In this day and age, we couldn’t imagine functioning without common kitchen appliances. They make our lives easier and infinitely more comfortable. However, due to heavy daily usage, kitchen appliances inevitably succumb to some issues. Fortunately, though, a lot of them are easy to handle DIY-style. Here are the most common kitchen appliance problems and repairs you can do to keep them running a bit longer.
And no, we’re not talking about your favourite refreshing beverage. Although, this can be a problem in the upcoming summer days. We’re talking about the lack of power in your outlet(s).
In most modern homes, areas with high moisture levels (i.e., kitchen, bathroom, laundry room) are equipped with GFCI power outlets. These provide extra security in case of water damage. You can easily identify GFCI by two colored switches:
- TEST – usually red, and;
- RESET – blue or black, in most cases.
A common problem occurs when this outlet stops providing power, usually because of high moisture. Fortunately, a fix for this is all too easy. Just hit the “RESET” button, and that should do the trick.
If you are considering remodelling your kitchen soon, GFCI power outlets will be a most welcome addition. It is one among many affordable and simple ways to spruce it up. But, more importantly, it adds an extra layer of safety. And safety is always a wise investment.
If you have standard outlets in your home or GFCI doesn’t provide power even after the reset, the problem might lie elsewhere. In most cases, it’s as simple as a tripped breaker. Again, this is quite an easy fix. Just run to the breaker box, and switch it back on. However, if this doesn’t solve the problem, or if the breaker trips back off, it’s a sign that the issue is more severe. In this case, don’t try to fix it yourself unless you’re confident in what you’re doing. Electricity is not to be played with, so call a professional electrician and let them handle the problem.
Cool Guy Problems
Your fridge might just be the coolest appliance you have. Quite literally, at that. However, even this cool dude can suffer from common kitchen appliance problems.
After a while, your fridge can get a bit smelly. This is normal and nothing to fret about. And – there’s an easy way to handle it:
- Mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups of baking soda. This will give you a thick paste. Apply, let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and scrub away.
- An even easier way is to take a smaller bowl and fill it with baking soda. Leave it in the fridge overnight. By the time you wake up, the smell will disappear.
However, unpleasant odours can be a sign of a more severe issue.
If your fridge stops cooling the way it’s supposed to, the problem usually lies in dirty coils. The good news: there’s an easy fix. The bad news: it might take some heavy lifting.
There are two ways to approach the problem, depending on the model of your fridge:
- Coils are at the bottom of the fridge, under protective casing;
- This is an ideal situation and the easiest one to handle:
- Unplug the fridge;
- Pop the casing open, so you can have access to coils;
- Use a coil brush to clean the coils;
- Vacuum the excess debris from the brush;
- Repeat as needed.
That’s it! It is that simple. When you’re done, just pop the lid back on, and you’re good to go.
- This is an ideal situation and the easiest one to handle:
- Coils are at the back of the fridge and exposed;
Here comes the “heavy-lifting” part. If the coils are at the back, you’ll have to move the fridge away from the wall until you can reach them with ease. But, once you do that, it gets easy. Just use the vacuum cleaner to suck the dirt off the coils. And, if there is some debris left, use the brush to scrub it clean.
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Too Cool For Its Own Good
If you notice ice building up in your fridge, it may be a sign that the drain needs cleaning. However, this process can be lengthy and requires finesse and some specialized tools.
- Find the drain hole. It’s usually at the very bottom of the fridge, under the drawers.
- Insert the plumbing snake into the hole. As an alternative, you can use a rubber or plastic pipe.
- GENTLY move the plumbing snake through the canal until you loosen the clog.
- Pull out the snake and pour the cleaning agent down the hole. You can use chlorine mixed with 1 litre of water or two tablespoons of baking soda mixed with hot water.
- Pull out the drain pan (it’s usually under the fridge), empty it, and clean it.
- Repeat the process until there’s no more debris in the pan.
If one or more of these common kitchen appliance problems persists, it is best to call a professional to take a look. However, in most cases, it’s a clear sign that you need to replace your refrigerator.
There’s nothing so satisfying as a warm home-cooked meal after a long workday. However, if your stove or oven refuses to cooperate, you’ll have to turn to less fulfilling options. For this not to happen, it’s good to keep your electrical range in top condition.
The Stove Burner Won’t Heat Up
This can happen because of a variety of issues. However, let’s hope it’s the smallest one: burner prongs are loose. A quick, albeit temporary, fix for this is:
- Unplug the power;
- Pull the burner out of its socket;
- GENTLY bend the prongs slightly outward;
- Plug the burner back in and move it around a bit.
- If it still feels loose, repeat the process until it’s firmly in place.
Bear in mind that this is only a temporary solution. However, if other burners or ovens start exhibiting similar symptoms, it is time to replace your electrical range. Still, even this is not such a bad option, especially if you switch to an induction cooking stove. They are safer, faster, and easier to maintain than regular ones. And, not to mention – more economical.
Hiring Professionals Is Always The Best Choice
As you can see, some of the most common kitchen appliance problems have an easy fix. However, when you go into it, they can reveal more severe issues. When that happens, it’s ill-advised to try and tackle the problem yourself. If you’re unsure of what to do, never hesitate to turn to the professionals. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble, you won’t risk your health, and your appliances will live to see another day.
Arthur Morris is a blogger who loves helping his mom with small repairs around the house. Although he is not an expert yet, he hopes to hone his craft in the future. Until then, he continues writing articles that help others deal with minor household issues.
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