12 Most Common Appliance Problems And Repairs

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Gina Napsin
June 19, 2024
Home appliances
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Appliances make life easier, but they can also cause stress when they stop working. When appliance problems occur, they are annoying but easy to fix. If your refrigerator is not cooling under the scorching sun after a day, check for an air vent plug/hole. You can save much money by preventing expensive repairs if you know what to do. This article covers common problems with appliances, giving you a heads-up when the need arises.

Why Do Appliances Break?

Your appliances may be old, worn out, or abused. Brand matters — some brands are more reliable than others. Maybe you've pushed your unit too hard or used them by overloading them with heavy loads. And maybe, just maybe, you purchased a faulty appliance. It's a fact of life: Every appliance you own will need repair or replacement at some point. Laundry machines are no exception. And the average American family does over seven loads of laundry per week, meaning your top-loading washer may last 10-13 years and your front-loading model even shorter.
Repairing an appliance is never an easy task, but ultimately worth the effort. Here are twelve common appliance repair problems, and their causes.

Dishwasher Failing to Start

First, make sure the power connection to your dishwasher is connected. If it is, reconnect it, and your dishwasher should work again. However, if the connection is stable, the internal components of the dishwasher are likely the suspect. Things like this should be left to a professional dishwasher repair technician.
Possible Causes:
  • Blown circuit breaker
  • Damaged or worn motor
  • Malfunctioning control panel
  • The door isn't locking

Dishwasher Has Unpleasant Odor

In the world of dishwashers, there is a stench that no one wants to smell. And, while your hands-on analog is still working fine and dandy, you have discovered that the stench is coming from your dishwasher. Whether it's oily residue or food particles left on dishes after washing, this issue can be fixed because it's likely caused by old food particles or built-up grease inside the dishwasher. So before tossing dirty dishes still covered in sauce, oils, and food bits straight into the washer, rinse them thoroughly to avoid the off-putting smell.
Possible Causes:
  • Food stuck to filters
  • Food and oils trapped in the corners
  • Bacteria growth caused by excessive build-up
  • Lack of regular cleaning

Microwave has a Blown Fuse

A blown fuse in a microwave is one of the most common appliance repairs. The high electrical current running through it can easily blow out your microwave’s main fuse. But there are many factors at play, and the root cause of the blown fuse can be challenging to determine.
Possible Causes:
  • Microwave door is out of place
  • Faulty fan causing your microwave to overheat
  • Door is not lock shut
  • Issues with the power cord or controller

The Cooktop Isn't Heating

You've just finished all the veggies and meats for a delicious home-cooked meal. You've set up all the pots and pans on your cooktop and maybe even set the table in advance. Upon firing up your burners, you notice that there needs to be more heat coming from them or even no heat at all. Electric stovetops and open-flame gas cookers can be a pain to deal with, but the former is more common. If you have issues with it, get yourself a cooktop repair service.
Possible Causes:
  • Bad burners
  • Faulty heating coils
  • Damaged or unstable connection

The Oven is Too Hot

One telltale sign of an oven overheating is that the knobs get pretty toasty, almost burning your fingers. But not only are the knobs hot but so is the inside. You can burn your dishes and pastries each time you use your oven. If you have issues that you cannot fix, it’s time to call for an oven repair service.
Possible Causes:
  • The fan is not working properly
  • Broken bake feature
  • Temperature sensor problems

Refrigerator Unit is Leaking water

When it comes to appliances, leaks and pooling water inside your refrigerator are common complaints. The most significant risk of having a leaking refrigerator is electrocution in the kitchen. So, it's time to take this matter seriously and get refrigerator repairs.
Possible Causes:
  • Waterline damage
  • High humidity
  • Clogged drains

The Freezer Works, But Fridge isn't Cold Enough

When your refrigerator is not working correctly, it can spoil food almost as soon as it's in the door. The longer a refrigerator is left unrepaired, the more likely it will break down completely. A fridge not working properly can be a health hazard, especially if the unit is over ten years old. If you notice any problems in your refrigerator or if you need freezer repairs, it's time to call an appliance repair service.
Possible Causes:
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Issues with the evaporator motor

