Appliance problems can be difficult to handle. Whether it’s your washing machine or your freezer, what do you do when one of your appliances suddenly stops working properly? Here’s how to handle appliance problems:
- Turn the item off. If your washing machine is flooding your floor or your coffee maker appears to be melting, turn the appliance off immediately. Doing so can prevent further damage to the appliance or your property. Be sure to do so carefully, especially if unplugging the unit is a visible hazard due to the possibility of exposed electric wires. The smell of burning can also be a reason to turn the appliance off immediately, because it is a sign of electrical problems.
- Determine the problem. Figure out how serious the problem is. Will the appliance turn on? How exactly does it malfunction? Which features are not working? If there is no immediate danger, keep the appliance on, and try to figure out exactly what is wrong. Try changing the batteries, if the appliance is battery-powered. Sometimes, unplugging the appliance and plugging it back in may fix the appliance problem.
- Read the manual. This is especially important for appliance problems that seem routine and small. Most manuals have a troubleshooting guide to help you fix the problem on your own, or list steps to take when you are having problems with the appliance.
- Notify the manufacturer. This is particularly important if the appliance is still under warranty, in which case the company should repair or replace it. Making the manufacturer aware of the problem can also help them track the appliance’s record. If the owners of similar units also report the same problem, the company may recall the appliance. It is also possible that a recall has already occurred, and you are eligible for a refund, repair, or replacement product. Today, many companies use their website to list recall information and instructions for repairs on items still covered by the warranty.
- Have the appliance repaired. If you are unable to repair the unit yourself and the manufacturer has not offered assistance, you may need to take it to an appliance repair shop. Although this can be expensive, it is usually less expensive than buying a new appliance, especially in the case of large appliances such as refrigerators or ovens. In the case of most small appliances, it will be more cost-effective to simply replace them if the manufacturer will not cover it under a warranty or recall.
Although you may wish to simply replace your appliances when they act up, figuring out what is wrong and fixing it is often the better route. Handling appliance problems can be tricky, especially if you have no idea what is wrong with the appliance.