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Archive for the ‘appliance repair’ Category

Fixing an Unbalanced Washing Machine

September 14th, 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 are in 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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Repair or Replace My Dryer?

September 14th, 2021

Your dryer is making a strange noise; or your dryer is taking ages to dry the clothes properly. Maybe it’s filling the entire room with moist heat. In any event, it is apparent that something is seriously wrong with your dryer. Now, should you repair it or replace it? That’s a big decision, and in this post, we’ll examine the various factors you should consider.

The 50% Rule

As with other appliances, the 50% Rule applies: if your appliance is over 50% of its expected lifespan of 10 to 13 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 or are concerned about energy efficiency.

Kind and Cost

Is your dryer a vented or ventless dryer? Your house is set up for one or the other and the kind you currently have will impact your choice of repair or replace. Vented dryers are common, so they are also the least expensive to purchase. You can get a vented dryer for as little as $300 and as much as $1500. A condenser dryer can be anywhere from $600 to $2000. Heat pump dryers were only introduced to the U.S. market in 2015, and are the most expensive. They can cost $1300 and up. These are just initial costs, however. Over time, condenser dryers can save you money, especially the heat pump dryers. When there’s no vent to the outdoors, the energy efficiency of your home naturally increases. Also, the ventless dryer recycles the air it uses, thereby creating a potential savings (especially during Milwaukee winters).

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.

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 gives you, so you’re not going to be unpleasantly surprised: No Hidden Costs, Ever.

If you’re still wondering whether you should repair or replace your dryer, give the experts at Dave’s Appliance a call and we can advise you based on your specific situation.

Posted in appliance repair, clothes dryer | No Comments »

What Should I Look For in an Appliance Repair Company?

July 12th, 2021

When you need an appliance repair company, you need to find a good one. The best practices you should look for fall into the following six categories: Communication; Expertise; Equipment; Respect; Honesty; and Value. This post will consider each of these in turn.

Communication

Is it easy to get a hold of your appliance repair company? When you call, you should be able to speak to a real person who really listens to your problem. You should be told when to expect the repair person, and that should be a brief window of time, not all morning or all day. You should expect that your repair person will call you if there are any issues with the arrival time, and that he will explain the problem with the appliance to you clearly. Finally, your appliance repair company should tell you approximately how much it will cost to fix the problem.

Expertise

Your appliance repair company should have certified technicians, holding both state and federal certifications. Ideally, they should be factory-trained. Look for an appliance repair company that is well established and has a good reputation. If it’s been around for some years, it will have clients who have been helped and a name to live up to. Read its reviews, and not just the ones on its website. Look at reviews on consumer websites like Angie’s List. Reviews should mention knowledgeable technicians and proper equipment, among other positive attributes.

Respect

You want an appliance repair company that has respect for your time, for your home, and for you personally. Working with you to come to your house at a time convenient for you is a mark of respect. When the repair person comes to your home, he should make every effort to keep your space clean and tidy, both during the repair itself and when it’s finished. That’s a mark of respect. He should make sure that his repair efforts disrupt your family routine as little as possible, explain the situation to you clearly and without jargon, and give you an honest assessment of any costs or time frames involved.

Honesty

You need an appliance repair company with a strong reputation for honesty. When appliances break, repairing them can sometimes involve a lot of money. Your appliance repair company should be able to give you accurate estimates, and also let you know if there’s a range of costs. An honest appliance repair technician will tell you when you’re better off replacing an appliance rather than repairing it, too. And if you’re dealing with an independent appliance repair company rather than one connected to a major brand, you can be certain that they’re not motivated by any self-interest.

Value

The most inexpensive appliance repair company is not necessarily the best value. Value is determined by cost, of course, but it is also determined by elements like dependability, responsiveness, and relationship. Does your appliance repair company offer same day appliance repair? It should. Does it charge you another service call charge if a return trip is needed because of ordered parts? It shouldn’t. These are the kinds of intangibles that really enhance an appliance repair company’s value to you. You want someone you can rely on to get there when needed, deal with the issue appropriately, and charge you a reasonable fee.

Appliances cost a lot of money, and when they break down, it can bring chaos into your family life. You might feel desperate, but you should still take the time to find the best appliance repair company around. You’ll be glad you did.

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Garbage Disposal Humming?

July 12th, 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. So when your garbage disposal starts making strange noises, you need to pay attention. Here, we’ll explore what it means if your garbage disposal starts humming, and what you can do about it.

The humming sound that your garbage disposal makes indicates that there is power coming into the unit but the blades are not turning. Sometimes the sound is more like a buzzing rather than a humming. Sometimes you may find that the garbage disposal will stop on its own even if you did not turn the unit off. There are a number of reasons it might be making these noises or behaving in this way.

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 humming or buzzing, don’t immediately assume that somebody put something down the disposal that shouldn’t be there. It could be poorly ground food.

Foreign Object

Maybe somebody did 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, producing a humming or buzzing sound.

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 is humming or buzzing, it could be due to a tripped breaker. This lack of electrical current to turn the motor may cause a humming sound to be produced.

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 humming or buzzing persists, 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 the 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 starts acting up, you want to deal with it right away. Hopefully, a simple reset eliminates the humming or buzzing. If a blockage is the problem, 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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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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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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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.

Posted in appliance repair, clothes dryer, dishwasher, disposal, freezer, general, microwave, refrigerator, seasonal, stove, washing machine, wine cooler | Comments Off on Is Your Appliance Worth Repairing?

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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