Fix It Yourself 101: Home Appliances

The most common course of action that people take when they find a set of broken appliances is to check if the warranty is still valid. If it is, then they immediately have it fixed for free at the manufacturer’s repair center. If not, then they take it to a repair shop or have a repairman come over to take a look. It’s extremely rare for people in the Philippines to use power tools and do the repair themselves.

They shy away from doing this for fear of further ruining the appliance. Usually, they would only do DIY repairs when funds are completely dried up. It’s also possible for them to give the repair a try if there’s no one else who can fix it—kind of like a final hail Mary before they throw it out. It’s pretty much at the bottom of the list, which is kind of unfortunate considering that some appliance repairs are quite simple and easily doable even for a beginner.

Some of these repairs don’t even require the use of complicated power tools in the Philippines.  Screwdrivers, hammers, tapes, and cleaning materials sometimes make for the best repair tools and we’ll prove that to you today. We’ll look into the reasons why doing your own repairs is beneficial and a list of the appliances you can fix yourself and even more information, so keep on reading to find out more!




Benefits of Fixing Your Own Appliances

Most of us think that DIY repairs are too risky. We always feel like it will only go one of two ways—our attempt changes nothing or we further damage the appliance. It’s a lose-lose situation, so we just leave it up to the experts. While that may be the wiser decision sometimes, there are times when you can and have to do it yourself. Doing so comes with several benefits and we’ve enumerated them below.



Appliance repairs are only so expensive because of the high labor cost, so you’ll save a ton by removing it and doing your own repairs. Replacement parts can be found for cheap online or at your neighborhood home and appliance center. It may take some of your time, but it will be a lot easier on your pocket since you’ll only be paying the price of parts and equipment.

In some cases, you may not even have to spend anything at all. These cases involve cleaning dirty appliances, removing clogs from tubes, and doing some minor adjustments.



Right now you’re probably thinking that there is no way that a DIY repair is more convenient than having someone fix it for you, but you’re mistaken. Looking for a qualified repairman that has a good reputation, letting him take a look at the broken appliance and waiting for him to fix it actually takes a considerable amount of time. You may have to wait days or weeks before you can get your appliance repaired. Doesn’t look so convenient now, does it?

It can be frustrating and incredibly inconvenient to wait for a long, so instead of using all this time to search and wait for the repairman, use it to do the repairs yourself. It’ll take significantly less time and you won’t have to suffer for days without the broken appliance.


Helps You Gain Appliance Knowledge

Your knowledge of appliances grows each time you perform a repair. As long as you continue to do your own repairs, this knowledge will keep on building and you’ll find yourself getting better at working with your appliances. Diagnosing problems will get easier and easier and you’ll eventually be able to accurately determine whether or not the repair is worth it.

Soon, you might not even have to spend a penny to repair your appliances since some can be fixed with a simple clean and a little appliance know-how. You may even strengthen your bonds with family and friends by being a good Samaritan and offering to fix their appliances for them or giving them advice on what to do.


Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment

There are only a few things that beat the sense of accomplishment you get from breathing new life to a damaged and broken appliance. The confidence and independence you develop from continuously doing repair work will help you take on new and more difficult challenges.

So be proud of your work. Brag about it to your friends. Bask in it. Use it as a motivation to continue doing repair work and improving your skills. There’s nothing wrong about feeling better about yourself every time you successfully repair something.




The Dangers of Doing Your Own Repairs

If there are benefits, of course, there are also risks and dangers included in doing your own repairs. It’s best that you are aware of both sides before your dive into an appliance repair, so we’ll lay them down for you.


Compromises Safety

Inexperience regarding appliance repairs can be extremely dangerous. It can lead to a lot of undesirable situations. In some cases, it goes beyond danger and becomes extremely fatal. Electrical fires and gas explosions are just some of the examples of this. Not only does it put you at risk—your family, as well as your neighbors, are put in danger as well. If, after looking at the procedure, you think the repair is too much to handle, then leave it and call an expert—we’ll tell you when you should hire an expert later on.

There’s no shame in doing this. After all, that’s what they’re there for. They have the right knowledge and the proper equipment to ensure that every repair goes perfectly well, and you should trust them from time to time.


It Can Worsen the Situation

People who fear to perform DIY repairs cite this as the reason why they feel that way. They’re simply afraid of damaging the appliance more and further increasing the cost of repairs. It’s a perfectly logical and acceptable reason. Lack of knowledge and skills may lead to more damage, and more damage means more complex and expensive repairs.

If the attempt goes completely south, it may even completely destroy the appliance. What once was a repairable item will instantly turn into junk that needs to be thrown away and replaced. And we all know how much more expensive replacements cost.

Moreover, even if the repair was done right, it may be of poor quality and it won’t last as long as a repair performed by an expert or professional. You may see value in these temporary fixes, but they’ll slowly drain your funds without you noticing.




10 Appliances You Can Fix Yourself

In order to make things a little bit easier, we’ve categorized the appliances based on where they’re found in your home.



Refrigerator – Common problems with refrigerators include worn and damaged seals and gaskets. These parts can easily be replaced and you can find where they are located using the user’s manual. It is also possible for the coils to overheat due to the buildup of pet hair. On most refrigerators, you can find the coils inside the grill located at the bottom of your appliance. Once the coils are located, get your coil cleaning brush—you can buy this at home and appliance centers—and push it into the coils and pull it back out.


Dishwasher – Dishwashers can get drippy and leak water which can ruin and flood your floors. When this happens, inspect the thick rubber gasket of your appliance. You should find it along the edges of the dishwater tub. It may have been damaged or it may have gone brittle over time. If either of this is the case, the only solution is to replace it with a new one. If there’s nothing wrong with the part, then it may have just gotten loose. Simply reseat the rubber gasket into the edge of the tub and make sure it fits in nice and snug so no water leaks out.


Gas StoveFood spills can ruin a perfectly good stove or range. These can get into the igniter and prevent the stove burner from lighting up. The quickest and most effective fix to this is to clean the igniter. To prevent problems like this in the future, make it a habit to clean this part or avoid food from boiling over.


Electric Stove – Electric stoves are much easier to clean than gas stoves. Sometimes, cleaning the grate and cooktop is enough to have it back and running like new. If this doesn’t work, try replacing the burner grates, coil surface elements, and burner drip bowl. Other major repairs that involve parts located inside the appliance should also be doable with the right repair guide.



Outdoor Gas Grill – An outdoor grill that heats inconsistently can get pretty annoying, but luckily the fix isn’t that hard. The first thing you have to do is locate the tiny ports that line the burners. These ports can get clogged by grease, insects, or unburned food, so best to clean them with a wire brush. If a simple clean doesn’t get the job done, then replace it with a new one that perfectly fits your grill.


Laundry Room

Washing Machine – There’s a reason why your washing machine is vibrating too much during the spin cycle—balance or the lack of it to be more accurate. It may not be level or its legs may need readjusting. Either way, all you have to do is make sure that the appliance is completely leveled. You can do this by elevating one side using a thick piece of plywood or adjusting the legs so they all stand at the same height.


Clothes Dryer – Lint buildup is the most common cause of dryer failure. An excess amount of lint can clog the machine and may it work way too hard. As a fix, check the screen slot, lint screen, and vent hose for any blockages. If there are any, remove the buildup using a vacuum or some other device.



Sink  Sinks are regularly exposed to a lot of harmful elements such as hot water and chemical cleaners. These things can cause the gaskets to erode which eventually leads to a leak. A permanent fix requires you to swap the old strainer body for a new sink strainer kit. Once that’s been done, fill the strainer body with a significant amount of plumber’s putty and then tighten the gaskets and nut until all the excess putty comes out.


Faucet – Leaky faucets are not only irritating, they’re also a huge waste of water. Almost 8 gallons of water go to waste on a daily basis due to a single faucet drip, so a repair should be done as soon as possible. You can even do it yourself. The only thing you have to do is buy a replacement cartridge and use that to replace the parts that control water flow.



