5 fast appliance fixes

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Refrigerator soloProblem: Refrigerator isn’t cold enough.
Possible solution: Clean the condenser coils.
Average cost: $9 for a long-handle brush

There are many causes for a refrigerator not reaching its set temperature but a common culprit is dirty condenser coils.

Condenser coils are your refrigerator’s large, radiator-like coils located at the back or beneath the unit. They have an important role in the refrigerator’s ability to remove heat. Unfortunately, they’re dust and dirt magnets. Such build up on the coils makes it more difficult for refrigerators to function properly and the result is increased energy consumption.

These coils should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months; if you have pets, you may need to do this more frequently. A long-handled bristle brush and your vacuum cleaner will work best to remove dirt and fur from the coils.

On models with coils located beneath the unit, you can access this area by removing the bottom grill or kick-panel located at the front or an access panel at the back. A flashlight will be helpful in this dark area to prevent any damage to the fan.

More helpful refrigerator tips:

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Problem: Dryer won’t start.
Possible solution: Replace faulty door switch.
Average cost: $7-50, depending on model.

There are many causes of a dryer failing to start but an often overlooked one is a faulty door switch. It’s located near the dryer door and is activated when the door is closed. If the door switch fails, the dryer won’t start at all. Most door switches will make a click sound when you shut the dyer door. If you don’t hear this clicking sound, you can check the door switch for continuity with an ohm meter. A replacement door switch is generally inexpensive. The door switch is relatively easy to replace and usually inexpensive. Have your dryer model number handy and check out our troubleshooting repair help system for helpful information.

Check out this video for more money-saving info about dryer care:

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Problem: Snowblower or lawn mower doesn’t start.
Possible solution: Replace spark plug.
Average cost: $2-6

The most common cause of a snowblower or lawn mower not starting is a defective spark plug. The mighty spark plug, despite its small size and inexpensive price, has an important role.

A spark plug should be replaced once per season, even if it appears to be working. Over time, its performance will degrade due to carbon build-up and the electrode in the center of the plug can diminish, causing the gap to increase. This will change the spark timing slightly and cause the fuel mixture not to burn completely, increasing emissions.

Always verify that a replacement spark plug is the exact same type and model number as the original. Installing an alternative type will cause problems in the engine.

Find a spark plug by easily by entering your equipment or engine model number or spark plug part number here.

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Problem: Smelly dishwasher.
Possible solution: Clean tub and spray arm.
Average cost: $0

Mold loves the area between a dishwasher door and tub because it’s untouched by water and soap during regular cycles.

You can eliminate this odorous mold growth by tipping your dishwasher’s door down and spraying a cleaner or degreaser spray along the edge and lip area. Let this sit for a moment and then run a hot, wet rag over it to remove the mold.

Food particles can collect in the spray arm’s water holes. Use a pipe cleaner or paper clip to loosen particles or other debris from the holes. If your dishwasher has a filter in the center of the tub, remove it and brush away food. A filter with tears should be replaced.

A drop-in dishwasher cleaner can also deodorize and give the dishwasher a fresh scent.

More dishwasher care tips:

open fridgeProblem: Refrigerator door no longer self closes.
Possible solution: Replace the door hinge cam.
Average cost: $5-12

All refrigerators are designed to conveniently close after opening. However, within a few years of use, the plastic door closure mechanism will wear down and the door will then swing all the way open and stay there.

The refrigerator has to work harder to recover from being open, resulting in increased energy consumption. The plastic door hinge cams can be replaced to fix this.

Enter your refrigerator’s model number here to find the correct cams or cam kits designed for your refrigerator.

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