Archive for the ‘appliance repair’ Category
Reasons Your Freezer May Not Be Freezing
August 1st, 2022
Your freezer is more than a convenient way to have ice cream always available. It’s an important part of your family’s health and safety. Improperly frozen food can become contaminated and have an impact on the health of your whole family. Some issues are simply annoying, but can indicate a problem that may become dangerous.
Freezer Not Freezing.
If your food isn’t actually freezing, then you are at risk of illness, in addition to losing food. It may indicate dusty, dirty coils, or it may be a problem with the evaporator fan motor, or the starter may not be working right. If you want to deal with the issue right, contact one of the experts at Dave’s Appliance.
Frost buildup can be irritating. It decreases storage space in your freezer, and it may trap odors, or encourage freezer burn. Frost buildup can indicate a number of issues. It may result from improper fridge position, poor seals, dirty coils, or clogged freezer drain. Too much frost buildup results in improper freezing of food, so it’s best to deal with it right away.
Freezer Runs Constantly.
When your freezer runs all the time, it is definitely working too hard. It may result in variable freezing of the food, and it is certainly costing you money in the electricity used. The easiest solution is that the temperature is set 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. Almost certainly, it’s not something that can be easily rectified. 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.
Defrost Drain Issues – 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. It is possible for you to remove the cover to expose the freezer drain and check if there is an obvious clog. If you can do so easily, extract it. If the drain is frozen, you may want to contact Dave’s Appliance.
Defrost Drain Issues – Frozen 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 above, there’s the possibility that the drain strap may have fallen off or deteriorated. If so, Dave’s Appliance can fix or replace it.
Like any appliance, your freezer benefits from regular maintenance. If you’re having issues, try these maintenance tips to see if the problem disappears.
Position. The refrigerator needs to be located 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 moved by mistake. 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.
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.
You should be able to enjoy the food from your freezer without fear. You don’t want to take chances with your family’s health, so If you have any concerns about your freezer working properly, call the experts at Dave’s Appliance, and we’ll be able to diagnose and fix the problem.
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Most Common Refrigerator Problems
August 1st, 2022
Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home. You use it multiple times every day, and a malfunction could mean losing all the food in it. If your refrigerator isn’t working right, it could also mean health problems for your family. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common problems refrigerators have, and what you can do about them.
Refrigerator 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 water is a symptom, but you need to find the cause. There are several possibilities:
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.
When your refrigerator 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.
Damaged Drain Pan
The problem could be as simple as a cracked or damaged drain pan. Remove the drain pan from underneath your refrigerator 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.
Refrigerator Freezing Instead of Chilling
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.
If the milk is suddenly frozen, then the most likely cause is that the temperature gauge has been accidentally 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 40ºF.
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 refrigerator doors will fix this problem, too; warm soapy water and some petroleum jelly.
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 the most common issues with refrigerators, and you can deal with many of them yourself. If the trouble persists or your particular problem isn’t described here, it’s best to call Dave’s Appliance. Importantly, 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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Is It Worth Repairing a Stove?
July 7th, 2022
The calculation of whether to repair or replace a stove is not terribly complex, but it involves a number of considerations. In most cases, repairs are rather simple, especially when they don’t involve the electronics of a stove. In other cases, though, you may want to consider how much life is still left in the appliance, and how much you would like to have a newer one that may have different features or a higher efficiency, especially considering rising costs of gas and electricity.
As a general rule, a well-manufactured stove or range or oven is going to last about 13 to 15 years. Whether the appliance actually reaches that age depends on a lot of things, though, including the size of the family that it is serving (i.e., how frequently it is used), how well it is cared for (keeping the oven reasonably clean will make it operate more efficiently and put less wear and tear on it), and what features it has. For example, a fan oven operates more efficiently than a non-fan oven, because hot air is circulated within the oven. Therefore, lower temperatures can be used to perform the cooking, and this reduces strain on the heating elements, and also conserves energy. Similarly, an induction stove top operates more efficiently than a traditional stove top, in that the cooking pan is itself used as the heating element, thereby losing less energy in the process of heating.
