How To Troubleshoot Your Way To A Happier Kitchen

Modern kitchens are a marvel of productivity, especially in comparison to the bad, old days when so many household tasks were performed laboriously by hand. But technology isn't an unmixed blessing; the more complex a machine is, the more things can go wrong with it. If you need a quick, handy resource on how to troubleshoot common problems afflicting multiple major kitchen appliances -- read on!

What's Wrong With Your Washer and Dryer?

Your washer and dryer are "double trouble" in a way, since can't enjoy clean, dry clothes unless both appliances are working equally well. These machines can suffer from a wide range of problems, ranging from inconsistent results to a total failure to operate.

  • If your washer or dryer won't activate, you probably have a power failure. Check the circuit breaker that feeds these appliances, and make sure nobody accidentally kicked the cord and pulled the plug from its outlet. If the washer is leaking water, look to see whether all hoses are tightly attached to their valves. If you see damage, then you'll have to get that hose replaced. (Don't forget to turn off the water supply!)
  • If your dryer is getting power but still refuses to operate, first check to see whether the safety switch makes its proper clicking noise when you press it. (A malfunctioning switch will prevent the dryer from starting up). If the inner drum won't turn, you may have a bad belt or motor that requires replacement. A dryer that leaves you with still-damp clothing at the end of its cycle may have a blocked vent or filter that you can clean out yourself. But if that fails to solve the problem, you may need to have the electronics or the heating element checked out by an appliance repair tech.

What's Wrong With Your Refrigerator?

A refrigerator that acts completely dead could have a blown fuse, although you might also inspect the electrical cord for damage. If the appliance can't seem to get sufficiently cold regardless of the temperature setting, then you may be dealing with dirty condenser coils, a failing temperature control unit, leaky door seals, a blocked-up drain tube, or possibly a lack of refrigerant. The temperature control unit may also be to blame if you the opposite problem -- invariably glacial temperatures. A refrigerator that contains or leaks water mysteriously may need to have its drain pan emptied or its drain tube cleaned out.

What's Wrong With Your Oven?

An oven that won't heat isn't much use to anyone. The usual suspect is a dead or weakening igniter, but this part can be easily replaced. If the igniter is functioning, see whether the bake element glows its usual red. If not, then this is part that needs replacing. Give the broil element toward the top of the oven compartment the same visual inspection. While you're looking at these elements, examine the wires that connect to them for loose connections or signs of damage.

What's Wrong With Your Dishwasher?

If you're angry at your dishwasher right now, chances are that it won't start up, can't manage its water flow, or is just plain inefficient. First things first -- for a dishwasher to do anything, it needs to be receiving power, so check your circuit breaker or fusebox as well as the wiring leading to the unit. Additionally, make sure the door latch is working correctly, because this could prevent operation.

What if the dishwasher is running but the water won't fill or drain completely? This is usually due to a kink or blockage in the fill line, the drain hose, or both, so make certain that they're not wedged into a corner or otherwise impeded. You might not be getting water at all, in which case you may need to open the valve to the water supply or fix a leak at that point. If the dishwasher seems to take forever for do its work, you may need a new thermostat or heating element. 

Some of these problems obviously call for an appliance repair specialist, while others can be managed by practically anyone. But whatever the solution to your kitchen appliance issues, you'll at least feel better knowing the probable cause. Try the simpler fixes first -- you might just solve your problem! Check out sites like for more info.

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Exploring Drywall Mudding Tools and Practices

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