Avoid Dishwasher Appliance Repair with a Little Coaching

Alex HServiceLeave a Comment

No doubt, if you watch any TV at all or hang around the Internet you’ve seen all the ads for the latest dishwashers by now. This one runs so quiet you can’t hear it even standing next to it with your ear pressed up against the door. A baby snoring is louder than that machine. The next one scrubs pots and pans better than Brillo and at half the cost. You can even throw a whole chocolate cake, frosting and all into this other one and it’ll gobble it up in no time flat and spit out the platter all squeeky clean.

Then there’s the energy efficient model that senses how dirty the water is and adjusts the wash time according. It does dishes with half the water with twice the shine. Some models even forego the expensive heat dry after the wash and flash dry your dishes with radiant heat. Dishwashers are a marvelous time saving invention that’ll keep your kids out of the kitchen and in front of the TV. Except for one thing. Something the manufacturers can’t seem to be able to build into their machines. Operator error.

Today’s Energy Star appliances are NOT your mother’s appliances. Gone are the big, clunky, loud, power-eating wash motors and pumps. No more watching the house water meter overheat everytime you wash dishes. So along with these modern technological marvels comes a small learning curve, that if missed by Mr. or Ms. Dishwasher Owner, can result in the thing running off the road.

For starters there’s no longer any need to load the machine’s detergent dispenser with gobs of dish soap. Today’s soaps are chemically engineered to require only a small amount to get the job done. Read the package label, but generally less is best. Why? you ask confused. Well basically the purpose of soap is to make the water wetter. It’s the water that does the cleaning. Too much soap can so saturate the water it never gets rinsed out during the wash cycle, ending up contaminating the rinse cycles and leaving film or spots on all your glasses and silverware.

Second, if you want your machine to last longer than your teenager’s next haircut, scrape the debris off the plates. Toothpicks, soup bones, Grandpa’s dentures: leave the gravy, because the soap needs some food protein to work better. But get rid of anything not softly palatable. Cardinal rule to remember…the dishwasher is NOT a garbage disposer. Some older models have a chopper system that grinds up food and swallows it down the drain. Most newer models have gotten away from that system in favor of a quieter machine that boasts a filter system. This is where YOU come in.

If your machine has a removeable filter, go ahead and bravely remove the filter. At least once a week, but more often would be good, too. Wash it out and remove anything stuck inside it. An old toothbrush is great for scouring the fine mesh inside and out before reinstalling it in your machine.

Many new machines need a rinse aid product to clean effectively. Sorry, the Feds are mandating appliance efficiency, so we’re trading lots of water and brutal heating cycles for simple drops of food-grade chemicals designed to soften your dish water. If you buy the soap tabs that come pre-installed with a little round ball of rinse aid, DO NOT under penalty of oversudsing also fill the machine’s rinse aid compartment with liquid rinse aid. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

Finally, a quick couple tips: Before starting the machine, run your hot water at the sink to purge the water line of cool water. Then start your machine. This will help shorten wash time since the machine doesn’t have to pause so often to heat water. And run a paper towel along the bottom edge of the tub when it’s dry once in awhile to remove any built-up gunk that may have accumulated and gotten trapped in that area.

Remember, like anything mechanical, dishwashers break down. You get hot, steaming water sloshing around a closed area, coupled with moving parts and a hundred volts of electricity things are bound to wear out once in awhile. Don’t take it personally. For awesome dishwasher appliance repair contact us and forget about worrying about anything.

Haier America Expands Recall of Chest Freezers Due to Fire Hazard

Alex HProduct RecallsLeave a Comment

Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Recall Summary

Name of product:

Chest Freezers

Hazard:

A capacitor in the freezer’s circuitry can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Consumer Contact:

Haier America; toll-free at (877) 878-7579 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET any day, or online at www.haieramerica.com and click on Product Recalls for more information.

Recall Details

Units

About 41,000, 67,500 additional freezers were recalled in November 2010

Description

 

This recall involves the Haier® models HNCM070E with 7.0 cubic foot capacity and ESNCM053E with 5.3 cubic foot capacity, and Black & Decker® model BFE53 with 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers.  “Haier” is printed on the upper-left corner of the freezer, or “Black & Decker” is printed on the front upper-right corner of the freezer.  “Haier” or “Black & Decker,” the model number, the unit’s serial number and other information are printed on a rating label at the top center of the back of the freezer.  The recalled Black & Decker model BFE53 freezer also has a label adjacent to the rating label with the UPC number 896603002660 printed on it.

 

Freezers with serial numbers beginning with the following numbers are recalled:

 

Haier Model HNCM070E Haier Model ESNCM053E Black & Decker Model BFE53 with UPC896603002660 
0907 1001 0907 1001 0907 1001
0908 1002 0908 1002 0908 1002
0909 1003 0909 1003 0909 1003
0910 1004 0910 1004 0910 1004
0911   0911 1005 0911 1005
0912   0912 1006 0912 1006
      1007   1007

 

Incidents/Injuries

In addition to the 18 incidents reported in the November 2010 recall, which included four reports of fires with minor property damage, Haier America and CPSC have received 27 additional incident reports. This includes three fires that caused substantial property damage. There have been no reports of injuries.