Air Conditioning Unit – Water dripping off of an air conditioner is pretty harmless until it drips from the front panel and into your bedroom floor. The solution to this problem is to realign the unit. Its backside needs to be pointing downwards so that the water can flow and drip towards the exterior. That’s it—so simple and easy that it’s almost unfair to call it a repair.


The problems listed above are the most common ones that people run into, so they might not be the ones you’re dealing with. However, that doesn’t change the fact that these appliances can be fixed at home. There’s no need to call a repairman for all you need are your tools and your hands. Those, along with a quick and easy guide from the internet, should be enough to perform a repair for any of these appliances.




3 DIY Repairs to Leave to the Experts

Electrical Repairs – Any repair that involves electrical work must be left to the experts because it’s too dangerous. On top of additional repair bills from ruining your electrical wirings, you might need to add a sky-high hospital bill to your expenses, and nobody would want that. Although there are people, specifically experienced DIYers, that can do this successfully, it’s way too risky for a beginner or even a novice.

Instead, just stick to replacing bulbs for the moment. If you really intend on doing these repairs yourself, then give yourself time to learn about them. Know how it’s supposed to be done—the safest and best methods and what not to do. And while you’re still increasing your knowledge, let the experts do the work.

It may be expensive to hire a licensed electrician, but it is the right thing to do. Electrical currents can be deadly when improperly handled and you don’t want to put your life at risk trying to repair a broken switch or plug.


Plumbing – Plumbing is a lot more doable than electrical repairs and is less likely to put your life in danger, but they can burn a big hole in your pockets if done wrong. It’s already been said earlier that one of the reasons people avoid doing DIY repairs is the fear of making it worse. It is often the case for plumbing—a small leak can easily escalate to a flood.

It’s a risk some are willing to take, but it’s okay if you want to err on the side of caution. These quick escalations can add thousands to your original repair and it’s not worth it. This is especially true if it involves work on the sewage system, handling of hot water pipes, and any underground tube work.

So apart from temporarily patching up a hole, replacing worn faucets, and removing clogs, try to leave the plumbing to the professionals.


Gas Appliances – Repairing appliances that run on gas is just as dangerous as tinkering with electric wires. Extensive repair for gas furnaces, ovens, water heaters, and other similar appliances should be left alone. You may notice that we mention gas stoves in the previous part but it was only for a quick and thorough cleaning. Gas lines didn’t have to be removed or cut and that is where the main problem lies.

A small cut or incision in these gas lines or improper installation can cause a leak, which will surely result in unfortunate situations—health issues, house fire or explosion. Even if you take every precaution in the book like turning off the gas and following instructions down to the T, it’s still way too dangerous.


The price is too high and the reward is too low, so leave it to the experts. They have the right equipment to ensure that the gas lines are secure and no gas is leaking. The cost of hiring these people is worth you and your families’ lives.



Key Takeaway

DIY appliance repairs offer a few benefits and they should be taken into consideration when deciding what to do to a broken appliance. Sometimes it’s more convenient, it can save you a ton of money, you can build up your knowledge and improve your skills, and the sense of accomplishment you feel afterward is immeasurable.

Although, it’s also important to note that not all appliances can and should be repaired at home. While power tools in the Philippines can be used to repair the most damaged appliances and fix the most pressing problems, there are some repairs that should definitely be left to the professionals. Electrical work, plumbing, and gas appliances are under this. Any repair that has to deal with any of these three should be left alone to the professional.

That said, don’t be afraid to do minor repairs. The list above, as well as your knowledge of appliances and repairs, should allow you to set the limit. Don’t go beyond it especially if you’re but a humble beginner. Slowly work your way towards these extensive repairs by starting with basic ones like cleaning dirty parts and replacing worn out ones. Soon you’ll find yourself on par with the experts and able to do even the most difficult repairs!

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