature gauge set wrong.
If the milk is suddenly frozen, then the most likely cause is that the temperature gauge has been accidently bumped and is set too low, or too cold. That’s easily rectified. Just set the temperature to medium or 5. If you can designate an actual temperature, set it to 40º.
Freezer seals aren’t sealing.
If the freezer is part of the refrigerator unit (either above or below) rather than a side-by-side design, it may be that the freezer seals are not functioning properly. The same techniques outlined above for dealing with the seals of the fridge doors will fix this problem, too; warm soapy water and some petroleum jelly.
The coils are dirty or dusty.
If the coils on your fridge are dirty or dusty, then the compressor needs to work harder and longer to keep the freezer temperature constant. When this happens, the refrigerator can overcool and freeze food and drinks.
These are some simple refrigerator repairs that you can execute yourself. If the trouble persists or your fridge problem isn’t described here, it’s best to call Dave’s Appliance. And if you think your fridge might be leaking refrigerant rather than water, call Dave’s Appliance immediately. Refrigerant is a toxic material and you need to address this issue as quickly as possible in order to avoid subsequent health risks to you and your family.
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Fridge Leaks, Freezing Food and More
December 3rd, 2019
Gas stoves come with a variety of negatives. Bringing a gas line into a new build increases the cost by $2000 to $5000, and that’s just the beginning. Gas stoves are more dangerous, with a likelihood of gas leaks, and increased possibility of fire. Cooking on gas stoves can cause high levels of indoor air pollution, including nitrogen dioxide, and natural gas lines leak methane directly into the atmosphere.* They are much more inefficient than electric stoves as well.
Gas Stove Bans
For all these reasons, a number of cities are taking steps to decrease the number of gas stoves in homes and buildings. In fact, on July 19, 2019, the City of Berkeley passed a ban on gas stoves for all new single-family homes, townhouses, and small apartment buildings beginning January 1, 2020. And other cities in California, Washington, and Massachusetts are considering bans or limits on use of natural gas in homes and buildings.*
Benefits of Electric Stove
- Incentives. Even without actual gas stove bans, consumers can expect regulatory and financial incentives to choose electric stoves.
- Efficiency. Electric stoves are much more energy efficient than gas ones. Seventy-four percent of the energy produced on an electric range is transferred to food compared to 40% for a gas stove. With an induction range, the efficiency rises to 90%! Induction ranges transfer heat through electromagnetism into conductive cookware (any cookware that contains iron is induction capable).
- Safety. The benefits of electric stoves continue with increased safety and diminished risk of fire. No possibility of gas leaks, and no open flames to catch fire.
- Installation. Electric stoves are simple to install—just plug it in (though some may need a 240 volt outlet).
- Cleaning. They are also easy to keep clean, especially those with a glass or ceramic cooktop. With the traditional electric stove, the ring burners can be removed and the burner pans washed. Simply wipe down the glass or ceramic cooktops with a wet cloth and some dishwashing liquid once it is cool.
- Repair. Electric stove repair is often as simple as replacement of a heating element. Depending on whether it is a range element or a baking element, it may be done without even needing to call an appliance repairman. When your electric stove isn’t functioning properly, an experienced appliance repairman like those at Dave’s Appliance can quickly and easily diagnose the problem and fix it. Electric stove repairs are much less costly and the disruption to your family life is minimal.
With the benefits of electric stoves so apparent, and the trend toward banning or restricting gas stoves, consumers have a clear choice.
*KQED Science 9/24/2019
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December 3rd, 2019
When you invest in a major appliance, you want to keep it in peak working condition. The best way to do that with a stove is to clean it often. In this post, we will look at how to clean your stove top, whether it is a traditional electric range or a glass or ceramic stove top. We will also explore self-cleaning ovens and how best to use them.
- Prevent stuck-on spills. The best way to clean your stove top is to avoid having to do so. Use deep saucepans so that the probability of boil over is slight. If putting a lid on the saucepan, use one with a vent, or leave it partially off so steam can escape. When the inevitable spill does occur, wipe it up quickly with a warm, soapy cloth.
- Avoid Abrasives. If it is impossible to clean a spill right away, you are confronted with a cooked on spill. Use a sponge with dishwashing liquid and warm water, or a 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water to clean it. You will be tempted to use a powder abrasive; do not succumb! Abrasives will create tiny scratches in the surface of the stove top and the next spill will cling to these and make it even harder to remove them.
- Clean Stove Parts. Periodically, it is a good idea to clean the burner drip pans and knobs. If the owner’s manual says that they are dishwasher safe, use that. Otherwise, hot soapy water works just fine. If the drip pans become dingy, just replace them. They are readily available in any hardware store and are inexpensive. If your stove doesn’t have a sealed cooktop, lift it up and clean underneath. Food and grease tend to accumulate there and a 50/50 vinegar water solution can clean it easily.
- Beware of Short Circuit Possibilities. Never wash the burner element itself. That can cause a short and you could find yourself with a nonfunctional range. Also, don’t spray around the knobs; they lead to electrical controls and a squirt could cause a short. Instead, squirt a rag or paper towel and use that to wipe them down. If you have a traditional electric range, refrain from wrapping the drip pans in aluminum foil. While that may make them easier to clean, the foil could cause the heating element to short circuit.
- Self-cleaning Ovens. Maintaining the efficiency of your stove as a whole means that you should pay attention to the oven. Keeping the oven clean is the best way to do that. However, if you have a self-cleaning oven, using that feature may not be the best idea. Self-cleaning ovens are designed to incinerate food debris by increasing the temperatures in the oven to 900º to 1000º. Not only does this take a long time (from 2 to 4½ hours), it creates a nasty odor and fumes that can be toxic. It’s best to use hot, soapy water and a plastic scrub pad to clean your oven. Clean the window with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda. If it is really dingy, wipe the window with ammonia and let it stand for 30 minutes. Then scrape it off with a plastic tool.
Your oven is a major appliance that you use every single day. With proper care, it can last decades. These tips on how to clean your stove top and deal with a self-cleaning oven can extend the life of your appliance. With increased energy efficiency, it will be cheaper to run too.
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December 3rd, 2019
If you reach into your washer expecting to take out damp clothes and instead find sopping wet clothes, you have a problem. When your washer won’t drain properly, something needs to be done quickly. We all know how fast dirty laundry can pile up! Let’s look at some of the most common reasons why a washer won’t drain and how to deal with them.
Before doing anything to your washing machine, it is vital that you turn off the electricity to the machine, either by unplugging it or flipping the appropriate circuit breaker. Obviously, if there is standing water in the tub of the washer, you will need to bail that out as well.
The hose that carries the water from the back of the washer to the drain may be clogged. It could be as simple as a kink in the hose; sometimes when the washer is pushed too close to the wall, the exterior hose becomes jammed or kinked and the water cannot flow out freely. In that case, the solution is simple: move the washer away from the wall and make sure the water can move through the hose. If there are no apparent kinks in the hose, there may be a clog somewhere. In that case, you will need to disconnect the hose, find the obstruction, and remove it. Have a bucket handy when you disconnect the hose for excess water. Then shine a flashlight into the hose to determine where the clog is. If it is beyond easy reach, use tongs, and if it is too deep for that to work, take the hose outside and try using a garden hose. The force of the water may dislodge the obstruction. Then reconnect the hose to the machine, and run a quick cycle to determine if the problem is completely eliminated.
If the hose is not the problem, then the reason a washer won’t drain may be the drain. This would also be a relatively simple repair. The drain is the likely culprit is there is water on the floor, or remaining in the tub. Use a plumber’s snake to clean out the drain. Hopefully, that will clear any obstruction. Again, run a short cycle to see if the problem is fixed.
When a washer won’t drain, there may well be an issue with the pump. If so, that is a more difficult repair to do on your own. You may want to call one of the experts at Dave’s Appliance. Different washing machine manufacturers have different kinds of pumps located in different places in the machine. Perhaps the screen on the pump is just too full of debris. In that case, the screen can be removed, cleaned, and replaced, and that will solve the problem. It may be a problem with the fan blades, or with the casing of the pump; if so, you may need a new pump.
