Many people fancy themselves as experts at repairing numerous home appliances. While some may have the experience, a vast majority seem to perform such tasks out of a misguided sense of adventure. After all, repairing something like an iron box can seem deceptively simple. Depending on the appliance to be fixed, a repair can go for as high as $350. This includes the labor costs for the technicians involved. However, attempting to repair appliances on your own can cost you more to replace the item if you mess it up due to a lack of expertise.
For example, to get a washer repair in Pittsburgh, it’s advisable to seek out professionals who know what they’re doing. Of course, there are instances when attempting to repair your appliances makes sense. The trick is to know when it is within your skillset to do so and when to call in experts.
The draw of saving money by not calling professionals can be very tempting. However, you end up with a much larger repair bill if you aggravate the problem by attempting an unsuccessful repair. Worst case scenario, you damage the appliance beyond repair, thereby forcing you to replace it.
Ensure to understand the following dos and don’ts of do-it-yourself repairs before attempting one:
- Properly maintain your appliance to avoid DIY repairs
It’s better to prevent repairs if possible. This entails ensuring that your appliances are properly maintained. Whether it’s a refrigerator or a washer, you want to ensure that you’re always looking for any signs of trouble.
Don’t ignore the essential steps needed for ensuring the longevity of your appliances. Things like refrigerators, for example, need to be wiped down regularly if there are any accumulated pools of water. This reduces the likelihood of any of its components breaking down. When attempting to repair any such appliances, don’t ignore the user manual. Most manufacturers tend to provide this manual to help with simple repairs that don’t necessarily require you to call in technicians.
- Determine the costs involved
Cost is always a crucial factor in any venture, including do-it-yourself repairs. You need to fully understand the cost of the repair you’re about to undertake. It’s useless to attempt fixing an appliance that is seemingly beyond repair. Knowing whether such an appliance is salvageable may not be within your expertise, requiring you to consult a professional. Even when you understand this, it becomes a question of whether the repair is worth it.
As a general rule, don’t perform repairs that could cost at least 50% of the total cost of replacing the item. The costs are generally not worth it in such scenarios, considering you may need to purchase special tools for the repairs.
- Keep it simple
“Simple” means dealing with repairs that aren’t complicated. An occluded tube or temperature controls not set right are the kind of repairs that you can attempt by yourself.
Don’t dismantle the appliance before checking for obvious things like the above issues. It’ll save you a lot of time by not unnecessarily taking apart an appliance that could otherwise be fixed without dismantling.
- Consider warranties
Most appliances come with manufacturer’s warranties. Even when you’ve had your appliance for years, the warranty may still be valid.
Don’t attempt any repairs before ascertaining the extent of the warranty. If it’s still valid, you’re better off following the warranty requirements, which usually prohibit do-it-yourself repairs.
- Know the age of your appliance
While this may be closely related to warranty issues, it needs separate consideration. Most appliances tend to have a general life expectancy. Even those from reputable manufacturers will give out with time. Dishwashers, for example, can give you nine years of good service, while refrigerators and stoves can work efficiently for over a decade. Of course, this all depends on the level of maintenance.
Don’t attempt to repair appliances that are very close or past their general life expectancy. Such repairs may not be worth your efforts or the money needed.
- Consider your capabilities
Aside from saving money, technical expertise and experience should dictate whether or not you attempt to perform any repairs on your appliances. The media tends to perpetuate the myth of the “jack of all trades” who can juggle multiple complex tasks, including complicated repairs. Always know where you stand on the expertise spectrum before attempting to fix any appliance.
Don’t attempt anything beyond your skillset. This is not only foolish but could cause further losses and raise some liability issues if injuries or accidents result due to your less-than-professional repairs.