Find the Appliance Repair Parts You Need for DIY Fixes

For people who are handy with machines, a broken appliance does not result in a service visit. Instead, the most important step after diagnostics is obtaining the needed appliance repair parts to get the device working again. At one time in history, this was a big problem. Many manufacturers would only sell parts to licensed repair contractors, which made it very hard for individuals to bypass the cost of service visits. Now, however, things have changed greatly. This is largely due to the rise of the Internet.

Once the Internet became a serious force for commerce, the old structures didn’t stand much of a chance. Items that were once strictly limited to certain distribution channels soon arrived on sites like eBay, and consumers flocked to them to avoid the high markups associated with the standard distribution systems. Soon, the old outlets realized that if they didn’t change how they did things, they would simply be out of luck. History was on the march, and it was time to catch up or be left in the dust.

Now, there is no need to go to auction sites to get OEM parts for your broken appliances. Licensed distributors have embraced the Internet, and ones like Fred’s Appliance even have online carts for easy ordering. It’s also possible to walk into the store’s physical location and buy parts.

Buying appliance parts this way is easy as long as you have the right information. If you have the manual, you’ve got it made. Just look up the part number and enter it into the search at the parts site, and the matching part will present itself. In many cases, though, an appliance that needs repair is old enough to have been separated from its manual at some point. Then, you can enter the machine’s model number or even search by make and appliance type. In most cases, one of these methods will get you to the parts you need within a couple of minutes.

For help finding the parts you need or to get installation advice, just contact us. We’ll be glad to assist you in completing your project.

Appliance Repair 101: Don’t Let a Dirty Range Hood Go Unnoticed

Your range hood has the crucial job of removing smoke, odors, and grease from your kitchen. Unfortunately, when it comes to receiving a good cleaning this appliance is often overlooked, which can end up causing a serious malfunction or even a fire. To help you avoid the need for appliance repair, we’ve put together an easy to follow cleaning process that will keep your range hood looking spotless while also allowing it to perform at its fullest capacity.

The Filter

  • If your range hood has a reusable filter, you’ll need to remove all grease and debris from it at least once every few weeks. Some filters can be placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, however, if you’re unsure whether yours can or cannot, simply refer to your owner’s manual to discover if the filter is dishwasher safe. Otherwise, you should clean the filter by hand. To do this, merely submerge the filter in a container of warm, soapy water. After allowing it to soak for a few minutes, remove the filter and gently scrub it with a nonabrasive sponge. Once all the grease is gone, rinse the filter with water and dry it with a soft cloth before reinserting it.

  • On the other hand, if your range hood has a charcoal filter, you’ll simply need to purchase a replacement instead of cleaning it.

The Fan

  • Removing dust and grease from your range hood’s fan is your next step. To really get all the grit off, we suggest using a mixture of water and vinegar. To begin, carefully spray the fan blades. To ensure the solution is able to penetrate the grease, allow the water and vinegar combination to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Once enough time has passed, use a damp rag to wipe the cleaning solution away.

The Exterior

  • The final step to cleaning your range hood is wiping down the appliance’s exterior. Using the water and vinegar mixture you previously made, spray the outside of your hood. After you’ve allowed the solution to soak through build-up of grime, use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface. If there are still spots of grease present, perform the cleaning process again before drying off the area.

If you’re dealing with a malfunctioning appliance, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.

New Refrigerator and Freezer Energy Standards Take Effect

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As of September 15, 2014, all new refrigerators, freezers and refrigerator-freezer combo units sold in the United States must comply with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) conservation standards.

 

The refrigerator ranks as the second largest energy consumer in the home. According to the DOE, refrigerators account for an average of 13.7% energy consumption in U.S. households, whereas air conditioners account for slightly more at 14.1. The problem is that older models fail to take advantage of modern-day energy-efficient components and technology. A refrigerator manufactured in 1986, for instance, will use an average of 1400 kWh per year, but a model manufactured in 2014 will use an average of just 350 kWh.

 

In an effort to reduce energy waste, the DOE frequently issues new manufacturing standards for refrigerators and other major household appliances sold in the U.S. The first series of conservation standards for refrigerators was passed in 1978, although at the time it was limited to the state of California. The DOE soon began passing energy laws for refrigerators sold throughout the country instead of focusing strictly on the Sunshine State.

 

The fourth round on refrigerator conservation standards was passed in 2001 and will reportedly save approximately 15.3 quads of energy and $174.8 billion. Up until now, however, these standards were optional, and manufacturers were in no way required to follow them. But all refrigerators, freezers and refrigerator-freezer combo units manufactured on or after September 15, 2014 are now required to follow the DOE’s standards that were first proposed back in 2001.

 

These new refrigerators and freezers are expected to save consumers between $215 and $270 on their annual utility bills compared to a refrigerator that just met the first state standards in 1978, and result from a 2010 consensus recommendation to the Department of Energy (DOE) from refrigerator manufacturers, efficiency advocates, states, and consumer groups. DOE approved the standards in 2011 for refrigerators and freezers, making the energy-saving targets effective for manufacturers on Sept. 15, 2014,” wrote Elizabeth Noll of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRC).

 

Tips For Choosing an Energy-Efficient Refrigerator:

 

  • Choose a model manufactured on or after September 15, 2014.
  • Look for a refrigerator with the ENEGY STAR logo.
  • Consider a smaller refrigerator that meets you and your family’s needs without offering an excess amount of space.
  • If possible, avoid refrigerators with built-in icemakers and dispensers.
  • Top-freezer models are typically more energy-efficient than side-by-side refrigerators.

Did You Know? 7 Things You Can Wash In The Dishwasher

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Don’t let its name fool you, dishwashers are useful for cleaning a variety of different items, only one of which are dishes. The combination of hot water and soapy detergent makes it an incredibly versatile cleaning device. Check out some of the different items that a dishwasher can clean listed below.

 

Potatoes

 

Planning a meal for the family that includes potatoes as a side dish? Rather than hand-scrubbing the dirt and debris off each potato, try tossing them on the top rack of your dishwasher and running it on a short cycle without any detergent. The hot water will make quick work of even the dirtiest potatoes, leaving you with a clean potato that’s ready to cook. Note: this can be done with most any root vegetable.

 

Baseball Cap

 

Toss your old baseball cap in the dishwasher to clean away any dirt and discoloration. Unlike the washing machine, the dishwasher won’t flatten or otherwise disturb your hat’s original shape. Simply place it on the top rack and wash it with a small amount of borax instead of standard dish detergent. When it’s finished washing, place it outside on a small upside down bowl to preserve its shape while it dries.

 

Pet Food & Water Dishes

 

When was the last time you cleaned your pet’s food and water dishes? Veterinarians recommend doing this at minimum once a week, as it discourages the growth of bacteria and bad germs. Assuming they are dishwasher-safe, the easiest way to clean your pet’s food and water dishes is by running them through the dishwasher with a small amount of detergent.

 

Stove Drip Pans and Knobs

 

The dishwasher can also be used to clean stove drip pans and knobs. Remove the drip pans by pulling the burning element out and lifting up on the pan. Knobs are typically removed by either popping them off or unscrewing them with a small screwdriver. Place both of these items on the top shelf of your dishwasher and run it on a normal cycle with regular detergent.

 

Grill Brushes

 

Grill brushes are prone to developing grease and grime. You can always toss it in the trash and replace it with a new one when this happens, or you can clean it by running it through the dishwasher. It’s a quick and easy way to clean the grime off your grill brushes, tongs, forks and other grilling accessories. Just remember to leave out the meat thermometer.

Help! My Washing Machine Is Leaking

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A leaking washing machine is more than just a nuisance; it’s a serious problem that can lead to costly water and mold damage. If enough water leaks from the unit it can settle down inside the subfloor, causing it to rot and develop mold. Replacing subflooring – even small areas like the laundry room – can easily cost you hundreds of dollars.

 

Clogged Drain Hose

 

One possible cause of a leaking washing machine is a clogged drain hose. If the water isn’t draining properly from the unit, it may overflow from the top. This is a relatively easy fix that most do-it-yourself handymen (or handywomen) can perform without the need for a professional plumber. The drain line can be unclogged by either blasting it with pressurized water, or by running plumbing snake through (sold at most home improvement stores).

 

Damaged Washing Machine “Boot”

 

No, I’m not referring to the boots you wear on your feet. Washing machines have small rubber seals that wrap around the agitator shaft. Known as a “boot,” it’s not uncommon for these seals to wear down and degrade over time, causing the washing machine to leak water when in use. You can remove and replace it by lifting up on the agitator, removing the secured bolts, and pulling the tub out. This should reveal the boot, at which point you can check to see if it’s the cause of your leak.

 

Damaged Door Seal

 

A third possible cause of a leaking washing machine is a damaged door seal. Front-loading washing machines are known for being energy efficient, which subsequently saves you money on water and electricity. However, one of the downsides to front-loaders is their potential for leaking around the door. If the door seal develops a hole or tear, the pressure from the water may force some of the moisture outside. Washing machine door seals are inexpensive and easy to replace, usually costing $20-$30 bucks depending on where you buy it.

 

Damaged Drain Pump

 

If the drain pump contains a hole or crack, it won’t be able to effectively flush water from the unit. In turn, this may result in some of the water being leaking out of the unit. Even if it’s able to pump some of the water out, it may still leak. Unfortunately, drain pumps aren’t easily repairable, and the only way to fix this problem is by replacing it.