Owners with basic mechanical skills and tools can perform a lot of repairs on their own, depending, of course, on the availability of parts. For example, it’s a pretty straightforward thing to replace the heating element on an electric stove top, provided you are able to find the right heating element. This can often be done by consulting the owners manual, or by performing a web search for the part. It’s always best to bring the part with you to the parts supply store, or to double-check with an online expert at a web store before purchasing the part. In many cases, there will be an aftermarket equivalent available. Fixes to doors and their simple sensors and thermostats that are easily replaceable can also generally be managed by owners with basic mechanical skills and tools, keeping in mind that it is essential that circuit breakers be switched off and appliances unplugged in the case of electrical appliances, and that gas be switched off and care exercised with conduits in the case of natural gas or propane stoves. What is more difficult is electronic parts, although again people with basic electrical skills may be able to replace parts. If you have any doubt at all of your ability to perform a repair, it is worth calling in a professional just for your own safety and peace of mind. If you do want to give a repair a go yourself, YouTube is full of helpful videos that will guide you step-by-step, and in some cases may even show your exact model.
If your stove is still under warranty, of course, you will want to have the repair done by whoever is approved by the manufacturer, particularly if both parts and service are covered. This may involve a bit of a wait, and some adjustment on your part. You can cover the gap by looking for a counter-top stove in FaceBook marketplace or a local charity or second-hand shop to get you by while you wait. Some self-repairs may void your warranty, too, so it’s best to check before you begin. If you’ve been aching to replace your stove for any reason, of course, then it may be worth your while to just go ahead and do it, particularly if you calculate that you can save a lot of time or money in the long run purchasing the one that you want. During lockdown, it was often hard to get ahold of new appliances, but even though supplies aren’t where they ought to be yet, the availability of new major appliances is improving.
Meanwhile, if efficiency really is one of your major concerns, there are some things that you can do to save money on electricity or gas:
– Thaw foods before cooking, unless instructions indicate that they should be cooked from frozen. This requires a little foresight, but reduces the amount of energy needed to cook considerably.
– Using tempered glass or ceramic pans will often reduce the amount of energy needed to cook an item.
– Keep the oven door closed to prevent heat from escaping, when possible, though sometimes the door must be kept open when using an oven as a grill. Also, it is worthwhile making sure that the seal to the door is tight. Damaged seals can be easily replaced, and there are a lot of online videos that will help you with the process. Also, use of a thermometer will cut down on the amount of checking you will have to do by opening the oven door.
– Use the self-cleaning function once in a while to remove material that is cutting down on heat transfer efficiency, and perform a manual cleaning periodically, too.
– On the stove top, flat bottomed pans with tight-fitting lids will cut down on the amount of time and energy needed to cook.
– Consider taking some of the load off of the oven by using more efficient kitchen gadgets, especially for smaller tasks. An InstaPot or similar stand-alone pressure cooker, for example, will use less energy to cook many meals than heating up the whole area of a full-sized oven.
If you decide your repair may be beyond your comfort zone, give Dave’s Appliance a call. Our experienced technicians will give you their best advice, and we sell and service all the best value lines. Our agents are happy to consult with you, and we will steer you to the best solution for you.
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6 Signs Your Washing Machine Is Broken
July 7th, 2022
When your washing machine isn’t working right, it can make your whole life much more difficult. In this post, we’ll explore some common washing machine issues and what you can do about them.
If it sounds like something is trying to break out of your washing machine, it needs immediate attention. Loud noises, particularly combined with machine movement, usually indicate an imbalanced load or a problem with the position of the washer drum. Open the lid of the washer to interrupt the cycle and try to rearrange the clothing inside. If that doesn’t fix the problem, call the experts at Dave’s Appliance. We’ll evaluate the drum and make any repairs necessary.
Drum Doesn’t Turn
If the drum doesn’t turn while the machine is in operation, the problem is one of two things. The most likely cause is an issue with the belt. It may be damaged, loose, or missing. The other possibility is that the lid sensor may be damaged. Either way, the friendly repair people at Dave’s Appliance will be able to fix it quickly.
Water Not Draining
Almost always, water in the drum is an indication that a small piece of clothing has gotten jammed into the drain line or associated hoses. If you can see the blockage and reach it, remove it, and it’s fixed. If you can’t see it, call Dave’s Appliance. While this is not a difficult repair, it does require specific tools and expertise in using them.
Washing machines can leak from a variety of places. Usually, the leak comes from the drain line. If the problem is a loose drain line, your owners manual should be able to guide you through the repair. If it is the result of a crack in the hose pump or a poor seal on your washer drum, the experts at Dave’s Appliance will be able to assess and repair it quickly. If the leak comes from another area, we’ll be able to evaluate the problem and talk through all your options with you.
Door Won’t Unlock
Front-load washing machines are superior in many ways when compared to older top-load models; however, most front-load machines use computerized sensors to operate a door locking mechanism. If your door remains locked post-wash, it’s likely that the computer needs work or the washing machine door is obstructed—in some cases this problem can also arise in conjunction with a draining issue, as water present in the drum will keep the machine from allowing the door to open. No matter what the cause may be, this is a case for the professionals at Dave’s Appliance.
Washing Machine Trips Breakers
Today’s washing machines may be more efficient than the ones of even ten years ago, but they still demand a significant amount of power (an average of 500 watts). This means that electrical issues can cause breaker trips. If it happens once, then just flip the breaker and restart your machine. However, if it happens again, that indicates that there is an electrical issue that needs immediate attention. Call Dave’s Appliance and we’ll deal with it.
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Why is Water Coming out of My Dishwasher Air Gap?
June 1st, 2022
When your dishwasher does its job right, it provides convenience and cleanliness. It also contributes to 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, and the obvious way to start is to figure out why it’s happening. The most likely answer is that it is clogged, and the way you deal with it depends on the severity of the clog.
Is the Air Gap Obviously Clogged?
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 the make and model 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.
Is There A Hidden Clog?
If there is no clog 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.
Are There Dangers In Snaking Out the Clog?
Forcing a tool through the pipe must be done carefully. Traditional snakes are too big, so you’ll need to use something else. A long bottle brush works well, or a length of cable. Push the tool slowly and carefully through the larger hole at the bottom of the air gap outlet, and work it back and forth as you progress. Don’t exert too much force; 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.
What About Vacuuming a Clog?
Another strategy when your dishwasher is clogged is to vacuum the clog away. This eliminates the possibility that you’ll damage or destroy the tube with the snake. 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.
What If There Is No Clog At All?
If you have determined that there is absolutely no possibility of a clog, then there’s one last thing to check before calling the experts at Dave’s Appliance. 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.
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.
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Does Room Temperature Affect My Refrigerator?
June 1st, 2022
With the kind of heat and humidity we’ve been dealing with in Wisconsin this summer, the temperature inside your home may vary greatly. Or maybe you have a fridge in your unheated garage or uninsulated shed outside. Does room temperature affect your refrigerator? That’s an important question, and while refrigerators generally work fine in spaces that have a wide range of temperatures, there are certain considerations you should know.
Extremes Damage Refrigerators
The temperature of the room that a refrigerator is in should be between 60ºF and 95ºF. That’s a really wide range, and you might think there’s no way your refrigerator could be in a situation where the ambient temperature is either that high or that low. But you live in Wisconsin. If you don’t have AC, or you do and it breaks down, the inside temperature can easily get above 95ºF. In the winter, having a refrigerator in an unheated space simply turns it into a freezer. Extreme temperatures can damage the compressor or sealed system. Below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the oil could become thick and not circulate properly. Above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the oil could overheat and break down.
Fridges in Hot Temperatures
If the refrigerator is located in a room where the temperature is over 90ºF and it is opened frequently, then the efficiency will decrease significantly. When the outside temperature is so warm, it can cause other problems, too. The consistency of the cooled temperature inside the unit may vary widely and your food may spoil more quickly.
Fridges in Cold Temperatures
Having a refrigerator in a partially heated space might seem like a good compromise. While the unit may not actually break down, you might reconsider that choice. Refrigeration systems rely on the boiling of refrigerant under pressure and heat. When the ambient temperature is below 60ºF, it takes more energy to make the refrigerant boil and change into a vapor. And the energy consumption increases with the decreasing temperature until at 32ºF, there’s no cooling capacity at all. So even when it continues to cool, you’re spending a lot more money than you need to.
Remember that the room temperature can be quite different from the outside temperature. Your well insulated garage can be 10 – 20 degrees colder or hotter than outdoors. If you do decide to have your refrigerator in a place that isn’t ideal, take steps to mitigate the loss of efficiency. Your refrigerator placement can help with that. Your fridge shouldn’t be pushed against the wall. It needs a little space behind it so that air can circulate freely and the heat from the condenser can dissipate. Keeping the grill clean and the door seals tight ensures that it’s working at peak efficiency too.
If you’re wondering whether room temperature affects your refrigerator, the answer is yes. You probably don’t have it in a space where the extreme temperatures will cause a breakdown, but you should be aware that its efficiency will be affected by the ambient temperature. If you have any continuing concerns, call the experts at Dave’s Appliance; we’ll be glad to help.
