Frederick MD Kitchen and Laundry Appliance Repairs

Do you need an appliance repaired?

Keeping your kitchen and laundry appliances in safe and perfect working condition, as well as servicing and maintaining them in a timely fashion, is our job. And we have been proud to do it for over 20 years. Keeping your appliances serviced makes great sense when there appears to be a shift from the "dispose and buy new" point of view. Modern appliances are made to very high, energy  standard and there is often a simple fix to a problem that we might think is the end of the road for the washing machine or refrigerator.
Appliances have indeed become more sophisticated and much more energy-efficient since those days but, essentially, the basic jobs that fridges, fridge-freezers, cooktops and ovens do, remains exactly the same. Ice-makers still make ice, even though the refrigerator might be WIFI-enabled, and range hoods still suck out the air even though the controls are less clunky and more appealing to the touch.

We at Frederick Appliance Repairs got into the appliance services business way back in the early 1990’s and have witnessed great technological leaps since when we focused mainly on washing machines, clothes dryers, washer-dryers, and dishwashers.

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What are the most common problems we see?

There will be further information of the common problems or breakdowns we see for most of the appliances on each of their respective pages on this website. If you would like to jump to those now, they are (washing machines), (dryers), (washer dryers), (dishwashers), (microwave ovens), (refrigerators), (freezers), (fridge-freezers), (cooker hoods and downdraft extractors).

One of the most common faults we get called for is either "washing machine overflow" this is often caused by a faulty or clogged sensor or pressure switch. or “the washing machine won’t empty” i.e. it stays filled with water, and the machine won’t spin. This is either caused by something blocking the outlet system somewhere, or the water/drain pump is jammed or has failed.

The whole problem, that can cause a household to be brought to a standstill because a favorite shirt is trapped, can happen just because a paperclip was left in a pocket and it eventually found its way down into the drain pump and jammed the impeller. An easy thing to miss when bundling a load into the washing machine but, once we’ve done it (and I have too), we seem to be a little more vigilant, at least for the next few washes. So, make sure to check that nothing is left in pockets that could jam the drain pump.

Compared to washing machines, clothes dryers have fewer things that can go wrong, although we get a lot of calls for LG Tromm dryer not drying. Regular dryers have a heating element, and a drum to tumble the clothes in the warm or hot air. The main problem we hear from customers is that the clothes are taking longer and longer to dry. Much longer than they used to. Very often this is simply caused by forgetting to clean the lint filter between every drying session.

All the air extracted from the dryer passes through a filter designed to catch all the fibers that are produced when drying clothes. It takes no time at all for those filters to become clogged with fibers. If left unchecked, the filter will become so clogged with a “mat” of fiber that the air-flow becomes so restricted as to completely block the flow of air. Hence the clothes can hardly dry because the warm air in the dryer becomes moist but has nowhere to go.

A note of caution...

It is important to keep dryer vents clean and clear of built up lint. Recently, one of our repair technicians visited a house in Mount Airy to repair their clothes dryer as it wasn’t drying properly. He discovered the outside vent completely clogged with both lint and a disused bird’s nest. This was a fire waiting to happen. If you can’t reach or get to your external vent for any reason, call us at Frederick Appliance Repairs and we’ll be there before your next load of washing (301) 683-5959
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Whatever it is, we've seen it before.

Washer-Dryer Combos:

OK, so dryers have fewer things that can go wrong than a washing machine. Well, washer-dryers, unfortunately, have more things that can go wrong. And, more things than a simple combination of the washing machine and dryer. Why, you might ask. Because regular dryers have a much more efficient way to carry the moisture away as the clothes are drying than does the dryer inside a washer-dryer combo.

There is more information about how the drying system works on the (washer dryer combo) page but the unique issue that can stop the whole show is at the “switch-over” point. That is, when the machine switches its function from washing machine to clothes dryer. If it gets stuck here, it is quite likely because it senses that there is still too much water in the drum for it to start drying. As with the washing machine example, this could be something blocking the outlet system somewhere along the way, i.e. like the good old paper clip, or a dime. As a point of note, if a washer dryer or washing machine cannot drain properly, it will not proceed into a spin cycle.

Apart from a washing machine or washer dryer simply not working the most urgent issue can be a leak. If your washer-dryer or washing machine is leaking, turn off the water inlet tap and call us (301) 683-5959. While our washing machine technician is on their way, it would be a good idea to place some old towels on the floor around the machine to soak up the water and prevent it from spreading.Dishwashers, bless them, are a fabulous time-saver. Although, some people really test them by letting dishes and cutlery dry out before loading the dishwasher. This really doesn’t give them a fighting chance, no matter what claims the detergent manufacturers put on their bottles.

Dishwashers: Dishwasher Leaking

The most common problem we here is to do with plates coming out still dirty, or glasses are streaky. This is likely to be caused by the issue above or one or both of a lack of salt or rinse aid. Both of these issues usually trigger an indicator somewhere on the dishwasher control panel.

As with other appliances that use water, if your dishwasher is leaking, turn off the water inlet tap, and put down some old towels to prevent water spreading further than it needs to. Then give us a call at Frederick Appliance Repairs on (301) 683-5959 and we’ll be right there.

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Some ovens, whether a built-in oven, a drop-in or freestanding range are so sophisticated that the problems that often arise can completely stop a family in its tracks. “What, no dinner?” As with cooktops, ovens come in two flavors, electric and gas. Actually, if you are very trendy and can afford it, there is a third option; and that is a wood/coal/oil burning range. Probably the most famous brand is AGA. Generally speaking though, I believe the new ones are either gas, electric or dual fuel. If you really want a wood/coal/oil burning range and can find an antique, please invite me round for the ribbon-cutting.