One of the best ways to avoid a washer that won’t drain is to be vigilant about emptying pockets before washing. Coins and other small objects can get caught in the pump or other washer components, causing draining difficulties. If you hear unusual noises during a wash cycle, it may be a forgotten item banging around in the tub. If you have a top-loading machine, interrupt the cycle and take out the object before it can create any draining problems.
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How to Fix a Washer that Won’t Drain
December 3rd, 2019
A garbage disposal is a wonderful addition to your kitchen appliances, and when it suddenly stops working, you want it fixed fast. A clogged garbage disposal usually has one of several common problems. In this post, we will look at some of the typical issues of clogged garbage disposals, and how you can deal with them most effectively.
Jammed Garbage Disposal
Probably the most common issue with a clogged garbage disposal is having a foreign object jamming the works. This happens easily and frequently; the spoon that you’re scraping the plate with slips down the chute or the bone from the roast has gotten stuck. If it turns on, but just makes a humming noise, it’s likely that there is something blocking the blades. The solution is simple. First, turn off the garbage disposal at the breaker box (very important!). Then, put on some work gloves (not dishwashing gloves), and dislodge the object causing the problem. If you cannot get it unstuck and you still have a clogged garbage disposal, you will need to call a repairman. The experts at Dave’s Appliance can deal with the situation quickly and easily.
Slow Draining Garbage Disposal
When working properly, the garbage disposal should grind up the. food very slowly and the water you run should not start to pool around the drain. The whole procedure should only take a few seconds. If it is taking a long time, or the water starts to accumulate and is slow to drain, this usually indicates a problem with the blades. They are almost certainly too dull to deal with the food quickly and efficiently. The other possibility would be an obstruction lower in the pipe. If this is how your clogged garbage disposal is behaving, you should contact Dave’s Appliance to have one of our repairmen come out. Whether it is sharpening the blades or finding and dealing with a clog further down the pipe, Dave’s Appliance can get your garbage disposal working again.
Foul Smelling Garbage Disposal
Your garbage disposal can give off unpleasant odors because of the wide variety of food stuff that it grinds up. There are some very easy ways to deal with this issue.
One of the best ways is to put some lemon or lime wedges and ice in your garbage disposal and running the cold water for 30 seconds. Another way is to put baking soda and vinegar down your disposal. These tricks should freshen up your garbage disposal. If they don’t work, it might be a good idea to call a repairman. The professionals at Dave’s Appliance can disassemble the whole unit and clean it thoroughly.
Garbage disposals are a real asset in your kitchen, so when you have a clogged garbage disposal, you want it fixed fast. With a little bit of knowledge, you should be able to deal with some basic problems yourself. And with the help of the team at Dave’s Appliance, you can be confident that any bigger issues will be dealt with right.
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The Most Common Problems and How to Fix them
September 10th, 2019
Whether you are preparing a holiday meal or simply cooking dinner, your kitchen stove will prove to be a very valuable appliance. Although the average stove lasts for around 15 years, it may still require servicing along the way. Here a few key signs you need professional stove repair in Milwaukee.
Constant Gas Smell
A constant gas smell should always cause some concern. Aside from increasing the risk of a fire, a natural gas leak creates excess carbon monoxide. For these reasons, you should not wait to call a qualified Milwaukee stove repair technician. Fortunately, the root of the problem is likely something that can be easily fixed. Often, a burned-out pilot light will cause a gas smell. To be on the safe side, open a few windows until help arrives. Read the rest of this entry »
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August 22nd, 2019
If you have a dishwasher in your kitchen, you’ll need to have a garbage disposal. A garbage disposal can take care of any small food particles that are left over after you eat. Even if you don’t have a dishwasher, you might still have a disposal to make sure that you don’t wind up with a drain that’s stopped up when you’re washing dishes. Like other small appliances, issues can crop up with a garbage disposal. While you might need to replace your garbage disposal under some conditions, there are some signs that indicate a somewhat simple repair might work: Read the rest of this entry »
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