The Joys of Owning and Repairing appliances

In the summer of 2008 we decided to build a house, yea I know, great timing right? At the time we were in a decent home, in a decent neighborhood, but in a house a little too small for our growing family.  The quotes came back for an addition at almost $100K, so we decided to pack up and move!  Well that’s not really how it went, but pretty much the jest of it.  So when we moved we took all of our appliances when in the past we just left them and bought new ones, here are the stories for the past six months of repairs for nearly all of our appliances.

The joys of owning and repairing appliances… yourself!

In the past six months I have found that apparently appliances are not made the way they used to be, they have become, disposable, like many other household goods.  Basically this rant post, but I will offer some detail when troubleshooting the issues that I encountered, and there was no way I would pay someone to fix it, when (in my head) I am more than capable in doing it myself.  The problem with this is that I work 55+ hours a week, am exhausted when I get home, and not many places are open, if/when I need to buy parts.

1. Iced up freezer coils, no or little cool air in fridge

Make:  LG
Model:  LRBN22514ST
Problem: Extreme amounts of frost accumulating on coil in freezer. Fridge not as cold as it should be.
When: The week of Thanksgiving 2012 (yea what great timing!)
Appliance age: 6-8 years
Repair cost: $30 (does not include time)

This is one of longer repairs I did, and this is for two reasons, A.  I could not pin down the actual issue and B. We had to buy a new one, so this one was out of sight out and out of mind in the basement.

So after watching videos on YouTube, reading repair sites, etc. I figured this was either related to a bad defroster or a bad thermostat.  I did some additional trouble shooting like putting it into diagnostics mode, to no avail, I think this was related to my patience and the fact that it was 10:30 at night.

So after much debating I decided to just get the thermostat, since the defroster ohmed out.  So I ordered the part from which offers an amazing 365 day return policy, so if it does not resolve the issue, I could just return the part then order the defroster.  Luckily for me it fixed the issue and we now have much more freezer and fridge space than we ever needed.

2.  Front Load washing machine

Make:  Frigidaire
Model:  Not legible
Problem: Would not go into final spin, resulting in very wet laundry!
When: Jan 2013
Appliance age: 6-8 years
Repair cost: $160 (does not include time)
Part model: 134149220

I am not sure if this is just our family, but we tend to have issue when the washing machine is not working.  And it does not help when the wife has three loads that need to get done.

So the washer would not go into the final high speed spin, again after watching many videos on YouTube, I was finally able to pinpoint the problem, or so I thought.  Because this is a front load washer, the door has two locks, one main lock then another master lock, which engages prior to high speed spin.  So I pulled the mechanism out took it apart and physically watched it engage.  So I moved on and continued to troubleshoot.  Finally I found the diagnostics mode literature, and in it I found a way to put it in high speed mode, basically to test the motor, so I did it.  If you ever try to do this, please be careful, it bypasses every setting, so even if you set it to low, it will still spin in high.  I thought the dryer which is stacked above it was going to fly off!  It was a bit scary.  But since it worked I was able to determine that the part to replace was the main control board.  Lucky for me (as this was three days of trouble shooting) I was able to find the part locally for $160.

Drove home popped it in and smiled widely.  Fixed.  And then I started doing laundry.

3.  Oven will not bake! Only broil?

Make:  GE
Model:  JGSP28SEK2SS
Problem: Oven will not bake, only broil
When: March 2013
Appliance age: 6-8 years
Repair cost: $48 (does not include time)
Part model: WB13T10045

OK I am not sure why but I am extremely hesitant working with gas lines- I think it is because you can’t see the danger only smell it, and I literally visualize the house blowing up because of an unknown leak. I know I am weird.

Anyway the wife calls me at work and says the oven is not working but says the broiler is.  Very strange, I know.  So again after Googling the hell out of the topic, I came to the conclusion that the igniter for the oven was not operating.  I came to this conclusion in two ways, a. it did not glow at all when the oven was activated and b. the gas line would not open.  It does not open until the igniter is at temperature.  Additionally I was not getting continuity.

So I found it on Amazon for the low, low price of $48, three days later our oven was like new!  Well not like new, but working.

4.  Intermittent Hot Water

Make:  A.O. Smith
Model:  GPVH 50
Problem: Water heater stopped working at times, burnt cable connection.
When: April 2013
Appliance age: 6 years
Repair cost: $0 (does not include time)
Part model: Under warranty, not sure.

I go into this in much more detail in this post, but will give an overview now.

So within a year of moving into our new home, our hot water heater stopped working, so we call the builder, as they warrantied everything for 1 year.  The repair company came out and said it was a bad cable.  So they cut it (literally) and replaced it.  5 years later it was still occurring, and I found the temporary fix was to wiggle the wire where it connected to the control valve, this in turn kicked the heater back on and we were in business.  On the most recent occurrence, I actually had some time to look into the issue closer.  I found the plug that connects to the control valve to be burnt.  So since the hot water heater was approaching the end of its warranty, I made a call.  They sent the part for this “known issue,” overnight!    So the next night, I tore the beast apart and replaced the part.  Golden, for now.  Again this is just a brief summary and I go into much more detail in this post, with pictures and everything.

So there ya go folks, fun for me, I hope these issues will be over for now, although we still own a few appliances that have not needed repair, so I won’t hold my breath.