GO
SEARCH:
Calendar

Maintenance Calendar

A little preventative maintenance will extend the life of your appliances and equipment, ensuring they run at peak efficiency. For more detailed information and common repairs, see our Repair Help section.

January

Humidifier

This is midway through the humidifier season. It's time to replace your humidifier filter, wick, or pad. As water is evaporated through these components, they tend to get clogged with calcium, lime, and other deposits. This build up is nearly impossible to remove and greatly reduces the humidifier's effectiveness. Many humidifiers can only evaporate half their stated rate when the pad/filter gets clogged. We carry all the major filters, wicks and pads.

If you have a reservoir-type humidifier, inspect and clean the float assembly this month to prevent overfilling. Also, use a bit of bacteriostatic solution to prevent bacterial growth.

If you have a flow-through type, check the drain to be sure water is flowing properly.


Microwave

Clean the inside of your microwave frequently. Food particles and splatters absorb some of the microwave energy while the unit is operating and may cause burns and other damage to the microwave. You can clean the interior with a microwave oven cleaner.

Because microwave ovens have solid-state circuitry inside, they're susceptible to damage from voltage spikes caused by lightning, etc. We recommend you plug your microwave into an appropriate surge suppressor to protect the circuitry.

Go To Top

Related Items

February

Dryer

Dryer lint build up is the leading cause of dryer failures, and it often causes drying times to increase dramatically. Lint build up is also responsible for thousands of house fires a year. Use a dryer vent brush to remove lint build up in the vent that leads to the outside. We offer 10 ft. and 20 ft. dryer vent brushes, which work great for this messy task.

If your dryer vent is white vinyl, replace it with a rigid or semi-rigid aluminum vent (White vinyl ducts no longer meet building codes and are flammable).


Washing Machine

Check washer water fill hoses for cracks, blisters, corroded fittings and leaks. Cracks are a sign of aging and a breakdown of the rubber. Blisters signal a rupture in the inner lining of the hose, which means the hose may burst at any time. Corroded fittings mean the hose has leaked or is leaking now. If you don't replace the hose, you may find the corroded fitting is virtually impossible to remove from the faucet when you need to remove it. Replace the hoses if they have any of these conditions. (Washer water fill hoses generally need to be replaced every three to five years, regardless of whether there is a visible defect.) For even more peace of mind, use stainless steel fill hoses.

Check that the washer is level and sitting on a well-supported sub-floor. A leading cause of washer failure and customer complaints is a washer that bangs around unbalanced for many loads.

Check to be sure no water is dripping into the washer when it's turned off. If water is dripping in, even just a little, it's a sign the water inlet valve is defective and should be replaced.

Go To Top

Related Items

March

Range/Stove/Oven

Remove and clean range knobs with a non-abrasive cleaner. This will help to preserve the stenciling on the knob. Replace any broken, or illegible knobs to make your range look new again. Find replacement knobs for your model range using our Shop For Parts feature.

Most ovens have an interior light. Oftentimes, the bulb has been burned out for so long you may not even realize that you have one. The light bulb is usually behind a small glass dome near the upper left or right side of the inside of the oven. You must remove the glass dome, usually by sliding a wire off of it, or rotating it counter clockwise to replace the bulb. Find bulbs for your range/stove/oven using our Shop For Parts feature.

If your oven broiler pan is missing, or if it has gotten so soiled you can't clean it anymore, replace it with this high-quality, low-priced oven broiler pan.

Clean your oven control panel. You can clean any porcelain stovetop or glass range/oven control panel with a non-abrasive cleanser or glass cleaner. Watch out for some "cream type" cleansers as they often have tiny abrasive particles in them, which can damage your stovetop or control panel. We recommend appliance polish & cleaner for safe cleaning.

Drip pans and bowls serve multiple functions for a range. They serve to catch food and spills, they also help radiate heat back at the pan for better efficiency, and they protect you from accidentally touching internal components. It's important never to cover them with aluminum foil. Many electric ranges short out due to the aluminum making a short circuit at the burner. And, the foil will cover the oven vent usually found at one of the burners. Try to clean the drip pans with a household non-abrasive cleanser. If they cannot be cleaned, you can replace them with our universal pans and bowls, or use our Shop For Parts feature to order the original units. For model-specific pans and bowls, use our Shop For Parts feature with your model number.


