DIY Appliance Repairs-They are the bomb!

Along with the consumer public in general, I think appliance repair costs are too high. Maybe in a future article I’ll go into the details of why this is the case.



One way to combat this expense is to do some repairs yourself.  Google and YouTube are your friends.  Today, you can look up almost any problem with anything on the web and find a solution.  Or should I say, you will find MANY solutions.  With the width and breadth of appliance brands and models that we service, we use Google too.  The benefit to our experience is that we can more easily sort out the different solutions available to make sure we are focusing on the correct solution.  It’s kind of like going to the doctor.  If you have a pain in your neck, and Google that symptom, you will find out it could be a strained muscle, a joint problem, poor posture, trauma, or even a tumor.  Or it could be as simple as your boss:)  The point is, similar or even identical symptoms, can have different root causes.  As appliance repair professionals, it is our job to diagnose the root cause of an issue, based on the symptoms.  We use experience, electronic and electrical knowledge, diagnostic data from the appliance, and general knowledge of how appliance systems function (and the internet).

Appliance technicians have an extremely broad base of skills.  We know plumbing systems, mechanical systems, electrical AND electronic systems, as well as how to follow diagnostic flow charts.  That broad range of aspects is one of the reasons we love what we do.

So, back to DIY, and when (or when NOT) to tackle a repair yourself.  First, in most cases you must have some familiarity with hand tools, and how to use them.  In addition, many appliance repairs will require that you have an electrical meter of some sort, AND (this is a very big AND) know how to use it.  If you Google the symptom of an appliance problem, you will get better results if you are as specific as you can be, and include your appliance brand name, and model number.

Finding most model numbers:  Data tags are almost always located in a place where they can be read without taking anything apart, or even pulling an appliance out from its installation.  You will also need the model number, when you order repair parts, so this is an essential first step.  For washers and dryers, the tag is usually on the cabinet, in the door area, visible when you open the door or lid.  Some will have the tag across the top rear edge of the control console.  For refrigerators, it is usually in the fresh food compartment, on either right or left wall, or on the ceiling.  Microhoods and microwaves almost all have the number inside the cooking portion of the microwave.  Ovens will have it on the cabinet/frame near the door area, or if you have a drawer at the bottom, it may be on the frame, visible when the drawer is open.  Dishwashers usually have the data tag in the area of the door frame, visible with the door open, although some are actually on the top of the door itself.

When entering your search, use the brand name and model number along with your symptom.  The symptom is not what you think is wrong.  The symptom is what the appliance is doing or NOT doing.  For instance, “Whirlpool MHW3700 pump not working” will  not give you as good a result as “Whirlpool MHW3700 does not drain”.  See the difference?

In the end, it’s up to you to decide if you have the skills to repair your appliance successfully.  Of course, we love it when you call us to repair it too, or when you go to for help.

Rich Johnson