By Appliance Expert Blog | July 04, 2015 at 12:25 PM EDT | No Comments
Going on vacation? If you have a refrigerator with through-the-door ice dispensing, you should turn off the ice maker, and remove the ice bin. Empty the ice bin of all the ice, and leave the bin in the sink to dry. That way if there are any refrigerator problems while you are away, the ice won't melt onto your floor.
By Appliance Expert Blog | November 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM EST | No Comments
Be careful when the temps outside drop below freezing. This can have a negative impact on major appliances such as washers and refrigerators.
For washers, valves, pumps, and other components can freezer when the washer is located in parts of your home where heating doesn't reach, such as a mud room, utility room, added porch, or garage. Freezing can either make a component burst (causing a flood) or just not work (until thoroughly thawed). An open window or wall with low insulation can make matters worse.
For refrigerators, most units need a warmer environment to make the freezer and fresh food compartments reach correct temperatures. In colder environments, such as an unheated garage, temps within the two compartments will equalize to the fresh food temperature and contents in the freezer will thaw.
To solve these issues, make sure the environment where your major appliance is located is either heated, or the door is left open to a heated area. If there is no heat in the room, consider using a small space heater, if this can be done safely; the sealed radiator type is probably your safest option. For refrigerators, either operate the unit in a warmer environment, or simply don't use the freezer compartment in the winter. Whirlpool does make a refrigerator specifically designed for use in cold spaces, so that is one option to consider.
I am not one to turn water off when my washer is not in use, but if your washer is in a colder space, at the minimum, consider turning off the water when you are on vacation so that you don't get any surprises upon return. And remember that even if you turn off your faucet, the faucet itself and all your home's internal plumbing can freeze too, so keeping the heat on in the home is still important.
By Appliance Expert Blog | October 25, 2014 at 12:08 AM EDT | No Comments
Many customers use thread sealant tape, sometimes known as Teflon tape, to seal water connections on washers and refrigerators, but this product is not necessary in most applications. Thread sealant tape is used only on certain metal-to-metal fittings. If your application uses a supply line with rubber washers (like a garden hose), compression fittings (made of brass), or push-in fittings (like Shark Bite), sealant tape is not needed.
By Appliance Expert Blog | October 24, 2014 at 11:50 PM EDT | No Comments
A good installation can make or break your experience with a new appliance. A machine that is level and stable increases performance and improves appearance while a poor installation, such as not removing shipping pins from a front load washer, can have disastrous results. Some installers are better than others. For instance, using a moving company to install a washer or dryer when you move into a new house may not be your best option if they don't know to check for which faucet has the hot or cold water, or to put washers into the ends of hoses.
Appliance Expert can come up with creative ways to achieve results, even in more challenging locations. For example, some customers at Stapleton have oval venting that is very difficult to attach to, but there are transitions available. Another example would be using hoses with 90-degree fittings at one end in order to reduce chafing and decrease space to the wall. If you are curious about how a premium installation would decrease future grief, give me a call to discuss your situation.
By Appliance Expert Blog | October 22, 2014 at 07:32 PM EDT | No Comments
Many customers don't know it, but the name that is on your appliance doesn't always mean that that manufacturer made your machine. For example, many GE appliances are made by LG, Samsung, Frigidaire, and Whirlpool. All Kenmore appliances are made by other manufacturers. For example, most top load washers are made by LG or Whirlpool, while most of their front load washers are made by LG, Whirlpool, and Frigidaire.
Moreover, there is "brand engineering" by most manufacturers. An example would be how the same machine could be marketed as Amana, Admiral, Maytag, Whirlpool, Kirkland, and Inglis, depending on the retailer and trim level.
So which brand should you buy? If the machine you are interested in is offered under various brands, decide on the features you can't do without, and then buy the machine that has those features and the capacity you need.
On the other hand, keep in mind that more exotic brands (Miele and Bosch come to mind) will offer you a much different repair experience when service is necessary in the future. Will parts be available? Will you be able to find a repair service that knows that brand? Sometimes staying domestic has its benefits.
By Appliance Expert Blog | October 17, 2014 at 04:06 PM EDT | No Comments
If a dryer is drying slowly, the first thing that crosses the mind of an owner is that something is broken. However, the most common reason for poor performance is clogged venting. Even venting that looks and feels good may still have some restrictions. I have seen many things over the years, including birds building nests in the tube, as well as painters and roofers closing venting so that no air can get through. It is common to find venting problems where there are longer venting runs, venting within walls of multi-unit housing, or where the laundry area is more in middle of the house instead of the perimeter. One test for poor venting is to run your dryer with the venting disconnected (not recommended for gas dryers) and see if your dryer works faster. If yes, it is time to get the venting cleaned. Check out my referral link for a venting referral. Of course, I am here to solve problems with your dryer, so call me for quick and painless solutions for most major appliances.
By Appliance Expert Blog | October 04, 2014 at 10:30 PM EDT | No Comments
Many customers use plastic tubing to supply water to a refrigerator. Plastic does break over time and is not the best for refrigerator water supply. Copper, on the hand, is a tried and true product, and should be used all the way from a water supply to the refrigerator unit. Alternatively, copper can transition to a braided metal supply line (sort of like a thin garden hose) for the final stretch. And while we are on the subject, have you considered what you would do if you needed to turn off the water to the refrigerator in case of a leak? Is the faucet accessible? If your refrigerator is heavy and the faucet is behind it, you won't be able to get to it quickly. It is best to locate a faucet under the sink so that you can access it without moving the refrigerator.
