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Is DIY appliance repair a bad idea? When to call in a pro

Homeowner repairing stove

When your oven or fridge is on the fritz, is it a good idea to fix it yourself? You may think it will be quicker and cheaper—but not so fast. By attempting a DIY appliance repair, you could potentially void your warranty, damage your appliance, or, more importantly, harm yourself. We’ll highlight when you should call for help. 

The risks of DIY appliance repair

While DIY appliance repair can seem like a cost-effective and rewarding challenge, it’s important to recognize the potential pitfalls.

It could be dangerous

One of the main cons of DIY appliance fixes is that if a repair involves electricity or gas, you could hurt yourself if you’re not a trained technician. 

It may void the warranty

If you damage your appliance or use an unauthorized part while attempting to fix it, you may void the warranty. 

The repair could fail

If you attempt a DIY appliance repair and your machine is still not fixed—or if you made things worse—you’ll have wasted money on parts and time on a fix appliance repair pros could have done quickly. 

5 appliance repairs you should never do yourself

You can and should perform everyday maintenance yourself, like cleaning your fridge’s condenser coils, cleaning your dryer vent, or cleaning your dishwasher filter. But some repairs are more complicated, require knowledge of codes, and may be dangerous to attempt on your own. Here are five repairs that are best left to the experts:

1. Electrical issues

Messing with the electrical components of your appliances is a big no-no if you’re not heavily experienced. Faulty wiring or incorrect repairs can lead to electric shocks, fires, and severe damage to your appliance. It’s safest to let a certified technician handle any electrical repairs.

2. Gas appliances

Gas leaks are extremely dangerous and can lead to fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you suspect an issue with your gas stove, oven, or dryer, it’s crucial to call a professional immediately—they have the expertise to safely diagnose and repair gas-related problems.

3. Refrigerant leaks in refrigerators

Refrigerants are chemicals used in refrigerators to cool the air, and they require specialized knowledge and equipment to handle safely. You don’t want to risk exposure to these harmful chemicals or potentially damaging your fridge’s cooling system. 

4. Smart appliance repairs

When you consider computerization, electronics, and Wi-Fi connections, smart appliances are complicated and can be challenging to fix without special training. On top of that, the intricate setup of most smart home appliances means they’ll need repairing more often

5. Complex mechanical problems

Some appliance repairs involve intricate mechanical components that require precision and expertise. Examples of this type of repair include fixing a broken motor or a malfunctioning compressor. These parts are essential to your appliance’s operation, and improper repairs can lead to more significant damage.

Want your appliances to last longer? Check out our guide to bad habits that can ruin your appliances.

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