Tips & Hints

Helpful Appliance Tips from Honest & Fair Appliance Repair!

Warning! To avoid personal injury or even death, always disconnect your appliance from its power source--that is, unplug it or break the connection at the circuit breaker or fuse box--before you do any troubleshooting or repair work on your appliance. Also, because some components may have sharp edges, use caution while working on your appliance.
Honest & Fair has compiled this list of Tips from personal experience, the appliance companies we deal with and from all over the web. Please feel free to browse through the handy tips below.

If you still can't find anything to help, give us a call at (845) 782-0460, we'll be right out!

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REFRIGERATOR REPAIR TIPS

Refrigerator repairs might include dealing with Freon and sealed system. It is strongly recommended that you seek the assistance of a qualified appliance technician.

If your refrigerator is not running or is not cold enough.
  1. Turn the thermostat up to the next highest setting. If it comes on, let it run for 24 hours and check temperature to confirm it is working properly.
  2. Clear/remove anything blocking the air flow around the outside of the refrigerator (on top, underneath, behind, beside, in front of, etc.). Allow 3" of clearance all the way around.
  3. If there are condenser coils on the rear of the box, make sure the box is several inches from the wall and that nothing is on top at the rear, blocking the heat from coming off the coils.
  4. If the condenser coils are underneath the refrigerator, clean the coils with a vacuum cleaner thoroughly at least twice a year.
  5. Refrigerator coils located underneath the refrigerator should be cleaned annually.
  6. Refrigerators that constantly run can indicate improper functioning due to low refrigerant level, a dirty condenser coil, a malfunctioning seal, or improper air flow.

Cleaning Schedule

  • Once a month, clean the door gasket with baking soda dissolved in warm water (1 tsp soda to 1 quart water). Besides cleaning the gasket, it will keep it soft and pliable.
  • Two times a year clean the coils with a condenser coil brush.
  • Once a year slide the refrigerator out and vacuum around and beneath it. Do more often if you have pets.

Ice or Water Dispensing Problems

  1. If the ice or water isn't dispensing check for a leaky water tube or jammed ice chute.
  2. If ice maker is producing ice poorly check for clogged water line or defective water inlet valve. Ice maker has stopped producing ice. Check to see if the ice maker has been turned off

If the Door is Sticking or Not Closing Properly

Wipe off the face of the gasket with a wet rag and make sure the interior shelves, drawers and food are not preventing the door from closing from the inside.

Refrigerator Hints:

TO KEEP THE ODOR OUT OF YOUR FRIDGE Sometimes the items in your fridge will give off an unpleasant odor. To remove those, soak a piece of cotton in a favorite smell (like vanilla, lemon, etc). Opening the fridge will be a much more pleasant experience after that. A fresh piece of lime in the fridge is a must-do if you tend to keep chopped onions in the fridge.
Refrigerator repair tips

STOVE REPAIR TIPS

If It's not working

  1. Check to see if power is getting to the range/oven. Does anything turn on, even a light? Check for blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
  2. Is the power cord burned through; often it gets burned and breaks the connection.

Electric - If your burners are not heating

Make sure they are sitting straight in their proper positions.

Electric - If your oven is not heating or not heating correctly

  1. Make sure the clock is set on manual cycle and not the automatic time bake cycle.
  2. Is the bake element burned out.
  3. Check the heating thermostat bulb is dislodged from its holder. It could also be mis-calibrated.

Gas - If the top burners are not lighting

  1. Wipe off the burner with a hot, damp rag and then dry completely.
  2. If top burner doesn't work check for a dirty or clogged burner. Make sure burner is clean.

Gas - If your oven is not heating

  1. Make sure the clock is set on the manual and not the automatic cycle.
  2. Raise up the top and keep the area clean and free of grease build-up.

Stove Hints:

To help keep your stove sparkling clean - since your burners and ovens often accumulate greasy grime that isn't easy to scrub away. To remove this grime pour a tablespoon of vinegar on a sponge and wipe the grime, then clean as usual with detergent and water. 
Stove repair tips

DISHWASHER REPAIR TIPS

No power to dishwasher

  1. Check for tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse
  2. Check wall socket for power

If the dishes are not getting clean

  1. Make sure the water is hot enough. It should be at least 140 degrees, which is hot enough to burn you - VERY HOT! If it is not hot enough, turn the hot water heater thermostat up to a higher setting.
  2. Make sure the lower spray arm is unobstructed and turning freely.
  3. Make sure the bottom inside the dishwasher is clean and free of debris.
  4. Make sure you are following the proper loading procedures. Use the proper amount of detergent and make sure the detergent is fresh (check expiration or "best if used by" date).
  5. Mold may grow in your dishwasher if you use it infrequently. The mold can be removed by using the normal dishwasher detergent and running the dishwasher, preferably without any dishes.

