The convenience that comes with appliances cannot be underestimated. It’s true that home appliances make things run faster and quick. It’s a great feeling to have something done in a matter of seconds as compared to the many hours it would take you to complete a task manually.
Imagine if you had to consume all the perishable food at once because you had no means of cooling the food to keep it longer. We would be living in frustration, not to mention the losses that everyone would incur because of spoilt food if there were no refrigerators. It’s safe to say that home appliances play a critical role in our lives and they are no longer a status symbol but necessities that simplify and make our lives more efficient.
However, with time and continuous use, you are likely to have an appliance breaking down. Some appliances such as washing machines, fridges, dishwashers and other large appliances can serve you for a long time. With regular repairs and maintenance, they can stay in working condition for longer.
But smalappliances such as microwave, toasters, food processors/blenders toasters and many others, have a shorter lifespan and can last for an average of ten years after which you will have to do a replacement or find a small appliance repair shop.
If your appliances break down, you should not despair. Repair professionals will help bring back your oven, dishwasher, microwave and many others to working condition. The cost of repair will mostly depend on the extent of the damage, the type of appliance and cost of the parts to be replaced.
Common appliance damages and cost of repairs
Different appliances have their own set of problems that will dictate the cost of repair. Most professionals charge an hourly rate that ranges from $100 to $200, and a trip fee when they come to assess the damages.
Here are some common appliances damages and their cost of repairs.
1. Washing Machine
A washing machine is an essential home appliance that serves a significant role in our home. Without a washing machine, you will probably spend a considerable amount of money to the dry cleaner or the Laundromat. These are expenses that any homeowner would wish to avoid by all means.
Washing machines do not come cheap. In fact, they are some of the most expensive home appliances. Therefore, when they break down, it makes sense to have them fixed right away so that they can continue serving their purpose. Depending on the cause of the damage, the average cost of repair for a washing machine could be anywhere between $120 to $500.
Common Washing Machine Problems
You are likely to encounter a couple of problems with your washing machine with time regardless of the brand you have. Depending on the extent of the problem affecting your washer, a professional will charge from a range of $50 to $350 for repairs. Professionals charge a diagnosis fee of $40 to $100, which they usually wave off if the customer allows them to do the repairs.
Here are some of the various issues that may affect your washing machine and will need immediate action.
- Washing Machine Not Draining
If your washer fails to drain, it could be due to a blockage in the drain pump or the pump may be faulty. Your washing machine has a pump that moves water out and its filtered through a drain pipe. If the pump is faulty, you will need to replace it to fix the problem
Alternatively, you can drain the pump manually by dropping the drain hose into a basin and allow the water to exit out of the machine. You can then check to see if there are foreign objects stuck inside drain pump. If you find no clogs in the pump, then look for a professional to have it replaced.
Leakages in your washing machine can be as a result of a leaking hose. There are three hosepipes in your washing machine. One of the hosepipes is for drainage and the other two supply the washer with water. You can try to identify the source of the leak.
If the water is clear, then leakages are probably in the supply hoses and are happening before the water reaches the washer. However, if the leaking water is soapy, then the drainage hose could be the one with a problem. You can check the connections to see if they are loose. If you cannot identify the source of the leak, have a professional look at your washer and fix it.
- Washing Machine Not Filling With Water
If your washing machine seems not to be filling up with water as it should, the inlet hose could be blocked, or something is wrong with the connection. If you still cannot identify the problem, there could be a problem with the pressure system. You should call a pro to check out the issue.
- Washing Machine Spoiling Clothes
The drum could be damaged or, there is a possibility that a foreign object is stuck in your washing machine drum. Also, it could be a mechanical issue such as a faulty thermostat or a programmer which could be making the machine overheat and damaging clothes. Call a professional to look at the washer and fix it for you.
- Washing Machine Has Standing Water
If this happens, there could be a blockage in the drain. Try to remove the clogs if you can see them. If the problem persists, you may have to call a plumber to work on the issue.
