Water that accumulates in the bottom of a side-by-side freezer, or refrigerator compartment of a top/bottom refrigerator indicates that the defrost system is not working properly. This is usually an easy and inexpensive fix if you call for repair promptly.

      Occasionally check for the sound of cooling fans. There is one inside the freezer and one in the bottom, rear of the refrigerator (cooling the compressor).


      There are dishwasher cleaners that help to keep your dishwasher clean and smelling fresh. However, a cup of white vinegar—at the beginning of a short, empty cycle—will work work just as well and costs a lot less (once a month).

      All dishwashers have a "strainer" either underneath the sprayer arm or located in the back corner. Keep them free of large debris by cleaning once a month. Some newer models have a round filter system that can be unscrewed and rinsed. Your manual should have instructions on how to get behind the strainers for further cleaning. It's not as hard as it looks!

Washing Machines

      Be sure to use the HE detergent if your machine calls for it; you will regret it otherwise.

      There are also washing machine cleaners available that help to keep your washer clean and smelling fresh. Just as with dishwashers, however, a cup of white vinegar—at the beginning of a short, empty cycle—will work work just as well and cost a lot less (once a month).


      Most modern dryers, but not all of that are part of a front-load set, have moisture sensors that are used as part of the "Auto-Dry" cycles. Using dryer sheets (which are otherwise just fine) can coat the sensor bars with the wax that is found on the sheet causing poorly functioning sensors. Cleaning these sensor bars (see figure which shows a sensor just behing the lint filter at the door) once or twice a year, with alcohol or acetone, will keep the sensors working well. The sensors are found on the back wall inside the dryer, or on the front side just underneath the slot for the lint filter.

Microwave Maintenance


      Microwave problems are either more expensive to fix than it is to replace the mw, or easily and inexpensively fixable. A simple test can help you find out which it is. If your mw is not turning on, open your MW door and locate the locking tabs (white circles in the figure below). Close the door an firmly press and hold the outside of the door just above where the top locking tab is. Press the start button. Do the same by pressing just below the bottom locking tab. If the MW starts on either attempt, you have a broken top or bottom switch which is easily replaced.

Fridge Maintenance
      Well in advance of the upcoming holiday season, check the function of your stove/oven. The stove burners should glow bright red on high. When turned down to medium the bright-red glow should cycle off and on.

      Make sure that your oven comes up to temperature (using an oven thermometer). Check for any error codes (e.g., F2) on ranges with an electronic control board (touch pad). These codes can mean that your oven is not heating properly.

      If you use the electronic "cleaning" function of your oven before or after the holidays, make sure that you set the cleaning time to 1-to-2 hours (if you are able to), rather than the preset 3-to-4 hours. The cleaning function is NOTORIOUS – on all models – for burning out the oven's electronic controls. The shorter cleaning time may require a little additional manual cleaning after the electronic cycle but at least you won't have to service or replace your oven!
Fridge Maintenance

"The future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves." ~ Irish Proverb