Have you noticed that your gas cooktop burners are not igniting flames as well as they used to?  Chances are that they haven’t been cleaned properly.  Not only will simple cleaning mechanisms improve the overall efficiency of your appliance but will also prevent blackening of the bottom of your pots and pans.

 

Cleaning your gas cooktop burner is extremely easy and can be done with a damp cloth and either a thin piece of wire or pin.  You may also want to keep a small piece of sand paper and a wire brush close by.  Before undertaking any cleaning project, make sure that the appliance had cooled down from any prior use and that the power has been disconnected.  Once this is done, you are ready to begin.

 

Start by removing the burner grates and burner caps, if your appliance allows for it, to ensure an open area for cleaning.  Soak the grates and caps, if applicable, in your sink in very hot water until you have completed cleaning the rest of the cooktop.  In the meantime, use a cloth that has been dampened with warm soapy water and begin wiping down entire cooktop surface.  Make sure to avoid excessive water on the cloth and or around the cooktop as water may leak into areas connected to electronics.

 

During cleaning, take a close look at the igniters individually.  The igniters are easily identifiable – they are small round white ceramic pieces located on the cooktop.  Often times, they become covered by a film, grease or oil buildup.  Igniters should also be cleaned and we recommended you use a wire brush or a small piece of sandpaper to remove the grimy accumulation.  Next, the holes of the surface burners should be cleaned.  Using a thin piece of wire or a pin, you want to be sure the small holes are completely free of any blockage.  Lastly, remove the grates and caps from the hot water, wipe them down with a clean cloth and replace them back into the slots.

 

In addition to the above, we do suggest you wipe down your stovetop after each and every use, waiting until the cooktop has cooled down.  Routine maintenance goes a long way in maximizing the life and efficiency of your appliance.

 

Although we would love to service your appliances, we do hope these tips will save you from having to pay for a service call!

 
Until next time – Happy Tip To You Tuesday!

Of all the appliances in your home, your refrigerator is known to use the most energy.  Accordingly, it would make most sense to ensure optimal efficiency when it comes to this appliance.  Refrigerator condenser coils are an important element of the unit.  One easy trick to ensure energy savings is condenser coil cleaning.  While a simple task, many often forget to implement this maintenance procedure.  We suggest condenser coil cleaning at least once a year – sometimes twice, especially for those that have pets in their homes.

 
Where to find the condenser coil?
On older model refrigerators, the coils are often located in the back.  Newer models generally have coils in the base of the refrigerator in the front, hidden behind a grill cover or kick plate.

 

What do you need to clean the condenser coil?
A screw driver and refrigerator coil brush, which can be readily purchased at a home improvement store such as Home Depot.  You can also use a vacuum with a crevice tool in place of a refrigerator coil brush but the brush is known to remove dirt in between the coils, which the vacuum may not.

 

How to clean the condenser coil?
First, PLEASE make sure you unplug the appliance from the wall.  Then use the screw driver to remove the panel covering the coils.  Next insert the brush between, over and under the coils and pull it back out several times to clean.  In the alternative, use the crevice tool of your vacuum for cleaning.  Once you are done, return the grill cover to its place and screw it back in.  Lastly, plug in your machine.  That’s all there is to it!

 

Although we would love to service your appliances, we do hope these tips will save you from having to pay for a service call!

 

Until next time – Happy Tip To You Tuesday!

Do you find that the ice maker in your Kenmore, Whirpool, GE, KitchenAid, Frigidaire or Jenn-Air refrigerator is producing small or hollow ice cubes? Although small or hallow cubes can be annoying, they can cause damage to your unit as they easily find their way to the ejector blade in the ice maker, which hinders the proper operation of the ice maker, leading to flooding!  If you are regularly experiencing this problem, we suggest the following tips:

 

Water Pressure:  Low water pressure is the most common cause for small or hallow ice cubes, as this results in the ice maker filling slowly.  In order to check the water pressure, you will need a water pressure tester (gage), which can be readily purchased at a home improvement store such as Home Depot.  In order for proper operation of the unit, manufacturers suggest the water pressure to be between 30 and 120 psi.

 

Water Dispenser:  Ice makers are on a time fill, which means they are programmed to fill for approximately 10 seconds.  In order to determine whether the water dispenser is properly operating, place a measuring cup under the dispenser and manually fill for 5 seconds.  At least 3 ounces of water should have dispensed.  If you see anything less, there may be a problem with the water.  We suggest starting by making sure the water shut off to the fridge is completely open.  If it is, we then suggest checking the water line by shutting off the power supply to the refrigerator, removing the water line from the unit and placing the water line into a bucket.  Once this is done, run the water to determine whether there’s a slow stream of water.  If you notice a slow stream, you may have a plumbing issue that’s attributed to your water shut off.  It might be best to contact a plumber.

 

Water Valve:   A faulty water valve may also lead to faulty operation of the ice maker.  If the water pressure is fine and there are no issues with the water dispenser, we suggest checking the valve.  The valve is generally located under the kitchen sink.  There should be a screen located inside the valve.  Make sure the screen is clean as buildup of minerals or debris is common and leads to improper operation of the machine.

 

Lastly, we suggest three other things:  First, make sure the water line to the refrigerator is free of any kinks as this will slow down the water to the machine.  Second, make sure the water filter is replaced at least once a year.  Lastly, it is highly recommended that the water line to the refrigerator is made from copper or a braided hose.  If the water line is made of plastic, we suggest changing it as plastic is known to become brittle and crack.

 

Although we would love to service your appliances, we do hope these tips will save you from having to pay for a service call!

 

Until next time – Happy Tip To You Tuesday!

Our experience has been that our customers who own front-load Whirlpool Washing Machines, KitchenAid Washing Machines, Kenmore Washing Machines, Maytag Washing Machines, Bosch Washing Machines, GE Washing Machines and Frigidaire Washing Machines complain of odor permeating from their machines more often than those that own top-load machines.

 

Unlike its top-load counterparts, odors in front-load machines are caused by number of factors, the most common of which is a lack of ventilation.  These machines have tight seals, which may trap moisture in the washer.  At the end of a washing cycle, following removal of clothes from the washing machine, common practice is to tightly shut the door.  We strongly advise against doing so as this stops the flow of air.  Lack of air circulation in the machine, coupled with standing water (although not visible to the naked eye, water is often times left behind in the machine and is located between the stainless steel tub and the plastic outer tub) leads to odor, which may further lead to mold and mildew.  After you run a cycle, we suggest leaving the door open, as well as leaving the soap dispenser open.  Regularly doing this allows air to flow through your washer and assists in drying the inside of the machine.

 

Another tip we offer our customers is the use of a product called Affresh Washer Cleaner Tablets.  These are also recommended by many manufacturers including Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air and Amana.  After all the clothing from your machine has been removed, we suggest placing one of these tablets into your soap dispenser, one tablet into the tub and running an empty cycle utilizing the hottest wash cycle available.  If your machine has a clean or sanitize cycle, we recommend running it on either one.  For those of you who prefer a more environmentally friendly approach, we suggest replacing the tablet with 2 cups of vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda, limited only to placement right into the tub.  This practice will assist in reducing the odor in your machine.

 

Lastly, make sure you are using the correct type, and correct amount, of soap.  If your machine is a high efficiency machine, do not use regular soap as this lead to soap scum residue.  As for the amount of soap to use, we suggest no more than 2 tablespoons of high efficiency soap.  While the instructions on the bottle may recommend half a cup or a full cup, our opinion is that this is far too much.  Too much soap leads to over-sudsing, damage to the machine and ultimately odor.

 

In short, we suggest the following:  leaving the front door and soap dispenser open when the machine is not in use, cleaning the machine every 2-3 months with the use of Affresh or a vinegar/baking soda combination and utilizing the correct type and amount soap.

 

Although we would love to service your appliances, we do hope these tips will save you from having to pay for a service call!

 
Until next time – Happy Tip To You Tuesday!

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report the annual number of dryer fires to be in excess of 15,000!  The number of fires can be drastically reduced if all consumers followed special care and took certain precautionary measures.  We offer our customers a few tips in hopes that they don’t become a part of this staggering statistic.

 

Three Common Reasons for dryer fires:

 

1.     Lint build-up in your dryer vent:         Lint build-up in dryer vents is extremely common.  This situation often arises due to dryers being vented longer distances, utilizing several elbows and sharp turns in the process.  Manufacturers recommend a maximum of 16 feet of venting with no more than 2 elbows.  How to know if you have lint build-up?  First, an excessive dryer time of your Kenmore Dryer, Whirlpool Dryer, Maytag Dryer, GE Dryer, Amana Dryer or Frigidaire Dryers is a sure sign.  A second indication of lint build-up includes the lid on your dryer being extremely hot, coupled with clothing being damp.  Lastly, the smell of mold.  In any case, we suggest cleaning inside, behind and underneath the dryer.

