Appliances that YOU can Repair
With the price of appliances on the increase, and prices due to hike this year, here are few appliances that you can repair with spares and parts you will find locally.
The price of appliances has increased dramatically in the last few years, and there are even more increases on the cards for the future. Being somewhat of a Scrooge, I'm one of those people that likes to see if I can fix it myself before calling for a technician or looking at replacing the item. Scrooge, I may be, but over the years I have saved myself a fortune on callout fees and the inconvenience of having to send an appliance in for repair.
In this article, we're not talking about technical repairs, but rather repairs that are easily fixed by YOU simply by sourcing and purchasing the right spare parts for the job - do an online search for appliance repairs and parts.
FIX A BROKEN HOTPLATE OR OVEN ELEMENT
Most older models and inexpensive stoves or hobs still come with the traditional coil hotplate element, excluding of course ceramic or glass hobs. Sooner or later you will need to replace the element, either due to wear and tear caused by age, or by damage to the element.
The elements themselves can be purchased at most appliance spares suppliers, and fitting the new element only takes about 10-minutes. That's 10-minutes you would have been charged for, plus the going rate for an hour's labour, plus the cost of the spare with a small profit added on, plus the cost for the technician to source and collect the spare part.
1. First, switch off the appliance on the main switch or the distribution board.
2. Use your cellphone to take a picture of the connection points to make it easier to install the new part.
3. Check for any damage to wires, as this will also need to be replaced.
4. Take all the damaged parts along to a parts supplier to ensure you buy the right parts for your particular appliance. If the guys don't have the part in stock, they will usually try and source it for you.
REPLACE BROKEN SEAL ON FRIDGE, DISHWASHER OR WASHING MACHINE
Nowadays, it is so easy to pop onto YouTube to find instructions for almost anything, and while I don't trust everything I see, it does help me to have a better understanding when doing my own appliance repairs. When I was replacing the seal on my refrigerator door, I look at the seal from all different directions before watching a video and having an "ah-ha" moment. Sometimes all you need is a little help to better understanding how easy it is to replace a door seal on almost any appliance.
1. Before you go to the trouble of removing the old seal, phone around to make sure you can obtain a new seal for the door. Many suppliers offer a facility to make up a door seal for you, so take accurate measurements and provide an accurate model number.
2. If you are unsure how to remove the old seal, dig out the instruction manual (which should be kept in a safe place) to see if it offer the required advice. Alternatively, pop onto YouTube or Google to see if you can find instructions.
3. Take note of how the old seal is removed to make it easier to install the new seal.
CLEAN BEFORE YOU SCREAM
Sometimes all your appliances may need is a thorough cleaning, especially those that come in daily contact with foodstuffs. Gas burners tend to become clogged over time, so give them a deep soak in soapy water to clean them out. On gas appliances, blocked gas lines and air holes can be cleaned to operate properly, and burners clogged with grease can be fixed with hot water and dishwater soap.
1. It always pays to keep the instruction manual that came with the appliance. Most contain a trouble-shooting guide that lets you solve any problems without calling out a technician.
2. Switch off the appliance at the main switch, plug outlet or distribution board. Take off any removable parts like burners, knobs or elements that click in place, and give everything a good clean with hot soapy water. Dry thoroughly before switching on again.
3. If you no longer have the instruction manual, some online research should set you right.
image source: family handyman