The rise of YouTube has created many a DIY repair warrior. If something is broken, you self-diagnose with the help of YouTube, take out the toolbox, and get to work. This can be a dangerous move on many fronts, especially if you don’t actually own the appliance. Even if you do, the warranty could be voided if you are messing around with something and end up causing significant damage the appliance.
We wanted to take a quick look at when you should NOT try to do a DIY repair.
#1 – You live in a rental community
If you are in a rental community or a rental property, chances are that appliance upkeep is NOT your problem. Unless it is something as simple as a lightbulb being out, call the office and have them send up maintenance. In fact, even if it is just a lightbulb, call the office. You are already paying rent, so why should you have to add the cost of supplies to fix the issue? Every appliance and fixture that was there when you walked through the door belongs to the people you are paying rent to every month, so let them fix it!
#2 – Clothes Dryer Repairs
There are some minor repairs you can do on your own, such as the door latch or dryer vent, but you want to be careful about digging into the inner workings of the dryer. This is especially true because of the voltage of the appliance as well as a possible fire hazard if the dryer is not repaired properly. Call an appliance repair technician if it seems like a major issue.
#3 – Dishwasher Repairs
This is going to be one that on most occasions, we are going to recommend you pick up the phone and call the appliance repair technician. There are considerable electrical and plumbing issues that intertwine here, so you really need to be careful. Again, you can address some small issues, such as a gunk buildup on the sprayer heads, but just be careful not to overstep your skillset.
#4 – Microwave Ovens
In most cases, you are going to want a technician to look at this for you, save some basic possible fixes, such as a carousel that is not working, or something along those lines. Again, we are dealing with some very involved electronics here, so play it safe.
#5 – Over Repair
For gas appliances, call the repairman and do not even mess with it. There is just too much that can go wrong here. If it is an electric oven, always make sure the oven is unplugged before working on anything to avoid any issues. However, without the right skill set, the range of repairs you can do on your own is pretty limited.
#6 – Refrigerator Repair
We have already covered some basic fixes, such as water leaking and ice maker not working, but most of the repairs for a refrigerator are going to be a bit more complex and will need a repair technician. My general rule of thumb is that if you have to start taking off doors or moving the fridge, call a repairman.
One Final Rule…
This goes above all other rules and takes precedence. Check your warranty before touching the appliance. In many cases, having anyone but a licensed and authorized technician working on the appliance can nullify the warranty, so make sure you are adhering to the terms and conditions.
Going back to the rental property issue, working on the appliance yourself, you could risk damaging the appliance or voiding the warranty, at which point you may find a little something extra in your monthly bill. From my experience with rental units, I would not even change the water filter on the fridge on my own. As we said above, call the office, put in a maintenance request, and let their team handle the repair or quick fix.