Friday, October 16, 2015

Before Calling For Service...

...On Your Furnace
  • Check your filter, if it is dirty, replace it. One inch filters need to be checked monthly and replaced when plugged. These will cause your furnace to go off on limit and heat sporadically, if at all. 
  • Replace the batteries in your thermostat if it's digital. This is a frequent reason for a no heat. 
  • Are the switches on? Make sure the breaker, switch on the handy box, and the gas is turned on. 
  • If your furnace is a condensing one? If the drains are clogged, these furnaces won't operate. A condensing furnace has plastic pipes to vent the exhaust gases as opposed to a metal duct. These also have a plastic pipe that goes out the bottom into a drain or pump. It's a good idea to make sure the water is flowing into the drain or pump. The pump should be cleaned out twice a year.
  • Check your gas meter to make sure this is turned on.  
...On Your Water Heater. 
  • Is the thermostat high enough? Make sure that this isn't turned to "vacation". 
  • If your's is a standing pilot model, is the pilot on? 
  • Check you gas meter to make sure this isn't turned off. 
...On Your Dryer/Electric 
  • if it's not heating, or not heating enough, but tumbling okay, the circuit breaker or fuse might be bad. Turn this off then on to see if this helps. If so, you need to replace the circuit breaker or a fuse. Unless you know how to test for this, better call in a pro. 
  • Is the vent plugged? Vents that are higher up tend to get bird's nests. Check that the birdscreen on the vent caps is clean and if they're lower than two or three feet, it's best to remove them. 
  • Check the duct under the lint filter. If this is full of debris, it will slow airflow down. 
  • Is the venting longer than 25 feet? Each 90 degree elbow is like adding five additional feet of pipe/ Make sure that venting isn't crushed or kinked. 
  • Comforters, pillows, coats and other layered garments not drying on automatic cycle. Moisture sensors are designed to read the surface of a garment. Because of this the shell can be dry, but the lining sopping wet; use the timed cycle or take to the laundromat. 
  • Wrinkle Care cycle not working. These aren't designed to run continuously in this cycle, and "wrinkle care" doesn't mean "wrinkle free". Some units only move the drum a few inches every 30 minutes or so. 
...On Your Dryer/Gas
  • Same as electric, but since the heat comes from burning gas, voltage problems from the breaker will result in a no start. 
  • Is the gas cock turned on? 
...On Your Dishwasher
  • White spots on dishes? These are usually caused bu hard water. If you have a water softener, make sure this is operating. If there are hookups for one, you need to get one. 
  • Not draining and put in a new garbage disposal? Remove the drain hose for the dishwasher from the disposal and insert a screwdriver into the fitting. Likely the plug didn't get knocked out. A screwdriver, hammer and a pair of pliers will be needed to knock out the plug. 
  • Machine not cleaning? Clean the wash arms, inspect and clean the filter on some models. Use a good quality soap and drying agent. Run hot water on tap before starting cycle.
  • Dishwasher odor. High loop or air gap needs to be installed. A loop of the drain hose needs to be higher than the drain fitting and secured with a zip tie. This ill keep dirty water out of the dishwasher. 
...On Your Washer

  • Water leaks from front of door on front loaders. Clean the inside of the door as one hair can get between the seal and cause it to leak. 
  • Washer unbalanced. Double check it to make sure is is level. 
  • Washer not draining. Check to see if drain hose is in too far in the stand pipe. Six inches is more than enough. On many front loaders there is a cleanout filter that you can remove. Read your manual. 
  • Miscellaneous Washer issues. Modern washers don't like rubber backed rugs to the point it can interrupt cycles. Too much soap can cause a multitude of errors. Try cleaning it with a good quality washer cleaner and run it a few times before calling for service. Rugs need to go to the laundromat. Shoes should never be washed in a front load washer as these can damage the boot. 
...On Your Microwave (over the range) 
  • Touch pad acting erratically. Make vents are clear if you recirculate as condensation can build up. 
  • Not working. Check circuit breaker and plug first. 
...On Your Air Conditioner
  • Ice building up and poor airflow. Clean or replace the filter and run the blower. If the filter is clean you need to call a contractor. 
  • Fan outside works, but no cooling. Reset circuit breaker. 
  • Water leaks. Clean the drain trap if practical. 
  • Poor cooling on through the wall units with high electric bills. This is counter-intuitive, but the capacity on these units is limited. They need to run all day to remove the heat and humidity with the doors, windows and the vents inside the units closed. Starting the unit at five in the afternoon on a 95 degree day with 70 percent humidity with the windows open will only make it work harder and cost you more to operate. If the temperature coming out is 10 or 15 degrees lower than that going in, it's doing the best it can.  

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