Household appliances – dishwashers, washers, driers, hot water heaters, A/C, refrigerators, freezers, etc. – give us a lifestyle our cave-dwelling forebears couldn’t even imagine in their wildest dreams. They free us from the drudgery of the day-to-day tasks of meager survival and give us endless hours of time to devote to other pursuits. Oh yes, modern living a thing of beauty, ease, and comfort.
Until it isn’t. When one or more of your appliances decides to go on the fritz, suddenly life isn’t so great anymore. There could be 10 or more signs that your home air conditioner may be in need of repair but like most of us, you might have ignored it in the frenzied rush of work, social life, family, and friends. By the time you realize what’s happening, it’s too late. The damage has been done. And we do mean damage.
The military has a phrase you may have heard of; collateral damage. It refers to unintended damage inflicted on civilian individuals and buildings, or any non-target person or structure, usually during the course of military combat operations. If the military is targeting an enemy factory that is manufacturing chemical weapons and some of the ordinance hits a nearby home, school, railroad bridge, transformer, restaurant, or anything else they weren’t attacking, that is referred to as collateral damage. They weren’t trying to damage those buildings or hurt anyone in them, but it happened anyway. Collateral damage isn’t something anyone wants to happen, it’s an accident.
The same thing can happen when your appliances take a dive. For example, the hot water heater breaks down and springs a leak in the process. The next thing you know your carpet or rug is soaked from top to bottom and the house smells like a wet goat. That’s collateral damage and it happens more often than not with appliance malfunctions. So, not only do you have to worry about fixing the appliance that started all the trouble, but you also have to fix or repair the collateral damage it caused in the process.
Finding a Good Engineer
Leaking appliances have to be fixed before you can tackle the collateral damage they caused. You’ll be asking anyone you can find, “Where is an appliance repair near me?” You’ll also be asking how good are they? Are they honest? What are their prices like? Are they dependable? If they make a mistake, will they fix it? And on and on and on and on.
Those are good questions too, by the way. You should be asking them, and don’t stop until you get solid answers that satisfy you. A good appliance repair engineer should be willing to give you a quote. They should be happy to tell you their prices too, or at least what their prices are based on. If they won’t do one or the other, and hopefully both, turn around and walk away from them. They’re not going to treat your right and you’re not going to be happy.
Minimize Your Appliance Usage
Most “green” advocates will tell you about household appliances you should minimize using to save electricity and that’s fine, as far as it goes. But minimizing appliance usage has benefits beyond just saving on your electric bill.
Machines wear out. Fact of life. The more you use them, the faster they wear out. Nuts and bolts gradually work themselves loose because of vibration. Water wears away at joints and connectors. Electrical heating, cooling and reheating gradually weakens the insulation around wiring and other electronic components. Drain pipes get clogged and back up. Ball bearings wear out. Socket become pitted.
The damage to the appliance starts out so small you can’t even see it without a magnifying glass. You probably don’t even know it’s happening. By the time you recognize or notice it, you’re teetering on the brink of disaster. That brings us to our next topic.
What is a handyman without his trusty tool belt? You should have some screwdrivers, pliers, a socket set, a couple of wrenches, hammers, and other basic tools with you all the time. At least keep them handy where you can grab them at a moment’s notice. Schedule weekend every six months to a year and dedicate it exclusively to maintaining all your appliances. Tighten all the nuts and bolts, clean out all the drain lines, scrape off all the gunk, and keep the moving parts lightly oiled. The more preventative maintenance you do, the less you’ll have to spend on repairs!