Don's Appliance Service

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Contact us today to schedule service or for your initial estimate on all your needed repairs.

 

815-877-2553

VIEW OUR FAQS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR APPLIANCES

Need assistance with maintaining your dryer, gas or electric range, washing machine or dishwasher? Before you spend money on a repair, check for a solution in our frequently asked questions. If no DIY solution exists, our team will be happy to come out and provide a cost-effective repair. Special in-home repair appointment times are available upon request!

Here at Don's Appliance Service, you'll find both used and new parts for all your appliance needs.

Dryer FAQs

My Dryer takes too long to dry my clothes.

Your Dryer's vent could be clogged or restricted by lint and other debris. To function properly, your dryer requires an unrestricted air flow path from the lint trap to the point of exit at a wall. You can make sure the pathway is unobstructed by cleaning the vent system of any built up lint, and by making sure the vent hose is not kinked.

 

If your clothes are taking too long to dry, the heating element of your dryer could be malfunctioning(electric dryers). It could be that your heating element has burned out, but still has enough of a connection to produce very low heating temperatures. If this is the case with your Dryer, you will have to replace the heating element.

 

My Dryer is not starting.

Your Dryer may not be receiving the proper voltage to start. First, make sure your Dryer is plugged in. Also, check the circuit breaker panel to make sure all the circuit breakers are in the correct positions. Finally, check to make sure no fuses in your fuse panel are blown. Any of these could be the reason power is not getting to your Dryer.

 

The power cord of your Dryer could be frayed or burned, causing a lack of power to start your Dryer. Sometimes main power cords can become frayed or severed from the Dryer completely. This is considered a major fire hazard. You will have to replace both the power cord itself as well as the corresponding terminal block that attaches the power cord to the Dryer.

 

It just might be the door switch that is causing your Dryer to not start. If the door switch is no longer functioning properly, it will need to be replaced.

 

If the dryer is making a "humming or buzzing" noise, it's possible you could have a bad motor.

 

My Dryer will not heat up.

If your Dryer won't heat up, it's possible that it is not being supplied with the proper voltage. First, make sure your Dryer is plugged in. Also, check the circuit breaker panel to make sure all the circuit breakers are in the correct positions and not blown.  If you have a 220V electric dryer, make sure you have 220 going to the dryer.  An electric dryer will tumble on 110V, but won't heat without 220V.

 

The power cord may be frayed or burned. Sometimes main power cords can become frayed or severed from the Dryer completely. This is considered a major fire hazard. You will have to replace both the power cord itself as well as the corresponding terminal block that attaches the power cord to the Dryer.

 

It is also possible that the heating element in your (electric) Dryer is defective. Heating elements are irreparable. You will have to replace the element if it has ceased to function properly.  

 

Another possible cause for a Dryer to not heat up could be attributed to a faulty thermal fuse. Once a fuse has blown, it is no longer of any use. If your Dryer won't heat because of a blown fuse, you will have to replace the fuse.  Not all brands have a thermal fuse.

 

In gas dryers, make sure there is not a crack/break in the ceramic ignitor.  If the ignitor is making an orange glow, your ignitor is good.  Some brands have a thermal fuse and this is usually located in the back of the dryer near the 4" vent (remove back cover).  An ohm meter is good to check this part.  No continuity, replace fuse.  Also see above about a clogged vent.  Gas dryers that the ignitors glow, fire up and then shut down and don't re-fire, the problem is usually in the gas valve solenoid coils.

 

My Dryer is not tumbling.

If your Dryer won't tumble, it could mean that the belt or idler pulley is broken. Belts wear over time, eventually breaking. If you need to replace yours, you may want to replace the idler pulley at the same time. If the belt is worn enough that it has broken, then the pulley has also received a lot of wear.

 

Your Dryer might not be tumbling due to an inoperable door switch. Check to see if you door switch is working. If it isn't, then you will have to replace it.

 

It is also possible that your Dryer will not tumble because the motor is defective. If this is the case, you will need to replace your motor.

 

My Dryer is tearing up my clothes.

A defective front or rear seal could be the reason your clothes are coming out of the Dryer torn. The seal is designed to keep clothes from getting between the drum and the front or rear wall of the dryer. If this seal becomes worn or torn, your clothing may become lodged between the two parts. Because the Dryer drum keeps turning, the clothes get ripped.  (Not all brands have this seal).

 

Torn clothing could mean that the glides in your dryer have become defective. The glides support the drum towards the front of the Dryer. They can wear over time, causing the drum to slump or sag toward the front of the Dryer. When this happens, a pinch point is created at the top of the drum. It is this pinch point that can tear clothing. If this happens in your Dryer, you will have to replace the entire set of glides.  (Not all brands have glides).

 

Another possibility for torn clothing could be defective drum support rollers. The rollers support the drum in the back of the Dryer. These too can wear over time, causing the drum to slump or sag in the back. Again, a pinch point is created, causing clothing to tear. If it is the drum support rollers in your Dryer that have become defective, you will have to replace the entire set of rollers. (Not all brands have rollers)

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Electric Range FAQs

Warning! To avoid personal injury or even death, always disconnect your appliance from its power source--that is, unplug it or break the connection at the circuit breaker or fuse box--before you do any troubleshooting or repair work on your appliance. Also, because some components may have sharp edges, use caution while working on your appliance.

 

It's stopped completely, If your range/oven doesn't seem to work at all, check these:

 

  • Fuse/circuit breaker: Check to see if power is getting to the range/oven. Does anything turn on--even a light? If not, check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.

  • Main wiring: Often the main wiring connection from the house, at the range/oven, gets burned and so breaks the connection. Then you may have to replace the power cord to the range/oven, and the terminal block that the wire is attached to.

