Broken Appliances: Repair Instead of Replacing

Every appliance will eventually break down. Many consumers will simply throw the item out and purchase something new. This is unfortunate because in many instances these items can be easily replaced, often by the appliance owner, assuming they have basic mechanical skills. Repairing not only saves money, but it also saves the environment because it means less appliances that need to be manufactured and fewer pounds of scrap heading to a landfill.

To reduce the frequency of breakdowns with your appliances, here are some basic tips for extending their life.

Refrigerators: Regularly vacuum off the condenser and the coils in the back of your refrigerator. To be safe, unplug the appliance before beginning. Wipe off the gasket seal around the door. This will keep the refrigerator from running too frequently. It will extend its life and save you money on your electric bill.

Dishwashers: Scrape the dishes before loading them into the machine. Only use the appropriate amount of soap suggested and run the machine empty once a month with just vinegar in the dispenser. This will prevent soap and hard water build up. Remember to clear out the filter and food traps frequently.

Washers: Only use HE detergents and fabric softeners in high efficiency machines. Never overload the machine and make certain to replace the hose at least every other year.

Dryers: Fire safety is the prime concern with dryers and the best way to ensure your dryer is safe is by controlling lint. Clean the lint trap with every load and remove the back panel of the dryer to vacuum out the lint that has collected inside and under the machine. Make certain vents are never blocked and be careful what you put in the dryer. Never dry anything soaked with grease, gasoline or motor oil and avoid putting rubber items like bath mats or sneakers in the dryer.

If you do experience a breakdown, it is actually very easy to find all of the major brands of appliance parts. Many of these parts are made by the original manufacturer, not an aftermarket, generic part. The savings possible from repairing an appliance can be substantial, so always take the time to do some research before you replace anything.