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February 11th, 2021
If you’re really handy, and you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, there are plenty of cases where you can give fixing your own malfunctioning appliance a go. There are plenty of helpful articles and videos online that will give you an idea of how to go about making repairs, and sometimes in this space we give tips and pointers about when you might want to attempt your own repairs, and how difficult that may be. In those articles, we also talk about when it’s best to leave repairs to the pros, and when it’s probably best to go ahead and replace an appliance rather than have it repaired.
That said, there are plenty of reasons to go with an appliance repair service.
Obviously, convenience counts for something, or we wouldn’t occasionally pay for bread and milk at the local convenience store when we fill up our gas tank. When you hire a knowledgeable, experienced professional appliance repairer from Dave’s Appliance, the job is likely to get done better and faster than you might be able to do it yourself. That’s not a knock on your abilities, it’s just a measure of how much more experience a pro is liable to have dealing with a particular issue. He’ll usually have a better idea of what to look for in diagnosing a problem. The likelihood is that he’s seen precisely this problem before, and dealt with it. If not, he will be much more likely to have seen something similar, and that will cut down on the trial-and-error time that most of us would spend.
A repairer will also have the right tools available. Sometimes we can make shift with what we have on hand, if we have a not-very-complete set of electrical tools, but other times we are in danger of further damaging an appliance if we are trying to make do. And in many cases a repair person will have whatever parts may be needed with him when he calls to make repairs, anticipating what the problem will be. If you’re in trial-and-error mode, you may end up ordering one part to replace, only to discover that another part is necessary. That can be very frustrating, especially when you’ve got to order by mail and factor in the time-lag.
Peace of Mind
When you have your appliance serviced by someone with knowledge and experience, you can rest easier about the results. It may cost more than performing the fix yourself, but when someone who has seen the insides of thousands of appliances gets a look inside, he sees more than a casual repairer would. The repair specialists at Dave’s can get a look at what needs doing right now, and also diagnose troubles that might be developing with other parts of your appliances, and suggest solutions. That will often mean that developing problems are nipped in the bud, preventing multiple service visits in the long run. They can also give you helpful tips about the long-term maintenance of your appliance. In the long run, it’s possible a service call can save you money over self-repair.
And if something does go wrong because it hasn’t been solved, the repair pros from Dave’s Appliance will return to sort it out quickly, so you can rest assured they’ve got you covered. If the better play is to replace the appliance, they’ll give you their honest opinion on that, and try to get you pointed in the right direction. Whether it’s a kitchen range, a garbage disposal, a hot water heater, a refrigerator, a washer or dryer, Dave’s partners with the best value manufacturers with the most reliable products.
Most importantly, a skilled repairer will make sure that everything’s the way it should be before you plug the appliance back in and start it up, with no jury-rigging and everything secured in its proper place and properly tested. This helps to extend the life of the appliance, sure, but also to protect your home from hazards caused by a poor attempt at a fix. While we recognized that there are non-professionals who have the skills and tools necessary to do a good job, and that there are some repairs that are much easier than others, people’s abilities vary a lot. While we are not against people learning by giving things a try, we do want to say that if you feel at all queasy about trying to fix something yourself, it’s probably best to give Dave’s Appliance a call. And if you’ve begun a repair and then started having second thoughts, chances are we can still sort it out for you.
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February 11th, 2021
Under the best of circumstances, having an appliance break down can be stressful. During these CoVid times, it’s liable to be even moreso.
Early on during the pandemic, people thought it might be a good idea to spend some money at home that they might otherwise have spent on travel or entertainment or dining out. That meant that there was a big run on major appliances. Many people suddenly found themselves spending much more time in their homes than they had before, because they were furloughed, or because they were transitioning to working from home, and because they no longer were able to visit the places they liked to go and spend time doing the things they liked to do. Some suddenly had fewer excuses not to get around to those projects they had promised to get around to, or began noticing and being bothered by things that previously they were able successfully to overlook.
