Appliance Repair or Maintenance

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you tell if your fridge is broken?

Use your nose — and ears — to tell if your fridge is broken and it’s time to call a pro. 

The first clue is whether your food is expiring too quickly. Your fridge should be at or below 40º Fahrenheit and your freezer should be at 0º, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If temperatures deviate from these figures, the result can be food spoilage (from too much warmth) or even a frost buildup (from a faulty freezer). 

Other telltale signs that your refrigerator is broken are excessive noise, escalating electric bills and excessive heat from the back of the fridge.

If you think your fridge might be broken, don’t delay — contact the top appliance repair technicians near you today.

Is it worth it to hire an appliance repair technician?

There are several reasons why it’s worth it to hire an appliance repair technician instead of replacing the unit or doing the repair yourself. The first is to keep your warranty valid — doing a DIY repair on a home appliance may void some warranties.

Another reason is having the proper tools. While you may need to go buy extra tools to perform a repair, a technician will have the tools ready.

Hiring a pro can also help ensure a long-term fix instead of a band-aid solution, as an experienced pro will be able to assess the equipment for function.

If you have a broken appliance, get free estimates from the best appliance repair pros near you to figure out if it's worth hiring a pro to fix it for you.

How much does it cost for appliance repair?

While the average cost of appliance repair is $65, the price can range from $45 to $120. A technician may set a flat rate or charge by the hour. The average hourly cost is $65, although this can range from $40 to $95. 

Appliance repair technicians typically set their prices depending on the type of appliance, level of difficulty and other factors. Some pros may also charge a service fee or a consultation fee, and they might also offer discounts for new customers. 

To find out how much it will cost to repair your appliance, get free estimates from the best appliance repair technicians near you.

Is appliance repair easy?

While some appliance repairs like cleaning the inlet filter on your washing machine or cleaning a smelly dishwasher are perfect DIY projects, others are better left to the pros. 

Certain jobs can be dangerous and risk extensive damage, such as repairing gas lines or leaks. Others require experience and know-how, such as balancing a clothes washer, replacing electric wires, rewiring appliances and more. If you’re not sure how to get it done safely, contact the best appliance repair technicians near you.

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a refrigerator?

In some cases, it might be cheaper to repair a refrigerator — in others, your best bet is to just buy a new one. The decision to repair or replace a refrigerator will depend on several factors, but the most important is cost. If the cost to repair a fridge is much more than the cost of buying a new one, it’s time to replace the fridge.

To help you determine if your fridge should be repaired or replaced, get free estimates from the best appliance repair technicians in your area.

How can I find out if an appliance repairman or specialist is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

The definition of an essential provider varies based on state, city and local guidelines. Visit the official government website of your state or city to see which services are considered an essential in your area.

For more information on a national level, read CISA’s publication on critical infrastructure workers. However, note that not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with an appliance specialist during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up a consultation or appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic is virtually, with no in-person contact. After messaging the appliance repairman, you can ask to set up a video chat or phone call to discuss what work needs to be done. Make sure to ask them how they handle payments, keeping in mind that paying in advance may be safer than handling cash or credit cards until the pandemic is over. Ask the professional what procedures and precautions they have in place to ensure safety during this time. 

How much does refrigerator repair cost?

Refrigerator repair generally costs a fraction of the price of a new fridge and shouldhave your appliance up and running again in no time. The problems your refrigerator is experiencing and the parts required to fix it will affect your repair costs. Where you live can affect labor rates, which will raise or lower your costs. Here are some examples of average costs:

  • Diagnostic fees: $50-$100. Repair pros often have a service call fee or diagnostic fee to account for their time traveling to your location with all their tools to assess the problem. If you choose to have them repair the fridge, most pros then credit this fee toward your repair cost.
  • Parts: $20-$500. A new compressor averages $200, an icemaker $300, and computerized components such as touch screens and control boards average $300 or more.
  • Basic repairs: $180-$400, including parts. This price range can include repairing the evaporator or fan motor.

Do appliance repairmen or specialists offer remote or virtual services?

You should contact appliance repairmen and specialists near you before hiring them for the project to see if they can offer their services remotely or virtually. Appliance repairs are typically done in person, but you can ask if it's possible to have a virtual consultation or an online walk-through. If you see that a pro is offering remote services in their profile, message them to find out what those services include.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire an appliance repairman or specialist when social distancing?

If you decide to hire an appliance service specialist or repairman, check your local news for community guidelines and follow the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing. Discuss safety protocols with the appliance repairmen before they enter your home. And when they enter your home, stay at least 6 feet apart, don’t shake hands, sanitize all involved surfaces and use digital payments instead of cash or a check. 

If you decide to postpone the work, consider buying a gift card from them or paying for future work. This is a great way to give back to the community, as many small businesses and individual contractors are feeling the economic effects of social distancing. 

What you need to know about dryer repair services.

What is the average repair cost for a dryer?

On average, repairing a dryer costs between $100 and $400, depending on the price of a house call, the parts required to complete the repair and the repair tech's rate. Contact dryer repair services near you to get cost estimates.

How much should it cost to fix a dryer?

Dryer repair costs vary widely depending on the machine’s age and model, the complexity of the problem and labor rates in your area. Talk to a dryer repair technician near you to get an estimate before you decide whether to replace or repair your dryer.  

How much does it cost to fix a dryer pulley?

The cost to fix a broken dryer pulley will vary. Your final bill depends on the area where you live, your repair person's labor rates and how much the specific part for your dryer costs. Contact several dryer repair services near you to find out how much you’ll pay. 

How long do dryers usually last?

Dryers can last between around 13 years, but that average lifespan doesn't apply to every situation. To extend the life of your dryer, stay on type of maintenance. For example, clear the lint trap and dryer vent after each use. 

Can I fix my dryer myself?

You may be able to fix simple problems on your own with basic household tools. You'll likely also need a multimeter and continuity tester. In many cases, you can find the information you need online. 

However, it's perfectly fine to consult a local professional when dealing with expensive appliances. 

How do you fix an electric dryer?

There are many parts that can break on an electric dryer. Unless you have some experience repairing appliances, it may be wise to consult a dryer repair technician in your area. 

Is it worth getting a dryer repaired?

Deciding if it's worth it to get a dryer repaired depends on its average lifespan and the potential cost. A dryer can last for about 13 years. If yours is older and keeps breaking down, it may be time to buy a new one. You might also find that replacing your dryer costs the same — or less — than constantly repairing it. Talk to a dryer repair professional near you to get an idea of how much a repair and replacement will cost.

Why would my dryer stop getting hot?

A tripped circuit breaker, lack of gas flow or a clogged vent could result in a dryer not getting hot. However, more serious potential problems include a broken heating element or faulty thermal fuse. Consult a dryer repair service to help you diagnose your appliance.

How do you troubleshoot a dryer that won't start?

To troubleshoot a dryer that won’t start, first make sure the dryer is plugged in and that the breaker is working properly. Check the power cord for damage, and make sure your dryer vent and lint traps are clear. If your dryer doesn't make a sound when you shut the door and push the start button, it could be an issue with your start switch. 

The thermal fuse prevents overheating, and it may have blown out if your dryer won't start. A technician can test your dryer's thermal fuse to see if it’s working properly. 

Your dryer might not turn on if there’s a defective drive motor. If you hear a small humming noise when the dryer is running, your drive motor may be failing. A damaged motor relay is another common culprit if your dryer won't work properly. This part helps prevent electrical overloads.

Consult a dryer repair professional to help you figure out why your dryer won’t start.

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