Fix-it-Yourself--Major Appliances: Article Index + Intro

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  1. CONTENTS / HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
  2. EMERGENCY GUIDE
  3. REFRIGERATORS
  4. FREEZERS
  5. ELECTRIC RANGES
  6. GAS RANGES
  7. DISHWASHERS
  8. GARBAGE DISPOSERS
  9. CLOTHES WASHERS
  10. CLOTHES DRYERS
  11. TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

Major Appliances is divided into three sections. The Emergency Guide provides information that can be indispensable, even lifesaving, in the event of a household emergency. Take the time to study this section before you need the important advice it contains.

The Repairs section—the heart of the guide—is more than a collection of how-to tips and techniques. It’s a system for troubleshooting and repairing refrigerators, freezers, ranges, dishwashers, garbage disposers, clothes washers and dryers. Pictured below are four sample pages from the Dishwashers section, with captions describing the various features of the guide and how they work. If your dishes are dirty or spotted after washing, For example, the Troubleshooting Guide will offer a number of possible causes ranging from incorrect loading of dishes to a faulty timer. If the problem is a clogged spray arm, you will be directed to for detailed, step-by-step directions for servicing the spray arm and tower.

Each job has been rated by degree of difficulty and the aver age time it will take for a do-it-yourselfer to complete. Keep in mind that this rating is only a suggestion. Before deciding whether you should attempt a repair, first read all the instructions carefully. Then be guided by your own confidence, and the tools and time available to you. For complex or time-consuming repairs, such as replacing a motor, you may wish to call for professional service. You will still have saved time and money by diagnosing the problem yourself.

Most of the repairs in Major Appliances can be made with screwdrivers, wrenches and utility pliers. Some troubleshooting procedures require either a continuity tester or the more precise multitester. Basic appliance repair tools—and the proper way to use them—are presented in the Tools & Techniques section starting on 0. If you are a novice when it comes to home repair, read this section in preparation for a major job.

Home repair can lead to serious injury unless you take certain basic precautions. Before working on an appliance, always unplug its power cord or shut off power at the main service panel (2). If you must plug in an appliance to test it, always unplug it again before proceeding. Don’t disconnect or move a gas appliance yourself; call the gas company or a service technician to do it for you. When removing large panels, wear gloves or tape sharp metal edges with masking tape. Keep a bucket and rags handy when working with hoses, valves and pumps. Most important, follow all safety tips and Caution warnings throughout the guide.

Introductory text: Describes proper use and care of the appliance, most common breakdowns and basic safety precautions.

Troubleshooting Guide: To use this chart, locate the symptom that most closely resembles your appliance problem, review the possible causes in column 2, then follow the recommended procedures in column 3. Simple fixes may be explained on the chart; in most cases you will be directed to an illustrated, step-by-step repair sequence.

“Exploded” and cutaway diagrams: Locate and describe the various mechanical, electrical and plumbing parts of the appliance.

Variations: Differences in popular appliance models are described throughout the guide, particularly if a repair procedure varies from one machine to another, or from electric to gas models.

Degree of difficulty and time: Rate the complexity of each repair, and how much time the job should take for a homeowner with average do-it-yourself skills.

Special tool required: Some electrical repairs, particularly those involving heating elements, pumps or motors, require a multi-tester (1).

Name of repair: You will be referred by the Troubleshooting Guide to the first a specific repair job.

Step-by-step procedures--Follow the numbered repair sequence carefully. Depending on the result of each step, you may be directed to a later step, or to another part of the guide, to complete the repair.

Tools and techniques: When a tool or method is required for a job, it’s described within the step-by-Step repair. General information on working with appliances, including the use of continuity testers and multi-testers, is covered in the Tools & Techniques section (0).

Lead-ins: Bold lead-ins summarize each step or highlight the key action pictured in the illustration.

Insets: Illustrate variations of popular models, and provide close-up views of specific steps.

Cross-references: Direct you to important information elsewhere in the guide, including disassembly and access steps.



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