Home & Garden

These are the most common appliance problems—and how to prevent them

Listen up, homeowners.

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If you want to know how good I am at taking care of my appliances, consider this: Two weeks ago, a repairman literally had to use a crowbar to get into my freezer because it was a solid sheet of ice. (This is not an exaggeration—he even asked if he could take a picture to show his repairman friends...)

So when I saw this study from Puls that revealed the most common appliance problems, it was a little too relatable. A.k.a I've "been there, done that" for most of them. To help you avoid dealing with the same struggles (like a washing machine on the fritz), here are the biggest issues with four major home appliances and our expert's advice on how to prevent them.

Your refrigerator won't cool down

Fridge
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A warm fridge is a bad sign.

By far the number one problem with refrigerators, according to the study, is when they won't maintain a cold-enough temperature. And a warm fridge means spoiled food and wasted money—and no one wants that.

An easy way to keep your refrigerator running properly is to clean off the coils that keep it cool about once every six months. These coils, which are often found on the back of your fridge, can get covered in dirt and dust over time, so use the brush attachment on your vacuum to remove it.

Your dishwasher is flooding with water

Dishwasher
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Dishwashers are convenient—until they're not.

Sometimes too much of a good thing is not a good thing—like water in your dishwasher. While a dishwasher that won't drain could be caused by a number of things, there are also a few "user errors" that could be to blame. Like if you have never cleaned or changed the filter (found at the bottom) or emptied the drain basket in your life. Yuck. Both can get filled with food pieces or leftover detergent so check them often.

Your washing machine won't drain properly

WashingMachine
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You want your clothes to get wet...but not THAT wet.

Similar to dishwashers, most people complain about their washing machines being either slow to drain or not draining at all, causing water to just sit in the bottom. This can happen because of a clogged drain or debris build-up—which is why cleaning your washing machine regularly is so important (yes, even the washing machine needs to be washed!). To do so, run an empty load in your washing machine with a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and water.

Your dryer won't heat up

Dryer
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Hot > cold when it comes to dryers.

Two potential—and completely preventable—reasons for a not-so-hot dryer? A clogged lint screen or a clogged duct. While you (hopefully) know that you should be wiping off the lint screen before and after every use, you should also check and clean out the exhaust vent or duct at least twice a year. Not only will both of those things help keep your dryer functioning properly, they can also prevent your appliance from becoming a fire hazard.

Read more helpful How To content to keep your stuff running smoothly.

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