2. Fridges and Freezers
One of the largest appliances in your home is the fridge and freezer. Homeowners spend quite a fortune on these two appliances and expect them to serve them for a long time efficiently. We all know how essential a refrigerator is to us. Without it, we would be counting losses of spoiled food not to mention the inconveniences.
A fridgeand a freezer can last for more than ten years with regular repairs and maintenance. For a homeowner, you can expect to spend an average of $200 to $400 for repairs when a professional handles them. The cost does not include the repair of the icemaker.
There are specific factors that you should consider before having the two (refrigerator and freezer) repaired.
The age f the refrigerator will determine if it’s worth repairing it. If you have had your fridge for less than eight years, then it’s still in good condition and repairs will take it back to its normal working condition.
If it’s more than 15 years old, then repairs may not be the best thing to do. It may already be inefficient, and it may not be working to its full potential. You need to consider replacing it with a new one.
The inbuilt refrigerator will cost you less to repair if it has been in use for less than five years. Repairs for side by side fridges can be expensive if they are more than five years old. You might consider replacing such a fridge because the cost of repair may level with the cost of buying a new one.
This is common with old fridges. If your refrigerator is making you spend more on the utility bill, you should consider having a more efficient one than opting for repairs.
Here are some of the common repairs for refrigerator and freezers.
Sometimes your refrigerator can fail to keep your food cold leading to losses. If it’s producing an abnormal buzzing or humming sound, the compressor could be faulty. Compressor repairs cost can range from $20 to $200.
These are some of the compressor issues that could lead to its malfunctioning:
Faulty fan – The fan is essential to the fridge as it helps it cool down and prevent it from overheating. If the fan stops working, your fridge will make abnormal sounds and will eventually start to overheat. You need a professional to fix the fan back to its working condition
Faulty compressor – Sometimes, some parts of the fridge may be cold while others are not. You need to have a professional to assess the compressor to see if its damaged and repair it.
Clicking sound – A start relay can have a problem especially if it has dirt, and cleaning it could fix the problem. But the compressor could also be overloading which could make it break. You will need a professional to assess it to see the damages.
The fridge has a drip pan at the back. If the pan has too much liquid in it, it could make a rattling sound when water hits it. The support of the drip pan could as be damaged. It can cost you $0-$50 since it’s a small appliance repair.
Your fridge has a defrost heater that is responsible for regulating the cooling process. If it’s faulty, you may find that your refrigerator is not cooling as it should. You will know there is a problem with the defroster if the motor starts to make louder noises than usual. Sometimes it may sound like its snapping, cracking or popping. A professional will repair the defroster for an average cost of $100 to $200.
The cause of a malfunctioning freezer is usually the motor. If you hear the humming noise of your fridge increase beyond the normal one, it could be an indication that your freezer is faulty. Also, another indication is if you see water leakages on your floor, it means the defroster is faulty.
Most common signs that show that your freezer is faulty include:
- Freezer light not switching on
- Motor runs continuously
- Freezer not cooling
- Food in the refrigerator is getting frozen
If your freezer is not working as it should, you need a motor replacement. It will cost you $200-$250 for the motor replacement.
If the water route is blocked or the bail wire is lifted a bit, the icemaker may fail to make ice. A clear indication that your icemaker is faulty is if you hear an abnormally loud noise when water flows into it. The cost of repair for an icemaker can range from $250-$330.
3. Oven, ranges and stovetop repair
These are some of the most essential and reliable appliances in our modern kitchen. The kitchen is the place where family meals are prepared, and therefore, it is next to impossible to achieve a delicious home cooked meal without a reliable method of cooking. These appliances provide a convenient means of cooking that is fast and safe. Without them, the process of cooking would be a long one and tedious not to mention the dangers of open fire.
So, when your oven ranges and stovetop break down, you need to have the problem diagnosed right away. You can imagine how frustrating it is when you are unable to have a decent meal from your home. The good news is that your oven and stove problems can be repaired in a few hours and your family can continue to enjoy quality meals right from your kitchen.
