Dollar Wise DIY: Major Appliance Maintenance and Repairs You Can Do at Home

Most of the appliances you use at home run off the AC current in your home’s electrical system. Small appliances will work on 110 to 120 volt circuits, while larger ones work off of 220 to 240 volts. Large appliances are also grounded using a grounding wire and their plugs have two blades and a grounding plug.

For small appliances, you shouldn’t have too much trouble in the repair department. Most of them are simple machines. They might consist of a simple heating element, a fan, and a set of blades or rotating parts that are attached to a drive shaft. On the other hand, major appliances, like washing machines, can be a bit more difficult to repair properly. Know when to repair and when to avoid. 

Watching A Video

Before you get too excited about repairing your appliances, keep in mind that some of them will be very complex. It might not be obvious how to remove panels or knobs that need to be removed. Start by watching a video online about how to repair your specific make and model.

You’ll be surprised what you can find on YouTube. In most cases, someone has already been where you are now. All you have to do is make sure the video isn’t copyright protected and download it to your mobile device using a program. Why download it instead of watching it on the web?

There are several reasons, really. First, most cellular providers and even cable companies cap bandwidth on a monthly basis. To avoid running into problems there, or chewing through your bandwidth allowance watching repair videos, take everything offline. Watching videos offline also allows you to watch the repair uninterrupted by commercials and avoids buffering caused by network traffic and possibly a slow Internet connection. Remember to respect IP when using downloaded content.

Repairing Small Appliances

Most small appliances are put together fairly simply. To get them apart, all you have to do is remove the screws, retaining clips, or tension fasteners and pull off an access panel. Some appliances won’t have an access panel. Instead, everything you need will be within plain site.

Getting replacement parts is a simple matter of going to a hardware store or contacting the manufacturer. In almost all instances, small appliance repair can be done in right in your home – if the appliance is serviceable, that it. 

Repairing Major Appliances

Major appliances can be repaired, but you need to follow a few simple rules. First, always make sure the electrical cord, and/or any gas lines to the appliance, are unplugged and secured. If you need to plug in the cord again and turn the power on to check your repair job during the job, don’t touch the appliance. Just turn the power on and observe. You may accidentally electrocute yourself if you touch a metal frame carrying an electrical current.

If the parts of an appliance are held together with bolts, plugs, or screws, it’s a safe bet that you can take the machine apart yourself and put it back together. In most cases, a broken or malfunctioning appliance part can be replaced a lot more quickly and cheaply than buying a new appliance. When you’ve fixed your appliance, it’ll be just like new.



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