Timely Tip #1
By: Avi Goldstein
The most difficult aspect of repairing an appliance is making the correct
diagnosis. Whether your intention is to try to repair the appliance yourself or
to call in a professional, your eyes and ears are a most valuable asset.
Firstly, analyze the situation. Where/what is the problem. If you have a gas
smell from your oven, is it constant? Or does it only occur when you use one
specific component? Does it go away if you shut the main gas valve next to the
oven? (If the smell stays even with the gas closed on the wall then the problem
is not with the oven)
Secondly, look for patterns Does it only happen on the second or third load in
the washer or dryer? Does it happen after the oven has been running for two or
three hours? Does it only happen on a certain program or load size?
Don't jump to conclusions. There can be many different problems that cause the
same symptoms. A motor that doesn't work on an appliance can be a sign that the
motor is dead, or the timer is bad, or the door switch is no good. But it could
also a burnt out fuse.
Patience is a key to a proper repair. Many years ago I went to fix someone's
double-decker Caloric oven which had multiple problems. As I began examining the
oven, I was asking the customer questions about the oven. After a number of
questions the exasperated customer said that if you don't know how to solve the
problem she would ask my company to send someone who does. I turned to her and
explained that of the list of complaints she had given me, two or three were
already solved, and I was just trying to clarify the others so that I could
solve them in the quickest manner possible. After that whenever she called for
service she asked for me by name.
Remember, proper diagnosis doesn't just help the do-it-yourselfer. An hour of a
technician's time that you save is an hours worth of labor that you're not
About the Author:
Avi Goldstein is the manager of Goldstein & Berger Appliances. He has been
servicing American major appliances in Israel for 20 years. Timely tips is
an irregular feature of his website
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