Posted on: 22 January 2015
Some appliance service is best left to the professionals, but there are simple repairs that you can do with a minimum of knowledge and skill. Universal parts are available in home improvement stores, while brand specific parts may be ordered online or found in appliance stores that sell the appliance that you wish to fix. Two simple but common repairs include:
- Replacing power cords
Replacing a power cord is often as easy as loosening the nuts that attach the wire ends of the cord to the motor. Accessing the motor will require examination of the appliance, but usually just involves removing a cover plate. Appliances with high power use such as air conditioners, washers, and dryers, will need power cords that are heavy enough for their power consumption. Thickness of power wire is measured in gauges, the lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire.
If you are in doubt about the gauge of the power cord you should use, check the manufacturer's parts website. You will pay a premium price if you buy from the manufacturer, so get the specifications from the website and search for a generic version with the same gauge and amp rating. Large appliance power cords will have three wires: a black power wire, a white neutral wire, and a green ground wire. When you disconnect the old power cord, be sure to note how the wires are connected, so you will connect the new cord properly.
Heavier cords, such as dryer cords, may consume up to thirty amps of power, and require a special larger plug to handle the load. These cords use eight gauge wire, which is difficult to bend to make a good connection. If you have any doubts about your ability to handle this task, hire a professional appliance service to perform the replacement. Don't risk fire or electric shock over a few dollars.
- Replacing a washer belt
Clothes washer belts will wear over time or by overloading a washer, creating extra stress on the belt. Luckily, they are simple to replace. You can find a replacement belt at appliance stores or on the manufacturer's website. To replace the belt, unplug the washer and move it away from the wall. Detach the back panel using a screwdriver or wrench, whichever is applicable. The belt will be easily accessible.
One end of the belt will be on the motor pulley. Loosen the mounting bolts that hold the motor in place to raise the motor and remove the old belt. Don't try to feed the belt onto the pulleys without loosening the motor. You may stretch the belt or pinch your finger between belt and pulley. Install the new belt, tighten the motor mount until the belt is secure (you may need a screwdriver to put pressure on the belt while you tighten the motor mount). Leave a slight bit of slack in the belt. Replace the back panel, and you're finished.
If you have an old appliance with special needs such as parts that are difficult to remove, or a new appliance with technology that is too complex, call an appliance repair technician that is trained to handle these issues.Share