Dishwasher

If your dishes aren't getting as clean as they used to, there's probably not enough water getting into the machine. This is usually caused by a broken or worn out water inlet valve. These valves, located behind the lower kick panel, need replacing every 3-7 years, depending on water conditions. Many do-it-yourselfers can make this repair. It just requires a few common hand tools, two of which we sell: an adjustable wrench, a Phillips head screwdriver, and adjustable pliers. To find the right water inlet valve for your dishwasher, use our Shop For Parts feature with your model number.

Inspect and clean your dishwasher. You don't need to clean the interior of your dishwasher if you use it regularly. If it goes un-used for a week or more and begins to mold or smell bad, you can clean it using Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner and Deodorizer.

Repair broken and rusted dishwasher racks. If the plastic coating wears off the dish rack tines in your dishwasher, they will corrode and rust. The rust particles will then get into the pump and cause much more serious problems. We offer repair kits for light blue, gray and white tines. Prior to making the repair, be sure to clean up the rusted spots on the dishwasher rack with household sandpaper to make the repair last much longer. If the rust spots are on the cross-members of the racks you can use this paint-on coating (Only sold in light blue).

Clean your dishwasher filter. On many basic and/or European dishwashers, there's a filter near the bottom, or under the lower spray arm, that needs cleaning regularly. If you have this sort of filter, consult your owner's manual for how to remove and clean it. If the filter is damaged, replace it to protect the dishwasher's pump and motor seals.

Clean your dishwasher spray arms. Over time, small holes in the spray arm(s) of your dishwasher may become clogged with bits of paper, toothpicks, glass, etc. Take a moment to clean out these holes to ensure you're getting the best cleaning ability from your dishwasher. If you find glass in the spray arm, there are probably glass pieces in the pump housing as well. You may want to disassemble the pump to check and clean it. Also, the glass may have damaged the motor spin seal. If this has happened, you will often see a water leak at the main pump motor. Replace the motor spin seal if necessary.

April

Refrigerator/Freezer

Manual Defrost Refrigerator
On manual-defrost refrigerator/freezers, check for frost build up in the freezer. If frost has accumulated on the walls to a thickness of ½ an inch or more, remove all food, turn off the appliance and allow all the frost to melt. Then reset the thermostat and resume normal usage. Be sure not to use any utensils or tools to scrape off the frost, as it is very easy to puncture the evaporator and ruin the refrigerator.

Automatic Defrost Refrigerator
On self-defrosting refrigerator/freezers, clean the drain pan underneath the refrigerator that collects water (Some are not accessible. Don't worry if you can't find yours).

Clean the refrigerator cooling fan and the condenser coils. The coils are underneath the refrigerator. They are usually black and look like a series of small tubes and "fins" connecting the tubes. Order a refrigerator condenser brush to make the job easier.

Check the door seals to be sure they are sealing properly against the frame of the refrigerator/freezer. If they are torn, or don't seal properly, the refrigerator or freezer may not cool properly. This problem is worse when the weather is warmer and more humid. Clean the gaskets and frame with warm soapy water so they don't stick to the frame.

Inspect the back wall of the freezer for any frost build up. It's not normal to have any frost on the back wall or floor of a self-defrosting appliance. The presence of frost is normally an indication the self-defrosting system has a problem. See our Repair Help section for help with a defrosting problem.


Ice Maker

If you have a built-in ice/water filter, replace the filter approximately every six months.

If you don't have a water filter, and you find your ice tastes bad and/or smells funny, use a "taste and odor" water filter on the incoming water supply line. Try our universal replacement water filter.

If you don't have an icemaker, consider installing one now. Many people don't realize that virtually all refrigerators are set up to easily accept an add-on icemaker. Many refrigerators have a tag inside the freezer at the back that gives a kit number indicating exactly what kind of icemaker will fit in that refrigerator. We carry add-on icemaker kits that fit virtually every refrigerator/freezer on the market.

May

Air Conditioner

In preparation for the cooling season, clean the condenser coils on your window or through-the-wall air conditioner. Remove the entire cover of the air conditioner to gain access to the coils. Watch out for wasp or bees nests inside the unit. The coils can be cleaned by blowing compressed air at them or by using a soft bristle brush to wipe the dirt off. While you have the unit open, be sure to clean any dirt or lint build up in the bottom of the air conditioner, and oil the motor if it is equipped with oil ports on the sides.

Now's a good time to clean or replace the air conditioner filter. Depending on the air quality this may need to be done monthly throughout the cooling season. If you need to replace the filter, try our electrostatic filter cut-to-fit material. The filter will fit most air conditioners.


Dehumidifier

Get your dehumidifier ready for the cooling season. Check to see the humidistat is set correctly. If you set it too high (low humidity), the unit may run continuously, which is unnecessary. Try our hygrometer to determine the correct setting for your humidistat.

Clean your dehumidifier water container.

Replace your dehumidifier filter. We have several to choose from.

June

Refrigerator/Freezer

Manual Defrost Refrigerator
On manual-defrost refrigerator/freezers, check for frost build up in the freezer. If frost has accumulated on the walls to a thickness of ½ an inch or more, remove all food, turn off the appliance and allow all the frost to melt. Then reset the thermostat and resume normal usage. Be sure not to use any utensils or tools to scrape off the frost, as it is very easy to puncture the evaporator and ruin the refrigerator.

Automatic Defrost Refrigerator
On self-defrosting refrigerator/freezers, clean the drain pan underneath the refrigerator that collects water (Some are not accessible. Don't worry if you can't find yours).

Clean the refrigerator cooling fan and the condenser coils. The coils are underneath the refrigerator. They are usually black and look like a series of small tubes and "fins" connecting the tubes. Order a refrigerator condenser brush to make the job easier.

Check the door seals to be sure they are sealing properly against the frame of the refrigerator/freezer. If they are torn, or don't seal properly, the refrigerator or freezer may not cool properly. This problem is worse when the weather is warmer and more humid. Clean the gaskets and frame with warm soapy water so they don't stick to the frame.

Inspect the back wall of the freezer for any frost build up. It's not normal to have any frost on the back wall or floor of a self-defrosting appliance. The presence of frost is normally an indication the self-defrosting system has a problem. See our Repair Help section for help with a defrosting problem.

July

Dehumidifier

Get your dehumidifier ready for the cooling season. Check to see the humidistat is set correctly. If you set it too high (low humidity), the unit may run continuously, which is unnecessary. Try our hygrometer to determine the correct setting for your humidistat.

Clean your dehumidifier water container.

Replace your dehumidifier filter. We have several to choose from.


Air Conditioner

During the cooling season, clean the condenser coils on your window or through-the-wall air conditioner. Remove the entire cover of the air conditioner to gain access to the coils. Watch out for wasp or bees nests inside the unit. The coils can be cleaned by blowing compressed air at them or by using a soft bristle brush to wipe the dirt off. While you have the unit open, be sure to clean any dirt or lint build up in the bottom of the air conditioner, and oil the motor if it is equipped with oil ports on the sides.

Now's a good time to clean or replace the air conditioner filter. Depending on the air quality this may need to be done monthly throughout the cooling season. If you need to replace the filter, try our electrostatic filter cut-to-fit material. The filter will fit most air conditioners.

August

Refrigerator/Freezer

Manual Defrost Refrigerator
On manual-defrost refrigerator/freezers, check for frost build up in the freezer. If frost has accumulated on the walls to a thickness of ½ an inch or more, remove all food, turn off the appliance and allow all the frost to melt. Then reset the thermostat and resume normal usage. Be sure not to use any utensils or tools to scrape off the frost, as it is very easy to puncture the evaporator and ruin the refrigerator.

Automatic Defrost Refrigerator
On self-defrosting refrigerator/freezers, clean the drain pan underneath the refrigerator that collects water (Some are not accessible. Don't worry if you can't find yours).

Clean the refrigerator cooling fan and the condenser coils. The coils are underneath the refrigerator. They are usually black and look like a series of small tubes and "fins" connecting the tubes. Order a refrigerator condenser brush to make the job easier.

Check the door seals to be sure they are sealing properly against the frame of the refrigerator/freezer. If they are torn, or don't seal properly, the refrigerator or freezer may not cool properly. This problem is worse when the weather is warmer and more humid. Clean the gaskets and frame with warm soapy water so they don't stick to the frame.

Inspect the back wall of the freezer for any frost build up. It's not normal to have any frost on the back wall or floor of a self-defrosting appliance. The presence of frost is normally an indication the self-defrosting system has a problem. See our Repair Help section for help with a defrosting problem.


Ice Maker

If you have a built-in ice/water filter, replace the filter approximately every six months.

