Category Archives: Pro Tips

Is Your Oven Ready for the Holidays?

stove repairs

stove repairsAhead of the holiday season, as experienced appliance repair experts we would like this time for you to turn our attention to ovens. You would not want to have all family gathered for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and realize in the middle of cooking that your stove needs repair. It is this time of the year that we receive the phone calls for oven repair, often when it is too late for the holiday meal not to be affected.

Check your oven well before the holidays to avoid that. In most cases ovens, as all appliances show the signs of potential problems way before they actually break down. Another good reason to keep a good eye on an oven is – it is one of the most common causes of fire – and we do not mean the towel that accidentally caught fire. We mean its electrical system and heating elements.

While you might think that some of the baking problems are your own fault – this might not be the case at all.

Is your oven calibrated properly?

ovemn calibrationIf you feel that something is not quite right with your oven – run a simple test. Use an independent thermometer for this test. Put the thermometer on the center of the middle rack (ideally you should be able to take a reading without opening the oven door). Set up the oven temperature for 350. Take a few readings 15 min apart from each other. If the temperature is different by more than 5 degrees – it means it needs calibration.

Other common problems:

Oven distributes heat unevenly.

If you noticed that a part of your dish burns too fast, while the other part remains undercooked, it might mean that your bake or broil element is burnt out or malfunctioning. To confirm the problem you can do a simple test using sliced bread: lay slices of bread on a cooking sheet and put in the oven. Bake it for short time and take it out and check for the burn pattern. Take a snapshot it will help our technician to confirm the problem. Although you might try and cheat your stove by regularly rotating the baking dishes inside – the problem heating element will eventually burn.

 

One of the heating elements on the cooktop is not working.

If you noticed that one of the heating elements is not working, or working unreliably – book the service appointment right away as it points to the problem with the electric circuit. While avoiding using that burner is a temporary solution – it is best if the circuit board is getting looked at.

As ovens happen to be in the epicenter of cooking and all the messy processes related to it – such as spilled oil, flour or other substances it does require more cleaning – and not only for cosmetic purposes – think of it as your oven maintenance. Greasy elements and parts will not perform properly and are at a higher risk of damage.

If you noticed that your oven is not functioning properly – give us a call or book an appointment at I-fix appliances. We service all makes of stoves, oven ranges, and cooktops in the GTA.

Regular Appliance Maintenance – More Care Less Repair

Appliance maintenance in Toronto

How to extend the life of your appliances

 

Appliance maintenance in TorontoYour appliances work probably as hard as you do. And as with people – with appliances, a little care goes a long way. It is true that when you are taking that extra step your appliances will require less fixing and serve you much longer trouble free.  After all, appliances are too much of an investment not to want to extend its lifespan.

When you are buying new appliances you want to choose the ones that are fit for the workload required of them. It is not all about their looks and shiny stainless steel appearance or trendy colors.

When you are buying washers and dryers, think about the size and frequency of the laundry, and think through your laundry needs (how many members of family do you have? Do you have a king size bed? Do you prefer to do one big load or smaller ones more frequently?) Same goes for the fridge – if your current one is always over stuffed with food, go one size up, if it is empty go one size down. Loading washer and dryer over the capacity regularly will eventually will break the engine, running your fridge on empty might cause your compressor to overheat.

 

Appliance maintenance & care checklist:

 

  1. Rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher! Most of our washer repair calls are caused by the food parts that are stuck around impeller and water drain hoses that get clogged. Inspect and clean the filters on regular basis. Sanitize and deodorize the dishwasher with vinegar or special detergent. If you have started using the dishwasher – use it every day. If you need to go away for some time – sanitize it and leave the door open.
  2. Clean out the lint screen from the dryer on the regular basis. This simple habit can will not only save the engine, but might prevent the risk of fire. Once the lint build up makes it inside, any electric spark might start the fire. Unfortunately, the incidence of dryer fires is high enough to take it seriously. Call professional appliance service technician once in a a couple of years for professional cleaning.  
  3. Wipe the washer after every time you use it and leave the door open (for front loading models) – if excess moisture is left it will promote the growth of mold and damage to the rubber seal.    
  4. Clean the condenser coils at least twice a year to remove dust and grease. Do not keep your fridge too close to the wall to allow for the proper heat exchange. Clean and inspect gasket regularly – if it loses suction it has to be replaced.
  5. If your electric stove stove still uses knobs (and not electronic panel) when you clean them – do not spray cleaner or water directly on them – wet the cloth instead to allow for the excess of moisture to keep away from affecting the electric contacts.

These simple measures will help extend the life and efficiency of your appliances and will help make them serve you well. Regular cleaning and check ups will help prevent the small problems from growing into the big ones.

If you have discovered during regular maintenance that your appliance is malfunctioning or any damaged parts contact us to book our appliance repair technician’s visit anywhere in GTA.   

Appliance Repair – DIY or Not?

DIY appliance repair

Refrigerator RepairIn our day and age when you can simply go on youtube or DIY appliance repair blog and browse through tutorials and look up how to fix pretty much anything, it is very important to understand what you CAN do and where it is best to trust the professionals. Although, it seems easy when a professional demonstrator does it on screen, but how far can you actually go yourself?

The reason why we want to cover this issue in our today’s post that we receive a growing number of appliance repair calls that are actually DIY appliance repairs gone wrong, and often causing more damage to the appliance than the original malfunction. Before you open up your broken appliance consider this:

  1. Do you have all the necessary tools for your DIY appliance repair project?
  2. Once you discover the malfunction – how fast can you get the replacement part (i.e. how long the appliance will be out of commission)?
  3. Opening the casing of the appliance yourself you void the manufacturer’s warranty.
  4. Is it your particular make and model shown on appliance repair DIY tutorial, or just a similar one? The details may vary drastically from model to model.
  5. The online video presentations are done by experienced professionals, often, licensed and certified, what looks easy in their expert hands might not be as easy in reality.
  6. If the malfunction deals with electric part – we would simply advise against it – as in most appliances (except stove, oven, and dryers) water is used and, as you know, water and electricity do not mix.   
  7. More and more repairs now deal with electronic panels, as opposed to mechanical problems, so you will have to be equipped with the proper diagnostic tools to identify the problem.    
  8. Unplug and clean the unit before undertaking any kind of DIY appliance repairs!
  9. Do not force any appliance or parts in position – if it is not going there smoothly, probably it is a good idea to call us.
  10. Consider your practical repair experience, and be realistic about your skills! If you have never fixed anything before and are planning to replace a motor, most likely you will face problems.

While we encourage to inspect your appliance carefully before calling us and report an appliance malfunction, and actually, more details will help us to fix it faster, please use caution when venturing out into fixing it yourself. If you are stuck in the process of your DIY appliance repair, because you need a part, or things do not go back as smoothly as they were supposed to,  and you end up with extra parts, call us for professional help.    

Every time your appliance malfunctions or breaks you are faced with the question – is it worth repairing yourself, calling a professional appliance repair technician or it is easier to replace?

The rule of thumb, when it comes to appliance repair is:

  1. If it is a minor mechanical issue you are safe to fix it yourself
  2. Electrical parts and major units – such as a motor, are best left to professional certified repair technicians.

While you maybe are looking for an excuse to get a new bright and shiny unit with upgraded features, our recommendations are always based on the rational approach – in most cases fixing a part for 200- 400 $ makes more sense than buying brand-new appliance for 1400 and up. Not to mention that when you walk into a great appliance retail store you will be encouraged to take advantage of the deal combining various appliances to replace the ones in your home that are still in good working condition and end up spending thousands of dollars in the end. And the truth is, there are no absolute guarantees that the brand new piece will be problem free.

If you need a reliable advice on your appliance lifespan prospects after repair we will gladly discuss that with you. We will help you to save money on your appliance maintenance, with your budget in mind. Contact us to book same day appliance repair appointment.    

Summer Energy Saving Tips from I-fix Appliance

We have been waiting for summer so long that often forget, that once the temperatures go up it also comes with the higher energy bill. Now in the beginning of summer, let’s talk about saving up on your energy bill with smart use of appliances.

As we fix both older and new appliances we know that, sometimes ,for our clients upgrading to brand energy saving models is not quite affordable.

We always take our clients’ interest at heart! Lets see some tips and tricks that will help you to cut down on your energy bill while using older appliance models.

In 2013, the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has introduced the “time-of-use” (TOU) electricity rates. Smart meters were installed in homes across the province, recording electricity usage at different times during the day.

The concept behind the plan was to encourage residents to use off peak times for household use and appliances, as part of it  whenever possible to reduce the load on the energy network. Which also comes with savings for average user:

The summer energy rates are assigned as follows for weekdays may 1 to October 31st:

Off peak: 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Mid peak: 7 to 11 a.m. & 5 to 7 p.m.

Peak: 11a.m. to 5 p.m.

Weekends are considered to be offpeak hours

According to the Ontario Energy Board, the average household uses 2/3 of their electricity during off-peak hours with the remainder split between mid-peak and off-peak. This results in an average rate of 11 cents/kWh

Average monthly energy usage per household appliance

 

ApplianceAvg.

monthly kWh

Avg. monthly cost based on Avg. TOU price
Dryer100$10.76
Washer5$0.54
Dishwasher13$1.40
Microwave oven5$0.54
Stove (Oven)500$53.79
Fridge75$8.07
Food Freezer21$2.26

The information is provided by Toronto Hydro

The above figure are for guidelines only and may vary from your actual household use, depending on your lifestyle and the number of residents, but you can easily see how the energy usage compares between appliances.

Let’s look how you can save on your electricity bill by using your appliances smart:

  1. Refrigerator. Although you have to run it 24/7 7 days a week and can not avoid the peak hours, the trick is to keep it filled with food. This way it keeps the temperature better. Also make sure that the door seal is tight. Target temperature setting for the main fridge chamber should be 4- 5 degrees and freezer chamber temperature is minus 15 to minus 18 degrees Celsius.
  2. Stove. Thaw frozen food in your fridge, or on the counter and  keep lids on your pots to reduce cooking time. Cook ahead during off peak time and warm your food up before dinner. Luckily hot weather calls for more salads, and barbeque once in a while?
  3. Dryer. Dryer seems to be the biggest culprit when it comes to energy saving. It also does not help that in summer with the hot weather outside people tend to change clothes and linens more often. Try to  combine 2 washloads into 1 and set the time for off peak time. Do not dry the load completely, fold it while it is still wet a bit. Some people even hang clothes to dry (but the negative with that is unpredictable sudden weather changes that may leave your clothes entirely wet, and the fact is that after this you most likely need to use iron( i.e. more energy) to iron the laundry.
  4. Washer. Wash in cold water cycle, luckily there is a lot of great laundry detergents that are designed for just that!
  5. Dishwasher. Run it when it is full and use the economy cycle on your dishwasher.

And also we would like to mention that heat puts extra stress on your appliances in summer season – so inspect them regularly and contact us if you see any signs of malfunction.

As you see, it takes only to adjust a bit your habits to save on your monthly energy bill using appliances.  At i-Fix Appliance we care for our clients and the environment. Give us a call if you see that your appliance is not functioning well in this hot weather.

Fix it or Get Rid of Your Old Appliance?

appliance repair service in Toronto

appliance repair service in TorontoYou have known your dishwasher for a while now, sometimes it works, sometimes not quite. Is it time to replace it or fix it yet again? That is the question! While a prospect to get a new bright and shiny refrigerator, washer or dishwasher may look attractive, it does come with certain expense.  

After talking with the salesperson in the appliance store, you will get sucked into a deal where “the more you buy, the more you save” not to mention the unexpected expense of reconfiguring the kitchen cabinets to adapt the new refrigerator. Thousands of dollars later, you may realize that it would have been just easier to spend a few hundred on repair and carry on.

 

How do you know when it is really time to get rid of the old appliance?

 

Answering these questions will help you decide:

  • Was it having problems from the get go or malfunction occurred only once?
  • How old is your appliance?
  • How expensive is the part to be replaced?
  • Is the replacement part still available?
  • Is it a discontinued model?
  • Is it energy efficient model?

It is true that appliances are not built to last anymore, but sometimes what seems to be a big problem can be easily fixed.

Regular maintenance will extend the lifespan of your appliances:

 

  • It is always the little things that go long way and will help you avoid repairs and replacement costs.
  • Empty the lint in the dryer, and ideally have it cleaned once in a while professionally inside. It will reduce the potential problems with motor and will eliminate risk of fire.
  • Rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, to prevent leftovers damaging inner parts and blocking the drainage.
  • Keep the washer door open after use and wipe it dry to prevent mildew buildup

 

If your appliance is malfunctioning and you want to get professional assessment call us at I-Fix Appliance Repair.     

 

If you have determined that your appliance has to go and it has been confirmed, look for sustainable options to recycle it, as some of them contain toxic materials (such as Freon).

If it is still in working condition and you have decided to upgrade it for a newer model you can always donate it.

5 Most Common Dishwasher Malfunctions: Troubleshooting

Dishwasher Repair
Dishwasher Repair

Same Day Dishwasher Repair Service

Over the years dealing with all makes and models of dishwasher I-FIX appliance repair specialists have dealt with each and every type of malfunction. The truth is, with most of the problems that we end up fixing, the symptoms start showing at a much earlier stage.

That is why we have decided here to break down the key problems, and discuss troubleshooting, which might might help eliminate a bigger problem later on. After all, most of the problems are comparatively easy to troubleshoot for an average DIY warrier, and if you do determine that you need to call a professional, it is better to determine that at an earlier stage before the problem becomes non repairable, or too costly to fix.

Most common dishwasher malfunctions:

1. My dishwasher makes a strange noise

Possible reasons:

Pump malfunction. Dishwasher pump is located at the bottom of the dishwasher and in most models carries a dual function – wash and circulation, and drain. The key moving components that are likely to get damaged, wash & drain impellers, chopper blade as well as drain portion. The impellers are powered by the motor. The first step to troubleshoot will be to clean out the debris

The circulation pump motor bearings worn out. Over time the pump motor bearings wear out – you can easily identify it by continuous drone sound. In case you hear this sound, the entire pump has to be replaced.

Wash Arm Bearing Ring or Spray Arm Seal. as both are plastic rings supporting wash arm or spray arm. Inspect both for cracks and deformities, replace if notice damages.

2. My dishwasher is leaking

Possible reasons:

Worn pump.

Over the years of use the seals and housing on the pump located on the bottom a dishwasher may dry out and result in leaks. The leaks from this area will be noticeable when you remove the bottom panel at the front of the dishwasher.

Door seal (gasket).

The door seal that waterproofs the dishwasher door is made out of soft rubber or vinyl attached on the interior perimeter of the door. Over time it may dry out and develop cracks, or break at the corners. When you will be examining the interior of the door, also make sure that the dishwasher is level and the latch is working properly.

Float and float switch.

This mechanism is designed to measure the level of water and prevent it from overflowing, it shuts down the pump when the necessary level of water is achieved. In most of the models the water level is supposed to be up to the heating element, but not higher. If you notice that the water level is continuously higher, it means that either the float is stuck , or the float switch is malfunctioning.

3. My dishwasher won’t start

Possible reasons:

Door latch switch.

Door latch switch malfunction is one of the most common problems when dishwasher won’t start, as it responsible for supplying power to dishwasher controls. If the door switch seems to be the problem, it has to be tested with multi-meter for continuity.

Timer, Electronic control & Touchpad.

Timer wiring and electronic control can be the other reason for the dishwasher not starting if you have already established that the door latch and switch are functioning properly. First examine the connections visually, if they appear to be visually intact check the contacts for continuity with multimeter.

Motor relay

In some models the relay start is located on the main pump motor. If you have verified already the door latch switch and all electronic controls are functioning properly, then the motor relay might be the possible cause. It is mounted next to the motor and has a moving plunger inside that operates a set of contacts, allow the plunger to drop by turning the relay upside down and meter for continuity – the coil section has to have continuity all the time and the switch should show continuity only when activated.

Thermal fuse.

Thermal fuse is designed to prevent dishwasher from overheating. If the fuse is blown it will prevent the dishwasher from starting. If this is the possible reason the fuse needs to be checked with multimeter and replaced if needed.

4.My dishwasher is not draining

Possible reasons:

Piston and nut assembly.

In some models check valve with piston and nut as part of its mechanism is used as part of drain sump. In the course of normal performance the piston and nut should move up and down freely, in down position the piston should create tight seal. It it fails to do this properly the dishwasher will not pump out the water. If on careful inspection you have noticed that this is the reason, the entire mechanism needs replacement.

Drain Pump and Motor

Although there are different types of pumps are used in different types of dishwashers, in case of water drainage problem, you should check for debris and obstructions with the water intake, malfunctions of drain impeller, and make sure that the motor gets power at the water drainage stage.

Valve flapper.

In some dishwasher models check valve is used to direct the water flow. It is essentially a rubber flapper on the outlet port of the drain pump or housing and should open fully during the drain cycle. If you notice that the waste water is getting back inside the dishwasher it could likely be a problem.

5. My dishwasher is not drying dishes properly.

 

Possible reasons:

Vent not opening properly.

In most of the dishwasher models use vent to let out hot air during
dry cycle. If it is not opening properly, the dishes will be covered in condensate.

Thermostat malfunction.

Thermostat meters the temperature and prevents dishwasher from overheating. If it malfunctions it may shut off the power to the heating element before the dishes are finished drying. It is usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher tub behind the lower access panel. You can meter if for continuity and replace if needed.

Important: Please shut down power to the dishwasher before attempting any disassembly failure to do so might result in electric shock.

If you have noticed that your dishwasher is not working properly, and have cleared it out from debris and did basic troubleshooting and give us a call to book same day appointment or fill out the form .

Spring Cleaning? Don’t Forget About Dryer Lint Cleaning

dryer lint cleaning

dryer lint cleaningWe are all sure happy that the winter is over and are looking for warmer and brighter days. Now even the routine spring cleaning will feel good. You definitely will not forget to take care of the windows, closets, hard to reach places under the furniture… But it rarely comes to mind that your dryer lint build up needs special attention and will need professional cleaning.

Although invisible as it is deep inside your dryer, especially after drying your winter clothes that mostly have higher pile and leave more lint in your dryer, it is really dangerous – a little electric spark or overheating, may set your laundry room on fire in seconds. In fact, thousands of fires resulting from lint buildup in dryers are reported across Ontario annually.

professional lint cleaning special discountIf you happen to look at dryer lint trap, which you, hopefully, clean after every cycle of drying you will get the idea of how bad the buildup is only over a few years inside your dryer, where it is not accessible for routine cleaning. Moreover, the lint accumulation clings to the motor and electric wiring inside. Not to mention small parts, coins and little toys that fall out of the pockets and get trapped there risking to get stuck and damage the moving parts of the dryer. It is an accident waiting to happen.

To clean it properly the front dryer panel has to be completely removed and lint cleaned out with specialized bushes and vacuum cleaner.It is a job for professional. Once the dryer is disassembled and cleaned, our trained technician will be able to look at it and see if there is any minor tuning needed as well.

Call I-Fix Appliances  or book an appointment for your Dryer Spring Cleaning and have it done by a certified technician! We will disassemble it right on the spot and have it cleaned and back in working condition in no time! Ask for our Spring Special offer!  

 

 

Why My Refrigerator is Leaking?

Refrigerator Repair

If you have started noticing water on the floor around the fridge on the regular basis, it is time to pay a little more attention to it. Although it might look like minor inconvenience, if you take care of the problem promptly might save you time and money in the long run. Also, as for any electrical appliance proximity of wiring or electrical parts is very dangerous and may cause short circuit, causing permanent damage to wiring, or even worse, cause fire.

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Household Appliances Rating: What Brands have Longest Life-Span?

appliance brands performance

Choosing the right appliance for your household may be stressful. While there is abundance information on the individual brand performance over the years and their most common service issues – personal experience may vary from customer to customer. Once you read the online reviews for specific brand you can easily see that the number of stars for the same model and make can range from one to five. And here a series of important factors come into play – from problems caused by wrong installation, its ergonomic features and energy consumption to defects in particular unit that become a repair issue.

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To fix or replace your malfunctioning appliance?

In our busy time it is very important when everything in your house is running smoothly, and you can easily go about your chores complaining only about folding your laundry or coming up with yet another culinary masterpiece that all of your family will love. But what if your appliances suddenly stop working, or lose some of their important functions? Whether the fridge not cooling properly, the dishwasher not draining, the dryer not completing the cycle – it can wreck enough of havoc in your daily routines.   Continue reading