When household appliances bite the dust, what do you do? Fiddle around with it and hope it works afterwards? Watch confusing repair videos on YouTube? Call an expensive repair technician?

Fortunately, most household appliances can be fixed through some easy DIY. It can be as easy as simply power-cycling the appliance or flipping a circuit breaker. Here are tips to fix 7 some of the most common household appliance problems.


#1: Garbage Disposal

When garbage disposals stop working, it’s usually caused by one of two problems. First, every garbage disposal has an overload feature that automatically shuts off power if the motor gets too hot or becomes overloaded. The second most common is something actually stuck in the motor.

To shut off the overload feature, simply wait for the motor to cool down and flip the reset button on the unit. If something is stuck in the garbage disposal, open the garbage disposal using the Allen wrench commonly located on the bottom of the machine. From there, fish out the culprit that’s jamming the motor.


#2: Lights

Photo of a neon sign for appliance repair

A bit of DIY goes a long way in preserving common household appliances.

Before you reach for a new light bulb, check the main electrical panel for a tripped circuit breaker. If this doesn’t bring the light back on, search for a GFCI outlet and hit the reset button.

If neither of these tips work, then it’s time to install a new light bulb.


#3: Refrigerator

If you have dogs or cats and your refrigerator bites the dust, check the coils for pet hair. Hair and dust causes the compressor to overheat. Find the coils by opening the grille located at the bottom of the unit. From there, it’s as easy as using a coil cleaning bush (any appliance store has them) and vacuuming the hair or dust.


#4: Washer

Washing machine rock too much during the spin cycle? First, make sure it’s not packed too tightly with clothes and spread the clothes evenly throughout the machine. From there, readjust the legs. Screw the legs up or down until it’s level. To adjust rear legs, tilt the unit forward and then lower the machine back down. This adjusts the rear legs.


#5: Dryer

Photo of an old man fixing something in his house

Research common problems with your appliances online before calling costly repair technicians.

As long as the dryer isn’t set to “fluff”, there are a few culprits that might be responsible for a non-functioning dryer. First, check the lint filter. Run water through it to really clean the clear filter of film caused by dryer sheets.

From there, check the dryer vent for any lint build up. Dryer vents are notorious for lint build up that shuts down the dryer.


#6: Air Conditioner

Mindlessly flipping your air conditioner on and off will either blow a fuse or shut off the circuit breaker. The fuse block is typically located near the outside of the unit. Lifehacker explains how to deal with this issue:

To determine if you have a blown fuse, locate the special fuse block near the outside unit. Pull out the block and take the whole thing to the hardware store. A salesperson can test the cartridge fuses and tell you if you need to replace them.”

You could also be signed up for a cost discount program with your electricity company. In peak hours, the electricity to your house will be limited, so call your electric company to find out.


#7: Dish Washer

When your dishwasher doesn’t adequately clean your dishes, food-filters are often to blame. It’s typically located under the lower rack and can use a thorough cleaning from time to time. When you’re cleaning the filter, clean the nearby float filter if it doesn’t slide up and down. 


Share Your Own DIY Repairs

Any luck fixing your own household appliances? Any tips you want to share with fellow Scambook users? Let us know in the comments section.


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