If you're in a situation where your gas oven won't light, this is very often caused by a failed hot surface igniter or burner igniter. This can be a something you can replace yourself but, because it's pretty fiddly and old screws can be tricky to remove, it's probably wise to call a technician. If you come across something that is jammed, you will likely need to call a technician anyway. Unless, you're pretty handy.

I guess one of the most crucial problems that can arise is the oven not heating. This can either be a faulty thermostat (temperature sensor) or faulty heating element. These can be tricky to get at so give us a call at Frederick Appliance Repairs (301) 683-5959

Unless you have a built-in oven, you may well have a freestanding, or drop-in electric range which is a combination of oven with a cooktop above. These can be popular for design reasons if you don’t have a fully-fitted kitchen. Cooktops can be either gas or electric. There is more detail about the popular different types of cooktop available on out (Cooktop page).

The most common fault with an electric cooktop, believe it or not, is it won’t cook. I mean it won’t get hot. In a coil type electric cooktop, it could be the coil element itself that has burned out. This can happen with age or heavy wear. If you are going to inspect the coil yourself for visible signs of the coil being blistered in places, please make sure that the cooktop is isolated from the power source to avoid electric shock. This does not mean merely turned off but unplugged completely. On some ranges, you can unplug the faulty burner, and connect it to the plug that feeds a working burner. If it still doesn’t work, then you know the burner needs to be replaced.

Range hoods often add to the ambience of kitchen, especially in the evening. They seem to come to life if they have classy lighting incorporated. Essentially, they’re designed to just vent away cooking smells, but why waste the opportunity to be center-stage?

Now, believe it or not, one of the main things we get called for about range-hoods, is not the venting or the fan, but the bulbs. Oftentimes, a customer simply can’t figure out how to switch out a blown bulb. If you can get to a faulty bulb and are going to replace it, please make sure the hood is isolated from the power source, and also follow the instructions on how to handle the new bulb. Some halogen bulbs must not be held in the hand in order to prevent oils or other material getting onto the glass. This is because the bulbs get very hot and can blow if there is some foreign matter on its surface.

A note of caution...

Electricity is a dangerous thing no matter what you're doing, and the voltage used in cookers is more powerful than your regular outlet. If you are not experienced with how to isolate the oven, cooktop, or whatever you're dealing with, we strongly advise that call a professional technician. Please do not attempt to do something that can cause serious and potentially fatal injury.   (301) 683-5959
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Microwave Ovens: Microwave Won't Turn On (We No Longer Service Microwaves)

Once I decided to trust microwave ovens and was convinced that I wasn’t going to get radiation poisoning, I was hooked. I even heat up coffee and tea, although it’s important not to heat anything with milk or cream in to a very high temperature because it boils the milk and ruins it. When that happens, I’m afraid you just have to put it down to experience and go make a fresh cup.

A very common problem with microwave ovens is when the oven seems OK but the microwave stopped working. The first thing to check is the GFCI to see if it needs to be reset. If the microwave is not working but has power, this can be caused by a faulty door switch. As microwave ovens are very powerful, if the system does not register that the door is closed (thinks the door is still open), and thereby OK to complete the circuit, it will not operate. If you’re handy with a multimeter and can remove the switch to test its continuity, you will be able to see if the switch is faulty. If not, give us a call and schedule a visit (301) 683-5959. Remember to isolate (unplug) the microwave before taking it apart. There additional things to pay attention to. There is a capacitor inside the microwave that stores an electric charge. This can still give you a shock even when the microwave oven is unplugged. This must be discharged before handling.

Refrigerators / Fridge-Freezers: Refrigerator Service Repair.

We seem to get most of the calls for refrigerator/fridge freezer issues either during the summer, just before Thanksgiving or during mid-December Holiday. In the Summer, everyone seems to be so hot and right then is when the ice-maker decides its vacation time for me too.

So, what is the most likely cause? Depending on the age of the refrigerator/fridge freezer, there are several opportunities for the ice-maker to down tools. One of them, is a common one, and that is the inlet water valve. This can become clogged and can often be freed up quite easily. As the method to do this yourself will vary according to the model of fridge you have, it would be best to have a quick read through your owner’s manual to see if there is any user-maintenance information that addresses this problem. Another, simple, cause can be the water inlet tube. This can become clogged with ice if the water pressure is low. Low running water can freeze more easily before it gets to when it needs to. 

Freezers - Upright / Chest Freezers: Freezer Not Freezing.

The main thing we fear with freezers, and fridges too but a little less so, is the temperature not being as cold as it should be. This can be a nightmare because the ultimate cost can be far more than just the repair to the freezer. It can render hundreds of dollars of food completely ruined if not addressed in a very short space of time.

Luckily, most, if not all, freezers these days have a warning system if there is a failure somewhere. However, many households tend to place their freezers in the garage or other storage/utility area, which can be out of earshot. But, now with the advent of all new and wonderful things, we have the internet and WIFI, and magic that enables us to instantly get a message, pretty much, wherever we are in the world, telling us that Mr. Freezer is taking the day off.

In the first instance, check to see if your freezer compartment is free from ice build-up. If there is ice build-up, the air inside the freezer will not be able to circulate efficiently. To remove the ice, you will need to turn off and empty the freezer and allow it to defrost thoroughly. You may find this simple, but inconvenient, task has solved the problem.

Let us help you repair, maintain and keep your appliances in tip top condition. Practically everything can be repaired. We will be brutally honest and tell you if your trusty and faithful 21 year old Hotpoint washing machine is not economically viable to repair, so give us call at Frederick Appliance Repairs. Check us out on the web

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