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Common Dishwasher Problems
May 2nd, 2022
Your dishwasher does more than clean your dishes; it is an important part of maintaining your family’s health. That means that it’s a real problem when your dishwasher isn’t working right. In this post, we’ll look at some common dishwasher problems and what you can do about them.
It’s probably the filter. The filter sits at the base of the inside of the dishwasher, and traps large food particles that might otherwise get into the mechanisms and gum up the works. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning it once a month, but if that maintenance job has slipped your mind, it’s easily dealt with. It’s designed to be clipped in and out, so take it out and give it a good clean. If it’s been damaged, it’s probably replaceable.
If your dishes are coming out with food particles still in place, it might be time to unclog the spray arms. These are the longish, flattish plastic arms that spray and rinse the dishes and other items you put in the dishwasher as they spin about. These, too, are designed to be removed easily, cleaned, and reinstalled. And remember to clean the mounting too. Occasionally cleaning the spray arms can significantly improve the performance of your dishwasher.
Unsteady Bottom Basket
If it’s a struggle to get the bottom basket out, or if it is so unstable you hold your breath pulling it out, you probably need to replace the wheels. They are designed to snap on and off, and it’s certainly worth avoiding the hair-pulling frustration of trying to coax the thing in and out if it’s bothering you.
Damaged Detergent Dispenser
The detergent dispenser can be easily replaced, if your unit isn’t too old. However, this is definitely a more involved repair, and you may want to call the experts at Dave’s Appliance to make sure it’s done correctly and quickly. If you want to do it yourself, you may want to view an online video, especially if it treats your specific model, and to have all the tools you need immediately on hand. The front panel of your dishwasher is going to have to be unmounted, electrical connections undone, and everything replaced. While it is rather involved, it’s still a simple repair.
If your dishwasher is leaking, it could be any of a number of issues. You need to do some diagnosing.
It may be faulty door hinges. If the door seems to drop heavily or seems misaligned, it could well be a hinge. If so, you might want to call Dave’s Appliance. If you choose to do it yourself, you’ll need to remove the side panels to get a good look. It’s a good idea to watch a video on replacing the mechanism and remember to find one that deals with your specific make and model. Also, it’s probably a good idea to replace both at the same time.
The problem could be door seals, and depending on which seals are acting up, it may be an easy fix. Check the upper door seal, which goes from one side, around the top, and down the other side of the door. Usually a new seal costs $30 or so, and it’s not a hard job to replace it. If it’s the lower seals, though, that’s another matter. It involves disassembling the entire door, and is best left to the professionals.
The fill hose brings water into your dishwasher, and the drain hose removes the wastewater. In time, these can corrode, degrade, or get clogged, reducing the performance of your dishwasher. It’s usually possible to get replacements and not too hard to install them yourself.
Not Draining Properly
If there’s still a lot of water in your dishwasher when it’s completed its cycle, there’s probably an issue with the drain pump. The drain pump is located at the bottom of the appliance, and pushes wastewater out of the dishwasher and into the adjacent sink drain. Bits of food, chips of dishes, slivers of glass, and other material can get caught in the pump and prevent it from working efficiently. That means that the drain pump needs to be disassembled and cleaned. While that’s possible for you to do yourself, it’s a better idea to call the professionals at Dave’s Appliance since the whole machine needs to be tilted onto its back and the baseplate needs to be removed.
Water’s Not Hot
If the water isn’t heating up, that’s a serious problem since the intense heat kills the bacteria on your dishes and cutlery. It might be that the heating element has burned out. Here again, you’re best advised to contact an expert (like those at Dave’s Appliance). If not, you’re going to need a multimeter for this one. You will need to lay the unit on its back, remove the baseplate and anything else that might be blocking the element, remove the wires to isolate it and then check it with your multimeter by touching it to the terminals. If a fault is indicated, you need to replace the heating element.
Dishwasher Not Filling
This issue is very similar to the heating element problem. This time, though, you’ll need to check the water valve, located behind the back plate, near to the fill hose. Remove the wires, check with a multimeter, and replace if faulty.
No Bleeping Sounds
Disqualify the obvious first. Check to make sure it’s properly plugged in and that the circuit breaker isn’t tripped. If that’s not the issue, you probably want to call Dave’s Appliance. However, if you know your way around a multimeter, you may be able to track down the problem on your own and fix it.
