It’s the stuff of nightmares. Waking up one day to find that your coffee machine isn’t working. How will you function? Perhaps you should call work and let them know you won’t be in today. Then you may get fired, lose money and everything goes wrong. But you can avoid the terrible impact of a broken appliance with some simple management tips.
Learning what you can about an appliance is always a great idea. This is a great help when it comes to maintenance. Yet you could also ensure that an aunty complex appliance or device is fitted by an expert in the first place and never attempt repairs yourself.
RTFM – Read the Effing Manual
There’s nothing quite like a shiny new appliance. The unboxing. The ripping away of protective polystyrene. And the unwrapping of an inexplicable amount of plastic. Then, voila, you’re in. You’ve got the product in your hands, ready to go like Indiana Jones with a priceless relic. You even carefully place it in a particular place, pre-cleared of debris and interference. After plugging it in, you switch it on. And like the heavens have shone down upon you, everything lights up.
But wait. Does this sound familiar at all? It doesn’t work the way you expected. So you press random buttons, turn dials and poke at it. Then it stops working altogether. Alas, if you had only read the manual. You would have known that you should have removed this plastic piece from this specific place. And now you can’t even return it because it is your fault it’s broken.
Consider Home Insurance
Accidental breakage from not reading the manual aside, your appliances will sometimes break down through no fault of your own. Sometimes they are faulty, other times they’re worn out, and often they are the victim of an electrical power surge. Whatever the reasons are, you can expect that an appliance will let you down at some point. As long as it isn’t the TV, though, right? In all seriousness, you should consider home insurance in case the worst happens.
Home insurance is an excellent way to ensure that you can have it replaced or repaired if an appliance breaks. However, home insurance can be limited to specific policy criteria, such as fire, theft, and flood. Therefore, you can supplement your insurance with a home warranty designed specifically for appliance breakdown cover. These plans are more extensive than home insurance and are excellent for essentials like washing machines, fridges, and ACUs.
Get Professional Installation
Like any responsible person, you watch YouTube before an appliance arrives. Of the 3.25 billion videos on the platform, most are probably cats. But quite a few are “how-to” videos. Therefore, you know everything there is to know about your expensive new toy, and you are confident you can install it yourself. Of course, not everything requires a professional. For example, an electric kettle is pretty straightforward. But how hard can it be to hardwire your new oven to an isolated, high-current electrical feed?
Well, it’s not that easy. In fact, if not done correctly, it is rather dangerous. It may cause serious injury to yourself when installing or an electrical fire later on. Also, it is highly illegal to attempt such a job in some countries if you aren’t qualified and certified. Therefore, if something requires anything more complicated than screwing in a lightbulb, please contact a professional. When something is installed professionally, it is improbable to break down for a long time.
Don’t Attempt Self Repair
Concurrent to attempting a complete installation, you also shouldn’t try to repair something either. Yes, you have been watching YouTube again. Still, for the most part, those videos are made by highly professional and experienced people who know what they are doing. That guy repairing a plugged-in radio next to the kitchen sink has done it a thousand times. For similar reasons to getting a professional installation, don’t attempt to repair your appliances yourself.
First, appliances like the washing machine, fridge, or oven are very complex machines. While your appliance might be in a repairable state, one wrong move could damage it beyond repair. Second, they are dangerous and could cause injury, fatality, or a disaster such as fire or flooding. Finally, unqualified self-repair might void any warranty or protection you have in place. This means you will need to replace or repair the item at your own expense.
Maintain Your Appliances
Of course, to avoid all of these issues in the first place, it is helpful if you maintain your appliances. Every appliance comes with a manual (as mentioned earlier). The manual always contains clear instructions on how to care for it. For example, a washing machine manual will advise how to clear the pipes and hoses of blockages. This could be manual cleaning, but most likely a specific program cycle to run on the machine.
Maintenance is an integral part of most appliances, especially complex ones like white goods in the kitchen. However, maintenance may go beyond simple cleaning, and some machines, like your fridge, might require proper usage. For example, fridges need you to set a specific temperature based on what you keep. They should also never be empty, yet not too filled, and they require adequate space around them because of the compressor.
Become Somewhat of an Expert
By now, you are a YouTube god, and you have watched all the videos about your appliance. While you shouldn’t be watching YouTube videos and copying the experts for all but the most minor tasks, you can still become a semi-expert of how an appliance operates. In addition, YouTube is excellent for getting some extra tips or insider knowledge about specific things that aren’t necessarily mentioned in the manual.
For example, you may not know that you can turn off spoilers for anything your friends share on PlayStation 5. This means that you won’t be shown any images or videos that could ruin your experience. You can also find great videos from experts on all kinds of appliances. These videos offer insight for testing, diagnosis, or maintenance modes on complicated devices. Devices such as combination washer/dryers, coffee machines, and flatscreen smart TVs.
Use an Appliance as Intended
You know that tray that comes out of your dad’s 1990s Hi-Fi system when you press the button with the arrow on it? Well, that’s not a cup holder. That’s for CDs. Shiny discs that contain digitized music. So be careful not to spill your coffee, or you could really ruin that appliance. With this in mind, be sure to use machines and devices only as intended. Your new smartphone might be splashproof, but that doesn’t mean you should be texting emojis while enjoying a relaxing bubble bath.
Using appliances as intended will ensure they won’t be damaged in some silly way. Also, barring some unforeseen accident, you should get as much enjoyment out of them as the manufacturer intended. But speaking of manufacturers, should it be decided that you used your device in a manner unfit for its purpose, your warranty may be void. In this instance, you will need to pay for repair, recovery, or replacement. Not great, considering the price of a good smartphone these days. And for god’s sake, don’t put your PSVR on the dog.
Put and Old Dog Down
Speaking of dogs, sometimes it is best to put an old one down. And the same applies to appliances and devices. Most machines are designed to last for a long time. For example, it will likely last for around 10 to 20 years if you maintain your fridge correctly, depending on its quality. Some have been known to last longer. But, of course, we all know smartphones generally don’t last. Even when you look after them.
But the point here is that sometimes it’s best to just get rid of an old appliance and get a new one. In some cases, you will be better off financially as the repair cost might be closer to or even over a replacement model. It might be hard to say goodbye to Mister Toastie. Still, it’s almost guaranteed there’s a hotter (literally) and younger model that will do things your old one just won’t.