5 Simple Appliance Repairs you Can Do Yourself

Appliance repair is a part of life in any home environment. Once you own a home, the expense cannot be placed on a landlord or property manager. You may think the only option available is to call an expensive repair company to come in and solve your problem. No one wants to pay hundreds of dollars for someone to diagnose and repair a small inexpensive part. Before you drain your bank account, consider these five simple repairs you can learn to do on your own. Pull up a video online to guide you through the process, and don’t forget to unplug the item you are working on prior to beginning.

Dryer Belts

Your dryer has two belts. One wraps around the drum and one is responsible for allowing the fan to blow out the hot air. If your dryer drum stops turning, you may have a disconnected or broken drum belt. Once you open up the dryer it will be obvious if the belt has been misplaced. The blower fan belt is smaller and located near the motor. A blower belt problem may be responsible if the dryer seems to be over heating and is not blowing air. This belt often slips off when it gets worn out. Tips for success include the enlistment of a friend. You may need help to support the drum and door when it is time to put the dryer back together. Belt packages cost around $20 to $30.

Washer Door Locks

The new front loading washing machines are equipped with door locks to keep the door from opening during a cycle. Some of the large top loading washers also lock. These washers will not start a cycle without the lock engaged. These door locks cease to perform after prolonged wear and tear. The replacement process requires basic tools and minimal time. This one is so simple, you could even let your kids help out. Locks are small parts ranging in value around $25.

Washer Inlet valves

Most dryers are similar and maintain a simple construction. Washers, however, are a bit more detailed and vary in construction styles. Be sure to enter your brand and model number when searching for instructions on repairs. You will need to cut off electricity to the washing machine and, in some cases, the water. When the water intake valves wear out, inappropriate amounts of water can be allowed into the machine. This can cause an overflow onto your floor. It is best to replace both valves while you have the machine take apart, even if only one is faulty. The other may not be far behind. Plan ahead by having a red and blue marker handy to clearly label hot and cold tubing and valves. These parts are towards the back of the machine and will involve removing the top or back of the washer. Valves can cost as little as $11 and only take a short time to install.

Kitchen Disposal

This piece of machinery can cause chaos when it goes out. Any number of things can get lodged in the blades. Kids are notorious for throwing everything from their plate into the kitchen sink. The disposal is easy to get acquainted with. When it stops working there may be a buzzing sound or an unusually loud, rattling sound. Food will cease to be pulled into the drain. The first step to repair is a reset. There is a button on the appliance for this purpose. There will also be an indentation that fits a hex key. Sometimes you may need to insert a hex key and turn to help the blades move. If these steps do not work it is time to unplug the disposal and turn off the water to the kitchen sink. Open the disposal unit and look inside for the offending item that may be lodged in the blades. Once the item is removed, you will most likely be back in business. Make sure all of the parts are put back together and tubing reattached before plugging the disposal back in. Take extra care to keep the plug and outlet dry during the repair. The cost of these solutions will be $0.

Washer Door Seal

Front loading washing machines have a sturdy seal to keep water from leaking out. The seal can become weak over time. You will begin to see the seal dry out and become cracked. Small amounts of water may spill out during the wash cycle in the early stages of disrepair. There will usually be a metal ring that holds the seal in place. The seal replacement will require a spring expansion tool to pry open the ring. This can be found at an appliance parts store and will cost anywhere from $60 to $100. The seal, itself, will cost about $60. Top loading washers have a seal at the top of the wash tub. This keeps the water from entering the drive mechanism. This part will cost anywhere from $60 to $90 to replace, depending on the model. There will be a bit more disassembly required for the top loading option. Check the seals regularly to avoid any damage to washer components or your household.

There are many repairs you can handle on your own around the house, these are just a few. Online searches can help you find instructional videos. Diagnostic videos will also help pinpoint the problem with your appliance. Videos usually list the necessary tools so you can prepare properly. Embrace your inner repairman while you learn to take care of your home. You will save money and learn something too.