6 Common Appliance Problems You Should Know About

Are you having appliance issues but you’re not sure if you should call a repair service? Some problems are more common than others and require a simple fix such as checking your cords or outlets. Filter or cleaning problems are also commonplace, so read on to find out what you can expect to handle on your own, and when you might need to call in extra help. 

Microwave Complications

Components inside a microwave (such as the turntables) can also break. You can try resetting the outlet on your own, but if this does not help, the unit might have blown a fuse. Disconnect the plug from the wall. Ensure the circuit breaker is off before attempting any work on the fuse or the microwave.

Washing Machine Issues

Sometimes, washing machines have issues turning on, draining, cleaning, or agitating the clothes. The owner’s manual can offer specific guidance on the reset process for your model.

If the water doesn’t fill inside, check to ensure nothing is obstructing the door or receiving hole. If the machine doesn’t drain, look at the pump. It’s possible that something is clogging it such as torn clothing or debris. Other times, problems getting clothes all the way clean can occur if the machine is overloaded. Try putting fewer items inside and be sure you’re not adding too much laundry soap.

Dryer Problems

Since dryers use a great deal of electricity, it’s essential to be cautious if you decide to attempt to diagnose or fix one. Turn the circuit breaker off before an attempt at any repairs. 

Dryers sometimes can’t heat enough as much as they should be able to and might not start. Be sure that the lint filter or vent tube is both clear and are not clogged. 

Refrigerator Complications

It can be frustrating to have a refrigerator that leaks water or is noisy but be aware that the issue might be more than that. “If the unit leaks underneath to the subflooring or kitchen floors, these both can get permanently damaged. The door seal that keeps the cold air inside is also an important part of your fridge that should be replaced if it gets broken,” remarked John Stahfest, owner of Top Shelf Appliance.

Dishwasher Difficulties

The typical household utilizes these units often, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if an issue takes place now and then. Ensuring that the dishwasher filter is kept clean can help to prevent water from seeping through the door. 

If the issue is just a leak, you might need to check to see that there isn’t anything in the way of the seal or that could be blocking the door from shutting. A clogged filter or dirty door gasket can also result in dishwasher troubles.

Air Conditioner Problems

Occasionally, an air conditioning unit can have a misaligned slope, especially if it’s the kind that gets placed in a window. These types of coolers can break down because they deal with high quantities of air they deal with and water that gets removed from the air. A simple fix can be to realign the machine so that the slope faces down outside.  

In summary, don’t hesitate to call in a repair service if the complication is more severe than a clogged filter or just some necessary cleaning. Some issues might seem minor, but if there are underlying problems, it could be more trouble than it’s worth without a trained professional.

5 Hacks to Help You Afford Car Repairs

If you’ve ever had a car break down, you know how much financial stress it can cause. Car problems can occur randomly, but routine maintenance is also something that also needs to be considered. While mechanic costs can add up fast, the following guidelines can help you keep maintenance and repair expenses low.

Do Your Research

Those who don’t have the best idea of how to estimate a car repair can benefit greatly from doing a little research before they send their car to the mechanic. One study found that people can end up with a better cost for the repairs if they make an effort to look into the problem beforehand. Knowing what the fix should be priced at can work in your favor. Websites like Driverside and AutoMD can help you determine where the problem might lie and how much it should cost to have fixed.

Even those who don’t have in-depth knowledge about their vehicle can have better luck at the mechanic’s shop. “Look into the problem beforehand, ask as many questions as you want, and if you feel unsure about anything, move on to a different mechanic. If you haven’t signed anything, you’re not obligated to work with them,” explained Jason Chalik, car accident lawyer in Plantation. The peace of mind will assure you that you’re on the right track.

Look for Discounts and See What Your Warranty Covers

Sometimes, Pep Boys and Meineke put coupons online, and even these can save you some cash. Warranties on new cars usually last until 36,000 miles or three years. Repairs will likely be taken care of if your car is still within those time restrictions. Used cars can also be covered if you purchase an aftermarket warranty.

Look for a Reliable Mechanic that You Trust

An honest mechanic can save you a great deal of money. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence endorses mechanics after they have demonstrated proficiency in every aspect of car maintenance and repair, and their website is the best place to locate a mechanic if you haven’t found one yet. AAA also recommends mechanics. Or, see which repair shop your family and friends take their cars to. Reviews can also prove useful as a last resort, and get a second opinion if you’re in doubt.

Stay on Top of Recommended Maintenance

Some services might not be absolutely necessary, but prioritizing certain maintenance tasks can save you a lot of grief later. Check your owner’s manual to see what your car needs, and avoid spending money on work that doesn’t need to be done until you reach a certain mileage. Certain checks can be done yourself, such as looking at the fluid level or changing the oil. Many instructional repair videos are available on AutoZone and other reputable websites that can help get you started.

In summary, being proactive can save you a great deal of expense and frustration when it comes to your vehicle. Do you have any other tips for finding a good mechanic fast? What do you look for when taking your car in for a tune-up?

Pros and Cons of Tankless Hot Water Heaters

One day, you wake up to shower and discover that you have no hot water. The repairman comes and says that your hot water heater needs to be replaced. You now have a decision to make: do you want to continue using a tank system or do you want to go tankless?

“A tankless hot water heater does have a surprising number of benefits, and almost the same number of drawbacks,” says Steve Lewis, president and CEO of Plumbing By Jake.

Take a look below and decide if a tankless hot water heater might be right for you.

Pro #1

A tankless water heater uses 30-50% less energy than their tank counterparts, leading to a savings of up to $100 per year.

Con #1

Because of their small design, many tankless hot water heaters require special installation and also cost a bit more initially to purchase. If you factor in the installation costs as well as purchasing the unit, a tank water heater is much cheaper and easier to install.

Pro #2

Instant hot water. No waiting for the tap at the bathroom sink to warm to shave or wash your face. No waiting for the water to get warm in the shower. A tankless water heater provides hot water almost instantly.

Con #2

The hot water provided by a tankless hot water heater may be “limitless,” but only to one faucet or appliance at a time. If you want to take a shower while washing clothes or dishes, you might get inconsistent temperatures or need to wait until one is finished.

Pro #3

A tankless water heater also tends to have a longer lifespan than your typical tank water heater. Warranties typically cover 12 to 15 years, versus an average of 6 years for their tank counterparts.

Pro #4

Tankless water heaters are mounted on the wall, freeing up space in your garage or basement for other things. If you’re concerned with space issues, a tankless water heater may be the way to go.

Con #4

A tankless hot water heater may require additional equipment, like a water softener if you have hard water. A water softener plus the necessary bags of salt may negate any space savings of the wall mounted water heater.

Pro #5

Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient, and the federal government likes energy efficiency. A household can qualify for a 10% tax credit on the purchase and installation costs of a tankless water heater.

Con #5

It can take a long time to make up for the up-front costs of purchase and installation. At an average savings of $75 per month according to Consumer Reports, it could take 6-12 years before the savings add up to more than the initial costs.

While the benefits to a tankless water heater may be appealing, there are important considerations to be made. It could be that your individual household would do better just sticking with an energy efficient tank water heater. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding.