5 Easy Appliance Repairs You Can Do Yourself

refrigerator door with old, worn gasket
  • 1-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-300

When your prized household helpers struggle to keep up, you can come to the rescue with some basic appliance repair know-how.

1. Clothes Dryer

If your household is like most, your dryer is a hard-working part of the team. Many dryer components that can fail, but some make for very easy repairs.

If your dryer seems to be overheating, a clog could be the problem. Clean out your dryer lint screen, then go deeper beneath the screen to clean out any additional accumulation. Next, pull out the machine and remove the dryer hose. Ensure it's empty all the way through. While it’s disconnected, also clean out the vent that connects from the inside to the outside of the house.

Another common issue is a randomly opening dryer door. The teeth at the top of the door may be broken or failing to make the proper connection. If so, it’s an inexpensive fix to order parts and replace them. Your door hinges may also be bent, making it easier for your door to pop open during the tumble. This hardware is also easy to find as replacement parts.

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man fixing dryer door with screwdriver

2. Blades on Blender

If your morning smoothie isn’t as smooth as you’d like, get some new blades in on the action. This task requires little more than a screwdriver and a bit of patience. Remove the unit that holds the blades from the bottom of the blender. Look for screws that hold it in place. Once you’ve removed the screws the blades will be released. Replace them with the new blades and screw the unit back together.

3. Oven Elements

There are many different types of ovens. Some have more than one element. If your oven fails to heat properly, one or more elements may be the issue. To repair, order the new part. Make sure the power to the appliance is completely off. Remove the old element and put the new one in. That’s it, and much less expensive than calling in the repairman.

Moving to the stovetop, it’s common for electric burners to fail. Depending on your model, you’ll likely simply need to pull out the old burner, essentially unplugging it, and complete the task by plugging a new burner in. Make sure the burner matches your stove model and keep safety in mind by unplugging the appliance or cutting power using the circuit breaker as you work.

4. Fridge/Freezer Seals and Bulbs

man repairing front top of refrigerator with screwdriver

A very common issue with refrigerators and freezers is the accumulation of too much frost. This is commonly caused by a faulty seal, and it’s easy to replace. Order a new seal. When it arrives, gently peel the old seal away from the door and firmly seat the new seal in its place.

This is also the ideal time to defrost and clean the freezer and refrigerator. Starting with a clean slate will allow you to easily tell if replacing the seal solved your ice accumulation issue.

While on the topic of refrigerators, replacing the light bulb is another easy appliance repair, at least in older models. If you have a screw-in bulb, simply buy a new refrigerator bulb at the home improvement store. Do not use a regular light bulb. Remove the old bulb and screw the new one in. Some newer models have a lighting mechanism that comes as an entire unit. They can be spendy and complicated to replace. One work around, especially if it’s a secondary fridge, is to order a motion-sensored rechargeable magnetic strip light. You can simply mount it to the inside top of the fridge and it will come on when the door opens. You can easily recharge it as needed by plugging it in for a few hours.

5. Reverse Appliance Doors

It can quickly become annoying to work around appliance doors that constantly get in the way. Not all models are set up to allow reversing the door, but many are. If your refrigerator, freezer, washer, or dryer would work more efficiently within the space if it opened in the other direction, simply remove the door and hardware. Then flip everything over and mount to the other side. Some models require ‘left’ or ‘right’ hardware so check online or in your product’s manual.

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