Remedy

Consumers should immediately unplug their freezer and contact the company to schedule an appointment for a free repair to the freezer.

Sold at

Haier model HNCM070E was sold by regional and local retailers nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and other online retailers from September 2009 through October 2011 for between $180 to $200. Haier model ESNCM053E was sold primarily on Amazon.com and other online retailers from February 2010 through March 2013 for between $200 to $290.  The Black & Decker model BFE53 was sold exclusively at Walmart nationwide and at Walmart.com from September 2009 through September 2010, for about $150.

Importer

Haier America Trading LLC, New York, N.Y.

Manufactured in

China

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on SaferProducts.gov
CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC’s free e-mail newsletters.

Simple Tips to Avoid Appliance Repair

Alex HService5 Comments

Sometimes the two most dreaded words in the English language are appliance repair. It can be costly but there are some common things you can do to keep from having to call the repair man. First, read your owner’s manuals for all your appliances. Seems simple enough, right? But a lot of people don’t bother to do this. Secondly, read this list of some upkeep tips that will save you some money. In fact, we’ll tell you approximately how much money you can save if you follow these tips. If you don’t follow them, then your repair man will thank you!

Clean refrigerator coils and gaskets. Every six months, you should vacuum the coils on the back or underside of the refrigerator. If dust builds up, it not only wastes energy but decreases air flow which can cause the condenser fan and compressor to run hotter and longer. Be sure to keep that door gasket free of sticky food such as syrup or honey. Sticky food will glue the gasket to the frame and the harder you pull on the door, eventually, the gasket will tear which will cause the door to not seal properly. Clean the door gasket with a sponge and warm water, no detergents though, because it’ll ruin the gasket. To replace a condenser fan can cost $150-$250, a compressor can cost $500-$600 and a gasket could cost $150 – $300. Or you could just buy a new refrigerator—either  way it’ll cost you money. That’s quite the motivator to keep that refrigerator running properly!

Don’t overload your washer and dryer. This means no standing on the washer and ramming the clothes in with your feet. Pay attention to those weight limits for the washer and dryer; they’re there for a good reason. If you overload a front-loading washer or dryer, you might as well buy a new machine because it’s very expensive to replace a burnt out motor or rear bearing. A dryer not only takes more time to dry the clothes if it’s overloaded but it will wear out the drum support rollers and drive belts, a  replacement cost of $250. Overloading a top-loading washer will make small items like socks float over the basket and get caught up in the pump and destroy it costing you about $150-$250. You can also burn out the drive belt or break the drive coupler, a bill of $150-$250.  So read that owner’s manual to find out the weight limits—normally it’s 6-15 pounds for top-loading washers and 18 pounds for front-loading washers.

Don’t block air vents. The refrigerator and freezer need air flow to work properly and keep the food cool. So think twice before shoving those bulk-sized packs of meat or other frozen food from a club warehouse into your freezer. If you block vents, it will lead to cooling problems in the refrigerator and the compressor and condenser fans will run longer than they need to and will result in failure way before their time. If that happens, you’d be better off to buy a new refrigerator!

Don’t slam the lid/door. Yes, accidents happen with the occasional slip of the hand and the lid slams down on your washer. But we’re talking about those people that are always slamming the lid/door to their washer or dryer and they always have an excuse: I’m in a hurry, my arms are full. If you continue dropping or slamming the lid or door, you’re just going to end up breaking either the lid or door switch. This applies to both top- and front-loading washers. Take the few seconds it takes to gently close the lid to your washer or the door to your dryer. It will save you $175-$250.

Clean the lint filter. It’s important to make sure you clean the lint from the filter after every dryer use otherwise you could have more problems than your clothes taking longer to dry. A clogged lint filter blocks the air flow and when the lint can’t go into the filter, it will collect in the dryer’s vent line and will obstruct air flow even more. If this blockage continues, the dryer will overheat and the thermal fuse will burn out. Your dryer will still start, but it won’t dry your clothes. To replace the thermal fuse and clean out the vent line will cost $200 and you may even get a fun little speech on the art of cleaning out your lint filter. A note to those who use dryer sheets: every six months, make sure to wash the filter with detergent and rinse very well. The dryer sheets leave an invisible film on the filter that also blocks air flow.

Don’t spray switches. Spraying cleaners onto your stove is a bad idea. The liquid can get behind the knobs and into the touch-control panels and burn them out. To avoid shorting, spray the cleaner on a sponge, paper towel or rag and then clean the touch-control panels and knobs. A shorted-out stove igniter switch will cost about $180-$300; a control panel will easily go for around $280-$500.

Don’t drag clothes out of the washer. If you have a front-loading washer, it’s very convenient to take clothes out the lazy-man’s way, by dragging them over the door. But by doing that you could cause damage; buttons, snaps and zippers can eventually tear up the rubber door gasket. This repair demands a lot of disassembly and will cost roughly $250-$350. So it may not be easier to lift out those heavy, wet clothes, but it’ll be cheaper!

Clean your dishwasher screen. If you don’t clean your dishwasher filter screen, little food bits that are stuck on it will break down into a nasty slime and limit cleaning functionality as well as water flow. You’ll be parting with at least $125-$200 for a repair man to come clean your dishwasher. Also, if you use too much soap, it will build up in your whole dishwasher and cut down on water flow which will ensure another cleaning visit from your friendly repair man. You only need to use no more than a teaspoon of soap for most dish loads. To get rid of soap build-up, try something like Dishwasher Magic which is available in home centers such as Lowes or your local hardware store.

If you have followed all these tips and you’re still having problems, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help!

NOTE:  Pricing listed above are strictly ballpark estimates for reference purposes only.  There are many different variables such as your particular model along with parts costs that fluctuate.

So You Wanna’ Take Appliance Repair Classes?

Alex HAcademyLeave a Comment

Ok, so you’ve been thinking about grabbing the torch and starting a career in the humble, but gloriously rewarding field of appliance service? You’ve seen guys out in the field and thought you could probably do what they do. Besides the work looks interesting and there’s always something that needs fixing.

Before enrolling in one of Fred’s appliance repair classes, you need to get in front of a mirror somewhere and ask yourself a few questions. This job is not for everyone. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for those that hold back. Do you think you have what it takes to learn the secrets of the art of modern day appliance repair? Are you prepared to bare your heart and soul and arms and get your hands dirty enough to start making good money in a growing trade few people are prepared to venture into?

Not every one is cut out for this job. It takes a certain breed of individual to handle the stress, the focus, the challenges servicing modern appliances in 21st century America. Right now it sounds like an easy job, sitting there in front of your computer. Just show up with a flashlight and a screwdriver and make an awesome living, right? No.

Frankly to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Before you commit body and soul to enrolling in repair classes you should get an inside look into a day in the life of an appliance repair technician. There are a few things absolutely critical you should know.

The first thing to realize is this job is not your typical nine-to-five, feet up on the desk, pounding out widgets or churning out quarter-pounders. You must consider yourself almost an owner of the business you’re going to work for. Your truck and tools and uniforms have to be kept in professional condition because you’re representing a professional company. You can’t be going into people’s homes with old ratty tennis shoes caked in mud, wearing a long scraggly beard with lots of bling dangling from your ears. Consumers nowadays are smart and savvy. They have hundreds of choices out there when calling for appliance service. The last thing anyone wants to greet at their door is someone who looks like their spouse’s nephew.

So you have to look great, all freshly showered and all, and you’ve got to have some hustle. Time is precious, both to your employer and your customer. You don’t have time to stand around and thrill your customer with all the dazzling things your kid did at school. Building rapport with a customer is essential; they must come to trust you within a few moments of welcoming you into their home. But a life history lesson isn’t required.

Most folks you meet are pretty nice, decent, down-to-earth citizens. After all, you are there to help them with a critical need. They can’t cook their food. The dishwasher’s flooding the kitchen. The refrigerator’s freezing everything, or they just lost a couple hundred dollars worth of Omaha steaks when the thing went warm on them. They are glad to see you. You are in the unique position few people have in their jobs of becoming someone’s hero.

A few folks out there can be dowwn right nasty. They will scream and yell and swear at you. If not for the fact the appliance is busted, as if it’s your fault, it’s the fact you’re charging too much. They don’t understand all the technical training you’ve had to undergo to become knowledgeable enough to help them out. They don’t see all the behind the scenes expenses your company has to shell out in fuel, insurance, vehicle maintenance, employee salary and benefits. They think a trained monkey could do what you do, and are resentful they can’t fix the thing themselves. Listen. Don’t take it personal. If you do, you won’t last in this business. One requisite of a good technician is you either must have already or be prepared to grow some thick skin. Comes with the territory.

If you can’t stand driving in traffic, don’t bother getting into training. If you don’t like getting wet in driving rain storms, forget this career and go into knitting. If scraping ice and snow off the truck in endless winters, venturing into unplowed driveways and icy walkways with heavy tool bags, greeting dogs and cats and parrots, listening to blasting TV shows of people giggling and talking about their mundane lives, customers watching your every move, sometimes standing so close as you work you can smell last night’s garlic on their breath, babies screaming, dirty, unwashed floors you must lay on to get under a machine, roach or mice infested ranges, refrigerators filled with moldy food that reeks to high heaven because they left it in there after it quit cooling you are not the man or woman for the job. Go find something else to do.

But if you’re the kind of person that likes working with your hands; if you take genuine pride in your work; if you are conscientious, prompt, personable, like working with and around people, can think through a problem, are not afraid to tackle tough jobs instead of leaving it for someone else, have an ability to keep learning, even when you’re in the field, then this job is for you. If you seek the thrill that comes with successfully fixing a broken machine and truly serving someone that desperately needs your wisdom and expertise, then get into class right away. Appliance repair is not a dying trade. It’s becoming more sophisticated and challenging. Are you up for it? If so, contact us!