If you’ve ever had a broken appliance, and been unsure who to call to repair it, then this post is for you! I talked with five professional appliance repairmen from across the U.S. to learn how they got started in the business, how much they charge per service call, what they like and dislike about their job, and – most importantly – how you can become a better DIYer.
Get out your tools
You may not realize it, but your appliances are a huge part of your day-to-day life. From the coffee maker to the dishwasher, they help you get through your day. But sometimes, things go wrong with these machines. And when they do, you need to know how to fix them.
If you’re new to appliance repair, here are some tips that can help you get started:
Get out your tools. Before anything else, you’ll want to make sure that you have all of the tools needed for the job at hand. This includes screwdrivers and wrenches (both Philips and flathead) as well as pliers and hammers. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a flashlight (or two) on hand in case there’s some hidden work beneath the unit or in a cabinet or closet where a light bulb might go out.
Carefully disconnect the appliance
Appliances are expensive and if you’re not careful, you can easily ruin them. This is especially true if you don’t know what to do when something goes wrong with your appliance. Here are some tips on how to handle the situation:
Carefully disconnect the appliance. If there is a power cord connected to the appliance, unplug it from the socket or switch off the circuit breaker. This will prevent any electrical shock while working on the appliance. You can also use rubber gloves while working on appliances that have exposed electrical wires inside them.
Check the filters and vents first
If your dryer isn’t heating up, check that the lint filter is clean and unobstructed. If there’s too much lint in the dryer, it can block airflow through the venting system, preventing heat from escaping into your home. If you’re using a gas dryer, also make sure that its pilot light is lit — this is like an on-and-off switch for the gas burner. If not lit, follow these instructions from the U.S. Department of Energy: “Place a match or lighter near the igniter (the small metal fitting inside your dryer) until you hear a click or pop.” And if you have an electric dryer with no access panel on top of its drum, check inside for loose wiring connections.
Check the switch and user interface
If your appliance is plugged in but not working, check that the power is on. Then check that the control panel is functioning properly. If the buttons don’t work or don’t seem to be responding properly when pressed, you may need to replace the control panel. This is often a simple fix.
If all else fails, call a professional repairman.
If your appliance is still under warranty and you have trouble getting the manufacturer or retailer to help you out with the repair, then consider calling an appliance repair service instead of trying DIY fixes. An experienced technician can diagnose the problem and make sure everything is back up and running quickly. This can be especially helpful if there’s multiple problems with your appliance — such as with refrigerators or ranges — so it’s easier for them to assess what needs fixing first. They can also explain exactly how they’re going to fix your appliance so you know what to expect when they arrive at your home or office.