Shane's Appliance Repair

Family Owned and Operated


My Appliance Has Broken... What do I do? - Part 1

Posted on May 24, 2014 at 4:05 PM

My appliance has broken...  What do I do?

Part 1 - Replacing with a NEW Appliance!

First and foremost, when something goes wrong with your appliance don't just toss it!  I am as eager as anyone else to get a new range in my kitchen or washer in my laundry room.  However, don't jump the gun!  

 It is absolutely my recommendation that you always pay to have a credible technician let you know what is wrong with the unit and give you an estimate for what it will cost to have it fixed. 

Consider this.  We charge $65 for a diagnostic call.  If we eat out as a family 1 time this week, it costs us $65, easy.  It is so very sad that household appliances have become "disposable."  Much like a $7 toaster oven would be thrown out when it fails, people often just throw out their appliances and replace them.  Part of this is due to the fact that people just assume that it is going to be expensive to repair it.  This is not always true!  It is always worth having it checked out!  Most companies have a specific rate to have a unit diagnosed and often times this cost is subtracted from the labor if you decide to repair it. My point here is this:  When your refrigerator stops cooling don't just assume that the compressor has gone bad.  There are many reasons why a fridge stops cooling or is not cooling the way it should!  ...  There are many reasons why a Washing Machine doesn't drain.  Don't just assume that the pump went out! ...  It is this way with EVERY APPLIANCE!  There are multiple things that can cause the same symptom.  IT IS WORTH HAVING IT CHECKED OUT!

Who do I recommend?  Small Business/Owner Operators.  The fact of the matter is, the bigger the business, the bigger the overhead, the more people need their cut, the more expensive your bill.  Call a Small Business!  You will pay a cheaper rate and you will put food on the table and a roof over that family's head! Also, even if you have to wait a few days for an appointment, WAIT FOR IT!  A Small Business is not going to be able to dispatch a technician that day!  Often times there is only 1 technician within the company... Support the Small Business Owners in your area!

After you get your estimate you need to make a choice...

Deciding Whether to Repair or Replace

There is a lot that can go into this decision!  Is the cost of repair economical?  Is it going to cost you more to repair the unit than what the unit is worth?  Do you have the money to repair the unit?  How old is the unit?  What is the overall condition of the unit? What will it cost to replace the unit?

If you have decided to replace your appliance there may still be some lingering questions! Should I buy New?  Should I buy Used?  What brand should I buy?  What should I stay away from?

Buying a New Appliance

There are so very many appliances on the market today.  There are so many brands and each brand has a whole line of different models.  My first rule of thumb...  YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! If you are buying a cheap Washer and Dryer Set you are going to get a cheap Washer and Dryer Set.  It will not clean well and it will not last long.  If you can, foot the bill and step it up!  It will pay off in the long run!  When I say "step it up" I don't necessarily mean to get all the bells and whistles.  I mean rather than purchasing this cheaper brand, step it up and look at the ones that are a little more expensive.

That being said, try to stay away from the 'fancy' stuff.  All the bells and whistles are not necessarily a better choice! Think to yourself "will I really USE that extra feature?"  Think about six months from now, a year from now when the new wears off.  Are you really going to use that extra feature or will you be doing laundry with out it because the coolness has warn off?  Something else to consider; that fancy option/feature has to work somehow.  That means even more components, most likely control boards, that WILL go bad.  That also means more complicated inner workings of the unit which in turn means a higher repair bill when it does fail.  Also, when looking at extra features consider how long this feature has been available.  The features that have a lot of problems take a few years to get axed from the models.  If the feature has been around for several years the engineers have had time to work out more of the kinks and problems with that feature.


The next thing to keep in mind is looks are not everything!  The appliance companies know how to market their appliances.  They know that when people look at their appliance and see the cool colors used on the control panel or the awesome digital display the consumer will be more likely to look at it and think "wow, this is nice!" and purchase it over the one sitting next to it that doesn't look as fancy.  Tisk, tisk, tisk... Do not judge it by the way it looks!  The fancy look is simply a marketing tool!  It has nothing to do with the way the unit runs; the truth is that it is a marketing tool used to draw your attention to that appliance. Look at all the features, check out all the models.  Also, just because it says on the unit "Quiet Pack II" or "Commercial Quality" or "King Sized Capacity" does not mean that it is any quieter or better or larger than the one sitting next to it that doesn't print that on the panel.  Looks can be very deceiving in the Appliance World.  


Be aware, do your research and don't make a spur of the moment decision.  Shop around!  Visit different stores.  Different stores sell different brands.  Call an Appliance Repair Company.  Ask them what they think is the best buy for your dollar.

Next, keep in mind that most new appliances only offer a 1 Year Limited Warranty!  After that you are on your own!  If you want to purchase an extended warranty make sure you read it carefully!  Often times the most major and expensive repairs will not be covered OR they will only cover the part and not the labor.  Often times it is even added into the warranty that in order to get the part covered you must have one of their technicians make the repair.  Beware, their technicians will charge you an arm and a leg for their labor.  We have had times where it is cheaper for the customer to buy the part through us and pay us our labor and they still come out owing less than it would have cost to pay the labor for the warranty service; let alone the cost of the warranty itself.  PLEASE if you consider an Extended Warranty read through the warranty carefully.  Don't let the salesman just talk you into it, chances are he receives a commission for selling it to you.  Read it carefully, ask questions and make sure that you are not getting duped.

Finally,  when you figure out what appliance you are getting you need to make sure it comes with everything you will need to get it hooked up and running in your home.  Most new appliances do not come with the installation equipment.  For example:  Most new washing machines do not come with new hoses for your water supply, most dryers do not come with an electrical cord, refrigerators do not come with a water supply line.  These are just a few examples.  After you figure out what appliance you are getting make sure to ask about the extras you will need when it is installed.  Don't just assume that the items needed are included with the purchase of the unit.  You can also consider asking the professional that will install the appliance if they provide any extras needed for installation.  Most companies have all items needed for installation in stock and on their truck.


Once you have covered all of your bases with purchasing the new appliance you need to get a few more details worked out.


Getting your New Appliance Delivered

Some companies offer Free Delivery of your new appliance.  The free delivery is nice.    However, if they charge a delivery fee it is always worth checking with your Appliance Technician to see what they would charge to pick up your new appliance, deliver it to your home and installing it for you.  You do have options and it is always best to know what your options are.

When a store offers free delivery make sure you find out what their free delivery includes.  Some places that offer free delivery will only deliver the unit to your curb.  If you want the appliance put in the garage for the technician to install they may charge for that.  If they have to take the appliance up the front steps to sit it on the patio they may charge.  Make sure that you know what that FREE service includes.  You don't want to have them deliver it, drop it off on the sidewalk and be left with a heavy appliance sitting on the side walk and no way to move it into the house or garage for the technician to install.  Also, make sure that the free delivery is not out of their delivery range.  Some companies will only deliver within a couple miles of their store.  Make sure ahead of time that they will deliver to your home.  Give them the address and ask them to confirm your home is located in their free zone.

If you choose to have the company you purchased your appliance from deliver your appliance and they charge a fee make sure you follow the same advice as above.  Often times companies will have these hidden charges.  Don't forget to ask if there is going to be additional charges for mileage, placing the unit in the garage, on the porch, etc.  Often times the customer does not find out about the hidden fees until it is too late.  Make sure to ask questions.  Make sure that you are clear on what they offer and what they charge.  Also, when the delivery is completed do not sign the delivery paper until you have taken the appliance out of the box and checked the appliance over for cosmetic damages.

Now that your new appliance has arrived at your home, it is time to get it installed!

Getting Your New Appliance Installed

It is always important to have your appliances installed by someone who knows what they are doing.  Installation is very rarely a "slide this one out and put this one in."  There is a lot that is involved.  Hire someone who knows what they are doing.  A professional is going to make sure that they cover all of the bases when installing your new appliance.  They can also give you tips on how to maintain and care for your new appliance.

You are almost done, just one more thing to make arrangements for!

Disposing of Your Old Appliance

People often wonder what to do with their old appliance.  Never pay someone to haul away your appliance!  Many companies will offer Free Haul Away of your old appliance.  This is always a great service.  If you are offered free haul away take that extra step and find out what happens to your appliance when they haul it away.  Often times your old appliance will end up at the dump, in the landfill.  Do not let this happen!  Appliances are 100% Recyclable!  Whom ever you choose to haul it away make sure that it is going to get recycled.  If the company that is delivering or installing your appliance does not haul them away for free a simple search of your local Craig's List will reveal some options.  If you do not live in an area where Craig's List is popular check your local paper.  There are people out there that will take it for free and insure that it gets recycled!

That concludes Part 1 of this blog.  Part 2 will talk about what to do when your appliance breaks and you decide to replace it with a used appliance.

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