Most professionals will charge between $55 to $69.50 per hour for simple repairs and maintenance. But if repair is complex you can be charged $89.50 per hr depending on replacements being done. The total average cost of repair including labor and replacement parts for oven, ranges, and cooktop can range from $100 to $200.
Common repairs for oven, ranges, and cooktops:
- Broken burner – if this happens; you will need to replace the burner
- The burner burn starts to burn too hot
The oven door gets stuck and fails to close
- The oven stops working
- Indicator light may stop working
- Temperature problems
- Poor heating system
The above issues are just among the many that have not been mentioned. If you experience any problem with your oven, ranges, and cooktops, you need to call a professional to diagnose the cause and advise on repair requirements.
4. Dryer repairs
A dryer is an essential appliance in our homes. Without a dryer, you may be forced to hang your clothes outside, and they will probably take ages to dry. Therefore, keeping it in good condition is critical if you want to avoid the inconveniences you will go through when it’s broken. Depending on the cause of the damages, the cost of repairing a faulty dryer will range from $100-$400.
What are some of the common problems with dryers?
- For gas dryers
- Ignition problems
- Thermal fuses
- Flame sensors issues
- Problems with gas valve
- Drier belt problems and replacement
If a dryer belt is faulty or needs replacement, your dryer will start producing a squeaking sound. The noise could also be an indication that the drum rollers and idler pullers have a problem.If you replace your dryer belt, all these other problems will be sorted. A professional will charge an average of $200 to replace the dryer belt.
Other dryer replacements:
- Heating problems – If your dryer is not heating the problem could be due to the following items:
- Bad thermostat
- Bad fuses
- Spoilt timers and temperature switches
- Bad heating coils
The cost of replacing any of the above to have your dryer heating system working will range from $80 to $200.
Drum issues mostly occur due to a broken belt or, on some occasion, faulty roller, idler pulley, or motor which will need to be replaced. It will cost $50 to $100 for the replacements.
The cause of the overheating problem could be a faulty thermostat or the heating coils. It could also be as a result of a clogged vent. If overheating happens, you need to have a professional address the issue as soon as possible. It will cost you $50-$100 for a professional to fix the overheating problems.
5. Other small appliance repairs
The microwave can fail warm food as required and other minor damages. If you choose to repair it, expect to pay an average of $70 per hour to a professional. For replacement of parts and labor, the cost of repair can average $100-$125.
Another essential appliance is the dishwasher. With proper maintenance, the dishwasher may require minimal repairs. Most common problems homeowner experience with dishwasher include leakages which will cost around$100-$200 to fix. Issues with control panel can cost you as $200 or more to repair. Other damages like a broken door or a slow drain will cost an average of $60-$100 to fix.
Here is a table with a guide to summaries of the average costs of repair for the discussed appliances.
Washing machine repair cost
|Worn out bearings, broken suspension, worn out rubber ring||$65-$185
Fridge and freezer repair cost
|Average cost of most repairs||$200-$400
Dryer repair cost
|Average cost repairs||$200-$400
|Drier belt replacement||$200
|Heating system –thermostat, fuses, temperature switches and heating coils|
Other appliances repair cost
|Oven labor||$55-$69.50 per hour
|Oven repair and replacement||$100-$200
|Microwave labor||$70 per hour
|Microwave labor and replacements||$100-$200
|Dish washer leakages||$100-$200
|Dishwasher control panel repair||$200
|Dish washer –slow drain issues||$60-$100
DIY VS Professional Services
With some appliances, you can troubleshoot some of the issues to find out the cause of the damages. However, caution should always be exercised when handling electronic appliances.
Here are some tasks that you can carry out to repair some appliance problems.
Ice Maker Repair
If the icemaker is faulty, you can check the water supply or the tap valve to see if they are flawed. You can do a replacement if you are confident of the source of the problem.
If the ice maker is frozen, you can unplug the fridge and warm the hose by soaking it in water. Test after plugging the fridge back to see how it works.
For wet dishes, you can check the heating element to see if it’s faulty. You can do the replacement if you are sure that it’s needed.
