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Help & Advice: Home Appliance Survival Guide

Home Appliance Survival Guide

It’s the nightmare scenario. You’re halfway through a household chore or preparing for a special meal or social gathering, when the appliance you’re totally depending on suddenly decides that now – the most inconvenient time imaginable – is when it’s going to stop working.

Naturally, your first thought is to get someone in to fix the appliance in question, but what if you don’t have time to wait for them, no matter how quickly they promise to be with you? This month, the team at Pacifica is looking at some domestic appliance disaster scenarios to see if we can come up with some quick fixes.

Washing machine repair

Scenario 1: the washing machine door has stuck!

This is not an uncommon situation, but thankfully there are a few possible solutions. The first thing to say is that if the machine has stopped halfway through its cycle and is full of water, make sure you put something down to catch any escaping water before trying to open the door.

First, turn the machine off, unplug, and manually end the cycle – if you’re lucky, the door may unlock itself in the usual way. Many modern machines have a thermal lock, which means that it automatically opens once a certain temperature is reached, so the next thing to try is patience, so give it five minutes or so to cool down. Alternatively, if your door normally opens manually, you can feed a nylon line around the circumference of the door – pull it tight and it should release the lock.

Even if you do manage to get it open, you’ll want to get a washing machine repair engineer to take a more detailed look, because if it’s happened once, then it’s likely to happen again.

Scenario 2: clothes come out of the machine still soaking wet!

This may sometimes happen if the machine’s filter has become clogged up, so first check that and give it a clean if necessary. Then try running the spin cycle again. If that still doesn’t work, then the job is going to have to be done by hand. It’s unlikely that many households today are going to have an old-fashioned mangle or wringer lying around, so that means squeezing clothes dry over the sink or bath, remembering to be gentle with your delicate fabrics.

Fridge / freezer repair

Scenario 1: the fridge isn’t working!

In the days before electric fridges, the common way of keeping foodstuffs and drinks cold was to keep them in a bucket of cold water. Find the coolest part of your property, such as a cellar, pantry or garage, and if you refresh the water regularly, it should keep the contents at a low enough temperature. Naturally, they won’t keep as long as they would in a fridge, but they should hopefully last until you get a fridge/freezer repair engineer in.

Scenario 2: the fridge just isn’t big enough to store everything you need to keep fresh!

Did you know that root vegetables, if buried in sand, will stay fresh for months? That’s because the sand prevents moisture rotting them – so, if you’re a keen vegetable gardener and have a glut of potatoes, carrots or parsnips you need to keep fresh, just bury them in the kids’ sandpit! DISCLAIMER: try this trick at your own risk! 

Cooker / oven repair

Close up of woman's hand setting temperature control on oven

Scenario 1: the oven has broken!

If you only use your microwave to heat up ready meals, you may be surprised to discover that it can be used for cooking just about anything you would normally do in the oven, or even on the hob. If you’ve got a big dinner party planned, then you may struggle to get everything done at the same time, but for day-to-day cooking it should do fine until you can get a cooker repair done.

Scenario 2: the oven is burning everything!

If your oven is burning everything, then chances are you have a problem with the thermostat. That’s going to be a tricky thing to fix without a spare part and someone who knows how to replace it, so you might have to go with the microwave solution detailed above (although there other means of heating things up if you have a good collection of kitchen gadgets). There are, however, a few things that can cook through properly at high temperatures, but they need to be fairly flat – so pizzas all round it is then!

Dishwasher repair

Scenario 1: the dishwasher is leaking!

This could be the result of a number of issues: 

  • putting too much detergent into the machine
  • overloading the machine or poorly stacking the dishes 
  • loose pipe connections at the back of the machine
  • broken door seal

The first three should be easy to sort out yourself, but if it’s the door seal that’s the problem, you’ll need to order a new part.

Scenario 2: the dishes are coming out dry and dirty!

The simple problem here is that your dishwasher isn’t filling with the water it needs to clean the dishes. The most likely cause is that the inlet valve or tube might be clogged up. Check your manual to see if you can get access, otherwise you’ll need to get someone in to take a closer look.

If you can’t fix either of the above scenarios without the assistance of a dishwasher repair engineer, then until they get to you, we’re afraid you’re just going to have to do the dishes the old-fashioned way – by hand!

Here at Pacifica, we have extensive experience servicing and repairing all kinds of domestic appliances, with same or next day visits always available. Best of all, if we can’t solve your problem, you won’t have to pay us a penny! For more information, or to get a quote, call us today.

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