If you don't have a water filter, and you find your ice tastes bad and/or smells funny, use a "taste and odor" water filter on the incoming water supply line. Try our universal replacement water filter.

If you don't have an icemaker, consider installing one now. Many people don't realize that virtually all refrigerators are set up to easily accept an add-on icemaker. Many refrigerators have a tag inside the freezer at the back that gives a kit number indicating exactly what kind of icemaker will fit in that refrigerator. We carry add-on icemaker kits that fit virtually every refrigerator/freezer on the market.

September

Humidifier

As cooler weather approaches, it's time to clean your humidifier and rid it of scale, rust and hard water build up. Consult your owner's manual to see how to properly disassemble and clean the unit. We offer several good humidifier cleaners.

This is the beginning of the humidifier season. It's time to replace your humidifier filter, wick, or pad. As water is evaporated through these components they tend to get clogged with calcium, lime, and other deposits. This build-up is nearly impossible to remove and greatly reduces the humidifier's effectiveness. Many humidifiers can only evaporate half their stated rate when the pad/filter gets clogged. We carry all the major humidifier filters.

If you have a reservoir-type humidifier, inspect and clean the float assembly this month to prevent overfilling. Also, use a bit of bacteriostatic solution to prevent bacterial growth. If you have a flow-through type, check the drain to be sure water is flowing properly.


Air Conditioner

Store the unit in a basement or utility room, not a garage. Mice and other small animals love to nest in air conditioners. If they do they can cause serious damage to the unit by chewing on wiring and insulation. Also, wasps and birds like to nest in uncovered units left in windows. Avoid these problems by storing your window air conditioner in a protected area, away from small animals, or by installing a cover on the part of the air conditioner that sticks outside.

Go To Top

October

Dryer

Dryer lint build up is the leading cause of dryer failures, and it often causes drying times to increase dramatically. Lint build up is also responsible for thousands of house fires a year. Use a dryer vent brush to remove lint build up in the vent that leads to the outside. We offer 10 ft. and 20 ft. dryer vent brushes, which work great for this messy task.

If your dryer vent is white vinyl, replace it with a rigid or semi-rigid aluminum vent (White vinyl ducts no longer meet building codes and are flammable).


Washing Machine

Check washer water fill hoses for cracks, blisters, corroded fittings and leaks. Cracks are a sign of aging and a breakdown of the rubber. Blisters signal a rupture in the inner lining of the hose, which means the hose may burst at any time. Corroded fittings mean the hose has leaked or is leaking now. If you don't replace the hose, you may find the corroded fitting is virtually impossible to remove from the faucet when you need to remove it. Replace the hoses if they have any of these conditions. (Washer water fill hoses generally need to be replaced every three to five years, regardless of whether there is a visible defect.) For even more peace of mind, use stainless steel fill hoses.

Check that the washer is level and sitting on a well-supported sub-floor. A leading cause of washer failure and customer complaints is a washer that bangs around unbalanced for many loads.

Check to be sure no water is dripping into the washer when it's turned off. If water is dripping in, even just a little, it's a sign the water inlet valve is defective and should be replaced.

Go To Top

Related Items

November

Range/Stove/Oven

Remove and clean range knobs with a non-abrasive cleaner. This will help to preserve the stenciling on the knob. Replace any broken, or illegible knobs to make your range look new again. Find replacement knobs for your model range using our Shop For Parts feature.

Most ovens have an interior light. Oftentimes, the bulb has been burned out for so long you may not even realize that you have one. The light bulb is usually behind a small glass dome near the upper left or right side of the inside of the oven. You must remove the glass dome, usually by sliding a wire off of it, or rotating it counter clockwise to replace the bulb. Find bulbs for your range/stove/oven using our Shop For Parts feature.

If your oven broiler pan is missing, or if it has gotten so soiled you can't clean it anymore, replace it with this high-quality, low-priced oven broiler pan.

Clean your oven control panel. You can clean any porcelain stovetop or glass range/oven control panel with a non-abrasive cleanser or glass cleaner. Watch out for some "cream type" cleansers as they often have tiny abrasive particles in them, which can damage your stovetop or control panel. We recommend appliance polish & cleaner for safe cleaning.