And remember, a dishwasher that’s lasted 10 years may just be done. It might be time to get a new one.
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Is Your Washing Machine Worth Fixing?
May 1st, 2022
You don’t realize how essential your washing machine is until something goes wrong. Then, you may be tempted simply to replace it immediately to avoid the inconvenience of dirty washing accumulating or trips to the launderette. However, it may be worth considering whether repair is the better option. In this post, we’ll explore the factors you should think about to decide whether your washing machine is worth Fixing
How Old Is It?
All home appliances wear out eventually, and for washing machines, the expected lifespan is about 10 years. So if you’ve had your machine for 10 years or more, replacement is probably the best choice, unless it’s a very simple problem to repair. The other consideration here is how much use your washing machine gets. If you do washing every day, then the 10 years of service may well be reduced. The general rule here is to replace the appliance if the repair cost is more than half the price of a new machine. The other factor in favor of replacement is the warranty that accompanies a new washing machine. With an older model, you bear the costs of all the repairs, and the older it gets, the more frequently those repairs are likely to occur. Of course, you can only make this decision if you know how much the repair is going to cost. The experts at Dave’s Appliance can help with that.
How Much Will It Cost To Repair?
Even a relatively new washing machine can develop problems. If it’s within the warranty period (which differs by make/model and part), it may not cost you anything to repair. If it’s older than one year, you should ask one of the professionals at Dave’s Appliance to diagnose the problem. We’ll be able to tell you how much the replacement parts and labor would be too. Knowing the cost of the repair is really essential information for you to decide if you should fix your washing machine or not.
Can You Fix It Yourself?
There are some washing machine repairs that you can do yourself. Especially if there are videos showing how to make simple repairs to your particular make and model of machine, you might try to do it yourself. Some parts, such as pulleys, pumps and seals, are inexpensive. You can get these replacement parts from Dave’s Appliance and install them yourself. Just make sure that you’re repairing the actual problem; again, having the experts at Dave’s Appliance diagnose the issue is essential.
Is Your Washing Machine Using Too Much Energy?
Even if your washing machine isn’t 10 years old, chances are that it is not particularly efficient if it is over 5 years old, unless it has been getting regular maintenance. If you’re using an older model, your water, energy and detergent consumption may be higher than with a newer model. If you have a front-loading machine, it is more efficient than a top-loading one. A washing machine with an Energy Star rating will use as much as 33% less water than a non-rated model. Regular maintenance makes a big difference here; ask about the service agreements that Dave’s Appliance offers.
What Is Washing Machine Maintenance?
Washing machine maintenance includes regular cleaning and servicing twice a year. Cleaning your washing machine often can improve its performance and extend its lifespan. Simply wipe down the interior of the drum, clean the seals with warm soapy water, and apply a thin layer of vaseline if the seals need it. When the experts at Dave’s Appliance do a service on your washing machine, all the parts that need cleaning (that you can’t get to) will be cleaned; all those needing lubrication will get that. The drum will be balanced and the motor checked.
The answer to whether or not your washing machine is worth fixing isn’t as straightforward as you might think. These are some of the factors you should consider. Contact Dave’s Appliance to get the best advice about your particular situation.
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What Causes a Garbage Disposal to Seize Up?
October 14th, 2021
Your garbage disposal is an important kitchen appliance. It allows you to deal with food waste quickly and efficiently, minimizing the risk of ants or other pests attracted to food. If your garbage disposal makes a sound, that indicates that there is power coming into the unit but the blades are not turning. The sound can be a buzzing or a humming, and sometimes the garbage disposal will stop on its own even if you did not turn the unit off. In this post we’ll examine what some of the causes might be and what you can do about it.
Maybe somebody put something down the disposal other than food. It’s easy to drop a spoon or other utensil, and if it isn’t immediately retrieved, it can cause a blockage. Maybe a child threw something down the disposal and didn’t mention it. In any event, the foreign object could certainly cause the impeller blades to jam, causing the unit to seize up.
Poorly Ground Food
Garbage disposals work by grinding up the food waste and washing it down; sometimes, though, it is not ground up as thoroughly as necessary. It is not uncommon that large bits of food or bone become stuck between the impeller blade and the drain hole causing the unit to jam. When you hear the garbage disposal making an odd sound, don’t immediately assume that somebody put something down the disposal that shouldn’t be there. It could be poorly ground food.
Tripped Power Breaker
Garbage disposals are usually on a separate circuit breaker known as a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). GFCI circuit breakers and outlets protect people from electrical shock. If they detect an energy leak of even a thousandth of a milliamp, they will shut down the circuit. If your garbage disposal suddenly seized up, it could be due to a tripped breaker. This lack of electrical current to turn the motor may be the problem.
Sometimes, the motor bearings in a garbage disposal get frozen or seized up. If this is the case with your garbage disposal, you’ll likely need a professional to look at it. And it may be time for a new one. The experts at Dave’s Appliance can guide you here.
What to Do?
Reset the Unit
If the problem is a tripped breaker, simply press the reset button and see if normal disposal operation is restored. The reset button can be found at the bottom of the unit. Since this is an easy fix, it’s a good idea to start with that. If the garbage disposal is still seized up, you’ll need to investigate further.
Identify and Remove Blockage
Whether it is a large bone or a fork, an object stuck in the impeller blades needs to be removed. Since this involves some danger, it may be something you want the experts at Dave’s Appliance to do. If you want to attempt it yourself, you need to follow these steps:
Cut the power to the garbage disposer by unplugging the unit and cutting the electrical circuit. This prevents the motor from burning out and more importantly ensures that you do not get electrocuted; Under the sink you will find the breaker socket at the bottom section of the garbage disposal. You need to insert a hex head Allen wrench in that breaker socket;
Start moving the wrench back and forth to get the flywheel to turn and set free the jammed particle in the impeller blades; Return power to the garbage disposal unit and check if normal function has been restored.
When your garbage disposal seizes up, you want to deal with it right away. Hopefully, a simple reset eliminates the problem. If a blockage is the issue, you might want to contact us at Dave’s Appliance. And if you identify and remove a blockage yourself, but the humming or buzzing persists, you should definitely give us a call.
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How Long Should Your Dishwasher Last?
October 14th, 2021
A typical dishwasher should last about 10 years, according to Consumer Reports. But that doesn’t mean you won’t need to spend money on repairs during that time. In fact, Consumer Reports surveyed its members and found that 30% of all newly purchased dishwashers are likely to have issues within five years of installation. Does that mean you should replace your dishwasher when it starts requiring repairs? The answer isn’t a straightforward yes or no.
The 50% Rule
As with other appliances, the 50% Rule applies: if your dishwasher is over 50% of its expected lifespan of 10 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 remodeling and want something that’s a better fit either in style or dimension, or if you want something more efficient than what you’ve been using.
New Dishwasher Costs
There are two factors to consider here: the cost of the appliance itself and the cost of installation. Dishwasher prices vary wildly, depending on the quality and design features you desire. You can get a dishwasher for under $500, but it will be noisy and have a plastic tub. Those between $500 and $1000 will be quiet, have a stainless steel tub, and more versatile racks. Over $1000, dishwashers will be virtually silent, with design features and wifi. So that’s the first decision you need to make. Then, there’s the installation cost. In the Milwaukee area, those vary from around $150 to $300 (again type of dishwasher is a factor here). So if you have a high quality dishwasher that will cost almost $1000 to replace, then a $300 repair becomes a much more attractive option. Likewise, if you have a dishwasher that was inexpensive to begin with, you may want to replace it.
Obviously, the cost to repair your dishwasher will depend on what is wrong with it. If it’s a simple thing like door seals, it could be as little as $50. If it’s major, it could run into hundreds of dollars. Many dishwasher repairs arise from neglected maintenance, so it’s a good thing to have a maintenance contract with a reputable appliance place, like Dave’s Appliance. That way, your dishwasher will get regular servicing, minimizing the need for high-cost repairs.
There are simple things you can do to prevent dishwasher repairs being necessary. For one thing, make sure to remove debris from plates and bowls before loading them into your dishwasher. Small chicken bones, for example, can clog your dishwasher’s drain hose or damage its other components. Use your dishwasher appropriately—don’t run it when it’s half full, and don’t overfill it either. Beware of forcing dishes into positions on the racks that strain the construction. And always use proper automatic dishwashing detergent, not dish soap made for hand washing.
If treated right, your dishwasher could last beyond 10 years, but that’s the general life-span of a dishwasher. If you have any questions about whether your dishwasher should be replaced or repaired, reach out to the experts at Dave’s Appliance. We’ll give you a straight answer.
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