 

2.     Use of a flexible, plastic vent:             The type of vent being utilized is extremely important.  A flexible, plastic vent is not recommended due to the possibility of sagging, which may lead to lint build-up at low points.  We suggest only using rigid metal, aluminum or  galvanized steel venting.

 

3.    Washing clothes exposed to flammable chemicals:     Be cautious drying clothing containing flammable chemicals, including cooking oils, gasoline, cleaning solvents, etc.  As you know, flammable substances may cause an explosion or fire.  If your clothing contains these items, we suggest washing them several times to reduce the amount of chemicals prior to drying or in the alternative, old-fashioned line drying.

 

In short, whether you have a Miele Dryer or Roper Dryer, we suggest preventative maintenance:  annual dryer vent cleaning, use of proper venting and avoiding drying clothing with flammable chemicals.

 

Although we would love to service your appliances, we do hope these tips will save you from having to pay for a service call!

 

Until next time – Happy Tip To You Tuesday!

Winter Storm Nemo has kept us quite active!  Our office staff was busy scheduling service calls on Monday for appliance repair requests, including Sub-Zero refrigerators not cooling and flashing a vacuum condenser light, KitchenAid dishwashers not starting, Whirlpool ovens flashing F1 error codes, Kenmore front load washers with blinking lights and Bosch dryers not heating.  It was an extremely active day for us and an aggravating day for homeowners.  90% of these calls were a result of power surges and outages due to the Blizzard of 2013!

 

Today’s appliances are made up of a number of electronics, all of which are extremely sensitive to power surges.  Often times, electric boards are the first to go.  Replacement of these boards can cost hundreds of dollars.  In an effort to help you keep your appliances safe during a storm that may result in a power outage, we offer you the following tips:

 

1.     Purchase individual surge protectors for your appliances that use 120 volts.  Kenmore gas dryers, Whirlpool refrigerators, GE washers and KitchenAid gas ovens are some examples of these types of appliances.

 

2.    In the alternative, you could have an electrician install a complete home surge protector at your main electric box.  This would eliminate the need for individual surge protectors and also extend protection to those appliances that use 220 volts.  Whirlpool, GE, Kenmore and KitchenAid electric stoves and dryers are some examples of these types of appliances.

 

3.    In either case, we would suggest having an electrician check your home for proper grounding as improper grounding may result in surge protectors not working correctly and as a result, exposing your appliance to damage.

 

4.    Unplug units or switch off the circuit breakers to those appliances you will not be using during this storm.

 

Many of our customers have asked us what to do with food items in the refrigerator when there has been a power outage.  The US Department of Agriculture, together with Foodsafety.gov offers information for consumers.  Please visit the following websites for further details:

 

http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html

 

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/keeping_food_Safe_during_an_emergency/index.asp

 

 

Although we would love to service your appliances, we do hope these tips will save you from having to pay for a service call!

 

Until next time – Happy Tip To You Tuesday!

The use of phosphates in dishwashing detergents, an ingredient known to strip food and grease from dishes, was banned in 16 states, including Massachusetts, in 2010. Since then, a number of our customers have been complaining that their dishwashers are not cleaning as well as they previously were.  Many of these complaints are the same: spotting on dishes, film left on glasses or food and grease particles that remain on everything.

 

Finish Quantum dishwashing tablets have assisted in resolving these issues, especially for our customers that have hard water in their homes.  In addition, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) has suggested the following to help remove the buildup of minerals left behind, which ultimately lowers the performance of your machine, which would have been previously eliminated by soaps that utilized phosphate:  Place 2 cups of distilled white vinegar in a small bowl and place it on the dishwasher’s bottom rack. Run the machine without detergent, then rerun it with detergent to remove residual vinegar.

 

Utilizing the vinegar process every 6 months, coupled with the use of Finish Quantum tablets as your cleaning agent of choice, should lead to a visibly marked difference.  Although we would love to service your appliance, we do hope this tip will save you from having to pay for a service call!

 

Until next time – Happy Tip To You Tuesday!

Factory Appliance is excited to bring our customers “Tip To You Tuesday”.  This weekly post will provide you with information to help trouble shoot appliance issues you may be facing, as well as maintenance advice for extending the life of your machine.  We hope you enjoy!

We vow to deduct $20.00 off labor if we don’t make it to your residence/business in the time frame promised.