How to Fix Common Home Appliances: DIY

It's a given that household appliances will stop working. That's why you should be prepared and arm yourself with some simple DIY appliance repair knowledge. We’ve made a list of some easy fixes for your most common household problems.

If you have a leaky fridge, a rattling dryer, a barely cooling HVAC, a stove that no longer sizzles, a clogged dishwasher, or any other appliance repair need, we’ve got you covered with this handy appliance repair troubleshooting guide. And if your problem is bigger than a simple, quick fix for appliances, a home warranty can help take care of the rest.

Leaking Fridge Fixes

If water is leaking on the inside of the fridge, there could be a few different culprits. The self-defrosting drain system or the freezer drain may be clogged. 

Step 1: To fix a leaking refrigerator, start by unplugging it. Find out where the defrosted water is drained and remove the drainage pan.

Step 2: Next, remove the cover panel, locate the drainage tube or channel, and feed it into a bucket to catch excess water.

Step 3: Then, remove the upper portion of the drain tube. Using a hairdryer, you can defrost the tube and remove any clogs caused by ice. If there is a physical blockage, use air or a snake to work the clog out of the pipe.

Maintaining your refrigerator is a crucial way to keep it lasting longer. Learn about how our home warranty plans protect covered components of your fridge.

Dryer Fixes 


Knowing how to fix home appliances such as laundry machines can keep your household (and laundry days) running smoothly.

Keep Your Dryer Quiet 

There are a couple of easy fixes when it comes to this common home appliance repair. The problem may be as simple as using a smaller load of laundry or figuring out if the dryer is sitting on an uneven surface. Persistent rattling or clicking noises may also mean that a button or loose change is caught in the dryer bins or vents.

Clean a Clothes Dryer Vent

Read step-by-step instructions on cleaning a dryer vent, as it is a more involved household repair process that involves detaching the vent tubing and vacuuming the debris out.  

Find out how to get home warranty coverage for your washing machine and dryer.

Central Air Conditioning Fixes

Is your central A/C not cooling efficiently? Or perhaps you’ve been noticing a lot of dust buildup lately. Thankfully, these top air conditioner problems can have quick fixes.

Test Your A/C Unit

If the air conditioning doesn’t seem to be working quite right, check that the thermostat is set to cool with the switch on Auto or On. Make sure the temperature on the thermostat is lower than the ambient temperature of the room. Finally, check the air filters and replace them, if necessary. These small but mighty A/C components help your unit run efficiently.

Clean Air Filters 


    Simply put, a dirty air filter prevents the flow of cool air into your house. A fresh air filter means cool air can flow unrestricted into your house. It serves an important preventative function: it keeps dust from working its way into sensitive parts of your HVAC unit.

    Even if it’s not excessively dirty, you should be replacing the air filters every three to four months. Doing so will make sure that your HVAC not only runs well but also lasts for many years to come. You also will reap the benefits of cleaner air in your home. 

    When making common household repairs doesn’t quite cut it with your A/C, rely on American Home Shield’s air conditioner protection, which covers the repair or replacement of important A/C components.

    Dishwasher Fixes

    If your dishwasher is no longer doing its job, there may be a simple home appliance repair fix. However, if the issue is past the point of DIY household repair, that’s where dishwasher coverage through a home warranty comes in handy.

    Clear Clogged Food in Dishwasher

    The main area  dishwasher draining issues is the food filter. If it’s clogged, water won’t be able to reach the spray arms, meaning the dishes in the top rack won’t get cleaned. Fortunately, it’s an easy appliance repair fix.

    Pull out the lower rack, remove the filter cover, and use a waterproof vacuum cleaner—like a shop vacuum—to clean off the filter screen. It’s also worth checking the float switch and making sure it isn’t clogged. After all, a jammed switch means no water. Give it a jiggle, and you should be good to go.

    A good rule of thumb for anticipating dishwasher issues before they happen is to prepare a dishwasher maintenance checklist.

    Gas and Electric Stove Fixes


    Learn how to fix appliances that help you create all of those delicious meals for your family with the following troubleshooting solutions for gas and electric stoves.

    If your electric stove isn’t working, pull the heating coil out from its socket, plug it in, and wiggle it around. If the coil feels loose, remove it again and gently bend the burner prongs outward to create a tighter connection.

    For gas stoves, the problem usually lies with an igniter that’s been obstructed by food. On a gas stove, the igniter looks like a ceramic nub. Clean off any food stuck to it with a toothbrush or other soft-bristled brush. You should also check that the striker plate is seated correctly on the burner.

    Final Thoughts

    Eventually, any major home appliance will run into problems you can’t fix on your own. That’s why having a home warranty is so important for both your budget and your peace of mind. But there are a number of smaller, quick-fix appliance repairs that can be handled without the help of a repair technician.

    Whether you need to fix electrical appliances or are in need of more complex appliance repair, an American Home Shield home warranty that includes appliances will keep your home protected.

    DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Please be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions and ensure your project complies with any applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations. 

    AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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    New Jersey Residents: The product being offered is a service contract and is separate and distinct from any product or service warranty which may be provided by the home builder or manufacturer.