Appliance repairs can be expensive. However, knowing where to begin with routine maintenance can be a daunting task. With a little patience, elbow grease, and a few safety precautions you can grow into a regular handyman or woman in no time. Not sure where to begin when performing routine maintenance on your appliances? Follow these first steps to begin the process.

When in Doubt, Unplug it

The first step to take when preparing to fix an appliance is to remove the electricity or energy source. For small appliances, unplug from electrical outlets to avoid shock or electrocution. For larger appliances, it is also a good idea to turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker as an additional safety precaution.

Locate the Owner’s Manual

You might have to dig a little in the junk drawer, but finding the owner’s manual can save you a lot of time and frustration when maintaining your appliances. Owner’s manuals contain diagrams of the appliances, directions for usage, and typically also have ideas for troubleshooting problems and malfunctions that can arise. If parts of your appliance are broken, the manual often has contact information for the manufacturer. This information will come in handy if you need to order replacement parts.

Check the Obvious

When dependable appliances malfunction, it’s hard to fight the impatience and not assume the worst. When diagnosing the problem, it is crucial to start small and work up to larger issues to avoid unnecessary and expensive repairs. Sometimes the most basic parts of an appliance have a big impact. For example, a refrigerator might be using more energy to keep cool due to air escaping through a worn down door seal. Another common scene is when a gas stove might not be emitting heat due to a burnt out pilot light. Many repairs are inexpensive; it’s just a matter of finding the culprit.

Know When to Call a Professional

Problem-solving and successfully fixing your own appliance is a satisfying feeling, but knowing when to call it quits and call a technician is equally important. The biggest safety risk stems from repairing any parts or wires associated with electricity or an energy source. Without proper training, the average consumer can put themselves at extreme risk of shock, electrocution, or even starting a fire in the home. Ultimately, safety is more valuable than any money saved by DIY repairs.

When repairing your appliances, knowing where to start troubleshooting is half the battle. Having a guide, such as an owner’s manual, can help diagnose issues and provide possible solutions. Ultimately, it is up to the consumer to determine their abilities when performing maintenance.  If you need some routine maintenance advice, Doc’s Appliance Service has trained professionals ready to help. Give Doc’s a call today at 800-726-7130.