• In this video, repairman Richie Isaacson shows host Kevin O'Connor how to maintain kitchen appliances.

    Steps:
    1. Be sure that the pull-out racks on a dishwasher don't interfere with the spinning spray arms.
    2. Before starting the dishwasher, check to make sure that there isn't any silverware blocking the spray arms.
    3. Don't lay large pots or pans flat against the lower rack; they'll block the water spray and prevent other items from getting washed.
    4. Turn on the hot water at the kitchen sink and wait until it runs hot, then turn it off and start the dishwasher.
    5. Be sure to use the appropriate dishwasher detergent, and fill both the prerinse compartment and main compartment. Shut the cover on the main compartment before closing the dishwasher door.
    6. Occasionally remove the filter from the bottom of the dishwasher and rinse it clean.
    7. Check the float switch inside the dishwasher to confirm that there's nothing blocking it from moving up and down freely.
    8. If a drinking glass breaks inside the dishwasher, remove all bits of glass with a wet/dry vacuum.
    9. If water remains in the dishwasher after the cycle is completed, check for a partially clogged drain hose.
    10. To clean the refrigerator condenser, start by unplugging the refrigerator. Then use a condenser brush or a radiator brush to clean away all trapped dust and dirt. You could also use a vacuum to suck or blow the condenser clean.
    11. Use warm, soapy water and a sponge to occasionally wipe clean the rubber gasket (the door seal) on the inside of the refrigerator and freezer doors.
    12. Increase the airtightness of door seals by coating them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.
    13. If the water line running to the ice maker is frequently clogged, solder on a copper T-fitting, add a ball valve, and replace plastic tubing with flexible copper tubing.
    14. If an electric range has a broken or burned-out heating element, unplug it and replace with a new heating element.
    15. After using the oven's self-cleaning mode, wait for the oven to cool down, then vacuum or wipe clean the inside of the oven.
    16. Never use spray-on oven cleaner in a self-cleaning oven.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      No particular skilled required to maintain most appliances
Ask TOH users about Appliances

Contribute to This Story Below

    Video Directory

    Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • wetdry vac
        Wet/dry vacuum
      • propane torch
        Propane torch, used for soldering
      • tubing cutter
        Tubing cutter, for cutting flexible copper tubing

      Shopping List

      Dishwasher detergent

      Dish soap

      Condenser brush or radiator brush, used to clean the refrigerator condenser

      Sponge, used to clean the refrigerator and freezer door seals

      Petroleum jelly, for coating the door seals

      Copper T-fitting, ball valve, and flexible copper tubing, used to replace the existing ice-maker water-supply line

      Solder and flux, used to solder the new ice-maker water-supply line

      Heating element, for replacing a damaged heating element on a range