We’re all familiar with the age-old expression “ignorance is bliss.” What many homeowners don’t realize is that when it comes to the state of their major appliances, it definitely does not apply. Most homeowners only address issues with their appliances when their washing machine, dishwasher, or fridge has finally broken down completely, leaving them without clean clothes, food, or dishes for days – or even weeks. Here are some subtle signs your appliance needs to see a specialist and how much it’ll cost you.
Fridge & Freezer
There are a number of ways you can tell your fridge or freezer needs attention. Most commonly, you’ll notice your unit is hot to the touch or is making strange noises. While this may seem harmless, it’s actually a sign that your compressor needs repair. Luckily, an appliance repair specialist can rectify this issue for around $200.
You may have also noticed your food and beverages are unevenly cooled after taking them out of the fridge. First, check to see if someone has changed your thermostat settings. If your thermostat is set within the standard range (between 0 and -4 degrees) but your food doesn’t taste right, contact a handyman or appliance repairman who will ensure your food isn’t in the Danger Zone.
One final issue that every homeowner should be aware of is broken or damaged seals. If your fridge or freezer doesn’t close completely or remain closed once shut, you’ll need to have the seals replaced. With the help of a handyman, this will be a quick and relatively inexpensive fix. Even better, replacing your damaged seals will end up saving you money on your monthly energy bills.
The clearest indication that your dishwasher needs repair is that your dishes are no longer clean after a single cycle. Don’t waste water and energy washing dishes twice – have a repairman come by to quickly rectify the issue.
Two less obvious problems to look out for are cold dishes and strange smells. After a standard cycle, check to see if your dishes are still warm. If they’re cool to the touch, there’s likely an issue with the unit’s heater meaning your dishes likely aren’t being fully sanitized. If you notice your unit has a smell that no cleaning product can get rid of, your machine could be a health hazard and should be inspected by a specialist. These repairs will typically cost 100 to 200 dollars for labour, plus the cost of any additional parts.
One final sign of disrepair is water pooling around or leaking from the unit. Many homeowners believe it is normal to see leftover water at the bottom of their machine after a cycle, however, this is actually a sign your unit is damaged. If left unresolved, the issue can lead to mold growth and leaks. If you notice a leak during or after a cycle, contact a pro who can resolve the issue before your floors get damaged.
Washing Machine & Dryer
Next time you do a load, check to make sure your washing machine fills with the appropriate amount of water and drains completely at the end of the cycle. Issues with draining are usually resolved by having a pro replace or repair the unit’s pump. If the machine isn’t filling properly or you notice it’s leaking, it might be due to a clogged filter or a kinked hose. These fixes will typically cost between 75 and 200 dollars to resolve. You’ll want to contact a pro before you’re left with a load of sopping wet laundry.
One telltale sign that your dryer is due for repair is when it’s making more noise than usual. A subtle squeaking means it’s likely time to replace your dryer belt. Ignoring this issue could lead to a number of problems down the line, and a pro will usually charge around 200 dollars to replace the belt. If you have a gas dryer, keep in mind that you need to replace the ignition coils regularly throughout the unit’s lifetime. It is especially important to stay on top of dryer maintenance, as this appliance can quickly become a fire hazard when left in a state of disrepair.
You’ll also want to take note of these subtle signs your water heater needs repair. In the winter, it usually takes longer for your unit to get water up to temperature, however, if your water runs out quicker than usual or no longer gets hot at all, you could be facing a larger issue. Depending on whether you have an electric or gas unit, you’re probably dealing with either a burnt out element or a broken burner. If you notice water around your machine, have a pro come by right away to check for leaks. Even a small leak can eventually lead to extensive property damage or a mold outbreak.
If your unit is an older model, be sure to look out for these two issues: rusty water or a rumbling noise. Rusty water could be a sign that your machine is degrading inside. A worn down water heater could start leaking or even burst, causing your home to flood. Similarly, if you notice your machine is rumbling, it could mean that sediment has started to build up in your unit. Even small particles can grow and harden when exposed to high temperatures, and can eventually cause your unit to fail completely. Be sure to keep an eye and an ear out for these issues, and if you think your unit might be experiencing one or more of these issues, contact a pro right away.
Though these problems may be easy to ignore, taking the time to resolve small issues will save you from the inconvenience of a broken machine down the line. Many of these repairs are a part of regular maintenance and can significantly extend the life of your appliance. If you suspect your appliance may be experiencing one of these extremely common problems, contact a pro as soon as possible – it could save you thousands of dollars. We’re willing to bet you’d rather spend 200 dollars on a repair now than tens of thousands on replacing a machine and restoring damaged property in a year’s time.
Cover image courtesy of Dufresne.