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6 Simple Appliance Fixes Under $40

Many of the most common appliance problems can be solved with 30 minutes and an inexpensive replacement part. Note that for most symptoms, there are several possible causes. We’ve listed common causes and fixes. Enter your model number in our Repair Help for model-specific troubleshooting and repair help.

  1. Problem: Dryer is taking too long to complete cycle
    Common cause: Lint buildup in dryer venting is restricting air flow
    Fix: Clean out dryer venting from inside of the dryer to the outside. This is an easy, do-it-yourself job with a long dryer venting cleaning brush.  ($39)
    Dryer lint buildup is a significant fire risk and results in thousands of fires across the U.S. and Canada every year. In addition to cleaning out the dryer lint trap after every load, be sure to clean out the venting system thoroughly at least once per year.

  2. Problem: Refrigerator ice maker won’t make ice
    Common cause: Freezer temperature is above 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius)
    Fix: Adjust the freezer temperature. If the freezer is failing to reach the set temperature, check to make sure the condenser coils are clean ($0). If the coils are dirty, use a long-handled bristle brush to clean them. ($39)
    Refrigerator repair help

  3. Problem: Oven doesn’t bake evenly (food is cooking unevenly)
    Common cause: Failing baking element
    A baking element is the thin, black tube located at the bottom of an oven. It will glow red when operating normally. If it’s failing in some places, you’ll notice burned out or blistered sections on the heating element.
    Fix: Heating element replacement ($20+)
    Range-stove-oven repair help

  4. Problem: The dryer doesn’t heat or spin but it has power
    Common cause: Failed thermal fuse
    This generally occurs when there is an air flow restriction in the dryer’s venting system caused by lint buildup. When this happens, the thermal fuse cannot be reset; it must be replaced.
    Fix: Thermal fuse replacement ($5-$30)
    Dryer repair help

  5. Problem: Water or ice from dispenser tastes bad
    Common cause: Dirty water filter
    Fix: Water filter replacementWater filters should be replaced every six months or more often, depending on the manufacturer recommendations or usage frequency. (~$30+)
    Refrigerator parts

  6. Problem: Washing machine won’t drain or spin
    Common cause: The lid switch has failed, mechanically or electrically
    Fix: Lid switch assembly replacement ($15-$30)
    Washing machine repair help

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