Blog: RepairItYourselfAndSave

Save money by doing basic appliance repairs yourself, here's how to start

Friday, April 03, 2009

Everyone is trying to save money. Some savvy people have decided that they can do simple appliance repairs themselves. If you have the know-how and the time, you can make simple repairs to your own kitchen and household appliances.

The first part of doing your own appliance repair is to figure out what part might be causing the problem.  Is your washing machine not spinning? Is your refrigerator no longer cooling? Is your gas oven no longer heating? This will give you a general idea on where to look on an appliance and where to begin troubleshooting.

Before attempting any repairs yourself, be sure to take some basic precautions.

Unplug all appliances – to avoid electric shocks.

Wear the right equipment. This might include wearing work gloves to avoid cuts and scratches on sharp metal corners or when working in the inside of an appliance where you are working in close contact to appliance parts with sharp edges.   

If you are working on cleaning out the hoses on your clothes dryer, for example, you might want to wear a face mask or some other ventilation protection. Clothes dryer duct work is often clogged with dryer lint and dirt and once you being cleaning and unplugging hoses, the loose dust and lint particle can be inhaled accidentally.

Check to see any obvious signs of damage to appliances and their parts. Sometimes your eyes can be your best tool for troubleshooting. Look for obvious signs that a part is no longer good. It may be broken, burnt out, corroded or no longer making the needed connection with other parts of the appliance. Your best course of action is to replace the part with a new appliance part. 

 Make sure it is a new part and not a used part. Many sellers on the internet try to “hide” or not mention that the part is refurbished. Beware! You do not want to make the same repair twice by using a faulty part or worse, end up ruining your whole appliance thanks to a suspicious, used part. Be sure to buy name-brand parts example, Whirlpool makes parts that fit many other brands of appliance, since Whirlpool now owns these brands as well.

If you can’t see any obvious signs of damage, the part may still be bad. Use an Ohm Meter to test the continuity of the part.  An Ohmmeter is an electronic device which measures resistance in an electronic component or circuit.

Many do-it-yourselfers use an Ohmmeter or Multimeter (or multi-tester) to test a suspected faulty appliance part. Owning an Ohmmeter will help you determine for sure that a part is indeed bad and can save you time and money during your repairs.

Ohmmeters come in analog and digital form with the digital form having an “auto range” reading function that will read the resistance of your part and determine the correct range automatically. If you are using an analog Ohmmeter, which is recommended for novices, you will need to manually set the Ohmmeter while testing your part.  

Make sure you buy the correct part. Finding the right part for your appliance can be very confusing. What’s the name of that part? How do I know I am buying the right one? The first thing you need to do is look for the model number of your appliance. The number will be on a sticker or sometimes on a stamped metal tag on your appliance.

There are some typical places to look on your appliance for the model number. Look inside the appliance itself, or check the outside paneling of the appliance.  Look for a sticker, or a stamped metal tag with the name of the manufacturer, where the appliance was built, followed by the words “model number” and a long number. Be sure to write this number down exactly as this is the best way to find the right part for your appliance.

Even if you have the user’s manual for your appliance, do not go by the model number on that manual, as it may not be the exact model number for that particular series or brand. Always go by the model number on the appliance itself.

Once you have the model number of your appliance, log on to a website that sells factory-direct new appliance parts like Just enter your appliance’s model number in the site’s search box  and the site will present you with a list of parts for your appliance and a diagram of the various parts of your appliance. This will be helpful to you in making your repair.

Order the part you need online and save! It will be delivered to you in one to two business days and you can begin making the needed repairs on your appliance.

Keep checking back, as I will be posting more helpful and specific information on appliances and various problems they can have. I will be writing some appliance repair tips that you can try yourself at home. But remember to please follow all the safety advice I mentioned above.

 If you ever have any doubts about fixing your appliance yourself, then stop and call a professional appliance repair person.



About Me:

I have been buying appliance parts online and fixing my appliances myself. I have saved so much money and have kept my appliances working great. So can you.

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April 2009
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