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DIY Appliance Fixes for Busy Parents


Parents juggle multiple responsibilities, from work to childcare, leaving little time for unexpected household issues. Amidst this hectic schedule, malfunctioning appliances can be a significant source of stress and disruption. Given the high cost of professional repairs—averaging $175 per service call, with potential expenses ranging from $75 to $400 or more, busy parents must find a quick and affordable solution. Often, a DIY approach is the best way to go.

Let’s tackle each of the common appliance issues that you can DIY.

Fixing Common Refrigerator Issues

Refrigerators are essential in every household, especially for busy parents who need to keep food fresh for their families. Here are some of the refrigerator issues and how you should tackle them:

Refrigerator Not Cooling Properly

If your refrigerator isn’t keeping your produce fresh, start by checking the thermostat settings. Ensure the fridge thermostat is set to at least 37°F (3°C) and the freezer to 0°F (-18°C). According to the US Department of Agriculture, the ideal refrigerator temperature should be 40°F or below to ensure proper food storage.

Next, clean the condenser coils to remove dust and debris hindering cooling efficiency. Use a vacuum or coil brush to clean the coils at the back or bottom of the refrigerator every six months.


Inspect the door seals for gaps or damage. A simple way to check the seals is to close a dollar bill in the door. If it slides out easily, the seal needs replacing. Good door seals are crucial for maintaining the refrigerator’s internal temperature.

Water Dispenser Not Working

If your refrigerator’s water dispenser stops working, make sure that the water supply line is connected and turned on. Check the valve behind the fridge to ensure it’s open and water is flowing. Replace the filter if it’s clogged or past its expiration date, typically every six months or as recommended by the manufacturer. For Kenmore Elite refrigerator parts, you can find the appropriate filter easily online or at a local appliance store.

Freezer Buildup of Ice

Defrosting the freezer can manage excess ice buildup. Turn off the freezer, remove all items, and open the door to let the ice melt. Use towels to soak up the water.

Check the defrost timer and heater to ensure they are functioning correctly. If there are faulty parts, replace them. Inspect the door gaskets for any air leaks, applying a layer of petroleum jelly to improve the seal if necessary.

DIY Dishwasher Repairs

Dishwashers save valuable time for busy parents, but they can sometimes run into issues. The average cost to repair a dishwasher is $250. However, costs can vary depending on the type of repair and whether or not you DIY it. Here are some common dishwasher problems and how to fix them yourself.

Dishwasher Not Draining

A dishwasher that isn’t draining may have a clogged drain. Remove the bottom rack and wash the drain with baking soda and vinegar. Check the drain hose for kinks that may cause the blockage. Clear them out by disconnecting the hose and running water through it

Inspect the drain pump for any faults using a multimeter to test for continuity. Replace the pump to restore proper drainage.

Dishes Not Getting Clean

To ensure dishes come out clean, start by checking that the spray arms are free of clogs and can rotate freely. Remove and clean the spray arms with a brush and toothpick to clear any blockages.

Additionally, it is crucial to use the right amount of detergent and ensure its good quality and optimal cleaning efficiency. Lastly, thoroughly inspect the water inlet valve for any blockages to maintain proper water flow during the wash cycle.

Leaking Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is leaking, inspect the door gasket for damage and replace it if necessary. To check for leaks, tighten any loose connections in the water supply line with a wrench.

Additionally, test the float switch to ensure proper operation. Replace the float switch if it doesn’t have continuity.

Fixing Washing Machine Problems

Washing machines are vital for busy parents, helping keep up with the never-ending laundry. Let’s look at some common washing machine issues and their solutions.

Washing Machine Not Spinning

If your washing machine isn’t spinning, check the lid switch to ensure it’s functioning properly. You can also inspect the drive belt for wear and tear by removing the back panel. Replace the drive belt if needed.

Washer Leaking Water

A washer that’s leaking water may have cracked hoses or loose connections. Inspect the hoses for damage and tighten the connections to prevent leaks. Check the washing machine’s door seal for any signs of damage and replace it if needed.

Washing Machine Making Loud Noises

Loud noises from your washing machine can be caused by worn drum bearings. Spin the drum manually to check for roughness or noise and replace the bearings if needed.


The sound often comes from faulty springs. Check to see if the shock absorbers and springs have any damage. Access them through the bottom panel.

Ensure the load is balanced to prevent excessive noise during operation by distributing laundry evenly in the drum.

Keep Your Appliances Running Smoothly

Maintaining household appliances is crucial for busy parents to keep their homes running smoothly. By tackling common appliance issues, parents can save time and money, avoiding the inconvenience of malfunctioning appliances.

With the proper knowledge and tools, DIY appliance fixes can be simple and effective, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of essential household devices.