What You Need to Know Before Repairing Your Own Appliances
There are pros and cons to doing appliance repair on your own. On the one hand, it will save you money for hiring a professional. But fixing a broken appliance on your own can possibly do more harm than good, especially if you have no prior experience.
However, if you’re really keen on repairing a damaged home appliance by yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind. Read on to learn what they are:
Figure Out If Your Appliance Is Still Under Warranty
The typical warranty period for appliances is one year. This means that you may still be entitled to a free service repair if you had just bought your item recently. Bigger appliances, like refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, and dryers, bought from certain manufacturers may have longer warranty periods.
If you have had the unit for several years, check the product documentation. Read the receipt and the user’s manual to see if you have purchased an extended warranty or an insurance policy, which may allow you to get a free service or at least a discount for the repair.
Once you have confirmed that the warranty has not yet expired, check the warranty sticker, which is usually located at the back of the machine. Make sure that it is not peeled off, effaced, or torn. If it is damaged in any form, the warranty might be voided by the manufacturer.
Determine the Extent of Damage But Exercise Caution
If you have determined that the warranty has been voided or already expired, check the extent of damage to your appliance. But before you try to disassemble the machine, be sure that you have already unplugged it from its power source, so you won’t get electrocuted while inspecting the appliance.
It is also important to put on proper gear. Wear a pair of rubber or cotton gloves to protect your hands from being cut while touching the sharp edges of some metal parts. Use a pair of goggles to keep your eyes safe, as well. Having the proper tools, like pliers and the right size of screwdrivers and wrenches, will make the job easier.
While disassembling the unit, be sure to keep all the screws, nuts, and bolts that you will remove in one place. This makes it easier for you to put them back later. After you take apart your appliance, check for each of its components inside.
Focus on the areas where dirt and grime can accumulate and clean them with a brush or a piece of cloth. Look for visibly damaged parts or faulty wirings. If there are loose connections or broken components, it might be best not to pursue repairing the appliance on your own. Dealing with electrical wirings and replacing damaged parts might be too complex or dangerous to do by yourself.
Decide Whether You Want a Repair or a Replacement Unit
If you can’t handle the extent of damage to your appliance, decide whether to call a repair expert or purchase a replacement. There are pros and cons to both options, so think about them thoroughly before choosing. Here are a few factors that you may want to consider:
Age of the Appliance
Even if you take good care of your appliances, they will still deteriorate over time. If your machine has reached the end of its lifespan, replace it with a new one. Here is a list of how long some common household units normally last:
- Refrigerator – over 10 years
- Dryer – over 10 years
- Microwave – less than 10 years
- Washing Machine – less than 10 years
- Stove – over 10 years
- Air conditioner – over 10 years
Cost of Repair
Contact an appliance repair expert, and ask for a quote. Check whether the estimated cost of repair, including the replacement parts and service fee, is almost as high as the price of a new unit. If so, then buying a replacement might be a better option.
Duration of Repair
In some cases, repairing an appliance may take a while because some broken parts are difficult to fix or hard to find a replacement for. This should directly impact your decision, especially if you are using the machine every day, like for storing food or keeping the room well-ventilated. If the technician estimates that the whole repair process will take several weeks, purchasing a new one might be the better option.