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10 DIY Appliance Repair & Maintenance Tips

1. Finding Access Screws: one of the most common problems that you face when trying to take apart a home appliance is locating its access point. At times you can end up removing each and every screw and still not figure out how the thing opens. In cases such as these the best thing you can do is to take apart the manufacturer’s nameplate. Simply removing the mounting screws here should help you open up the appliance.

2. Accessing the plastic housing: You’ll run into quite a few appliances which do not have screws. If you’re trying to open up an appliance which has no screws but has a molded plastic housing, then you need to inspect it carefully. Try to find the closest seam and use this to pry the appliance open using a pry tool.

3. Locating dropped parts: Repairing appliances can be difficult especially when you’re dealing with tiny parts which can just fall off your table. One effective method for finding parts is to turn off your overhead light, draw the blinds and try to make the room slightly darker. You then take a flashlight and bring it close to the floor as you swing it like a searchlight. This method works great since it reveals the shadows of a lost part.

4. Unclogging an appliance’s air vents: Appliances which are powered by either small or large motors could be as simple to maintain as just unblocking the air vents. This works because an obstruction of the vents results in poor air circulation which causes overheating. All you’ve got to do is to insert a small pipe cleaner into the vent in order to break the large pieces of dirt into smaller ones which can then be sucked up by a small vacuum.

5. Check the power supply: When major appliances like water heaters, air conditioners and ovens fail and appear to need major repairs since it has stopped working, one reason for their failure could be their power supply.
Simply replacing the power supply in most cases should fix the problem.

6. Ground yourself: static electricity can damage a circuit and also major electronic components which is why it is recommended that you ground yourself properly prior to working on any home appliance.

7. Clean refrigerator coils: Depending on the model of your refrigerator the coils are going to be located either on the rear of the fridge or behind the kickplate. Just use a vacuum to clean up any particles / dirt there. You should do this every 12 months or so.

8. Discharge the appliance: Appliances such as CRT televisions and monitors often store a rather lethal charge. Opening up the device when it has electricity in it can cause personal harm. The best way to work with appliances which store a charge is to leave it unplugged for a few hours or a day.

9. Clean the sprayer of your dishwasher: In most cases if the sprayer is not working chances are that it is clogged. Just remove the sprayer and put it in warm water mixed with white vinegar for a couple of hours in order to get the mineral deposits lose. Then use a pipe cleaner to clean out each hole.

10. First out last in: Putting an appliance with many parts back together again can be difficult. The easiest way to reassemble everything is to remember what you took out last and work your way from there.