By Appliance Expert Blog | October 04, 2014 at 10:24 PM EDT | No Comments
Not really. Some people think that the dishwasher's heating element heats the water such that it isn't necessary to provide the unit with hot water from a water heater. Not so. The element does provide heat, but only enough to boost water temperature by about a degree per minute. That means that if you provide only cold water for your dishwasher, it could take all day to bring the water up to the correct temperature for effective cleaning. The element is really there to maintain heat during the cleaning process, and to boost hot water to even hotter temps during a sanitizing cycle, if the unit is so equipped.
To properly operate a dishwasher, make sure you purge the cold water in your hot water line by turning on the faucet until it runs hot. Then, start the dishwasher with confidence that your dishes will be cleaned at a good temperature to activate the detergent and get the best results possible.
By Appliance Expert Blog | October 01, 2014 at 12:55 AM EDT | No Comments
If your dryer is taking two long to dry--maybe two or more cycles--it isn't necessarily broken. All you need is heat, tumbling, and airflow to dry garments, and it is the last item that is so important but often misunderstood. Air movement within a dryer is handled by a blower wheel. After the air goes through the element to heat up, then the garments to dry them, the air exits the dryer. In a perfect world, that would be the end of the story, but the moist, warm air is now exhausted through your venting system, and there lies the problem. The tube between the dryer and the wall, and then all the way to the outside, can create a restriction for air flow. It could be too long, or filled with lint, or a vertical run can be too high. I have seem many animal nests over the year too. Good, clean venting makes for a fast dry; clogged venting stops the process. If your dryer is taking too long to dry, consider having it cleaned out by a professional. Click on the referrals link in the header for a just such a professional to help you with your venting.
By Appliance Expert Blog | September 30, 2014 at 08:31 AM EDT | No Comments
The idea of a commercial appliance that is used in the home is quite appealing. Hey, if it can withstand the rigors of a business, then it can live up to the needs of my family, right? There is even a design trend that is seeing many appliances that have that look. But is there such a thing as a commercial appliance? The answer is yes, and no.
First, the yes. There is such a thing as cooking equipment and refrigeration that is used in restaurants, and washing machines that are used in laundromats and hotels, and yes, these items can be purchased for the home. You'll get the look, you'll pay the price, but you'll also need to call a commercial appliance or mechanical company to do the repairs, as there is little crossover in the repair side of things.
Next, the no. There is no such thing as commercial quality in any appliance that is sold through regular channels for the home. If it says such on the control panel, it is just a marketing gimmick. You are just getting a regular machine with a label on the console with nothing different under the hood.
If the reason you are looking for a commercial appliance is that you want durability, there are ways to achieve that in the home. For example, buying simple is better than buying complex. And buying more recognized brands is better than buying exotic (think Miele or Bosch). Durability can be found in certain designs, and not others. Have questions about this? Just ask.
By Appliance Expert Blog | September 08, 2014 at 10:54 AM EDT | No Comments
Everyone likes a good bargain, and when it comes to appliances, an outlet is the first place they go to for a low price. Outlets come in many forms. The Sears outlet is the biggest operation, but some smaller retailers sell similar items in a back room area. But is it a good deal? I'll propose that seeing hundreds of appliances on the sales floor, ready for a quick sale, is very compelling. But outlet purchases are flawed in two basic area: The history of the appliance, and the sales price.
Concerning history, no doubt the clerk will say that it is new, out of the box, maybe a scratch here or there--that is what they are told to say. Truth is that the salesman doesn't know the history of each individual unit, and this simply can't be known. Many have already been sold to someone, and returned for whatever reason. Some are scratched and dented in places you just can't see, hidden defects that will cause grief during the life of the machine.
The other issue is price, which is often not much better than the price when the machine was new. Furthermore, the machine may not come with all the bells and whistles that you get when buying a new machine: operating literature, accessories, a salesman who knows his stuff, and professional installation. Concerning the latter issue, installation for outlet sales is often handled by outside contractors who have less of a vested interest in a satisfactory install.
So, I am not a fan of outlets. I suggest to my customers to by new if they are in the market for an appliance.
By Appliance Expert Blog | August 28, 2014 at 06:07 PM EDT | No Comments
Floodsafe brand washer hoses are a popular product at big box hardware stores, but they cause a pesky problem for customers, sometimes leading to an unnecessary service call. Here's why: the hoses have a device built into the faucet end (as opposed to the end that goes on the washer) that will cut off the water in case it senses a leak. The problem is that normal house water pressure or surges will trip this device, and no water will go to the washer even when there is no flood. The customer now thinks he has a broken washer and they call me for help. Sometimes I can identify problems like this over the phone, and it is a simple matter of resetting the hoses. Better yet, don't buy them in the first place. Black rubber or metal braided hoses are just fine in most applications. How to know if it is time to replace your rubber hoses? The best way is to pinch the hose at each end and if it feels soft or has a water bulge, it is time to replace. I have never seen metal hoses burst. Finally, don't operate your washer in an area where the hoses will freeze. In the coldest days of winter, make sure the laundry room is open to the heated area of the house, or put a small heater in there if it can be done safely.
By Appliance Expert Blog | August 28, 2014 at 05:36 PM EDT | No Comments
Customers frequently tell me that they intend to purchase an appliance on Craigslist if they don't have it repaired, and I warn against this. My experience is that more often than not, the appliances for sale on Craigslist need significant repairs. Often the seller has an appliance business going in his garage, but he will tell the buyer a story like he just bought a new machine and is selling his old one. You buy it, then he moves the next machine into the garage and tells the same story to the next buyer. So does he check out the machines before he sells them? Probably not. And you can't operate the unit because it is in the garage. If you are going to buy a used machine, there are reputable storefronts in town that sell quality products that come with a warranty. Do you need advice on this? Just give me a call and I can tell you where to go.
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