Are Your Appliances Repairable?

Written by on December 23, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

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home-appliancesWhen buying a home, it’s not just the cost of your mortgage that needs factoring in as there are a number of other small factors that also add to the cost of running a household, such as energy and utility bills, home insurance and repair costs should something go wrong.

And that doesn’t only apply to big things like boilers and fridge/freezers, as we use a wide range of household appliances to make our day-to-day lives easier and when they go faulty, you need to know how to repair them.

If you bought it cheaply, you might consider just dumping it and buying a replacement. Many of us have a store of old equipment somewhere in a garage or cupboard that we are not using anymore. Before you throw your appliance away, have a look at it more closely.

You may be able to repair it and it might not even be as difficult as you thought.

Are Your Appliances Repairable?

The normal household has three typical small, portable or household appliances – heating appliances, e.g. toasters, motor appliances such as vacuum cleaners and combination appliances (hair dryers) that do both.

The first place to check for a fault is the electrical cord. The cord may have two or three wires and a plug. If you can find the fault here and repair it, it will save the cost of buying a new one.

An appliance such as a lamp requires less amperage when operating and will have a two-wire cord, a hot wire and a neutral wire. The cord in appliances that produce heat uses higher amperage and can also have a two-wire cord, but will more than likely have a three wired one. The latter has one hot wire, a neutral one and also a grounded wire.

The plug is the receptacle that receives the electricity from the power point. No power to the appliance means it does not work. A two-prong plug is found with appliances with less than 15 amps. The large prong is the neutral one and the smaller one is the hot wire. A T-shaped plug has one big round prong and this is used for the grounding of the appliance, normally a 20-amp appliance.

The other two prongs are the hot and neutral prongs. The connecter or controller is the point where the wire connects to the appliance, most probably with a switch. This is the more complex part of the repair and unless you really know what you are doing, you won’t be able to go this alone.

How to repair cords and wires: Disconnect from the power source and use a multimeter or continuity tester to test whether it conducts electricity. Then move the strands to check for intermittent shorts. The quality and pliability of the cords should be checked next.

If you find any cracks or breaks, it means the cord might have to be replaced. Small Appliance Controls: The controller (switches, thermostats, timing mechanisms etc.) is in many cases the culprit when small appliances don’t work, i.e. the electrical power is not coming into the appliance. The controller will most probably have to be replaced.

So, remove the switch and take it, together with the model and serial number, to a dealer or store to look for a replacement. Troubleshooting becomes easy as most small appliances have the same parts and sticking to the basics will get it done.

This is a guest post.  Article by Rob from Click 4 Personal Finance, the personal finance blog that offers financial tips to make you more resourceful and really make your money work for you.

Image courtesy of vorakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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