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Appliance Repairs You Don’t Need to Call a Pro For

Before you pick up the phone and fork over a bunch of cash to fix your appliances, check out these super-simple repairs you can actually do yourself.

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Simple fixes for common appliance repair problems

At least a quarter of all appliance repair calls are resolved with no-brainer solutions, like pushing a button or flipping a circuit breaker. Learn what to look for and how to avoid these expensive lessons. For more, check out this list of things most homeowners aren’t doing—but need to.

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Cloudy glass oven door

Cleaning between the glass panels of an oven door looks impossible, but all you really need to do is disassemble the door.

How to repair

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Slow-filling washer

A washing machine that takes forever to fill may have an inlet screen clogged with mineral deposits and tiny particles of debris. The fix is simple! Dreaming of a new washer? Check out this list of the best washer and dryer sets for 2021.

How to repair

garbage disposal splash guardFamily Handyman

Garbage disposal splash guard

Got a garbage disposal that spits, um, garbage at you? Forget about replacing the entire unit. You can install a new splash guard (about $10 at a home center) in about 20 minutes, and you don’t need any special tools. If you’d quite like some special tools, make sure you’ve seen this list of essential tools for real handymen.

How to repair

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Dryer lint buildup

Built-up lint inside dryer cabinets causes more than 15,000 fires every year. Dryer lint escapes through tiny gaps around the edges of the dryer drum and falls into the cabinet, especially when the exhaust vent or vent cap is clogged and airflow is restricted. The lint can get ignited by electric heating elements, gas burners, or even a spark from the motor, and the flames then travel through the lint-lined exhaust vent. To make sure this doesn’t happen in your house, check the exhaust vent and the inside of the cabinet frequently. And while you’re in there, make sure these things never end up in your dryer.

How to repair

stove tempFamily Handyman

Diagnosing appliance fault codes

When the display panel on your appliance flashes strange numbers, grab your owner’s manual. It may be flashing a fault code that’ll help diagnose a problem. These are the brands that make the most reliable appliances.

How to repair

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Leaking refrigerator

Simple fixes for the four most common refrigerator problems: an ice-maker breakdown, water leaking onto the floor, a cooling failure, and too much noise. Chances are, you can solve the problem yourself, save some money, and avoid the expense and inconvenience of a service appointment. Do you know these signs your refrigerator is failing?

How to repair

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Smelly dishwasher

Stop bad dishwasher odors by cleaning food scraps from the tub and running a dishwasher cleaner through a cycle. Make sure you’re not doing these other things that shorten the life of your dishwasher.

How to repair

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Broken electric burner

You can solve most electric range burner problems yourself and avoid the expensive service call. It’s quick and easy to replace a burner or bad burner socket. Keep your stovetop in tip-top shape with these tips.

How to repair

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Smelly washing machine

Stop bad odors in your clothes washer by running a cycle with a special mold-killing tablet and by leaving the door open to promote drying. You can also make sure these 11 things never make it into your washing machine.

How to repair

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Refrigerator doesn’t stay cold

You can replace your refrigerator door gasket in three easy steps. A new gasket will help your refrigerator run more efficiently, which will save you money. So replacing a worn out gasket will pay for itself over time. You can also help your food last longer by stocking your fridge correctly.

How to repair

Detail of open kitchen ovenpiovesempre/Getty Images

Oven or dryer heating problems

There are simple, step-by-step solutions for an oven (gas or electric) or clothes dryer that won’t heat. Most fixes take less than an hour and save the expense of a service call. While you’re fixing your heating, make sure you’re using the right type of cookware too.

How to repair

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Washing machine won’t drain

Washing machine not draining? If the washer won’t drain, either something is stuck in the washing machine drain hose or pump, or the pump is broken. Both fixes are simple if you’re even just a little bit handy with tools.

How to repair

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Broken water dispenser

So the kids were really thirsty and jammed their glass into the water dispenser on the refrigerator door. Now the paddle is hanging by a wire, and you’re seeing a $300 repair bill. No way! You can do this repair yourself with ordinary hand tools in about an hour. Do you know how often you should be changing your water filter?

How to repair

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Gas burner won’t light

If a burner on your gas range doesn’t light, it’s likely that you can fix the problem with one of the solutions we show here. Before you undertake more-complex repairs, check for simple solutions. Be sure the gas range is plugged in and getting power—the oven light should come on when you open the door. Also, check that the gas valve is open—it may have been turned off by accident.

How to repair

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Scratched stainless steel appliances

Buff out ugly scratches in your shiny stainless steel appliances, using fine sandpaper and rubbing compound. Once it’s sanded, here’s how to clean stainless steel properly.

How to repair

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Reverse a fridge door

Door handles can easily be reversed on almost any refrigerator door by removing a few screws and bolts—but be sure to keep track of the parts and the assembly order. It’ll look like a brand new fridge when you’re done! Here are some other brand new kitchen gadgets you didn’t know you were missing.

How to repair

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How to adjust oven temperatures

If your oven cooking times are off, recalibrate your oven temperature to match an accurate oven thermometer. The procedure is in your oven’s instruction manual. While you’re reading that, you might see these other things you should never do to your oven.

How to repair

Inside the steel drum of a washing machineJazzIRT/Getty Images

Clothes dryer problems

Most dryer problems can be fixed in an hour with a few basic tools and a continuity tester or multimeter—and you can do the work yourself with these simple instructions.

How to repair

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Chipped porcelain

Tiny chips and dings on expensive porcelain fixtures and appliances are distressing-but fixable. With a few careful dabs of touch-up glaze and a little sanding and buffing, you can make those ugly blemishes vanish.

How to repair

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Ice maker stopped working

If your ice maker stops working, there’s no need to call the top appliance repair service. First, do some ice maker troubleshooting. Next, check out this list of easy home maintenance tips to save you time and money.

How to repair

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman