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ABOUT HEATING APPLIANCES

What do you know about heating appliances?

Heating appliances convert electrical energy into heat, which is used to toast bread, warm coffee, dry hair, or perform other helpful tasks. This heat is developed by passing current through a special wire called an element. Since the element makes it difficult for electricity to pass through it, some of its energy turns into heat. The electricity uses so much of its energy to overcome the resistance of a toaster element, for instance, that it glows bright red, thus toasting the bread.

Common heating appliances covered in this article include toasters, toaster ovens, drip coffee makers, and percolator coffee makers. Heating appliances that work on the same principles include clothing irons; electric fry pans, woks, griddles, and waffle irons; convection ovens; deep fryers; slow cookers; food dehydrators; rice cookers; steam cookers; indoor grills; espresso and cappuccino machines; iced tea makers; and popcorn poppers. Once you’ve learned how to troubleshoot and repair the most popular heating appliances, it will be easy to repair any of them.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any appliance problems!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

 

 

 

REPAIRING SMALL APPLIANCES

Heating Appliances

Heating appliances convert electrical energy into heat, which is used to toast bread, warm coffee, dry hair, or perform other helpful tasks. This heat is developed by passing current through a special wire called an element. Since the element makes it difficult for electricity to pass through it, some of its energy turns into heat. The electricity uses so much of its energy to overcome the resistance of a toaster element, for instance, that it glows bright red, thus toasting the bread.

Common heating appliances covered in this article include toasters, toaster ovens, drip coffee makers, and percolator coffee makers. Heating appliances that work on the same principles include clothing irons; electric fry pans, woks, griddles, and waffle irons; convection ovens; deep fryers; slow cookers; food dehydrators; rice cookers; steam cookers; indoor grills; espresso and cappuccino machines; iced tea makers; and popcorn poppers. Once you’ve learned how to troubleshoot and repair the most popular heating appliances, it will be easy to repair any of them.

Motor Appliances

Motor appliances convert electrical energy into movement. This power cuts and blends foods, opens cans, grinds waste, picks up dirt, and moves air. A motor converts electrical energy into magnetic energy that rotates a shaft. The end of this shaft may have a blade or other attachment that does the actual work.

Motor appliances that are addressed in this article include food mixers and blenders, electric can openers, garbage disposers, and upright and canister vacuum cleaners. Other motor appliances with similar operation include juicers, coffee grinders, ice cream makers, electric knives, knife sharpeners, electric pencil sharpeners, electric clocks, fans, humidifiers, and foil-head and rotary-head electric shavers.

Combination Appliances

Some small appliances both heat and move. The most popular is the electric bread maker. It mixes dough, then bakes it into bread. Bread makers also include diagnostic electronics that assist the owner in troubleshooting and repair, so they are not included in this article. Other combination appliances include hair dryers and stirring popcorn poppers.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your dishwasher!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

OVEN PROBLEMS

Is your oven not baking?

  • Bad bake ignitor. You can’t tell it’s bad by looking at it–you must measure amperage. Just because it glows orange, doesn’t mean it’s good. On round ignitors, look for a current draw of 2.6 to 2.8 amps. On flat ignitors, look for 3.2 to 3.6 amps. Insufficient current draw will not allow the gas valve to open. If unsure how to test, check this tech sheet.
  • Bad valve. If ignitor checks out OK, remove power from oven, pull the two wires off the valve and ohm test. Should read two to five ohms. If open, replace valve.
  • Pilot is out. Try reigniting pilot. If it goes out again, check 1) gas supply (out of gas, crimped line, etc.), 2) pilot orifice clogged or dirty.
  • Pilot flame not wrapping around thermocouple. Reposition the thermocouple bulb so the pilot flame wraps around it.
  • If pilot is spark ignited and you’re not getting spark to the pilot, replace the spark electrode, spark module, and the ignition wire. These parts are inexpensive enough that it’s not worth the trouble to just replace one, replace the entire ignition system as long as you’re in there.
  • If your broiler is not working check the above steps with the broiler instead of the oven

Is your oven not self-cleaning?

  • Self clean latch bent or misaligned. Inspect for proper alignment to make sure that latch is contacting the latch switch.
  • Defective Self clean latch switch. Run continuity check.
  • Bad function selector switch. Run continuity check on switch.

Is your gas oven not getting hot enough?

  • Sluggish ignitor. A good ignitor will fire the oven in less than three minutes. If it takes longer than this, the ignitor is starting to go. Measure ignitor current draw as described above. As the ignitor gets sluggish, it takes longer for it to fire the burner as the oven cycles on and off while the in use thus lowering operating temperature.
  • Oven door gasket ripped or torn.

Is your oven door stuck closed?

  • Defective ERC. Check for error code in display. If error code given, check against manufacturer’s code explanations in owner’s manual or tech data sheet inside oven control panel.
  • Misaligned self clean latch. Disassemble oven to manually free latch and realign or replace as needed.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your oven!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

 

 

 

REPAIRING MAJOR APPLIANCES

Appliances are built to perform. They work hard, year after year, usually without too many problems. They’re easy to take for granted. The result is that when an appliance breaks down, you may be completely at a loss — you don’t know how it works, you have no idea why it stopped working, and you certainly don’t know how to fix it.

What can you do? You can pay a professional to fix it, or you can fix it yourself and save money. This article will provide you with all the information you need to know to pull your major appliances apart and then put them back together in working order. But before you attack the refrigerator with a screwdriver, let’s get some background information on major appliances.

Most appliances operate on your home’s electrical system: They use AC current from the circuit wiring in your home. Small appliances work on 110-120-volt circuits, and the plugs on their cords have two blades. Large or major appliances, such as air conditioners, dryers, and ranges, usually require 220-240-volt wiring and cannot be operated on 110-120-volt circuits. Large appliances are wired with a grounding wire; their plugs have two blades and a prong. This type of appliance must be plugged into a grounded outlet — one with openings to accept both blades and grounding prong — or grounded with a special adapter plug. All appliances are labeled — either on a metal plate or on the appliance casing — with their power requirements in watts and volts, and sometimes in amps.

Small appliances are usually fairly simple machines. They may consist of a simple heating element, a fan, a set of blades, or rotating beaters attached to a drive shaft; or they may have two or three simple mechanical linkages. Repairs to these appliances are usually correspondingly simple. Large appliances are more complex — one major appliance, such as a washing machine, may have a motor, a timer, and a pump, as well as various valves, switches, and solenoids. With this type of appliance, problems can occur in either the control devices or the mechanical/power components. Failure of a control device may affect one operation or the entire appliance; failure of a mechanical/power device usually affects only the functions that depend on that device. When a major appliance breaks down, knowing how to diagnose the problem is as important as knowing how to fix it.

Because major appliances are so complex, it usually isn’t obvious where a malfunction is. (Many newer appliances include electronic diagnostics that can be interpreted from the owner’s manual.) The first step is to decide whether the problem is in a control device or a mechanical device. In a dryer, for example, the control devices govern the heat, and the mechanical components turn the drum. Which system is affected? If the drum turns, but the dryer doesn’t heat, the problem is in the control system. If the dryer heats, but the drum doesn’t turn, the problem is mechanical. This kind of analysis can be used to pinpoint the type of failure — control system or mechanical system — in all large appliances.

To find out exactly what the problem is, you must check each part of the affected system to find the malfunctioning part. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds, because appliance components work together in a logical sequence. Starting with the simplest possibilities, you can test the components one by one to isolate the cause of the failure.

Repairing Major Appliances

There are three very important rules you must follow when you attempt to make any type of appliance repair. Don’t ever try to save time or money by ignoring these rules. You won’t save anything at all, and you could end up hurting yourself or ruining the appliance.

  • Always make sure the electric power and/or the gas supply to the appliance is disconnected before you test the appliance to diagnose the problem or make any repairs. If you turn the power on to check your work after making a repair, do not touch the appliance; just turn the power on and observe. If adjustments are needed, turn the power off before you make them.
  • If the parts of an appliance are held together with screws, bolts, plugs, and other take-apart fasteners, you can probably make any necessary repairs. If the parts are held together with rivets or welds, don’t try to repair the appliance yourself. Call a professional service person.
  • In most cases, broken or malfunctioning appliance parts can be replaced more quickly and inexpensively than they can be repaired by you or a professional. Replace any broken or malfunctioning parts with new parts made especially for that appliance. If you cannot find an exact replacement for the broken part, it’s okay to substitute a similar part as long as it fits into the old space. In this case, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

Appliance parts are available from appliance service centers, appliance-repair dealers, and appliance-parts stores. You don’t always have to go to a specific brand-name appliance parts center to obtain the parts and service you need for brand-name appliances, so you do have some shopping/service choices. If you can’t locate a parts service center in your area, order the part you need directly from the manufacturer. The name and address of the appliance manufacturer are usually printed on the appliance. Be sure to give the manufacturer all the model and parts data possible for the appliance. If available, search on the Internet for replacement parts.Before you make any appliance repair, make sure the appliance is receiving power. Lack of power is the most common cause of appliance failure. Before you start the testing and diagnosis process, take these preliminary steps:

  • Check to make sure that the appliance is properly and firmly plugged in and that the cord, the plug, and the outlet are working properly. To determine whether an outlet is working, test it with a voltage tester.
  • Check to make sure the fuses and/or circuit breakers that control the circuit have not blown or tripped. There may be more than one electrical entrance panel for your home, especially for 220-240-volt appliances such as ranges and air conditioners. Check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers at both the main panel and the separate panel.
  • Check to make sure fuses and/or breakers in the appliance itself are not blown or tripped. Push the reset buttons to restore power to appliances such as washers, dryers, and ranges. Some ranges have separate plug-type fuses for oven operation; make sure these fuses have not blown.
  • If the appliance uses gas or water, check to make sure it is receiving an adequate supply.
  • Check the owner’s manual for the appliance. Many manufacturers include helpful problem/solution troubleshooting charts. If you don’t have a manual for an appliance, you can probably get one — even for an old or obsolete appliance — from the manufacturer’s customer service department.

All right, now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, it’s time to dive right in. Move on to the next section to learn how to disassemble a major appliance and the details on grounding systems.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with any of your appliances!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

 

 

STEAM DISHWASHERS

Believe it or not, the modern world largely runs on steam. Most people associate steam power with antiquated steam boats and the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, but the truth is, many of today’s power plants still rely on it. Whether it’s a fossil-fueled or nuclear power plant, its process involves heating water to its gaseous state — steam — to turn a turbine and create electric power. But simple steam also has more hands-on modern uses.

For instance, one of the most common ways we use steam in our daily lives is in ironing our clothes. When an iron infuses fabrics with steam, wrinkles disappear. Steam also is a fast (though all-too-temporary) cure for congestion from the common cold. By loosening mucous, the steam allows it to easily drain, which opens air passages. Aside from these home uses, steam also can effectively sanitize things with its high temperatures. Hospitals, where cleanliness is paramount, use steam in pressurized mechanisms to thoroughly sterilize their instruments.Why not use that same sterilizing power in the home? That’s precisely the idea behind the advanced steam dishwasher, a follow-up to steam washers and dryers.

For many people, traditional dishwashers are a pain. If you don’t rinse your dishes in the sink before you load them into the dishwasher, you may find food dried onto your dishes and flatware when you unload. This prewashing largely defeats the water-, time- and energy-saving benefits of a dishwasher. Not only that, but rigorous dishwashers may swish your precious heirloom china into bits.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your dishwasher!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

 

REPAIRING AN OVEN

Gas and electric ranges and ovens operate fairly simply, and they’re usually easy to repair, mainly because the components are designed for quick disassembly.

Most of the malfunctions that affect gas ranges involve the supply and ignition of gas in the burners and the oven. Most malfunctions that affect electric ranges and ovens involve faulty heating elements. In this article, we’ll discuss how the main parts should work on gas and electric ranges and ovens and how to service them regularly to avoid larger, more expensive problems. The first step is taking a peek inside to assess the problem.Caution: Before doing any work on a gas range or oven, make sure it’s unplugged, or turn off the electric power to the unit by removing a fuse or tripping a circuit breaker at the main entrance panel or at a separate panel. If there is a grounding wire to the range, disconnect it. Also close the gas supply valve to shut off the unit’s gas supply.

 

HOW TO REPAIR A DISHWASHER

The control panels on the latest dishwashers can look intimidating. They’re loaded with so many dials, push buttons, and other features that the machine looks too complex to repair. This is actually not the case. With the exception of the control panel, dishwashers haven’t changed much in basic design over the last two decades. You can repair most dishwasher malfunctions yourself, and we’ll discuss tips for do-it-yourself service and maintenance in this article.

Dishwasher parts can be replaced as a unit, which is often easier and less expensive than having a professional service person make repairs. If you aren’t sure a part is still usable, remove it from the dishwasher and take it to a professional for testing. You can then decide whether to buy a new part or have the old one repaired on the basis of the repair estimate.

­Dishwashers usually run on 115-volt or 120-volt power. The water they use comes directly from the water heater, and wastewater is drained into the sink’s drainpipe. The dishwasher is not connected to the cold-water supply. For best dishwashing results, set the temperature control of the water heater to no less than 140 degrees Farenheit. Water cooler than this usually doesn’t get the dishes clean, unless your dishwasher is a newer model that preheats incoming water. The water shutoff for the dishwasher is typically located below the adjoining sink.

Caution: Because the dishwasher is connected to both the plumbing system and the electrical system, you must consider both systems when working on this appliance. Before doing any work on the dishwasher, make sure the unit is unplugged or the power to the unit is turned off, and remove the fuse or trip the circuit breaker that controls the circuit at the main entrance panel or at a separate panel. Shut off the water supply to the dishwasher at the shutoff in the basement or crawl space under the kitchen.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your dishwasher!

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica