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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 paying

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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