washing machine

How can you fix a household appliance?

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You just dumped a load of laundry into your washer and spun the knob… and nothing is happening. What do you do?

Whether you’re battling with your washer, dryer, fridge, dishwasher or another home appliance, here are a few places to look for help to get everything in working order again.

Major appliances, major headaches

Ah yes, that lovely sinking feeling that comes with your washer doing… nothing. Or your refrigerator that suddenly stops, well, refrigerating. Other than calling the Maytag (or Kenmore, or GE, or… you get the idea) repairman, what can you do?

Well, the good news is that with some basic tools and a bit of know-how, troubleshooting and repairing your appliances isn’t really that difficult for the average DIYer.

Home appliance in kitchen - Dishwasher
Photo by Ha4ipuri/Envato
Here are some resources to aid you:
  • Start with your appliance manufacturer. See the bottom of this page for direct links to some of the larger manufacturers, where you can find instruction and installation manuals, troubleshooting guides, warranty and recall information and more, direct from the source.
  • RepairClinic: RepairClinic offers a host of troubleshooting advice, how-tos, videos, and more to help you track down what’s wrong. They also offer replacement parts for appliances as well, so they can be a one-stop shop for your repair solution.
  • Appliantology: The forums here are absolutely loaded with advice, help, and information. Chances are, someone, somewhere has had the same problem you have, with the same machine. And they’ve already figured out how to fix it. Search or browse and you might just find the fix for what ails your cranky appliance.
  • ApplianceRepair.net: This site offers repair manuals for various manufacturers of all types of appliances. A good source for general troubleshooting tips like safety info and how to use a volt-ohm meter. It also recommends some basic tools to have on hand.

With some basic hand tools, some knowledge and some caution, you can save a heck of a lot of money over calling the repairman.

And, of course, you get the added satisfaction of having fixed it yourself and looking like a hero to your family. That’s always cool.

Appliance manufacturers/brands

Look on these sites for help with your specific make and model of machine. (Be sure to have the specific model number handy, and, in the case of recalls, the appliance’s serial number.)