If the dishwasher is not draining water, you can check the drain hose to see if there are splits and also check to see if there are clogs that could be causing a blockage in the filter system. Clear the clogs and ensure that the area is always clean.
Sometimes if your fridge goes off unexpectedly, you can check the coils to see if they are dirty. Open the grill that is beneath the fridge and clean the coils to see if it fixes the problem.
These are some of the simple tasks you can do for yourself. However, it’s advisable to let a professional handle your appliance’s repair since some repairs are risky. You might end up causing more damages or risk bodily harm if you attempt to do some repairs.
Choosing the Right Contractor for Appliance Repairs
An average homeowner owner is likely to experience faulty appliances from one time to another. Most appliances keep our lives running efficiently, and if they break down, some operations in our homes can come to a standstill. For example, if your cooktop or oven is not working, you can go for days without a proper home-cooked meal. This can be frustrating if you have a family and kids that need to be fed regularly.
It’s only natural that you embark on a journey to get repair services for the appliance that has broken down. However, it’s critical that in your search, you get someone reliable so that in future you can always call them for repairs without fear of getting a poor service. We cannot hide from the horrendous stories about people who have been conned in the name of repairs. Some people have at some point been overcharged or taken advantage of by some dishonest people claiming to offer repair services.
To make sure that you are not being taken for a ride by fake professionals, follow these simple steps to get the right professional for your appliances repair.
Ask for referrals from people close to you
We have mentioned that appliance repair for most homeowners is a common thing. Therefore, there are chances that someone close to you knows a repair company that is reliable and can recommend it to you. All you need to do is ask. Ask that neighbor whose fridge was repaired a few months back about the company that did the repairs for them.
Your neighbors, colleagues or friends are some of the best people to recommend a repair company that will not disappoint. More so, they will also tell you the specific companies to avoid either because they were frustrated or exploited by them. Just make sure you ask about costs, how professional the company is and most importantly, their experience with the company. Were they courteous? How was the repair done? Would they go back to the same repair company for repairs? All these questions will give you answers that will help you determine if the company is the right one for you.
Research, Research, Research
Research can never fail you when looking for services. In fact, the internet has provided the perfect platform for research. Most companies have websites with enough information for you to determine if they are appropriate for you. By use of your mobile phone, you can search for repair services near you, and you will get multiple results to choose.
However, do not just contact a company only because it appeared in your search engine results. The search does not end there. You need to find more information about the company online. What are people saying about them? All these can be found in the reviews. Look for trusted sites that do reviews on service providers.
A company with excellent reviews and a high rating is worth your money. Make sure you get their contact information from their page and also, their physical address. You need someone who is within your locality for convenience purposes.
10 questions to ask before hiring a repair company
The market is full of qualified professionals for appliance repair. You need to make sure that the person you hire, is the most suitable one for the job and there will be no disappointments or regrets. The power of choice is in your hand, and you need to be armed with the right information to make that excellent choice.
Here are essential questions that will help you gauge the person you about to hire to determine if they are the right ones for the job.
1. How long have been in the repair business?
Experience is essential for the repair business. An experienced person has probably dealt with a similar problem as yours, and it may take them just a couple of minutes to figure out your problem.
They have also dealt with several brands, and they are in the best position to advise you on the common problems associated with the appliances you have and how to take care of them.
If the repair company has several years in the repair industry, they have done a trial and error on several appliances, faced all frustration in various repair processes, and now they can quickly identify the cause of a problem even before opening a particular appliance. You need such a person for your appliance repair. Therefore, it’s paramount to ask for experience before you hire.
2. Are you properly insured?
It’s important to note a majority of repairs will happen at your home. If you are going to have people working on your property, you need to ask insurance details. Accidents can happen; for example, if someone slipped while fixing your washing machine and got hurt, they will need immediate medical attention. If the company is not insured, as a homeowner, you will be held liable, and you may end up incurring huge medical bills.
Therefore, ask for copies of insurance. If the company is sending technicians to your place, you need to know if they have a workman’s compensation. Ask the repair company to provide you with copies of their insurance certificates.
