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How to Fix Minor Home Appliance Issues

Some keep your food and drinks cold, while others heat or refrigerate you and your family. Some of them make dish washing almost tolerable, while others treasure the trash we dispose of in our sinks. Our appliances are essential to making our living spaces habitable, which is why some essential hand repair techs get blank checks whenever our machines malfunction. But before you throw cash and cards at your appliances' problem, make sure you've attempted to address them with these common fixes.

 appliance repair circuit breaker box

Breaker, Breaker… Box

Though they all have very different jobs, there's one thing that ties all of your appliances together. It's your home's breaker box. So before going into common fixes that are unique to each of the following appliances, keep in mind that a tripped switch on your breaker could be the source of your problems. Even if your AC or dryer hasn't tripped a breaker switch or blown a fuse, toggling the power "Off" and "On" at the box can reset your appliance and bring it back to life.

appliance repair freezer ice


Some of us cram it full of our favorite eats, while others of us merely use it to keep take out and condiments chilled. No matter how much or little you use it, your fridge and freezer can feel like a curse when it pukes water all over the floor or becomes a literal ice box.

  • Remove ice buildup from your freezer by cleaning or replacing the freezer door's gasket. If there are cracks or holes in the gasket's seal, cold air may seep from the freezer. And as a result, the freezer will work harder than it should and ultimately accumulate frost.
  • Try cleaning the freezer door's gasket with warm water to wash away any build up that may be preventing the seal from sitting flush on the freezer.
  • If the seal is damaged, you can replace the entire gasket yourself by simply pulling the old one out and sticking the new one in – no tools required!

appliance repair fridge refrigerator water


If you're faced with a leaky fridge, make sure its defrost drain is clear before phoning up refrigerator repair. If there is a clog, water that's meant to funnel out of your fridge and evaporate will pool inside instead – and ultimately, it'll leak out of the fridge and onto the floor.

  • Use a pipe cleaner or straightened hanger to clean the defrost drain, which is typically located in the back of a fridge.
  • If it's not the drain, it might be the water supply line attached to the back of your fridge.
      • Shut off the fridge and turn off the shutoff valve, which you should be able to find under a sink or inside of a utility closet or right behind the fridge.
      • Make sure the hose isn't damaged.
      • If there's ice buildup inside of the hose, give it time to thaw.
      • If there's any other material inside of the hose, consult with an HVAC professional.

appliance repair air conditioner ac

Air Conditioner

It might take you a few moments to notice it, hours even. When your AC runs incessantly and you can't feel the fruits of its labor, there are a few things you can do before calling up a HVAC technician.

  • Try changing or cleaning your HVAC system's filter. A clogged filter could be choking your AC, causing it to work hard and you to sweat even harder.
  • Investigate your AC unit if it's still isn't cooling your home. If its coils are coated in ice, give it time to thaw and power on its fan to help speed the ice melting along.
  • Also, check out the condensation drain and clean it if necessary.

appliance repair dishwasher


Have you inherited the role of dishwasher after your kitchen appliance quit? Your dishwasher might not be dead.

  • Cover the basics by checking the dishwasher's kill switch, which may be a button on or near the appliance – its local shutoff might merely be its power cord. If there are life signs coming from your dishwasher, but you can't get it to start, its motor might be stuck.
      • Lift the cover plates from the bottom of the front side of the dishwasher to access the motor.
      • Grip the motor and try spinning it by hand. If there's no initial resistance, another issue is likely the source of your problem.
      • Try freeing the pump, which you can access through the bottom of the dishwasher. Open the dishwasher, remove the spray arm and pump cover, and then check the pump.

appliance repair garbage disposal

Garbage Disposal

They can run for years without raising a stick, and then suddenly refuse to work anymore. If your garbage disposal won't even give you as much as a hum, try resetting it locally. Garbage disposals typically have reset buttons baked into their undersides.

  • If it hums, but its blades aren't moving, it's likely jammed.
  • Shutoff power to the garbage disposal or unplug it.
  • Use tongs to check inside of the disposal for jammed items or insert a hex key into the socket on the bottom of your disposal to free its blades.

Technical Support

It rewarding, in more ways than one, to resolve problems around the house on your own. But in many cases, the best thing you can do take care of your home is to know when to call for help. No matter how much you research an issue, some problems are better left in experienced hands.

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