Appliance Repairs You Didn’t Know You Could DIY

A man works on a fridge.
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner
Cleaning solution

Home appliances can be costly when they break down and quit working. Most homeowners, however, are hesitant to work on appliances because they seem a little intimidating at first glance. Luckily, there are plenty of appliance repairs you can DIY, putting more money in your pocket for other projects around the house.

Busted Fridge

There are many reasons why a refrigerator stops working properly, but a few of the more common problems are easy to diagnose and fix. For starters, check the temperature dial inside the unit and make sure it is set to the right temperature. It is not uncommon for someone in the house to accidentally bump the dial and push it to a higher setting. If that is not the issue, check the cooling coils and make sure they are clean of dirt and debris. Pet hair can easily get inside the coils and prevent them from working properly. To fix it, simply remove the grille in front of the coils and vacuum everything out.

Gas Stove Burnt Out

A gas stove.

If your gas stove is failing to ignite, make sure gas is actually getting to the burner. If it is you will hear gas coming out of the burner. Next, check the power. Even though your stove runs off gas, it needs electricity to work. Once you rule out gas and electrical issues, turn your attention to the burner itself. Dirt and grime can clog up the burner, preventing it from igniting the gas. Simply clean out the burner with a toothbrush and cleaning solution. If that does not fix the problem, you may need to call in the professionals, especially if you can smell gas coming from the stove.

Hot Water Heater Woes

There are few things more frustrating than waking up in the morning to a cold shower. But it is possible that fixing your hot water problem is as easy as re-lighting the pilot. Before you reach out to the professionals, take off the metal panel located at the bottom of the heater and look for a pilot light. If there is no flame in sight, follow the instructions for your water heater on how to re-light the pilot. If you have a newer water heater, the pilot may automatically shut off when not in use, so consult the manual before going through the re-lighting process.

Garbage Disposal Issues

A sink with a garbage disposal.

The garbage disposal can be a scary appliance to work on, especially with all of those spinning blades. Luckily, whipping your disposal back in shape is pretty easy. If your garbage disposal is stinky, simply clean it out with a few fresh lemons. Start by making sure the power is off to the unit and manually removing any large obstructions. Then cut up a lemon in small slices and run them through the disposal. Replacing a splash guard is also easy and can be done in as little as half an hour. If the disposal is beyond repair, you can replace the entire unit in an afternoon, no special tools required. Just make sure you get a model that fits inside your existing kitchen sink.

Freezer Repair

There are several things to check if your freezer is not keeping items cold. The first thing to look at is the freezer door. If the door is not closing all the way, the freezer will not work properly. You can also check the evaporator fan at the back of the freezer and make sure nothing is blocking its airflow. Another thing to check is the temperature dial, which may be accidentally turned up. You can place a thermometer inside the freezer to check if the temperature goes down after fixing these minor issues. If nothing seems to get the freezer back on track, then the problem might be the coolant system, which usually requires an expert to diagnose and fix.