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Appliance Tips

Below is a list of Questions we seem to answer time and again. Please feel free to browse through some of these issues prior to calling for service. If there is a topic you would like to see covered in future please feel free to send us an email.

Important Safety Tips
  • If you are in doubt about the gas connectors, have them professionally inspected, they could be extremely dangerous.
  • A fire extinguisher should always be kept in the kitchen area at minimum.
  • Each gas appliance should have its own, independent shut-off valve.
  • Smoke detectors should be installed. Be sure to change the batteries in the spring and fall when you change the clocks.
  • Monoxide detectors should also be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Nighthawk brand with a digital LED display is a type of non-battery detector that re-samples the air in two-minute intervals to accurately log events which can prevent false alarms. Always locate in sleeping quarters, never around items such as stoves, water heaters, furnaces, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions

What are safety “Must Haves.” Are they that important?
Yes, they are that important, safety is always first! A few must haves would be: fire extinguisher; shut-off valves for gas appliances; current or new gas connectors; smoke detectors; and carbon monoxide detectors.

Should I repair or replace my malfunctioning appliance?
Generally older appliances are more durable and long-lasting than the newer products being made today. Modern models have wonderful features, but do need more maintenance and repair than their older counterparts. It is wise to get an estimate for repair before replacing. The general rule of thumb is to not exceed 50% of the total replacement cost: = product, tax, delivery, extraction of old appliance, etc.

The spring broke on my oven door. Do I have to get it repaired right away?
Don’t ignore broken oven doors. Ovens are not furnaces, and are not connected to a chimney to vent dangerous combustion gases outside. A broken door will not allow the oven thermostat to acclimate or shut off, so monoxide continues to be produced from the continued combustion rather than stop. This broken door seems minor, but is actually potentially deadly.

iceMakerIs it really important to clean the condenser on my refrigerator?
Absolutely! Virtually all manufacturers recommend it be done once a year or more as noted in the owner’s “Care and Use Manual.” It saves electricity, minimizes bio concerns, and ultimately helps extend the life and productivity of the refrigerator. We have a regularly scheduled service program for our customers to enroll in….it is that important!

Why do my clothes take so much longer to dry than they used to?
There could be a malfunction inside the dryer preventing the proper heat from being attained so the dryer should be inspected. Many times, however, the problem is as simple as having the dryer vent cleaned properly and professionally. As well as being inconvenient, this build-up of lint is a potential fire hazard, and should not be taken lightly.

After self-cleaning my oven, the door will not unlock. Should I force it open?
No! There is a safety temperature control that governs when it is safe to open the door. Allow some time to pass. It should open up after it cools down. If, after several hours, it still won’t open, call for service.

My oven/cooktop knob will not turn. Should I force it?
No. If gas burner valves start “grinding,” turning hard, or breaking the knobs, we can often repair the valves before they require total replacement – if caught in time.

Can bacteria really survive wash cycles in my washer?
Yes, unfortunately it can. That is why it is important to understand the proper temperature activation and lifetime of the detergent you use. Check the soap manufacturer recommendations on the back of the box. Typically temperature activation is around 72 degrees F, and the lifetime of the soap while sudsing is 15-20 minutes. Temperature of the water is important and should not be ignored! Cold temperature refers to about 70 degrees F, not 40 degrees F! So in the winter in the Chicago area, the cold water supply out of Lake Michigan can fall below activation temperature resulting in no cleaning action at all! Medium temperature may be needed in the winter in your area. Also, after laundry is completed, many experts recommend that you run an empty bleach cycle to kill the remaining potential bacteria, and an extra rinse cycle to get rid of the bleach fully. One other note about washers … NEVER overload a washer! This puts stress on its motor and transmission. One time is enough to do irreparable harm. Imagine towing a semi-tractor with your Ford Escort. The Escort might survive that single event, but the material stresses have killed the life of the vehicle. Blue jeans and cotton towels are the “semi-loads” of the laundry world.

stoveTopMy range keeps making a “clicking” sound even when I am not using it, what should I do?
Unplug the appliance or turn off the power source immediately at the fuse or circuit breaker. Then call for service. It is also possible that there was a spill, and that the components are wet. The clicking may stop when they dry out.

I burnt popcorn in my microwave, and the smell won’t go away. Can I get rid of the odor?
Yes, according to Linda Cobb, the Queen of Clean, place vanilla extract in a bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds. Leave the door closed for twelve hours. Remove the vanilla and wipe down the inside of microwave. The smell of popcorn should be gone.

My dishwasher works fine, but the inside is starting to look rusted, what do I do?
Linda Cobb recommends that to remove rust from the inside of a dishwasher, fill both detergent cups with Tang™ Breakfast Drink and run through a normal cycle. When doing this, do not put detergent or dishes in the dishwasher. If rust is bad, several treatments may be required.

garbageDisposalAre there any foods that I should not put in my disposal?
Yes, do not grind bones or celery in your disposal!

Before Calling For Service

Always provide as much information as you can when calling in an appliance repair complaint. There are two core questions which need to be communicated to your service professional:

1) What is the machine not doing that it should?
2) How long has it not been doing what it should?

Asking how long it has not been working establishes that the machine was once working correctly. You can then focus on the event that altered the appliance’s operation. Fight the human tendency to assume people know what “we” know, because they don’t

If ordering parts, obtain and use clear and concise model, serial, and revision numbers or “P” numbers – they are essential. If you don’t, you will get the wrong part!