How to Avoid an Appliance Repair Disaster

Over and over again our technicians often hear, “Why does everything break down so often and why does appliance repair cost so much? Contemporary appliances have many more working parts than in the past, some of which have fail safe mechanisms that will shut down the machine to prevent further damage.

Many people, however, believe that all maintenance should be left to repair technicians. Contrary to popular belief, performing periodic maintenance on your own for washers, dryers and other home appliances will keep them in good operating condition and head off expensive repair disasters. By periodically giving your appliances some tender loving care and inspection, you’ll become aware of potential changes in operating conditions and can alert your service technician before extensive repairs are necessary. Here are some tips to keep your appliances working well.


Even if you clean the lint trap after each load, a surprising amount gets past the trap and into the vent. Clogged vents can lead to inefficiency, higher utility costs and even potential fires. To avoid these problems, use your vacuum’s nozzle to clean the lint slot. It’s also a good idea to disconnect the vent tube at least once a year and vacuum it. For completely clogged vents, hire a professional duct cleaner. Have your dryer professionally cleaned and serviced at least every five years.


Today’s high-efficiency front-loading washing machines are more gentle on clothes, but complex components make them tougher on your wallet when something goes wrong. Broken drums can cost $450 to $600 to repair, often making it more effective to buy a new washer. To keep the drum spinning smoothly use only high-efficiency detergent. Run an empty hot water wash monthly to break down residue. If you hear excessive vibration, check the machine’s stability. if you still hear or feel vibration, call for repair.

Burst water hoses have the potential to create even more damage as they can release 650 gallons in an hour, causing up to $6,000 in damage. If you are home, you can avert disaster, but not if you are away. Check your hoses monthly for bulges or tears, especially at connection points where kinks can form. Manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every three to five years.


Spend a half hour cleaning the condenser coils with a condenser brush and a vacuum to loosen and remove dirt. If your model has a condenser fan, clean it too. Wipe the door gasket periodically with a sponge and warm water and make sure freezer vents are unobstructed. Remember to contact us at Dave Smith Appliance Service anytime you have questions about your home appliances.