Repairing Major Appliances There are three very important rules you must follow when you attempt to make any type of appliance repair. Don't ever try to save time or money by ignoring these rules. You won't save anything at all, and you could end up hurting yourself or ruining the appliance. Always make sure the electric power and/or the gas supply to the appliance is disconnected before you test the appliance to diagnose the problem or make any repairs. If you turn the power on to check your work after making a repair, do not touch the appliance; just turn the power on and observe. If adjustments are needed, turn the power off before you make them. If the parts of an appliance are held together with screws, bolts, plugs, and other take-apart fasteners, you can probably make any necessary repairs. If the parts are held together with rivets or welds, don't try to repair the appliance yourself. Call a professional service person. In most cases, broken or malfunctioning appliance parts can be replaced more quickly and inexpensively than they can be repaired by you or a professional. Replace any broken or malfunctioning parts with new parts made especially for that appliance. If you cannot find an exact replacement for the broken part, it's okay to substitute a similar part as long as it fits into the old space. In this case, refer to the manufacturer's instructions for installation. Appliance parts are available from appliance service centers, appliance-repair dealers, and appliance-parts stores. You don't always have to go to a specific brand-name appliance parts center to obtain the parts and service you need for brand-name appliances, so you do have some shopping/service choices. If you can't locate a parts service center in your area, order the part you need directly from the manufacturer. The name and address of the appliance manufacturer are usually printed on the appliance. Be sure to give the manufacturer all the model and parts data possible for the appliance. If available, search on the Internet for replacement parts.Before you make any appliance repair, make sure the appliance is receiving power. Lack of power is the most common cause of appliance failure. Before you start the testing and diagnosis process, take these preliminary steps: Check to make sure that the appliance is properly and firmly plugged in and that the cord, the plug, and the outlet are working properly. To determine whether an outlet is working, test it with a voltage tester. Check to make sure the fuses and/or circuit breakers that control the circuit have not blown or tripped. There may be more than one electrical entrance panel for your home, especially for 220-240-volt appliances such as ranges and air conditioners. Check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers at both the main panel and the separate panel. Check to make sure fuses and/or breakers in the appliance itself are not blown or tripped. Push the reset buttons to restore power to appliances such as washers, dryers, and ranges. Some ranges have separate plug-type fuses for oven operation; make sure these fuses have not blown. If the appliance uses gas or water, check to make sure it is receiving an adequate supply. Check the owner's manual for the appliance. Many manufacturers include helpful problem/solution troubleshooting charts. If you don't have a manual for an appliance, you can probably get one -- even for an old or obsolete appliance -- from the manufacturer's customer service department.