Taking Care of your Household Appliances
Household appliances don't come cheap anymore, so taking care of them will not only save you money on having to buy new, but it will also extend their lifespan.
The other day my tumble dryer packed up. Having just forked out on quite a few other improvements for the house, I was a bit put out that I might also have to buy a new tumble dryer, and after checking out the prices for a new one I was a bit shocked to realise that they had gone up over 500% since I originally bought mine. Never mind that it isn't even an old model and energy-efficient to boot, I just couldn't bear the thought of forking out so much money for a new tumble dryer.
I asked hubby to phone around a few appliance repair companies in the area and after popping into one we use from time to time, he came back with a fuse that only cost R210. It took 5 minutes to take the back off the tumble dryer and swap out the old fuse for the new one and saved us R5000 in the process. The appliance repair advised that the fuse is normally what goes first and easily replaced. Thank goodness we bothered to find out and save ourselves quite a lot of money.
Anyway, the moral of this story is... before you rush out and buy a new appliance, first find out if it isn't something inexpensive and easy to fix yourself.
If you want to avoid sending your wallet into a spin cycle by having to replace appliances, take care of those you have.
TAKING CARE OF APPLIANCES
Home appliances are an expensive investment these days, and it can be frustrating when something goes wrong. I am the first to blame the manufacturer in that they don't make appliances like they used to, but more often than not the fault is on us. We overlook basic maintenance and care instructions in the operating manual, which few even bother to read. There are plenty of mistakes people make with their appliances and we decided to list a few, just in case you didn't already know them.
• Washing Machine
It is so easy to pack a washing machine to capacity just to get everything done in one load. But think carefully before you do that in future. Too much weight can put strain on the bearings and spinning mechanisms for a washing machine. Always try to stay under the weight limit.
Another mistake that many make when doing their laundry is to use to much washing powder. Too much washing powder will lead to build-up in the drainage system and again put extra strain on the system. Rather use too little washing powder than too much, or switch to liquid detergent.
As with a washing machine, overloading a dishwasher puts additional strain on the system, not to mention the damage that can be done to your dishes. An overloaded washer may overheat which can result in melted wiring or worse.
It is also important that you rinse dishes in the sink before loading them into the dishwasher, as bits of foods, fats and oils will soon play havoc with the filtration system. Foods don't need to be clean, as dirty plates help the dishwasher function properly, but any traces of food should be rinsed off. It is also essential that you regularly clean out the filter inside the dishwasher. Leaving food particles to accumulate will result in blockages and strain on the pump motor.
Another regular complaint is that the dishwasher door doesn't close properly, resulting in leaks. While many don't give this a second thought, letting your children play with the door won't do it any favours.
With the constant power outages that we experience, fitting a surge protector to the dishwasher is a sensible one. Not only will this protect appliances - any appliances - from power surge when the power comes back on, they will also protect against power spike caused by lightning strike.
• Vacuum Cleaner
Cleaning and emptying the vacuum cleaner is one task that no one enjoys but when it is overfilled a vacuum cleaner won't perform properly. You also put additional stress and strain on the motor, since it has to suck harder. Any dust filters, particularly those to protect the motor, should be cleaned regularly.
In the event that your vacuum cleaner starts to lose suction power, look closely before you toss out and replace.
This particular fault I must admit to being guilty to... placing tinfoil in the bottom of the oven to collect spills. I was not aware that doing this can block the flow of air into the oven, nor that it affects the heating elements. It is far better to stay on top of cleaning out the oven compartment as and when it needs it. That way, you can prevent the buildup of grease and burnt food on the walls of the oven.
If you put off oven cleaning, you will find yourself with the harder task of trying to remove baked-on food and charred remains that are difficult to remove.