All of that meant that there was a run on appliances, even as factories were crippled either by scarcity of parts or labor, or (in early days) even by logistical challenges. Naturally, if large numbers of people were suddenly embarking on home remodeling projects, or getting around to replacing balky appliances, or undertaking general home improvement with an eye to upgrading performance and efficiency. Those demands led to scarcity, and new appliance prices have climbed as availability has decreased.
In more normal times, it might be possible to limp along better with a poorly working appliance, but it has become more difficult, particularly for those who have to isolate due to vulnerability. It’s harder for them to get out to get a good look at what is available. And even if they have something new delivered and installed, viewing something online or in a catalog isn’t quite the same as inspecting it in person.
The upshot of all of these factors is that it has become more desirable to opt to fix appliances than it has been in the past, and the demand for service calls has been steadily increasing. The general rule of thumb was, for major appliances across the board, that if a repair cost half or less of what it would cost to replace an appliance, taking into account installation of the new one and removal of the old one, it probably was a good idea to repair, assuming that the appliance hadn’t had a major repair before and the efficiency and performance would still be relatively similar to something newer. That equation still works to some extent, but consumers find that availability is lower than usual and prices higher than usual, so many are opting to repair, instead.
Whether it’s a refrigerator, a washer or dryer, a water heater, a furnace, or a range, it’s challenging to find the usual range of options for replacement. Studies show that a larger portion of customers are satisfied with repairs performed by an independent appliance repair firm than with factory repairs, though obviously if your appliance is still under warranty, you will want to go that route. You need certified appliance repair technicians who have seen it all, and that’s just what you will find at Dave’s Appliance.
The knowledgeable technicians at Dave’s Appliance will be happy to consult with you and give you their best advice regarding your needs. They take every pandemic precaution on each home visit, and they come prepared. If it turns out to be in your best interest to replace an appliance, despite the challenges of the market, they will let you know, too, and they have the relationships with the best manufacturers to see that you get the best of what is available, should that be necessary.
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April 17th, 2020
The purchase of a major appliance should be a well considered decision. When thinking about buying a dryer for your home, there are two basic designs: vented and ventless (condenser and heat pump). Before delving into the pros and cons of each, let’s gain a basic understanding of how they work.
All dryers work by transferring the moisture in the laundry into the air in the drum. Then the moisture in that saturated air has to go somewhere else. In vented dryers, it simply goes outside as water vapor, either through a vent built into an exterior wall or through a hose connected to the dryer and passed out a window. In a condenser dryer, that air goes into a separate chamber in the dryer unit where it is cooled to convert the moisture back into water that then collects in a reservoir, usually under the machine. The newest kind of condenser dryers use a heat pump that draws air from its surroundings like its counterparts but uses a different method to complete the drying process. It is sent through a heat pump where the cold side condenses the vapor into a drain pipe or tank and the hot side reheats the remaining air for further use.
The first (and perhaps only) consideration needs to be the set-up already in place in your house. If your home does not have a vent, or the prospective placement of your laundry isn’t near an exterior wall or window, you will need to look at ventless dryers. Their placement is more flexible, though regular condenser dryers still need to have plenty of air flow around them in order to function properly. If you already have a dryer vent in an exterior wall, then a conventional vented dryer may be your best choice. Or not. There are other factors to weigh.
Because vented dryers are so common, they are also the least expensive to purchase. You can get a vented dryer for approximately $300 to $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).
The vented dryer has the shortest drying time, with typical loads going through a 60 minute cycle. Condenser dryers usually have dry times of around 75 minutes, and heat pump dryers take 105 minutes and longer. The reason that vented dryers work so quickly is the temperature of the air in the drying drum. It is extremely hot and blown vigorously. With the ventless dryers, the temperature can be lower, thereby increasing drying time. And also decreasing the wear and tear on your clothes.
Because of the differences described, ventless dryers are kinder to clothes. You may even find that you can dry some items that you needed to hang dry before. With condenser dryers, your clothes can last longer.
Heat pump clothes dryers use 40% to 50% as much electricity as a traditional electric dryer. In fact, some sources claim that they are five times more efficient than vented dryers, and double condenser
efficiency. Whatever the specific figures for your household, there is no doubt that they are the most energy efficient option.
With all of these factors at play, only you can decide which type of dryer suits your needs best.
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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