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Commonly Asked Appliance Questions and Answers

Question: Why are my dishes coming out dirty, perhaps even dirtier than they were when I put them in the dishwasher?

Answer: There are several factors in the performance of a dishwasher, and some of them can be easily addressed. Wash performance may improve if you do the following:
•    Use rinse aid such as Jet Dry
•    Run hot water at the sink prior to beginning a cycle
•    Use an appropriate amount of detergent for the soil level in the dishwasher. This is usually about 1-2 tablespoons of detergent
•    Use a high quality detergent such as Cascade powder
•    Use a water softener on your house water or specifically on the water supply to the dishwasher
•    Use Lemi Shine Dish Degergent Booster for hard water
If problems persist, call for service. There may be something more going on, but we are absolutely the right people to address your issue.  CALL US to Schedule your service call.

Question: Should I keep this appliance or should I buy a new one?

Answer: The answer varies widely depending on the situation. If you have chosen a quality appliance, we will usually recommend repair within the first 10-15 years if the repairs do not exceed 50% of the cost of replacement with a similar unit. The exceptions to this are that many modern appliances are not built with the same quality as some of these older ones, such as the Maytag Dependable Care laundry series or even the Whirlpool Direct-Drive washers. In these cases, we will usually recommend repair due to the quality of the product in comparison to the newer units regardless of the relative cost. The best opinion is always that of an honest, hands-on technician.
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for more information or to schedule service.

Question: Where do I find the model and serial number for my appliance?

Answer: There are as many possibilities as there are appliances, but here are a few common places to look:
•    Refrigerators / Freezers: Usually the model tag is located near the top shelf of the fresh food section on a tag on the side wall.
•    Top Load Washers: Model tag is most often inside the lid area where the lid shuts, though sometimes on top of the control panel area.
•    Front Load Washers: Usually the tag is inside the area where the door shuts
•    Dryers: Usually this tag is present where the door shuts
•    Dishwashers: Usually the model tag is either on the tub frame where the door shuts, or sometimes directly on the side of the inner door panel.
•    Cooktop: The model tag is inconveniently located on the underside of the cooktop, so it is most often accessed from the cabinet below the cooktop.
•    Microwave: The tag is usually where the door shuts, or sometimes on the left wall inside the microwave on over the range units. On countertop models, this tag may be on the back side of the microwave instead.
•    Wall Oven: The tag is often inside one of the doors, on the frame where the door closes.
•    Freestanding Range: Usually you have to remove or open the bottom drawer, and the tag is on one of the legs that is normally covered by the drawer. Exception: On Maytag Gemini Freestanding Double Ovens, there is a flag similar to on a mailbox located on the upper rear of the control panel that lifts up to give you the model and serial number.
•    Vent Hoods: The model tag is often located behind a grease filter on the underside of the hood.
•    Dehumidifiers: Usually the tag is either hidden by the bucket or on the side of the unit.
•    If these tips have failed or your product is not listed, begin the search. While not always easy to find, the model number is crucial in getting the correct parts for your model.

Question: Where can I locate owner’s manuals and documentation for my appliance?

Answer: Most manufacturers supply this information on their websites. A few examples are below:
•    For GE and Hotpoint Appliances, try http://www.geappliances.com/service_and_support/literature/
•    For Frigidaire and Electrolux Appliances, look at http://www.frigidaire.com/Owner-Center/Product-Support-Manuals/
•    For Whirlpool and Maytag Appliances, check out http://www.whirlpool.com/manuals
•    On LG Appliances, documentation is at http://www.lg.com/us/support
•    For Sub-Zero , visit http://www.subzero-wolf.com/trade-resources/product-specifications
•    For any other brand, a good bet is to find the manufacturer’s web site, find their support link, and there is usually an option to retrieve an owner’s manual there.

Question: Isn’t it more eco-friendly to buy a newer more energy efficient appliance?

Answer: Often, no.  It may seem like it makes more sense to buy a newer, more efficient appliance, but once you factor in the waste produced by getting rid of your old appliance, and the much shorter life cycles of the newer appliances, it is doubtful that any real energy savings exists in the big picture. The most durable appliances are not the most efficient ones, in most cases.

Question: How are your services priced?

Answer: Our certified technicians will come out and diagnose your appliance fully before discussing your repair options. All repair pricing is quoted up-front before the repair, so that you’ll always know the total upfront cost before any repairs are performed. Our Trip Charge is $19.95 but is waived with repair service. To schedule service, CALL US to schedule your service call.

Dishwasher Troubleshooting Bosch or ASKO dishwasher not draining and pump keeps running

Do you have a Bosch or ASKO dishwasher that is not working properly, but you continually hear a whirring noise as though something is running even when the dishwasher is off? Your dishwasher may have a leak.
On ASKO, Bosch, and select other import dishwashers, there is a wafer in the bottom of the dishwasher pan. When water accumulates in this pan and soaks the wafer, it expands and rises until it presses upon a microswitch, called a float switch. If the switch continues to be activated, with the dishwasher off, the dishwasher knows that there may be a leak of some kind. To minimize the risk of the machine leaking onto your beloved kitchen floor, the dishwasher continually runs the drain pump until either the machine dries out or is fixed.
Keep in mind that the drain pump running continually is not the problem, but the symptom. If any tubes and hoses are clogged or dirty, the compartment with the float switch may be unable to drain properly, incorrectly signaling to the dishwasher that there is a leak. If this is the case, the component parts of the dishwasher need to be disassembled, cleaned and dried out. If the problem is a leak, the next step should be locating the source of the water leak and fixing it as soon as possible, before the problem gets worse. For both, you should rely on a professional appliance repair service. CALL US to schedule your service call.

How to make your dishwasher clean well One of the most common questions our customers ask us is, “What can I do to make my dishwasher clean the dishes better?”

It’s a long answer, because there are many things that can influence the wash performance of your dishwasher. Here we will walk through several of the things that are within the control and ability of the average consumer.
1) Run hot water at the sink faucet before starting a cycle. The hot water pipe can have gallons of cool water trapped between the dishwasher and the water heater, so evacuating this water by running the nearby faucet helps to prime the pipe with hot water, which is necessary to get good wash performance.
2) Use rinse aid. Don’t just use it, make sure that your rinse aid dispenser is set at the highest setting. The highest setting on most dishwashers dispenses approximately 3 mL or rinse aid, which performs well in reducing water spots and helping food debris to slide off of the dishes during rinse. At a default setting, only 1 mL is typically dispensed. This is simply not enough to be effective, which is part of the reason that many people imagine rinse aid to be ineffective. It’s not; it just needs to be properly administered.
3) Use an appropriate amount of detergent. Too much detergent is as bad as too little. You should use no more than necessary, and a handy solution is using a prepacked product like Finish Quantum tabs. They perform well, and keep you from overusing detergent. Free samples are available through our technicians or at our parts counter at 72nd & Dodge.
4) Use a water softener. In San Antonio, we have very hard water, and this impedes our wash performance. This isn’t an option for everyone, but adding a water softener can help wash performance.
5) If all of this fails, call a certified and trained technician to look at the dishwasher. There may be a mechanical problem within the unit that can be easily solved by an expert. If you need service, please call Appliance Repair Solutions at 210-650-5776 for all of your appliance repair needs.

Microwave repair – is it affordable?

When your microwave quits heating, the inevitable question is whether to repair the microwave or replace it. While the answer will never be 100% clear without having a factory trained technician inspect the microwave, allow me to educate you as to some of the factors to weigh:
1.    Microwaves are made of up of about 2-3 relatively expensive parts, and many little inexpensive parts. There’s not much middle ground, so generally the microwaves are repairable at an affordable price, because it’s the small affordable pieces that fail most often.
2.    For some of those expensive pieces there are often aftermarket options available. Magnetrons are a semi-common failure in microwaves, and are somewhat expensive, but there are often aftermarket versions of the magnetrons available for half the price of the original manufacturer’s parts. We don’t often recommend aftermarket parts, but magnetrons are the exception, as none of the large OEMS build their own magnetrons directly anyhow.
3.    Carry-in service is also available, and is generally significantly cheaper than in-home repairs. For our business our diagnosis fee is $30 less for in-shop repairs, and the repairs are also less. This is a good option for keeping repair affordable on smaller portable appliances like microwaves.
4.    We generally do not recommend that customers work on their own microwaves. Microwaves in particular have a high voltage capacitor that can retain a dangerous amount of electricity even when the machine is unplugged. While we are happy to give advice on anything, this fact precludes us from recommending do-it-yourself microwave repair.
As always, if you need quality service in San Antonio Area on your microwave call Appliance Repair Solutions at 210-650-5776,  to get a trained and certified technician out to your home at once.