Growing up, I often remember my grandmother marveling at all the “newfangled appliances” that were available to make household chores easier. She would tell tales of using a ringer washing machine where she fed clothes through rollers one piece at a time. Appliance designs were simpler and many times a homeowner would handle their own appliance repair.
Of course, she would shake her head in amazement every time I managed to wash and dry two loads of laundry, clean all the dishes from a dinner party, and cook homemade cupcakes for the school bake sale in the few hours I had between work and bed thanks to those amazing automatic appliances.
Then one day when I was getting ready for a trip, my dryer stopped working. The last load of wet clothes was just as wet as when I put them in the dryer. I didn't have time to run to the laundromat or call a repair service, so I hoped it was something I could take care of myself—and fast.
The internet is an amazing resource and a quick search of “how to fix a gas dryer that isn't heating” popped up a list of things to check. The first item on the list was a blown thermal fuse. That sounded easy enough to replace, so I got out my ohmmeter (you've gotta have the right tools if you're a DIYer) and tested it. Sure enough, it was bad. A run to the hardware store and $10 later, I had the new fuse. I popped it in, cleaned out the lint drawer and was back in business.
While we want to believe we can repair appliances on our own with the help of a YouTube video and a screwdriver, that's not always the reality. This dryer repair went well and it's great saving time and money but most appliance repairs should be done by a professional technician.
Appliance Repair Professionals Have Skills
The mere title “professional” indicates that a service technician is qualified with the knowledge, skills and experience to repair your appliance. A reputable repair company will be able to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair a problem quickly and safely. Replacing parts often requires precision work. By trying to do the work yourself, you could severely damage your appliance or create a potentially dangerous situation. On the other hand, if you select an experienced technician, he or she will often have years or decades of knowledge that comes in handy when facing unexpected challenges during a repair.
Appliance Repairs Require the Proper Tools & Parts
Unless you are accustomed to doing most household repairs yourself, you probably have a small toolbox with commonly used tools. Appliance repair professionals come prepared to handle most any situation with specialized equipment. More importantly, they have access to the replacement parts that will go into your appliance. Whereas you would have to order the parts online and pay retail prices, they typically get a wholesale discount and might have the part in stock already, so they're able to save you time and money.
Appliance Repairs Get Done Quickly
When your washing machine is filled with a full load of wet, dirty clothes and it stops working, do you really have the time and patience to learn how to fix it? It could take several hours or days to figure out what's wrong, not to mention ordering a part and waiting for it to arrive. Trying to follow a step-by-step instructional video could take hours and might only complicate the issue or result in further damage.
Sometimes you can solve the problem with time, tools and patience. A few years ago, my gas oven decided to stop working. It was 10 years old, so I started hunting for a new stove. Then I decided to check online to see if I could fix it myself—what did I have to lose? Everything I read told me the culprit was probably a bad igniter. A friend suggested I test my theory by tapping the igniter with a board. Sure enough, a quick rap allowed the gas valve to open and the gas kicked on. The part was easy to find online and I followed the step-by-step instructions I found online to replace the part in less than 45 minutes. The best part? I got another five years out of that old machine
Do your due diligence—if you feel as if the project is beyond your capabilities, don't be afraid to call a professional repair service. Hiring an appliance repair professional will save precious time. Some repair companies can send a technician to your home the same day to diagnose the problem. That's the first step to getting your appliance up and running.
Professionals Can Save You Money
When your appliance breaks down, your first reaction is probably to worry about how much the repair will cost. While you're calculating how much you can save by tackling the job yourself, you're likely overlooking the true cost of doing the wrong repair. Your lack of experience may mean that your machine could break down again and require a professional service call after all. Typical appliance repairs cost $200 or less, so bringing in a specialist often makes the most sense.
Professionals Offer Warranty Protection
The cost of a new appliance can be pretty expensive, so you'll want to ensure that your current one lasts as long as possible. While you may already have a warranty issued by the appliance manufacturer, it does not usually last forever and it doesn’t cover all potential repairs. The life-expectancy of most large home appliances is about 10 to 15 years, which gives you plenty of reasons to take good care of them. Professional appliance repair services often provide a warranty or guarantee of their own on parts and labor, which is another reason why they are often worth the money.
There's nothing wrong with tackling some DIY projects around the house. You can definitely save money by repainting a room or even replacing a faucet on your own. But when it comes to repairing appliances like refrigerators or washing machines, it's usually best to leave it to the appliance repair professionals. Despite the cost, it’ll be well worth it to know that your appliances will last for many years. And in the meantime, you'll be able to get those clothes or dishes washed without too much fuss, so you can get back to the things that are most important. My grandmother would be proud!