Appliance Repairs You Don't Need to Call a Pro For

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  • 1-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-500

Household repairs seem to be never ending and appliance fixes frequently pop up when you least expect it. Fortunately, there are a host of appliance repairs you can make without forking over cash for a home visit from the appliance repair guy (or gal).

Dishwasher

Water pooling—It’s common for water to collect in the bottom of the dishwasher basin. To solve the problem, begin by running the garbage disposal if one is attached. Also ensure the dishwasher didn’t get interrupted before the drain cycle completed.

If the water still refuses to drain, remove the lower rack of the dishwasher and look for screws holding a plastic filter cover in place. Clear out any debris around the cover, unscrew, and clear any debris inside the filter compartment.

If your problem still isn’t solved, you may need to replace the pump. After ordering a new one, make sure the water and electricity are both turned off to the unit. You will need to pull the dishwasher out, remove covers along the bottom to access the pump motor, and make the replacement. This repair is somewhat more advanced and may be the point you want to call the pro.

puddle on a kitchen floor

Clothes Dryer

Over the years, the clothes dryer takes a beating from the workload and there are several common issues you can repair yourself.

Door won’t close—While you can take the propped-rod-against-a-wall approach, your door probably doesn’t close because of a bent hinge. Likely someone used the open door as a step ladder or the constant stacking of heavy wet clothes caused a shift. Either way, look at how your door is aligned. If either hinge is the problem, order a new part. The replacement is easy in most models although you may have to remove the door or a portion of the dryer front.

Doesn’t Run—If your dryer doesn’t run or runs for a portion of the cycle, several things could be happening. Start by ensuring the door is staying closed. If it loses its connection the motor will stop. Then check the control knob. Try manually shifting to a different type of cycle. If it works on some cycles and not others, you need to replace the knob. Other issues include the heating element or faulty thermal fuse—both of which are a DIY option, but require some time and attention to complete.

Refrigerator

freezer ice tray

Ice maker—The convenience of an ice maker in modern fridges is great, but is also a common repair issue. If your ice maker stops making ice, it may be because of a frozen line. Empty, clean, and defrost the refrigerator. Then plug it back in and allow it to return to temperature.

While you’re at it, if the freezer produces too much ice on the interior, you may have a faulty seal. Order a new one using the make and model of your appliance and fit it around the freezer door, replacing the old seal.

freezer with built up frost

Oven

Heats unevenly—A common problem with electric ovens is inconsistent heat when one element goes out. Fortunately, you can save a lot of money replacing it yourself and the repair is straightforward. For a gas range, you can replace the heating element or ignitor yourself, but if the problem lies within the gas line, call in the pros.

Water Heater

Loud Noises—A rattling water heater can drive a person nutty, but it’s typically a simple fix. Trapped air or sediment are likely to blame, and flushing the system is the solution. If you do have regular maintenance on your water heater, the technician can complete it, but a homeowner can also shut down gas, power, and water, then drain and flush the water heater themselves.

man repairing water heater

Furnace

Filter—The number one thing you can do for the efficiency of your furnace is to replace the filter regularly--at least every three months, but once a month is better. Simply find the opening for your unit, which is typically an access near the top. Open the door and retrieve the old filter. Replace with the same size filter and close the door. Make a note of when you completed the task and put a reminder on your calendar to keep up with it.

Air Conditioner

Not Cooling—When the air conditioning unit fails to cool, start by emptying the water if yours has a collection point. Also replace or clean the filter. Ensure the settings are accurate to avoid extra work when nothing is actually wrong. If your unit still isn’t chill, replace the thermostat. It’s an easy task, but be sure to take pictures along the way to make reassembly of wires and parts easier following the replacement.