If you’re experiencing a problem with an appliance, you’re likely worried about it, and it probably seems serious enough to warrant calling in professional help in right away. It isn’t a bad idea to do so, either. Most calls to appliance repair technicians do uncover serious problems that require complex repairs. The trouble is, this only happens three out of four times.
In one call out of every four, technicians discover that the problem reported requires only a simple user adjustment. It’s always important to know what these simple fixes are, and try them yourself before you pick up the phone.
A refrigerator that won’t cool properly
If your refrigerator seems to work well in the cooler months but seems ineffective when it turns warm, it’s likely there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s probably just that the cooling coils at the back or bottom of the fridge are clogged with dust, dander and pet hair. They can lose heat collected from within the refrigerator more slowly. Sometimes, the problem can make the refrigerator’s compressor will actually trip and shut down for a few hours, too.
All you need to do is to look for instructions online on where those coils are located on your model, get a coil cleaning brush at a home center, and clean away.
A stove that won’t light up
If the automatic igniter in your stove doesn’t seem to click away when you press the knob, it’s probably not broken. Instead, it’s probably just clogged with spilled food and other gunk. Remove the burner, look for the little ceramic igniter under it, and clean off any gunk with a toothbrush. Alternatively, you could consider the possibility that your stove isn’t properly plugged in, or has run out of batteries.
If you have an older style range, it’s probably a pilot light that gets the burner going, rather than a spark-generating lighter. The problem could be that the pilot flame is out. You need to pull back the range, pop the lid, and check out the pilot flame. If it’s out, you can try to clean the port with a needle, and re-light.
Sometimes, it’s possible to set your oven to turn on at a certain time, and forget all about it. If you decide at some point before the time that the oven is set for that you need to turn it on, you may find that it doesn’t work. As silly a mistake as this may be, it’s been known to happen. Make sure that you clear any programmed setting before you decide that there’s something wrong with the oven.
Whatever the problem may be
The problem of an appliance that won’t work can often be traced to a tripped circuit breaker, incorrect settings or dirt. In general, checking these out before you call anyone in can make for less embarrassment and expense.