Appliance Care Tips

 

Simple maintenance and cleaning procedures can greatly extend the life and efficiency of your appliance. Learn what you need to do to keep your appliance running well now and for years to come..

A number of our appliance repair centers and technicians also provide repair service for commercial appliances and equipment, reconditioned appliances and appliance parts. We look forward to welcoming you as a customer and being your preferred source for home appliance repair service in the future.

Refrigerator back to top

1. Clean the condenser coils.

Dusty condenser coils cause a refrigerator to work harder; which translates into bigger energy bills and a shorter life expectancy for the fridge – not good. To prevent this from happening, use a vacuum or broom to remove dust build up from the coils every three months (once a month if you have pets). Depending on the model that you own, the coils will either be located behind the refrigerator or underneath the refrigerator. To access coils located underneath, remove the grill at the bottom front of the fridge. To access coils located behind, pull the unit out from the wall.

2. Clean the drain hole and drip pan.

Most refrigerators rely on a drain hole and drip pan to remove condensation, so it's important that these function properly. Remove any food particles and mineral deposits from the drain hole according to the instructions in your owner's manual. Then, scrub out the drain pan.

3. Check and clean the gaskets.

The gaskets on the refrigerator and freezer doors are designed to seal the cool air in and to keep the warm air out – vital to the efficiency of your fridge. So, it's important to make sure that seal is as strong as it should be. Look over the gaskets to see if there are an spots that are cracked or otherwise damaged. Then, shut a dollar bill in the door, and see if you can pull it out easily (the seal should create resistance). If either test turns up problems, consider replacing the gasket. Clean the gasket with an all-purpose cleaner, and wipe dry.

4. Change the water filter.

Does your refrigerator have an ice maker or a water dispenser? If so, it probably also has a water filter that needs to be changed regularly. Replace your filter every six months or as recommended by the owner's manual. Need a little incentive to shell out for a new filter? Then consider this: water pulled through a dirty filter is often dirtier than before it was filtered. Yuck!

5. Check for level.

If your refrigerator isn't level the doors may not close on their own or may not seal as tightly as they're supposed to – yet another opportunity for energy loss. Check to see if your fridge is level, by placing a carpenter's level on top of your unit. Then, if necessary, adjust the feet (by hand or with a wrench) until you achieve level.

6. When Moving.

Remove food and shelves, tape door shut or remove them, unplug cord and icemaker line if there is one. If you lay fridge on its back do not plug it in for 24 hours after you get it into its new place. This will allow the compressors oil to get back where it should be. Failing to do this can cause compressor failure.

Tips:

1. Schedule your refrigerator cleaning on your calendar or use an online reminder service to ensure that you keep up with your regular maintenance
2. Clean the gaskets with vinegar to prevent the growth of mildew
3. Consult your refrigerator owner's manual to see if there are any additional maintenance items recommended for the model that you own

Diswasherback to top

Fast and Easy Dishwasher Care and Maintenance
Your Key to Avoiding Plumbing , Drain and Dishwasher Disasters!


Of all the great modern conveniences in our homes today, probably none makes life as easy or saves as much time and labor as the kitchen dishwasher. When your dishwasher is working fine, life can be pretty fine. But when your dishwasher goes on the fritz or loses its cleaning efficiency, your personal efficiency can take a major hit. Dishwasher repairs usually aren’t major projects or expenses, but even a few days without a dishwasher can turn into a major hassle and inconvenience. And who wants dishpan hands, anyway?
Fortunately, most dishwasher problems are completely avoidable with proper maintenance and usage. That’s why it is extremely important to keep your dishwasher in good running condition. With a little proper care and attention, you should be able to get years of worry-free performance, cleaning and energy-efficiency from your dishwasher. These simple dishwasher tips will show you how.



General Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

A dishwasher is generally a low maintenance appliance. Below are some basic tips for keeping your dishwasher running in tip-top shape. (Note: Before doing any work on your dishwasher, turn off the power at the circuit-breaker box.)

Don’t Get Zapped. Dishwashers have built-in water heaters and motors which can consume a lot of electricity; couple that with all the water a dishwasher uses and you can see how improper wiring and connections can put you at risk for electrocution, fire or power outages. A ll dishwasher should always be plugged into a grounded outlet or wired direct.  And your main socket must be rated adequately to handle the large load required by most dishwashers.

Make Sure Your Dishwasher is Level. If your dishwasher isn’t level, it could leak. To check, open the door and place an air-bubble level along the edge inside. If the dishwasher isn’t level, raise or lower either side by adjusting its “feet” or add a wedge to balance correctly.

Check Gaskets for Cracks and Deterioration. These are the rubber or plastic seals along the dishwasher door that provides a water-tight seal when you close. If you start noticing water around your dishwasher, it could be due to faulty gaskets. If the gasket is damaged, remove it by unscrewing it or prying it out with a screwdriver. You can get a replacement gasket at a hardware store or order one from the manufacturer. Before installing the new gasket, soak it in hot water to make it more flexible.

Check Sprayer Arm for Clogs. Over time Food particles, mineral deposits and other debris can clog the holes in the sprayer arm. It is essential to clean these small holes from time to time to enable the dishwasher to work more efficiently. Remove the sprayer arm periodically and soak in warm vinegar for a few hours to loosen any obstruction. Then clean out each spray hole with an awl or a pipe cleaner.

Check and Clean Screens and Filters. Your dishwasher should have a screen or filter located near the bottom of the dishwasher above the food drain to catch any large food or debris; they need to be cleaned regularly to avoid clogs (at least every other week). Your dishwasher owner’s manual should provide instructions for removing and cleaning the filter. If the filter has holes, it needs to be replace in order to prevent harm to other parts of the dishwasher. Also, inspect and clear out any food or debris that might be trapped in the food drain.

Invest in a Repair Kit. Notice any exposed metal, nicks or corrosion on your dish racks? These can cause rust and stains to dishes and dishwasher walls. Most hardward stores sell repair kits  that allow you to quickly mend worn or chipped plastic. 

Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Dishwasher

We measure the energy efficiency of our car in miles-per-gallon. Dishwasher efficiency is measured by a term called the energy factor. Energy factor is based on the number of cycles per kilowatt-hour of electricity. Today, the minimum allowable energy factor rating for standard capacity dishwashers is 0.46. The higher the number, the more efficiently your dishwasher is using energy. These tips can help you improve your dishwasher’s energy factor and get good cleaning results:

Don’t Get Zapped. Dishwashers have built-in water heaters and motors which can consume a lot of electricity; couple that with all the water a dishwasher uses and you can see how improper wiring and connections can put you at risk for electrocution, fire or power outages. A ll dishwasher should always be plugged into a grounded outlet or wired direct.  And your main socket must be rated adequately to handle the large load required by most dishwashers.

Watch Your Water Temperature. The single most important factor in getting good results is hot water. The best way to improve the energy efficiency of a dishwasher is to reduce the amount of hot water needed to clean your dishes. About 80% of the total energy used by dishwashers goes towards heating the water. Too cool won’t clean your dishes well; too hot wastes energy. Most dishwasher manufacturers and detergent companies recommend setting the water temperature at 130 degrees fahrenheit; this will effectively remove all food particles and residue without wasting energy. Place a thermometer inside the dishwasher to determine if the temperature is appropriate. If above or below 130 degrees, adjust your hot water heater.

Run Hot Water in the Kitchen Sink. Do this for a minute before you turn on the dishwasher. This will get hot water flowing through your pipes and start the wash cycle off with hot water rather than cold.

Avoid Using the Delay Cycle. This, too, fills the dishwasher tub with cold water for the first few cycles, meaning the dishwasher will have to work harder to warm the water up.

Avoid Using the Heated Dry Setting. Dishes can air dry without the use of heated air. This can produce substantial energy savings.

Run Full Loads Only. Running only a portion of a load will use the same amount of energy and water as a full dishwasher load. Don’t be wasteful.

Avoid Pre-Rinsing of Dishes. Scraping off leftover food is sufficient; a good dishwasher should be able to loosen and remove most food particles, even sticky ones. Soaking or pre-washing of dishes usually only necessary when something is burned or baked on.

Keeping  Your Dishwasher Clean

The exterior of the dishwasher can be cleaned using a damp sponge and little detergent. Use any soft brush to clean the gaskets around the door and frame of the dishwasher; food debris can stick there and weaken the seal, allowing water to drip out while the machine is running. Look for any cracks or gaps in the seal. If there’s any damage, the gasket might need to be replaced.
The interior of the dishwasher does not need to be cleaned if it is being used regularly. If the dishwasher goes unused for a week or more, stains, mold and odor may form. Dishwasher cleaner and deodorizer can be used for this purpose. If you see many stains, clean with dishwasher detergent and water. Wear rubber gloves to protect the hand from alkaline detergents. You can also clean and disinfect your interior by running a cup or two of vinegar through the entire cycle of the empty dishwasher.
For rust removal on the inside of your dishwasher, try using a fine steel wool or a rust remover product.

Keeping  Your Dishwasher Odor-Free

When properly installed and regularly used, dishwashers rarely develop problems with bad odors. Most dishwasher odor is related to food  which has collected somewhere in the dishwasher and can’t be easily removed. Your first line of dishwasher odor defense is to always be sure to remove large food particles, non-dissolving and sticky food substances from all dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Also, visually inspect every nook, cranny and corner of the dishwasher to see if any hidden food has wedged somewhere out of view. Other dishwasher odor tips:

Suspect a Drain Clog. A foul-smelling dishwasher could be the first sign of a clog somewhere in your kitchen drain. If waste water accumulates at the bottom of the dishwasher and drains slowly…or if your garbage disposal and kitchen sink tend to back up when the dishwasher drains — this could be further evidence of a clogged drain.  If so, clear the drain as soon as possible.

Check Your Water Softener. If not properly balanced or maintained, water softeners can cause foul odors in the water supply.

Disinfect and Deodorize. Run a cycle with a quart of vinegar to safely clean the tub and pump. Also, put a scoop of Tang powdered drink mix in your dishwasher to gently scour the interior walls and add a clean, fresh scent.

 

Dishwasher Detergents

What you put into your dishwasher significantly affects your dishwasher’s performance.

Use Detergents Specifically Designed for Dishwashers. Hand washing dish detergents and other soaps must NEVER be used in dishwater. They are not formulated to clean dishes in a dishwasher. And they will produce large amounts of foam, suds and bubbles which will leak from the dishwasher and spill onto the floor. use detergents that are specifically meant for DISHWASHING ONLY.

Choose Powders Over Gels. Powder detergents are usually a better choice than gels. Gels often contain chlorine bleach which car dissolve seals and gaskets. Gels don’t work well in hard water.  Gels can clog the detergent dispenser which can impede cleaning performance. And gels tend to leave more spots, film and cloudiness on glassware. For best results, we recommend using a powdered detergent or tablets.

Don’t Buy Dishwashing Powder in the Super-Size Box. It may seem cost-effective to purchase large economy-size  boxes of dish detergent powder, but these products actually have a limited shelf life. Once you open that box, you only have about two weeks to use it; once air hits the powder, its cleaning effectiveness is greatly reduced. Stick to regular-size boxes which can be consumed in a two-week time period.

Avoid Cheap Products. Make sure that the word DETERGENT appears on the box. Some inexpensive and non-name powders contain contain inferior cleansers; some even contain sand! These products should be avoided to prevent wear and damage to dishes and the dishwasher itself as well as sediment build-up.

Dishwashers and Glassware

Over time, spots, streaks and hazinesss can form on glassware when washed in a dishwasher, especially if you use hard water. Most manufacturers recommend that you hand wash most glassware, especially if it is finer glassware. If you do put glassware in your dishwasher, here are some things to keep in mind.

If you have well water or hard water, use a rinse-aid — such as Jet-Dry — in your dishwasher. These will prevent much of the spotting and streaking on glassware caused by insoluble deposits that dry on glass surfaces. Most manufacturers recommend that you use a solid rinse aid rather than a liquid. Solid rinse-aids disperse more evenly and consistently and are simpler to use; you just need to hang them from your dishwasher’s upper rack.

If you have a water softener, you may want to try cutting back on the amount of detergent you are using…or add a  ¼ cup of vinegar to in the dishwasher before each load.

No matter what type of water you have, be sure to run the dishwasher with a quart of vinegar and no dishes or detergent. This will removes any mineral deposits and residues left behind anywhere in the tub as well as disinfect and deodorize.

Common Dishwasher Complaints

Here are some quick troubleshooting techniques for some common dishwasher headaches:
My Dishwasher Won’t Drain.
If your dishwasher won’t drain, try cleaning the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher and then run the dishwasheer again. If this doesn’t work call a plumber or dishwasher repair specialist.
My Dishwasher Won’t Fill.
This could be due to several causes. Be sure the door is latched securely and that the water is turned on. Check that the dial pad is properly selected for the cycle and that the cycle has started. Check your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box. Check inlet hose for kinks or sediment; clean if necessary.
My Dishwasher Won’t Drain Water in the Bottom of the Tub.
Check your home’s fuse box for any blown fuses or circuits.  Check that the dishwashing cycle is actually completed. Check drain hose for a kink and be sure the drain hose is elevated in the drain or disposer. If hooked up to a garbage disposal, be sure the knockout is removed from the disposal inlet.
My Dishwasher’s Detergent Cup Is Not Empty.
Check to see if the dishwasher cycle has actually completed. Make sure the dispenser is not blocked; clear it if you can. Be sure to use fresh dishwasher detergent which has been stored in a cool, dry place.
My Dishwasher is Making Noise.
A variety of odd noises can be expected with normal dishwasher operation including the sound of a water valve hiss during filling, humming during draining, water circulating/swooshing…even ticking sounds (usually just the timer).  Thumping and snapping sounds are usually the wash arm bumping an item that is extending beyond the racks or the detergent cup lid hitting the door liner when the dishwasher door is opened at the end of the cycle. Be concerned if the noise is something you haven’t heard before, is forceful or sounds like it may be breaking your dishes.
My Dishwasher Leaks.
Check to make sure that the dishwasher is level. Too many suds can cause the dishwasher to overflow; make sure you are using the right kind of detergent and in the proper quantity. Use less detergent in soft water than in hard water. Check seals along dishwasher door for cracks and damage. If leakage continues and is more than just a few droplets, call a plumber or experienced dishwasher technician.
My Dishes and Dishwasher Interior are Stained and Discolored.
Aluminum utensils and pans can leave marks when they rub against other items; leave a slight space between them.  Iron in the water can leave a yellow, brown or orange film; you may need to install a rust filter. Some foods and sauces (eg. tomatoes) may stain dishes and interiors; try using a dishwasher detergent that contains citric acid.  Also, check the dishwasher rack for nicks or scratches in the plastic finish; if you notice any areas of your diswasher rack or interior with exposed metal, repair them as soon as possible with a plastic coating material or a water-proof sealant. Use a rust remover or fine steel wool to gently scrub rust and stains from dishwasher tub and walls.
My Dishes Don’t Get Clean.
If your dishes don’t get squeaky clean on the first wash, there are quite a few things to consider:

••    Is there enough water? Test this by starting a cycle and allowing the unit to fill. When it is washing, open the door and check the water level; it must reach the heating element for the pump to work well. If it doesn’t reach the heating element, you may need to replace the water valve. If the water does reach the heating element, you may have more serious problems; consult with a plumber or dishwasher technician.

••    Is the water hot enough? The temperature of the water should be at least 130 degrees fahrenheit.  Adjust your hot water heater accordingly

••    Do you have a blockage? Check both spray arms for foood particles and debris.

••    Are you overloading the dishwasher? Try less dishes or putting too many large items (such as pots and pans) on the bottom rack. You may be impeding water from reaching all of your items. Follow manufacturer’s instruction for loading dishes to allow for proper water circulation.

My Dishes Remain Wet After I Use the Dry Cycle.
Be sure the heated dry setting is selected. Use a rinse aid regularly to improve drying. (Many dishwasher models come equipped with an adjustable rinse aid cap; turn the cap towards the MORE setting.)  Check water temperature; if water is too cold, it won’t evaporate. Make sure dishes are loaded properly to allow for proper evaporation and dripping/draining; place dishes so water won’t accumulate. Plastic and Teflon items have porous surfaces that retain water; towel drying may be necessary. 
My Dishwasher is Filled With Suds.
If you accidentally use regular dishwashing liquid for sinks or other soap products in the dishwasher, you could end up with a dishwasher full of suds that are extremely difficult to remove. Follow these steps:

Sprinkle table salt across the suds to disperse them.

Add a large quantity of ice cubes into the dishwasher to lower the water temperature and reduce the sudsing.

Soak up as much water and suds as you can with a dry towel. Run the dishwasher again in rinse mode and repeat the salt and ice again if necessary.

As a last resort, add a cup of liquid fabric softener to break up the sudes. Let the dishwasher run for a few seconds, then select the drain cycle.   

 

Range/ Wall Ovenback to top

Broiler pan

The broiler pan that comes with most range/ovens is porcelain-coated steel. Clean it with a non-abrasive cleanser. If you want to replace the broiler pan instead please give us a call.

Control panel

Most range/oven control panels are glass and/or painted metal. You can safely use non-abrasive cleaners on these surfaces. Please see us for a recommended cleaner.
Note: Never spray cleaners directly onto the control panel. Instead, put some cleaner on a soft, damp rag, then wipe the surface.

Cooktop

You can clean any porcelain cooktop with a non-abrasive cleanser. Note: Don't pour the cleanser directly onto the cooktop. Instead, put some cleaner on a soft, damp rag, then wipe the surface.

Burner drip pans (bowls)

You usually need to replace the drip pans or bowls beneath the grates on a gas stove/range and beneath the heating element on an electric stove/range every 2 to 3 years. That's because, once they're stained, it's usually not possible to clean them completely.
If you have your appliance model number, you can order replacement original bowls by contacting us.

Glass cooktops and windows

Always clean glass and ceramic cooktops only with products made for this purpose--such as the glass cleaner we carry.
Clean your glass oven windows with any oven glass cleaner. But be careful not to clean glass surfaces that are hot!

Knob care

You may be able to safely clean the knobs on your range/oven with a little dish detergent and a damp rag. But, if the numbers or lettering have worn away, you may need to replace the knobs. If you have your model number, you can call us to purchase replacement original knobs for your range/oven.

Light bulbs

You can replace the light bulb(s) in your range/oven, though you may need to remove a glass covering or dome to reach it. These can be tricky sometime from the heat and grime that builds up on them. Most interior oven lights require a universal 40 watt universal appliance bulb.

Oven

If your oven is self-cleaning, consult the owner's manual for instructions on how to use this feature. The self-cleaning feature works by heating the interior of the oven to a temperature so hot that it incinerates the residue inside the oven. Normally, it is not a good idea to clean the interior of a self-cleaning oven with a spray cleaner; however, refer to your owner's manual or contact the manufacturer of your oven for further information.
To clean a non-self-cleaning oven, use one of the many oven cleaners that are available at grocery and hardware stores.
Note: most self cleaning ovens shelves are not designed to be left in during self cleaning. See owners manual.

Washing machines are great time savers, but their insides consist of many parts that need care and maintenance. And, while sometimes a repair person will need to help out, there are steps you can take to protect your investment.
Avoid overloading a washing machine. Too much weight disturbs its balance, which can lead to costly repairs.

Tip

To keep loads from piling up, try washing a load each day of the week.
Measure laundry detergent amounts. Too much causes buildup and odors, plus excess soap won’t rinse out thoroughly.

Tip

Dissolve detergent in warm water, then switch to cold water if a cold cycle is preferred.
Select the correct wash cycle for the size and type of laundry load.
Regularly check and clean filters attached to the water hose connections. They can clog, causing your machine to fill slower.

Tip

If you’ve been away from home two weeks or longer, release hydrogen gas buildup by letting hot water faucets run for several minutes before using any electrical appliance that’s connected to hot water.
Wipe spills immediately. Ammonia, bleach, abrasive cleaners and solvents will damage the washing machine’s porcelain or synthetic enamel. Keep the machine functioning properly by washing it once a month with a store-bought cleaner that’ll rinse away soil, detergent and water mineral residue.

Tip

To clean the washing machine yourself, add two cups of white vinegar to an empty hot water cycle. Soak the bleach and fabric softener containers in hot water, replace them, then run another hot water cycle to rinse.
Replace washing machine hoses every 3 years.

Window ACback to top

1. Wash the filter.

The main thing to do to upkeep your window unit is to make sure you wash the filter screen on a regular basis. After popping out the front grill of the unit with a putty knife, remove the mesh filter. Wash it together with the grill in a mixture of warm, soapy water and bleach to remove any mold.

2. Clean the coils.

You'll find evaporator coils underneath the filter. To keep your A/C going strong, you'll want to vacuum them thoroughly using a brush attachment. Remove any stubborn dirt with a plastic scrub brush. Do the same thing with the condenser coils at the back of the A/C unit. The idea is that extra debris gets in the way of air flow—an your cool air.

3. Straighten fins.

Use a fin comb to straighten any bent coil fins. You can find fin combs at a home or hardware store or online for around $10.

Portable ACback to top

As self-contained cooling systems, portable air conditioners are great for keeping rooms, offices, apartments, RVs, and even computer server rooms at comfortable temperatures because they can be easily moved and require no permanent installation.
However, portable air conditioners still require venting through a window or wall with the help of an exhaust hose before cooling can begin. Even so, portable air conditioners have less maintenance requirements than swamp coolers. The following are some common maintenance requirements that are associated with most portable ACs:

Venting

Portable air conditioners don't require permanent installation, but the condensed hot air must be vented out of the room via a venting kit (usually included). This allows the vent hose to be slid into a window, with the exhaust hose being fitted into the appropriate window space.
In some situations where venting through a window isn't feasible, a portable AC can also be vented through a drop ceiling or wall. Although this method may require more work than if the unit was to be vented using a standard window kit, this will allow you to cool an area that lacks windows. See our short video on venting portable ACs here

Draining the Water

During the cooling process, your portable air conditioner acts like a dehumidifier because it removes water from the air. Most of this water is used to cool the actual AC and this results in better cooling efficiency. In fact, if you reside in an especially humid area, a good amount of water may be collected. However, this condensate must be removed, and portable air conditioners use various methods to accomplish this task.
Portable ACs will collect condensate in buckets which need to be emptied, but more advanced room air conditioners have the ability to evaporate more of this moisture, therefore resulting in less or even no water to be emptied.
Furthermore, most portable air conditioners can support the connection of a drain hose that allows water to be drained continuously, and there are even condensate pumps available which pump the water outside or into a drain pump located indoors.

icon_bulb-blue-1Portable Air Conditioner Buying Tip:

To simplify maintenance, choose a portable AC with auto-evaporative technology because the tank will not need to be emptied as frequently (unless used in an extremely humid climate).

Cleaning & Replacing the Filters

Portable air conditioners will usually have some sort of air filter to eliminate airborne particles, and some advanced units may even come with built-in air purifiers complete with carbon filters and ionizers.  For effective particle abatement and optimal cooling efficiency, regularly clean or replace the filters in your portable AC. This should occur on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on use.
If your portable air conditioner has a washable filter, slide the filter out, immerse it in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly, and let it dry before replacing it back into the unit. On the other hand, if you have a portable air conditioner with a carbon filter, replace this according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Cleaning the Exterior

A clean portable air conditioner will result in increased air volume, so the actual housing of the unit should be cleaned every few weeks. Wipe the surface of the unit with a soft, damp cloth when the unit is turned off, and don't use abrasive chemicals or detergents. Furthermore, try to keep the portable AC away from direct sunlight because this can change the color of the unit's surface.

End of Season Storage

At the end of summer, don't forget to properly store your portable air conditioner .  Doing so will ensure cooling efficiency and prolong the life of the unit. Store your AC by turning off and unplugging the unit, draining all water from the water tank, and turning on the fan mode.
After letting the interior dry for a few hours, clean the filter as outlined above, wrap the cord around the cord hooks, pack the unit in the original carton, and store it in a dry location. If your portable air conditioner also includes a built-in heater function and can be used year-round, it should be maintained as you would any other type of AC.

Freezerback to top

Proper care and maintenance of your freezer will not only improve efficiency and performance, but will save energy dollars, and help your food contents to last longer.

Location of Your Freezer

Placing your freezer directly near a heat source, outside in warm climates, or where the sun will shine on it, will cause it to work harder than it needs to - increasing energy costs. Find a cool, level and dry space, with adequate clearance at the back for good air circulation, and room overhead or to the side to open the freezer door.

Care & Maintenance

  • Check the seal occasionally to ensure proper sealing. If the seal is not adequate, the door may require an adjustment or the seal may need to be replaced.
  • Defrost and clean the freezer regularly. Ice build-up will lower it's efficiency.
  • Safeguard your small children by keeping freezers locked.
  • Vacuum any exposed condensor coils regularly to ensure proper air circulation.
  • Keep temperature constant to keep food from spoiling.
  • Label and date food contents for quick retrieval, and ensure that foods are properly rotated.
  • These tips are general in nature; consult your owner's manual for specific care guidelines.

Moving Day Tips

  • You can lay your upright down for safer transport, but turn it on its side with the hinges up, to ensure the door doesn't open.
  • You might consider securing the door shut to prevent movement and protect the hinges.
  • Remove glass shelving before moving the appliance.
  • Wait at least a half hour before plugging your freezer in, to ensure the oil has time to drain back to its proper place in the compressor. Older freezers should have an even longer waiting period - as the oil takes longer to relocate.
  • After an extended period in freezing weather, your freezer may not appear to be working after being plugged in, but as it adjusts to the warmer room temperature, the thermostat will tell it to operate.
Disposalback to top

Good Practices Today Can Prevent Major Plumbing and Drain Problems Tomorrow!

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you know that it’s a great appliance that makes household duties less demanding. But if not operated or maintained properly, a garbage disposal can easily break down, block and clog the drains and cause a long list of expensive plumbing and drain nightmares.

Clogged drains are a major inconvenience and garbage disposal repair can be a costly proposition. Fortunately, most garbage disposal troubles are completely unnecessary, and garbage disposal care and maintenance is extremely easy. Treat your garbage disposal well, and it will treat you well, in return. Below, we describe the mistakes you should avoid and the actions you should take in order to keep your garbage disposal working smoothly for many years and minimize the likelihood that you’ll need to call for plumbing or drain cleaning services.

Garbage Disposal Do’s:

Do keep your garbage disposal clean. Pour a little dish soap inside and let the garbage disposal run for a minute or so with some cold water after washing dishes.

Do run your garbage disposal regularly. Frequent use prevents rust and corrosion, assures that all parts stay moving and prevents obstructions from accumulating.

Do grind food waste w/ a strong flow of cold water. Why cold water? It will cause any grease or oils that may get into the unit to solidify, so that they can be chopped up before reaching the trap.

Do grind certain hard materials such as small chicken and fish bones, egg shells, small fruit pits, etc. A scouring action is created by these particles inside the grind chamber that cleans the garbage disposal’s walls.

Do grind peelings from citrus fruits such as lemons or oranges to freshen up drain smells.

Do cut large items into smaller pieces. Put them into the garbage disposal one at a time instead of trying to shove a large amount in at once.

Garbage Disposal Don’ts:

The most important rule of thumb: Don’t Put Anything In The Garbage Disposal That Is Not Biodegradable Food. A garbage disposal is not a trash can; it’s for food scraps only. Non food items can damage both blades and the motor. When in doubt, throw it out!

Don’t grind glass, plastic, metal or even paper.

Don’t grind anything combustible.

Don’t grind cigarette butts

Don’t pour grease, oil or fat into your garbage disposal or drain. Grease will slowly accumulate and impede your garbage disposal’s grinding ability as well as clog drains.

Don’t use hot water when grinding food waste. Hot water will cause grease to liquefy and accumulate, causing drains to clog.

Don’t grind extremely fibrous material like corn husks, celery stalks, onion skins, and artichokes. Fibers from these can tangle and jam the garbage disposal motor and block drains.

Don’t turn off the motor or water until grinding is completed. When grinding is complete, turn off the garbage disposal first. Let water continue to run for at least 15 seconds, flushing out any remaining particles. Then turn off water.

Don’t put too many potato peels down the garbage disposal. The starches in the potatoes will turn into a thick paste and may cause blades to stick.

Don’t put large amounts of food down the garbage disposal. Feed food into the garbage disposal a little at a time with the cold water running; this will help the food scraps flow down freely through the drain pipes and plumbing.

Don’t put expandable foods into your garbage disposal. Foods like pasta and rice expand when you add water in a pot; they do the same thing once inside your pipes or garbage disposal and are the cause of many jams and clogs.

Don’t grind large animal bones (beef, pork etc.).
Avoid putting coffee grounds down the garbage disposal. They won’t harm the garbage disposal and they’ll actually help eliminate odors. However, they can accumulate in drains and pipes, causing clogs. Best to avoid.

Don’t use harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners. They can damage blades and pipes. Borax is a natural sink cleaner and sanitizer that effectively works on odor-causing mold and mildew that accumulates in garbage disposals. (See more below).
Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Running Problem-Free

Ice is an extremely effective and inexpensive method for cleaning your garbage disposal, sharpening the blades and breaking up any grease build-up which has accumulated. Just toss a few ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it. As the garbage disposal chops into the ice cubes, the ice chips will effectively scour all the hard to reach areas of the unit, and melt down the drain. Try this once or twice a month to keep your garbage disposal in fine working order.

To Remove or Prevent Nasty Garbage Disposal Smells

Here are some natural methods to clean your garbage disposal that are good for the environment and very inexpensive.
Periodically, take a lemon or orange and toss it into the disposal. The oils and juice from the fruits and peels naturally clean the walls inside the garbage disposal and create a fresh, long-lasting scent.

Freeze vinegar in ice cube trays and run those down the disposal. This will keep your blades sharp while safely killing odor-causing bacteria.
For stubborn odors pour baking soda into the drain and let it set for several hours before running the water and garbage disposal.
For really stubborn odors, use a safe cleaning product like Borax. Just pour 3-4 tablespoons of Borax down the drain and let it sit for an hour. Then turn on the hot water and flush the borax away.

Tips for Removing Fallen Objects

NEVER insert your unprotected hand into the garbage disposal…unless, of course, you want to lose it! If you must use your hand to remove objects and debris from the garbage disposal, unplug the unit or turn off the appropriate circuit breaker. Always wear safety gloves to protect your hand from the garbage disposal’s sharp blades.

There are safer steps in retrieving the fallen objects. First, grab a flashlight and try to find the exact location of the object. Use a pair of extra-long needle nose pliers or an automotive finger gripper (available at most hardware stores) to extract the object from the garbage disposal. In some case, you may be able to use a bent coat-hanger to reach down into the garbage disposal and dislodge and hook the object. Even a pair of chopsticks or crochet needles can work to grab the object.

What To Do if Your Garbage Disposal is Not Grinding:

90% of garbage disposals that appear not to be working just need to be reset. There is usually a red or black reset button on the garbage disposal motor underneath your sink. Just push to reset.
If the garbage disposal is plugged into a wall outlet, ensure the outlet has power.
Check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
Give it a push-start. Most garbage disposals have a hole underneath that allows you to hand-crank it free once it’s been jammed. To crank it, use either an Alan wrench or a garbage disposal tool that you can pick up at most hardware stores. This should free up most non-serious jams.

Call a Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Professional When All Else Fails

These are general maintenance tips and simple remedies for minor problems. If you try these solutions and they don’t work or if your problem seems to be getting worse, contact us immediately. We have the tools and know-how to address almost every garbage disposal emergency

Microwaveback to top

Here are some tips for repairing and taking care of a microwave oven.
1. Keep your microwave clean. If your microwave doesn't have a removable glass shelf, you can avoid unnecessary spatters by covering dishes using paper towels or wax paper when a looser cover is desired
2. Wipe up all spills from in your microwave at once. Wash it regularly with mild detergent and water. Always rinse and wipe dry with a paper towel or clean cloth. 3. Clean around the edge of the door and its opening to prevent soil buildup, which prevents the door from closing tightly.
4. If dirty spots seem to have dried on, boil sine water in a glass cup for a few minutes as steam loosens the soil. Leave it in the microwave oven for around five minutes then wipe it dry.
5. To get rid of odors, clean the interior with a solution of 1-tablespoon baking soda and 1-cup warm water then rinse and dry. You can also mix one portion lemon juice and three portions of water in a large glass cup and boil for 3-5 minutes and then let it cool. Remove the water and then wipe dry.
6. Never use abrasive pads or powders on the microwave oven. Always follow the manual directions for care and cleaning.
7. Do not use the microwave for canning, deep-frying or heating baby bottles.
8. Stay near the oven when making popcorn with your microwave as heat buildup can cause a fire. Time allocated for heating as per the instructions.
9. Do not disinfect, dry clothing or other articles in the microwave otherwise you risk starting fire.
10. Always use microwave-safe utensils only. Some plastics are hot melted by food like margarine tubs, which cause migration of package constituents. Use glass for fatty foods, which get particularly hot but not all glass and ceramics, are microwave-safe.
11. Have the oven repaired if there are signs of rusting inside it.

To make radiation levels from a microwave oven remain as low as possible, consider the following these steps:

1. Do not use the oven if the door doesn't close firmly, if an object is caught in the door or the door is otherwise damaged. Always check the oven door for deterioration, which would require servicing.
2. Contact the manufacturer, a reputable servicing firm or the local state health department if you suspect excessive microwave leakage.

Dryer maintenance is important for the proper care of your clothes dryer. A properly cared for clothes dryer will last a long time and give you plenty of good service. The better you take care of your clothes dryer the better your clothes dryer can care for your clothes.
Keep the lint filter of your clothes dryer clean. After you have dried a load of clothes always clean the lint filter of your clothes dryer. A dirty lint filter will prevent the clothes dryer from working properly and a dirty dryer lint filter can also cause a fire. When you are drying a linty load of clothes it is a good idea to stop the dryer in the middle of the drying time to clean the lint filter. When you keep the lint filter of your dryer clean you are helping to save money and you are improving the efficiency of your dryer.
The vent system of your dryer should be kept clean. You need to check the inside and the outside of your dryer vent occasionally to make sure it is clean. If your vent system needs cleaning you can take a vacuum cleaner hose and vacuum out the lint that has accumulated in your dryer lint system. To have your ductwork professionally cleaned please contact us.
When you dry your clothes do not over load your dryer. An over loaded dryer can not work efficiently and it won't dry clothes properly.
Pens and crayons that are left in pockets can fall out as the dryer is working. They pens and crayons can leave marks on the inside of the dryer and they can also mark up the clothes you are drying in the dryer. If the inside of your dryer gets marked up with a pen or a crayon you can take a cleaner like formula 409 and clean up the marks with the cleaner and a clean cloth. As you clean the dryer inside do not spray the cleaner directly into the dryer. Spray the cleaner on a soft cloth and wipe it out with the clean cloth. Also do not use a flammable solvent cleaner.
A dryer can build up residue with time. This residue should be wiped off from time to time so that the dryer stays smooth and efficient. Just wipe out the inside of the dryer with s moist cloth that has undiluted bleach on it. After you wipe out the dryer with the bleach you should rinse the dryer out with a wet sponge or cloth.

Wine Coolerback to top

A wine cooler is the perfect appliance for novice wine drinkers and collectors. It preserves the taste and quality of white and red wines by carefully controlling storage temperature and humidity levels.
To ensure efficiency, optimal performance and long-lasting durability, wine chillers must be properly maintained and cared for. Here are some quick and easy maintenance and care tips for your portable unit.

Cleaning

One of the most important maintenance and care tips for your cooler is exterior and interior cleaning. Following these simple tips will keep your wine cooler in great operating condition.

  • Prevent attractive finishes from becoming discolored by cleaning the exterior with a non-abrasive cleanser and a non-abrasive cloth
  • Disconnect the power
  • Remove the racks
  • Wipe down with a mild detergent and warm water. A mild solution you can make at home is 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart warm water
  • If there's a water box at the bottom, pull it out and rinse

Remember, never clean with flammable fluids because they can cause a fire or an explosion.

Placement

wine-cooler-placement

Make sure you set your cooler up in the proper area. Where you place the unit will affect how well it functions.

  • Set it up in a cool, dark area, away from direct sunlight or other heat sources
  • Make sure there's enough clearance. Your wine cooler needs space around it to ensure that the vents aren't blocked and the door opens easily
  • Place it on a level surface to keep wine bottles safe and securely in place

 

 

Relocation

When relocating your portable wine cooler, follow these helpful tips for successful placement.

  • Remove bottles
  • Tape down loose parts
  • Turn the feet toward the base to avoid damage
  • Tape the door shut and keep it in an upright position at all times

If the unit isn't kept upright, it may not operate correctly. If for any reason, the unit isn't kept in an upright position at all times, you should let it sit for a minimum of 2 hours before plugging it in.

Operation

redwine2

To get the best performance out of your cooler, you should follow certain operation principles. For example:

  • Always read the owner's manual included with the unit before use.
  • Don't open the door too often
  • Make sure the door is closed all the way
  • Make sure the door seal is functioning properly

All of these factors contribute to your wine cooler's ability to maintain a constant temperature. To ensure proper wine storage, you need to make sure the temperature is consistent.

  • The unit shouldn't be overfilled
  • Don't let the bottles bang or scratch the inner or outer surface of the chiller
  • Items shouldn't be placed on top of the unit or allowed to press up against the surface either

 

Repairs

Keeping your wine cooler fully repaired at all times is a great way to ensure longevity. The best way to do this is by following a few simple procedures:

  • Check the power cord for damage, because cut or frayed cords are extremely dangerous
  • Replace interior lights when they go out
  • Fix any broken racks as soon as possible
  • Check the cooling element and fan

Maintaining a precise temperature and humidity level is the most important part of wine preservation and storage.

Range Hoodsback to top

Filter cleaning/replacing

You need to periodically clean your over-the-stove vent hood. The thin, silvery screen is the grease filter (there may be more than one). It traps airborne oils and grease to keep them out of the blower and exhaust vent. To clean the filter, remove it and soak it in a degreasing solution until the grease is dissolved. Next, wash it with warm, soapy water to remove any traces of the degreaser. Then put it in the upper rack of the dishwasher and run it through a normal cycle.
Note… If your unit circulates the air rather than vents it, it may have one or more activated charcoal filters. Don't wash these. Just replace them when they lose their effectiveness.

Interior cleaning

Warning! Be sure the unit is turned off before you clean it. Also avoid spraying cleaner directly onto the light bulb or light bulb socket.
Clean the interior of the vent hood with a standard household degreaser/cleaner.

Exterior cleaning

Clean the exterior of your vent hood with a degreaser/cleaner or a non-abrasive cleanser.

Fan motor care

Most vent hood fan motors don't need any maintenance. Over time, the motor and bearings may become stiff because of the constant heat, humidity, and grease to which they're subjected.
Also over time, the blower wheel gets greasy and dirty, which can slow down the fan or cause vibration. Remove the wheel and clean it with a degreaser. Then, if the fan is still slow or if it vibrates, you need to replace the fan motor.

Vent cleaning

If your fan vents (rather than just circulates), you need to regularly check the vent that leads from the vent hood to the outside, to make sure that grease isn't building-up on the inside of it. If it is, contact us to clean the vent properly.
Dehumidifier

Don't set the humidistat higher than necessary

Dehumidifiers have a humidistat that you can set to maintain a specific humidity level in the room. If you set the humidistat too high (low humidity), the unit may run continuously, which is usually unnecessary and actually not very helpful. Most houses need at least some humidity--for example, to keep woodwork from drying out too much and to control static electricity. Also, extreme dryness is often uncomfortable for people.

Clean the water container

You need to clean the container that catches the water from the evaporator coils from time to time. How often depends on how much you use it. Check the condition of this container monthly for a while, to learn whether your unit needs frequent cleaning.

Replace the filter

Many dehumidifiers are outfitted with a simple, electrostatic filter in the front grill area that filters the air that passes through them. If your unit has a filter, you should replace or clean it once a year.

Inspect the cooling coils for frost or ice build-up

If the temperature becomes fairly cool in the room where you have your dehumidifier--say 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower--check the dehumidifier coils to be sure they aren't icing up. If they are, that's not good.

Don't short-cycle the cooling system

To prolong the life of your dehumidifier, never turn it off and then back on right away. After you turn it off, wait at least 10 minutes before turning it on again. This lets the pressure in the refrigeration system equalize.
BBQ grillsback to top

To keep your gas grill in good working order you are going to have to spend a little time maintaining it. After all you wouldn't expect your oven to keep working perfect parked out on the back porch all year long and not need a little care or cleaning. Cleaning your grill is part of this process but you need to protect and maintain your investment. There are three cycles to your maintenance program.

Every Time:

  • Preheat your grill completely every time you turn it on. This cleans and disinfects your gas grill.
  • Brush cooking grates to remove residue and give yourself a clean cooking surface.
  • Turn up the heat on your grill to maximum after you remove the last or the food. This burns off all the drippings and grease in your grill.
  • Cover your grill as soon as it has cooled down. It is a myth that a grill cover causes rusting.

Every 10 Cookouts:

  • Remove the cooking grates and clean them on both sides.
  • While the grates are out clean off those metal things (barrier) above the burners and below the grates.
  • Brush out the inside of the grill into the drip pan blow.
  • Clean out or replace the grease drip pan.
  • Put everything back and fire up the grill letting it heat up for about 10 minutes or until there is no (or at least not very much) smoke coming out of the grill.

Once a Year

If you plan to pack away your grill for the winter (shame on you) you will want to do this at the end of your season. If you grill year round (good for you) pick a nice day and do this at least once a year. If you use your grill more than once a week you should do this twice a year.

  • Remove the cooking grates and soak them in hot, soapy water.
  • Remove the barrier and do the same to them.
  • Thoroughly brush out the interior of the grill. Leave the greasy accumulation as a protective layer on the metal.
  • With everything out of the way fire up the grill just long enough to look at how the flame is coming from the burners.
  • If the flames are uneven you need to clean out the burners. To do this remove the affected burners from the grill and with a pipe cleaner or small wire push through the ports (holes along the side). Then gently tap the burners, open end down, on the ground to displace any debris from inside the burner. Once cleaned out replace the burners and fire it up again. If the flame is even continue, if not, repeat this step.
  • Clean out or replace the grease drip pan.
  • While the grates and barrier are soaking, close up the grill and give the exterior a wash, much like you would your car (if you have one).
  • Wash off the grates and barrier and put your grill back together.
  • Fire up the grill and allow it to heat up, drying all the internal parts.
  • If you really are packing your grill away for the season, close and disconnect the gas supply. Remove the propane tank from the grill and place it in a safe, but ventilated area. Cover the grill and put it in a sheltered location.
If in the course of your clean you find that parts are worn or broken you may contact us for repair.
Ice Machineback to top

A few simple procedures can prolong the life of your ice machine and keep it running efficiently. Maintenance should be done regularly every six months, preferably during non-peak times of the year such as winter or spring. Refer to the instruction manual for your particular model for specific manufacturer’s tips and guidelines.

Clean the Air-Cooled Condenser

Commercial Ice Machine

A clean air-cooled condenser is a vital part of a well-functioning ice machine. When the condenser is not properly cleaned on a regular basis, freeze times will increase, thereby decreasing the ice maker’s overall productivity. Long freeze times can happen because heat cannot be efficiently removed from the water through the condenser. This can lead to other problems in the ice machine’s refrigeration system because more wear and tear is being placed on the parts that are working.
There are a few different ways to clean the ice maker condenser. A small, nylon brush can be used to remove dust and any debris in between the cooling fins. Special care should be taken not to use anything that could possibly puncture the freon tubes in the condenser. A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment can also be used to remove debris. Be careful not to crush, bend or damage the cooling fins. Compressed air can also be used to remove dirt and debris from the condenser. When using compressed air, precautions should be taken to ensure that dust and debris don’t get blown into the air and the surrounding space.
Finally, air-cooled condensers need an unobstructed flow of air to ensure proper cooling. Always make sure that nothing is blocking the fan!

Remove Mold and Mildew

Keeping an ice maker free of mold and mildew is an important health concern for any food establishment. Mold and slime can grow on any plastic or rubber part of the ice machine that is in direct contact with water. It can also grow in the ice bin. If left unchecked, this mold can find its way into the ice itself and, eventually, into someone’s drink!
Cleaning should be done with a nylon scrub brush and a bottle of mold and mildew cleaning solution. Set the ice maker into cleaning mode. When water starts flowing over the evaporator, add the recommended amount of cleaning solution for the size of the machine. Using the nylon brush, clean the mold and mildew from any parts that appear dirty or discolored. Remove all the ice from the ice bin and give the bin a good scrubbing, making sure to clean the drain and remove any obstructions.
Always use proper safety gear, such as eye protection and rubber gloves, when working with any kind of chemical, and consult the material safety data sheet if accidents or spills occur.

Prevent Limescale Build Up

Preventing limescale build up is key to maintaining your ice maker’s operational productivity. Limescale buildup can prevent proper harvesting, and can damage parts. A small limescale residue can turn into large deposits over time, forcing parts like the water pump, inlet valve, and evaporator to work harder to produce a normal amount of ice.
When running the cleaning cycle, make sure to scrub the evaporator with a nylon brush only to prevent any damage to the nickel coating on the evaporator. We also advise our customers to use only the manufacturer recommended limescale remover for the same reason.
With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can prolong the life of your ice machine, while decreasing overall costs.

Cooktopback to top

While no one can argue that a smoothtop electric cooktop is more stylish than the traditional coil element type, it does need more care to prevent discoloring and scratching. Regular cleaning is also different than how you would clean an older style coil cooktop. And the homemaker needs to be proactive with cooktop cleaning and care to keep this style of cooktop looking good.

Here's a list of things to avoid if you have a smoothtop electric cooktop range or built-in counter cooktop. While there's no guarantee that these tips will totally protect your cooktop, they do help considerably. And cleaning the cooktop regularly will also help to preserve the smooth, clean look you fell in love with when you bought your range or cooktop.

  • Do not use cast iron cookware on a smoothtop cooktop or range. The bottoms of cast iron cookware are usually very rough and any movement of the pot on the cooktop, can leave scratches.
  • Other cookware that can scratch the glass are ceramic and stoneware that have unfinished, rough bases. Keep these instead for oven bakeware.
  • Skillets or pans with rounded edge bottoms are not recommended. Pans that sit flat on the cooktop will perform better when it comes to even heat distribution. They will also be more stable on the smoothtop. The same is true of rounded edge stovetop griddles; some tend to rock and heat does not distribute properly.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners or metal pads which can scratch; use instead a soft sponge or cloth and cream cleaning solutions made for ceramic or glass cooktops.
  • Avoid dragging heavy pots on the cooktop; rather lift and transfer to another area of the cooktop to reduce the risk of scratching.
  • Keep the bottoms of skillets and pots very clean. A build-up of grease on pan bottoms can leave aluminum-looking rings or cause marks on the cooktop. These sometimes can be removed with cooktop cleaner, but they are often very difficult to clean off.
  • When boiling or cooking with sugary substances, take care not to spill these on a smoothtop cooktop. A sugar substance can discolor the cooktop, leaving yellowish areas that are impossible to remove. This is more noticeable on white or light grey cooktops. Clean up such spills quickly.
  • Never stand on top of (to reach ceiling height) or place anything overly heavy on a smoothtop cooktop, even temporarily. The glass may appear to sustain the weight for the time being, until the cooktop is heated, at which time it could break or shatter when the glass or ceramic expands.
  • Avoid placing stirring utensils on a warm cooktop while you cook. Food on these utensils can mark or burn on the cooktop, leaving a mess that needs more time to clean.
  • Do not place a hot glass bakeware (from the oven) to cool on a smoothtop cooktop. Glass bakeware must be placed on a dry towel on a counter to cool.
  • Though you may have to clean it more often and be careful of what you to do on a smoothtop electric cooktop, you will enjoy your new cooktop and the extra care is worth it.