Essential Appliance Repair Guide for Every Home

appliance repair

Home appliances often break down or underperform from time to time and it’s handy to know how to diagnose the issue and repair it yourself, if possible. If you have the confidence and the skills to perform a few repairs at home, you can save yourself a few dollars by maintaining your home appliances.  Keep your home appliance humming with Wayne's Essential Appliance Repair Guide for Aussie Homes.  This article offers guidance on some of the easier appliance repair and maintenance things you can do yourself, so you can get them up and running again without breaking your budget or compromising your safety. Of course, you won’t be able to do everything, because some repairs need to be performed by a licensed tradesperson, or repairer. 

Firstly, always read the manual

Before you attempt to repair any home appliance, you should always read the manual first. Assuming you bought your appliances brand new and kept all the paperwork, you’ll have the manuals on hand for every appliance in your home. Appliance manuals not only explain how to troubleshoot issues, but they also offer important safety advice so you don’t damage your appliance or electrocute yourself. Step one should always be to consult the manufacturer’s instructions in the manual.

Let’s now look at some common household appliance issues and what the possible causes may be.

The dishwasher won’t start

If you’re trying to use your dishwasher and find it won’t turn on, there could be a number of reasons for this. 

  • The first and most obvious thing to do is to check that it’s actually plugged in. Even if it is, unplug it from the socket and plug it back in to reset it.
  • Step two is to check that the dishwasher door closes and locks, as it won’t operate otherwise.
  • If these two troubleshooting tips fail to get it going, your dishwasher may have blown a fuse, tripped a circuit breaker or has a faulty control panel. 

The worst case scenario could be that the motor is dead and the dishwasher will need replacing.

Another issue that’s common with dishwashers is an unpleasant odour. Food particles and oils can build up in your dishwasher over time. Check the filter at the bottom and make sure it’s clean and free of debris. Even if it is, debris can build up in other unseen areas of the appliance, such as the hoses. The best solution is to add some detergent and run a cycle with nothing inside to give it a thorough clean.

Your microwave is having issues

If you discover your microwave is not functioning, the most common reason is a blown fuse. Why the fuse has blown could be down to a number of factors though.

First, check that the microwave door is closing properly and the hinges are not bent out of shape. If the fan is faulty, the appliance will likely be overheating, which can also blow the fuse. Check the power cord and controller for damage. If you can’t diagnose the problem and the microwave keeps blowing fuses, it’s either time to call in a professional repair technician or replace the appliance.

Are your stove hotplates playing up?

If your hotplates are electric and one of them is not heating up, most likely it’s due to a faulty coil. These are very easy to replace and fitting a new one should solve the problem. 

If you have a gas stove, the first thing to do is make sure you still have gas in the bottle. If you do, then the next thing to do is to check the burners – which can easily get blocked up with grease and food particles. Either take them out and clean them, or replace them with new burners.

It’s always wise to check all power cables and gas connection hoses to make sure everything is in order before replacing any parts.

What if your oven is overheating?

If you find the knobs on your oven are hot to the touch, then it’s definitely overheating for some reason. If it’s a fan-forced oven, perhaps the fan is malfunctioning? Another possible cause is a faulty thermostat, the device that regulates the oven’s temperature. It may need replacing to resolve the overheating issue.  

If the cupboards surrounding the oven are showing signs of burning or melting, it could be the oven seal that needs replacing. 

What to do if your fridge has a leak

Do you have a leak inside the refrigerator, or noticed a puddle forming on the kitchen floor? Humid climates can lead to a build up of condensation both inside and outside the fridge. This is usually only an issue when the fridge door is not sealing properly.

Check all the door seals and check for damage, such as kinks in the magnets that prevent them from sealing completely. Sometimes the door won’t seal if the seals are dirty, so give everything a thorough clean and see if that fixes the water leaking issue. Damaged seals will need replacing.

Another common issue is the fridge isn’t cold enough despite turning the thermostat right up. With fridge freezers, it’s the freezer that creates cold air for the refrigerator compartment. There are vents and fans that connect the freezer to the fridge to circulate that cold air. Maybe the vents are clogged with ice or the fans are no longer working? 

Another possible culprit is the evaporator motor. When the freezer auto defrosts, the water drips down onto the evaporator motor and then dissipates. If the evaporator motor is malfunctioning, the auto defrost won’t work efficiently.

If you suspect the issue is more than a perished seal, we recommend having the fridge inspected by a trained professional. 

Common washing machine issues

If your washing machine fails to start up or the tub refuses to spin, you’ll first want to check the lid and the pressure switch. As a safety function, your washer has a switch that activates once the lid closes. Sometimes this switch gets damaged and fails to engage, not allowing the washing machine to fire up. 

Another issue could be a belt problem. Carefully lean the washing machine back and check the drive belt. It may be loose or broken.

Washing machines can also develop odours over time due to a build up of soap scum, fabric softener, lint and dampness. Clean all filters and then run an empty wash cycle to give your machine a thorough clean.

Problems with the clothes dryer

Clothes dryers are not immune to issues either. If you find your dryer is not working, it could have a broken belt. Lift it off the wall and check the belt for damage. A broken belt is easy to replace.

To ensure your clothes dryer always works efficiently, clean the lint filter after each drying cycle to ensure the appliance doesn’t overheat. You’ll find this can help reduce power consumption too. You’ll also find an air vent that lets the hot air escape from the appliance. Sometimes this vent can get clogged up with lint, so it’s one more thing to inspect and clean regularly.

Regular appliance maintenance 

Household appliances get a lot of use, and regular maintenance is essential to ensure they remain working and in tip-top shape. Here are several things you can do to look after your appliances:

  • Always keep your appliances clean, especially stoves and ovens.
  • Check all filters regularly on dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers.
  • Periodically examine power cords, hoses and other attachments to check for wear or damage.
  • When using heating appliances, always ensure the room is well-ventilated to avoid overheating issues.
  • Never overload appliances and always remove excess food scraps before placing items in the dishwasher.

Where to buy your spare parts?

WWSpares is your online one-stop shop for quality appliance spare parts. Whether you need to replace a belt on your clothes dryer or your fridge or oven needs new door seals, we’ve got you covered. If you’re not sure what the problem is, give us a call and we’ll see if we can help you diagnose it.  If we can’t, or we suspect it needs professional help, we can put you in touch with a local repairer near you.

Otherwise, if you know what the issue is, and you need the right spare part at the right price, look for it here on our website and place your order or contact us today for help.

About Wayne Butterworth

Meet Wayne Butterworth, an expert in appliance spare parts and an informative blog writer. With in-depth knowledge and a dedication to helping others, Wayne’s blog provides practical tips and industry insights for appliance repair. Follow his blog for up-to-date information and expert advice.