When Should You Repair Your Appliances?

Serviceman Repairing Refrigerator

It’s easy to take our appliances for granted. They save us time by easily preserving food, cooking meals, washing dishes, and providing us with a comfortable lifestyle.

However, appliances can develop problems at some point, ranging from minor ones to complete breakdowns. You can diagnose and fix some of these issues yourself, but knowing when to bring in a repairman will help your appliances last longer and prevent further damage.

Knowing what to look out for concerning repairing your appliance is key in handling it quickly and minimizing further issues. Here are some common kitchen appliance problems you may have to repair:


1. Noises. Normally, refrigerators make a gentle humming sound. The sound increases slightly as the temperature rises above the chosen setting, and the motor and compressor start up.

However, if the humming becomes louder, or the fridge is constantly starting and turning off, clean the condenser coils with a vacuum cleaner or brush to see if that helps. Keeping the fridge at a lower temperature will also make it work harder, so you can try a higher setting.

Call a repairman if these issues don’t resolve. Other refrigerator sounds to watch for that a professional should investigate include clicking, buzzing, or hissing. Basically, look out for sounds that are not the normal operating sounds you would hear.

2. Leaking. Water can pool in the crisper bins, on the floor, or under the fridge. Causes of leaking refrigerators include:

  • A dirty drain pan. Clean it out at least once a year.
  • A clogged drain tube. Use a basting syringe to run a solution of water and baking soda or bleach through the tube to unclog it.

Call a repairman if the fridge still leaks and you can’t find the source.

3. Fridge and freezer are too warm. The air doesn’t feel cold when you open the fridge door, and the butter has gone soft. In the freezer compartment, food is starting to thaw, and there’s a large build-up of frost.

You can do the following:

  • Make sure the fridge is plugged in and the outlet is working.
  • Check the thermostat for the right temperature setting. Then move it from the lowest setting to the highest and listen for a clicking sound. If it clicks, then it’s working properly.
  • Clean the condenser coils with a vacuum or brush.
  • Check the door gaskets on the fridge and freezer. Replace if damaged.

Call a repairman if you can’t fix the problem, and keep the fridge door closed until he arrives to preserve your food.

4. Ice maker not working properly. The ice maker is not ejecting ice, not making ice at all, or the cubes are too big or too small. Make sure the freezer temperature isn’t too high as it needs to be between 0°F and 5°F. Also check the water filter isn’t clogged. It needs to be changed about every 6 months.

5. Water dispenser is not working properly. No water comes out at all, or the dispenser sputters, trickles or sprays water. A freezer that’s too cold can cause the water supply tube to freeze, preventing the water from flowing into the water dispenser. Adjust the freezer temperature between 0°F and 5°F. If this isn’t the cause, call a repairman.

Stoves and Ovens

1. Oven not turning on. Your oven takes a long time to turn on, or doesn’t turn on at all. This is often caused by a faulty igniter for gas ovens, or a heating element for electric ones. For gas ranges, the gas line is probably the issue if both the burners and oven aren’t working. There are also other reasons why ovens don’t turn on, so get a professional to diagnose and fix the problem.

2. Oven not heating properly. The oven could have little to no heat when baking, and food coming out is still cold or raw. Or, it’s cooking food unevenly, with the top done and the bottom underdone. Temperature sensors, gas igniters, and heating elements are all possibilities, but have a repairman find the problem and repair it.

3. Burners aren’t working properly. Gas and electric burners aren’t heating at all, heating up too much, or smoking when on. Sometimes it’s only one burner that won’t turn on. For gas stoves, the gas burners won’t ignite, or when ignited only spark. Some

  1. Solutions you can try:
  • With gas burners that won’t ignite, remove the grate and burner cap. Use a paperclip to remove debris from the gas valves, and clean out any other loose food debris around the burner. Reconnect any loose wires.
  • For continual clicking but no ignition with gas burners, check for burner caps out of position, clogged holes, or excess moisture and grease from spills.
  • If one electric burner won’t heat, make sure it’s completely plugged into the cooktop. Try another burner in its place, and if that one works then you need to replace the malfunctioning one.
  • An electric burner that’s smoking may be dirty and just needs a good cleaning. If it’s faulty, replace it.

You’ll need to call a repairman for burner problems that are electrical or related to the gas connection.

4. Strange noises. Ovens normally don’t make noises, so if you hear buzzing, whirling, ticking, or scratching, something is wrong. Turn off the oven and call a repairman. You don’t want to ignore those sounds that could turn into a bigger problem.

5. Unusual Oven Odors. Your oven could be giving off a strange odor that definitely isn’t food-related. You may even smell and see smoke. Gas leaks, or damaged wires that could catch fire may be the source. If this is happening, shut off your oven and have it professionally inspected and repaired.


1. Noises. Unusually loud or strange sounds, such as grinding, thumping, buzzing, squealing, scraping, or rattling aren’t normal. You can check to see if the wash arm is bent or loose and hitting dishes, or badly-stacked dishes are hitting each other. Also look for and remove any hard objects stuck inside the machine, such as knives, forks, bones, or other food debris. The dishwasher also may need to be leveled. For other solutions, call a repairman.

2. Leaks. If your dishwasher is leaking, make sure you’re not using too much detergent. Look for a soapy residue in the detergent tray. Other things you can do: stack the dishes correctly, verify the door seal is in good condition, and that the hoses are undamaged and connected properly. Call for a repair if the leaks continue.

3. Won’t start. Check the dishwasher is plugged in properly, and the wiring isn’t damaged. A faulty door latch or door latch switch will also prevent the machine from starting. If you’re looking at motor or electronic control problems, call a repairman.

4. Bad Odor. Look for grease and food trapped in the strainer screen or filter, the sprayer arm jets, and along the bottom door edge. Clean these areas and the filter, then run a cycle without dishes. A dishwasher disinfectant or cleaner could also be added. Prevent this in the future by rinsing food and grease from dishes beforehand, and keeping your machine free of food debris.

5. Doesn’t clean dishes properly. Try the following:

  • Scrape large bits of food from the dishes before loading, and don’t overload the dishwasher.
  • Make sure there’s no grease or food debris in the door gasket or inside the dishwasher.
  • Check that nothing is obstructing the spray arm, then remove and clean it.
  • Replace the spray arm if it’s worn.
  • Clean the filter if clogged. A dirty filter prevents the dishwasher from draining, and results in the dishes being cleaned with dirty water.
  • For water spots, keep the rinse aid compartment full.

Most appliances come with manuals to consult for troubleshooting which can help repair simple issues. For more information on dishwasher repairing you can read this. 

Before attempting any type of maintenance or repair action on your appliance make sure to take safety precautions first, such as unplugging the appliance, not lifting heavy objects which could cause injury, and not cutting through wires, etc. To ensure your safety and those in your household you can call an appliance repair technician to help you. 

For the very best in appliance repair and maintenance, you can count on C&W Appliance Service. Get in touch with us at (855) 358-1496 or submit our online service request form.


For the very best in appliance repair and maintenance, you can count on C&W Appliance Service.