3. Ask For references
A reputable repair company will have a list of past clients who can put in a good word for them on their excellent work. Ask for at least three contacts and call them up to know what their experience was like working with that particular company. Be sure to ask what was repaired and if the service was satisfactory.
4. Ask if they guarantee their work in writing
Picture a scenario where you pay hefty charges for replacement parts and labor repairs, only for the same problem to recur a few weeks later. You will feel very disappointed and probably ask if the repair company played you. You will be surprised to learn that such scenarios are common and some homeowners have experienced such poor services.
To protect yourself from such unfortunate situations, use a repair company that guarantees their services in writing. A company that is willing to put a warranty on their services is confident of their work and there a few chances that their repairs will fail. Ask how long the warranty/ guarantee lasts. The longer the warranty time, the better it is for you.
5. How long will the repair process take?
You need to know the duration of time they will take to repair your appliance. You need to have your appliance working as fast as possible. Most appliance repair will take around two to three hours.
You need someone who will prioritize your problem and give it the attention it needs so that you can have your appliance working as soon as possible. So, asking about how long it will take to complete your repair project is essential.
6. Are your technicians trained?
A company is good as it’s staff. A reputable company with well-trained staff will gladly tell you about the certification of their staff and show you how qualified they are for the job. You will be safer working with well-trained technicians, so ask this question before you hire.
7. Do you accept credit cards?
For a company to be allowed to use credit card payments, it has to undergo a proper background check. So, whether you are planning to pay with a credit card or not, asking about it is a hidden way of vetting the company and also, to know if they have a good track record.
8. Ask about the cost of repair
This is the most obvious question you should ask. Even though price alone should not be a determining factor when hiring a company, it’s crucial to know about their charges. Some companies do overcharge, so make sure you have researched to know the average cost of repairs for most appliances.
9. Ask about the process of repair
Ask what they will do to fix the problem. Even if you are not versed with the technical part of it, let them explain the procedure to you. You need to know what will be replaced and which parts have to be bought. You will also be able to tell if the technician knows their job well from the way they present the process of repair to you.
10. Ask if they have handled your appliance’s brand
You need to know if they know how to handle the specific brand of your appliance. Sometimes, some manufacturers give training to some technicians and certify them. If the company does service for the brand you have, you are safer working with them. It means they know the mechanism and functionality of the brand and can easily get the replacement parts from the manufacturer.
The above questions should be used to interview a repair company before you hire them. If someone is not willing to address some of the questions, it should be a sign that they are hiding something. A reputable company will be ready to discuss all your concerns.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed When Looking For Appliance Repair Services
As mentioned earlier, some dishonest people will take your money but deliver poor services. You should undoubtedly exercise caution when hiring a repair company to avoid being a victim of scammers.
Here some essential tips that should help you avoid getting scammed.
Get Several Quotes
Before settling for a specific repair company, you need to interview a few of them and get several quotes. This way, you will know the average cost of repairs, and you will be able to see when someone is overcharging you.
Have a Written Agreement
Once you agree about the repairs and costs, put everything in writing, and both parties should sign. Make sure that the details of the agreement are correct, from date to the appliance being repaired and costs.
Take Your Time
The pressure to have your appliance back to a working condition could lead you to make a hasty decision which may turn out be a costly one. Take time and persevere just a little longer as you do your research so that you get quality services that will last you longer.
Make Sure You Are at Home During the Repairs
Always make sure you supervise the repairs at your house. Some unscrupulous technicians will create a problem in your absence and ask you to pay for the nonexistent damages. Therefore, it’s important to be at home during the repairs to make sure you observe what they are doing with your appliances.
When appliances break down, whether refrigerators, a dryer, a microwave among many others, the need to get them back to a working state is understandable. Most appliances enable our lives to run efficiently, and without them, most of our operations will take ages to complete.
Even though in some cases a homeowner can be able to troubleshoot the issues and fix some of them, some problems require professional services. Always take caution when hiring a repair company even if the situation is dire. You should be in a position to identify the right repair company for the repairs to avoid a poor repair job.