Drip pans and bowls serve multiple functions for a range. They serve to catch food and spills, they also help radiate heat back at the pan for better efficiency, and they protect you from accidentally touching internal components. It's important never to cover them with aluminum foil. Many electric ranges short out due to the aluminum making a short circuit at the burner. And, the foil will cover the oven vent usually found at one of the burners. Try to clean the drip pans with a household non-abrasive cleanser. If they cannot be cleaned, you can replace them with our universal pans and bowls, or use our Shop For Parts feature to order the original units. For model-specific pans and bowls, use our Shop For Parts feature with your model number.


Garbage Disposal

Most cleaning tips you've heard of or read about for garbage disposers are not recommended by manufacturers of the disposers. Ice cubes, coffee grounds, or eggshells do nothing at all to clean a disposer. And, there is no way to sharpen the "blades" of a disposer without removing them and using professional grinding tools. (This is never done in practice.) You can freshen up a disposer by grinding half a lemon or lime. Or, use Disposer Care, specifically made for this purpose.

Go To Top

Related Items

December

Dishwasher

If your dishes aren't getting as clean as they used to, there's probably not enough water getting into the machine. This is usually caused by a broken or worn out water inlet valve. These valves, located behind the lower kick panel, need replacing every 3-7 years, depending on water conditions. Many do-it-yourselfers can make this repair. It just requires a few common hand tools, two of which we sell: an adjustable wrench, a Phillips head screwdriver, and adjustable pliers. To find the right water inlet valve for your dishwasher, use our Shop For Parts feature with your model number.

Inspect and clean your dishwasher. You don't need to clean the interior of your dishwasher if you use it regularly. If it goes un-used for a week or more and begins to mold or smell bad, you can clean it using Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner and Deodorizer.

Repair broken and rusted dishwasher racks. If the plastic coating wears off the dish rack tines in your dishwasher, they will corrode and rust. The rust particles will then get into the pump and cause much more serious problems. We offer repair kits for light blue, gray and white tines. Prior to making the repair, be sure to clean up the rusted spots on the dishwasher rack with household sandpaper to make the repair last much longer. If the rust spots are on the cross-members of the racks you can use this paint-on coating. (Only sold in light blue.)

Clean your dishwasher filter. On many basic and/or European dishwashers, there's a filter near the bottom, or under the lower spray arm, that needs cleaning regularly. If you have this sort of filter, consult your owner's manual for how to remove and clean it. If the filter is damaged, replace it to protect the dishwasher's pump and motor seals.

Clean your dishwasher spray arms. Over time, small holes in the spray arm(s) of your dishwasher may become clogged with bits of paper, toothpicks, glass, etc. Take a moment to clean out these holes to ensure you're getting the best cleaning ability from your dishwasher. If you find glass in the spray arm, there are probably glass pieces in the pump housing as well. You may want to disassemble the pump to check and clean it. Also, the glass may have damaged the motor spin seal. If this has happened, you will often see a water leak at the main pump motor. Replace the motor spin seal if necessary.


Range/Stove/Oven

Remove and clean range knobs with a non-abrasive cleaner. This will help to preserve the stenciling on the knob. Replace any broken, or illegible knobs to make your range look new again. Find replacement knobs for your model range using our Shop For Parts feature.

Most ovens have an interior light. Oftentimes, the bulb has been burned out for so long you may not even realize that you have one. The light bulb is usually behind a small glass dome near the upper left or right side of the inside of the oven. You must remove the glass dome, usually by sliding a wire off of it, or rotating it counter clockwise to replace the bulb. Find bulbs for your range/stove/oven using our Shop For Parts feature.

If your oven broiler pan is missing, or if it has gotten so soiled you can't clean it anymore, replace it with this high-quality, low-priced oven broiler pan.

Clean your oven control panel. You can clean any porcelain stovetop or glass range/oven control panel with a non-abrasive cleanser or glass cleaner. Watch out for some "cream type" cleansers as they often have tiny abrasive particles in them, which can damage your stovetop or control panel. We recommend appliance polish & cleaner for safe cleaning.

Drip pans and bowls serve multiple functions for a range. They serve to catch food and spills, they also help radiate heat back at the pan for better efficiency, and they protect you from accidentally touching internal components. It's important never to cover them with aluminum foil. Many electric ranges short out due to the aluminum making a short circuit at the burner. And, the foil will cover the oven vent usually found at one of the burners. Try to clean the drip pans with a household non-abrasive cleanser. If they cannot be cleaned, you can replace them with our universal pans and bowls, or use our Shop For Parts feature to order the original units. For model-specific pans and bowls, use our Shop For Parts feature with your model number.

Go To Top