If the door isn't closing

 Make sure the latch assembly is unrestricted and latching properly. Make sure nothing is blocking the door from opening and closing properly.

It isn't draining

  1. Air Gap is clogged. Unscrew top cap and see if there is anything blocking it.
  2. Drain hose is clogged Remove and clean the hose.

If the unit is leaking

  1. Make sure you are following the proper loading procedures, including proper type and amounts of detergents. Run the unit through cycle while empty - if it doesn't leak, it's probably a loading problem.
  2. Make sure the racks are positioned properly.
  3. Make sure the door is unrestricted around the opening.

Dishwasher Hints:

Run the hot water in the sink near the dishwasher before starting it, so even during the first cycle the water is at or near the design temperature of 120 degrees F. Promptly repair cut or chipped plastic coating on racks to prevent rust. Use steel wool to remove rust and cap the damaged rack tines with slip-on rubber tips. Store detergent in a dry, cool place, and do not keep extra packages on hand for a long time as it takes up moisture from the air and then loses cleaning ability. When you run a regular wash cycle, place a small container filled with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar in both the dish rack (lower) and the cup rack (upper); the dishwasher will disperse the vinegar during the wash cycle. This dissolves mineral accumulation and soap residue throughout the dishwasher, especially at the hinges where rust-causing buildup occurs.
Stove repair tips

WASHING MACHINE REPAIR TIPS

If machine doesn't work at all

  1. Make sure power is getting to washer. Check for tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse.
  2. Check wall socket for power. Sometimes the power cord disconnects at the washer.
  3. Make sure the lid is closed properly.
  4. Make sure the timer and all of the controls are set properly.
  5. Make sure both water faucets are turned on.
Important Tip: Follow the proper loading procedure and machine operation, never overload the machine.

Washing Machine Hints:

Mix your fabric softeners with water before use because they are waxy and can gum up in the washer if introduced undiluted with water before dispensing. If there's a fabric softener dispenser on your machine, add the recommended amount and then top off with water. If you're pouring from a cup, use a 3-to-1 ratio of softener to water.

Don't overload the washer. Add clothes until the unit is filled to just below top of the agitator axle without packing down the clothes. An overloaded washer strains the motor and transmission, shortening their lives.
Stove repair tips

DRYER REPAIR TIPS

No power to the dryer

  1. Check for a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. Check wall socket for power with voltmeter.
  2. Check for broken door switch.

If the clothes are not getting dry

  1. Make sure the dryer is not pushed back against the rear exhaust duct causing an air flow restriction.
  2. Make sure the clothes are coming out of the washer spun damp dry. If the washer is not spinning the clothes damp dry, the dryer will not dry the clothes in a normal amount of time.
  3. Turning your clothes inside out and using the delicate cycle can reduce the pilling effect on certain fabrics.
  4. Cleaning the dryer filter before each load increases the efficiency of the machine and decreases the chance of fire.
  5. Clean out the dryer vent hose, as well as the rest of the vent duct.

Dryer Hints:

Important Tip - Follow the proper loading procedure and machine operation. Make sure you clean the lint filter after every dryler load. Check the seal and replace if it's loose, damaged, hardened or worn. Never overload the dryer.

Two times a year clean the lint filter with soap and water to remove built-up soap and fabric softener.
Dryer repair tips

FREEZER REPAIR TIPS

If the unit is not self-defrosting and the temperatures begin to rise.
Check the frost buildup on the inside of the freezer. If it is heavily frosted, manually defrost the freezer by turning it off at the thermostat. Unplug from the wall and allow 12 hours for the unit to defrost, with both doors open.

If the unit is not an automatic self-defrosting model

Defrost the unit once a year or as often as needed. Follow the proper defrosting methods. DO NOT USE a knife, pick, hammer, chisel, screwdriver, etc. or any sharp object.
Important Tip - Follow all procedures outlined under the refrigerator heading and do not pack the freezer. 
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