Ice Maker Not Producing Ice

Sometimes the issue with your ice maker is a simple fix. Before you assume that your machine is broken, locate the on/off switch, button, or lever, depending on the type of ice maker you have. If your device is actually in the "on" position and not making any ice, you can conclude that more severe problems may be affecting your appliance.
Possible Causes:
  • Ice bucket out of place
  • The freezer is too warm
  • Clogged water filter

Washer Tub Not Rotating

This problem occurs when the washer tub does not move as it should during the spin cycle. If this is happening, then you may need to replace your motor or belt.
Possible Causes:
  • The door or lid switch is not locking
  • Faulty tub bearings
  • Motor or belt needs replacement

Washer Has an Odd Smell

Have you noticed a musky odor coming from your laundry room? What causes a musky odor in laundry rooms? It could result from your kid's soccer practice or hard workouts at the gym. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of this odor because many factors can contribute to it. However, if the smell persists, there may be a bigger problem on your hands and you need washer repairs.
Possible Causes:
  • Excessive moisture
  • High humidity levels
  • Ineffective or lack of ventilation in the laundry room

The Dryer Doesn't Dry Clothes

If your laundry dryer is not drying your laundry, you might be loading it with too many clothes. To fix this problem, try loading it with fewer clothes. A working dryer should give you warm, fluffy clothes that look fresh and clean. However, if this doesn't fix the problem, further inspection may be needed to determine why your dryer needs clothes dryer repair.
Possible Causes:
  • Clogged dryer vent
  • The dryer vent is blocked with debris and lint
  • Overloading the unit
  • Malfunctioning or damaged heating component

The Drum is Not Spinning

The dryer drum is a large rotating cylinder that holds your clothes during the drying cycle. It also helps you separate your clothes from the water after washing them and spins at high speeds to help remove wrinkles. If the drum in your dryer isn't working correctly, it could be because of several smaller parts that may be causing the problem.
Possible Causes:
  • Worn drum rollers
  • Damaged roller axles
  • Issues with the drum bearings
  • Drum glides need to be replaced
  • Drive belt problems

Maintenance Tips to Avoid Common Appliance Repairs

Because appliances are used daily, they deserve to be treated with respect and care. Below, we have provided home appliance maintenance tips and tricks to ensure that your appliances last as long as they should and don't cause significant problems in the future.
  • After using your oven and stove top, it's essential to clean them thoroughly.
  • Clean the spills on the refrigerator, oven, and cooktop immediately.
  • Clean your oven once a year or twice if you're using it a lot.
  • Clean the fridge every couple of months, so it doesn't get too full and start to smell.
  • Keep your refrigerator water filter in good working order by replacing it every time it chimes at you.
  • When you cook, ensure that your kitchen is well-ventilated and use overhead fans while cooking.
  • Remove food scraps from your dirty dishes before loading them in the dishwasher.
  • Refrain from overloading your washer or dryer with clothes.
  • Unload your washer as soon as it stops spinning, so mold and mildew don't have a chance to set in.
  • It's essential to clean out your washer and dryer once a month. Remember to check for damaged or worn components.

Final Thoughts

And that about does it for our most common home appliance problems. Of course, many more issues can come up with these appliances that we still need to cover. Still, you can fix some of these problems yourself or contact a professional who can do a better job than we can of locating the root cause and eliminating the problem. If your appliance is still under warranty, we highly recommend contacting the manufacturer before doing anything. A quick call to their customer service line is often all it takes to get your appliance fixed at no charge. You can check out our article about the most frequently asked questions for more information on how to deal with those issues.

Who Should I Call For Home Appliance Repair?

If you're like most homeowners, you probably don't think of yourself as a "handyman," but if your appliances are broken or not working correctly, it's time to put your skills to the test.
The good news is that Home Alliance has you covered. Whether you need an experienced technician for a complicated home appliance repair or just someone to help you figure out what's wrong with your current model, we have the knowledge and experience to help.From appliance repairs to air duct cleaning and HVAC service, our experts can do it all for you.
Our technicians are certified and have years of experience repairing appliances from notable brands such as Viking, Thermador, GE Monogram, KitchenAid, Sub-Zero, and more. We also offer 24-hour emergency service - so if something breaks in the middle of the night, don't worry! We'll be there in no time.Book a schedule with us today or join our membership program to get the best deals for your service.