Electrical appliances often fail because they are not maintained properly or because they are misused. Many homeowners and renters are not only unaware of how to properly care for their major appliances, but don’t know how often to replace them. What can homeowners and renters do to maintain their appliances to prevent a constant need for service? Read on for some safety on extending the life of major appliances.

Adhere to the Instruction Manual

It may be obvious, but it is a tip that many of us may overlook. Most appliances come with an instruction manual that details the best care practices and proper ways to use the appliance. If you bought the machine used and without an instruction manual, you might be able to call the manufacturer’s customer service line to request one. Better yet, many instruction manuals can be easily found and freely accessed on the internet. Start by looking on the manufacturer’s website. If that doesn’t work, try a general internet search of the specific product and model.

Use Proper Cleaning Methods

Many appliances like dishwashers and washing machines can malfunction or become damaged if you use the wrong soap or cleaning methods. For example, using dishwashing liquid or the wrong type of soap in a washing machine may damage the engine. Don’t just pick up any cleaning solution and use it to clean your appliances because there are certain chemicals and cleaning mixtures that are made for specific products.

For many major appliances, you should be able to find tips and instructions for proper cleaning by referring back to the instruction manual.

Pay Attention to Warning Signs from the Appliance

Most electrical appliances have their own way of indicating something is wrong. Maybe the light in the refrigerator isn’t working properly, or perhaps the vacuum cleaner isn’t picking up as well as it once did. Some major appliances even include “indicator” lights that come on when something malfunctions or routine maintenance is needed. It’s important to pay attention to the signs your appliances give you when something isn’t right. This is best for safety, and it will help you save money in the end. Many instruction manuals will also contain tips on how to potentially resolve specific problems that owners often encounter with the specific device or model. When you do find an issue, it’s best to tend to it right away.

Rely on Professional Help Before You DIY

When time and money are tight, it can be tempting to try fixing a malfunctioning appliance yourself. Do it yourself (DIY) repair can be a great solution for simple issues (e.g., a blown refrigerator bulb). However, complex problems related to an electrical appliance should be left to a professional for safety reasons. After all, professionals have the proper experience and equipment needed to get the job done in the best way possible.

Repair or Replace?

In many instances replacing a major appliance outright instead of repairing it will prove more economically sound. The decision to repair or replace should ultimately be based on the age of the appliance, the number of expected years of usage remaining, functionality (e.g., would a new appliance be better for an owner’s changing needs?) and warranty considerations. For an appliance still under warranty, repairing will usually be a better option.

Call the Electric Professionals at GVEC

When it comes to home electrical work, DIY is almost never advisable. Although it’s easy to take electricity for granted in day-to-day life, working with it hands-on is no trivial job and demands extensive training, experience and licensure.

The professional electricians at GVEC are fully licensed and experienced in a range of electrical jobs for home and small business. Whether you need whole-home surge protection, a whole-home electrical inspection, an electrical panel repair or upgrade, professionally installed interior or exterior lighting, general electrical upgrades or one of the many other electrical jobs we can do, we’d be thrilled to be your “electric connection” in the Guadalupe Valley. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 888.590.7773.

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