  • Range/oven wiring: There may be a broken or burned wire at the back of the range/oven. If you repair any of the wires, use only proper appliance-grade wire and wire connectors.

 

It won't bake.

Usually, when an electric oven won't bake, it's because the bake element is burned out. The bake element is the black, pencil- thick tube at the bottom of the oven. When the oven heats, the element glows red. This element has an expected life-span of several years. It may last for only one; it may last for many more. When the element burns out, you need to replace it.  A break is usually visible in a bad element.  If not visible, check with ohm meter.

 

In gas ovens with electronic ignition, you may need to replace the ignitor.  A bad ignitor may still glow orange, but won't fire up.

 

It bakes poorly.

Here are two instances of when food "bakes poorly:"

 

When the food you're baking is done on top but not on the bottom--or when baking just takes far too long to finish--the bake element may be burned out.

 

You may get fooled into thinking it's working, because the oven is hot inside. But many electric ovens use the broil element, too, during the preheat and bake cycles. So the food may be getting heated only by the broil element, which causes poor baking results.

 

If the bake element is burned out, replacing it should solve the problem. Otherwise, you need to further troubleshoot the oven's electrical system to locate the defective wire or component.

 

When the temperature is consistent but too high or too low, it could be one of several different things. First check to see if the thermostat sensing bulb has come loose from its holder. It could be lying on the floor of the oven or resting on the heating element. This would cause the oven to not heat correctly.  The oven thermostat is what tells the oven what to do.  A bad thermostat is usually the cause of inconsistent temperatures.

 

If the thermostat bulb is not dislodged, it's likely that the thermostat or sensor is either mis-calibrated or defective.

 

Electronic ovens with a digital display use a sensor to monitor oven temperature. To solve temperature problems for these models, you may need to replace the sensor. On some digital-display models, you can calibrate the temperature using the key pad. See your operator's manual for details.

 

Ovens without a digital display often use a mechanical system for controlling temperature. On many of these units, you can remove the thermostat knob and adjust the knob itself to more accurately represent the actual setting of the thermostat.

 

If, when you remove the knob, there's a screw on the back of it with a small calibration plate, you can loosen the screw, adjust the plate, then tighten the screw again. If the knob isn't adjustable, and the oven temperature is off by more than 30 to 40 degrees, you need to replace the thermostat to solve the problem.

 

It won't broil.

Usually, when an oven won't broil, it's because the broiler element is burned out. The broiler element in an electric oven is the black, pencil-thick tube at the top of the oven. When the broiler is on, the element glows red. This element has an expected life-span of several years. It may last for only one; it may last for many more. When the element burns out, you need to replace it.

 

A burner doesn't work

Heating elements eventually burn out. Sometimes, when an element burns out, you can see that the coil burns in two, or blisters and bubbles.

 

When your heating element burns out, you have to replace it because they are not repairable. If, when the heating element burns out, the infinite switch that controls it also fails, you have to replace it too. Also see the "A burner works only intermittently" section, next.  If the terminal ends of your element look worn, you should also replace the burner block that the element plugs into.

 

A burner works only intermittently

If one of your burner heating elements works only intermittently, it's probably because of worn or bad contacts in the receptacle that the element plugs into. On most electric ranges, you can remove the element by lifting it up several inches and firmly pulling it away from its attachment (receptacle). Read your owner's manual to learn the correct technique for your range.

 

If, after removing the element, you see that the ends of the element that were plugged in are pitted, corroded, burned, scarred, or rusted, replace both the element and the receptacle (burner block).

 

I can't adjust the burner temperature.

If your burner always heats to "high" when it's on--regardless of how you set the burner knob--the switch contacts are shorted closed. Check the circuit for any other grounds, then replace the switch.

 

It won't bake or broil.

If neither the bake nor the broiler heating elements heat, but the range burners still work, the clock may be set for a timed or self-cleaning cycle. Check to be sure the clock buttons and knobs are set properly. If your clock has a knob that says "push for man(ual)", push the knob in and try the baking and broiling elements again. If it still does not operate properly, you probably have a defect in the thermostat, selector switch, or common wiring.

 

If the oven does not have a separate bake/broil/etc. selector switch, the problem may be with the thermostat. But it's not easy to check the selector switch or thermostat for proper operation. If you suspect a problem in this area, call a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

The clock stopped.

Electronic clocks have been more reliable. But, they're often integrated with several other features of the range/oven. So when the clock develops a defect, it often renders the entire oven and broiler inoperative. The electronic clock is usually integrated with a circuit board, and the touchpad that holds the buttons you press is often a separate component. If your electronic clock is defective, you may need to replace the touchpad, circuit board, or both. Although these may be expensive, they aren't usually very complicated to replace.

 

The temperature is wrong.

See the "It bakes poorly" section.

 

The oven light doesn't work

The interior oven light in most ovens is a standard 40 watt appliance bulb. Often, to change the bulb, you first need to remove a shield or glass dome. If the bulb isn't burned out, the problem may be with the switch on the oven door frame. If the switch works poorly, intermittently, or not at all, you need to replace it.

 

There's a self-cleaning problem.

The self-cleaning system on an electric oven is fairly complex. To be able to set and use the self-cleaning feature, you need to read and understand the owner's manual. If you have problems with this system, call a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

The oven door won't close.

If your oven door has gotten bent or warped (maybe you rested something heavy on it…), you need to remove the door, disassemble it, and straighten it. You can lift most oven doors off of their hinges by opening the door several inches to its first "stop," and lifting the entire door straight up.

 

If the hinges have become worn, damaged, or bent, you probably need to replace them. We recommend replacing both hinges at the same time, to prevent uneven wear of the undamaged hinge.

 

An indicator light doesn't work correctly.

When an indicator light has stopped working, you may be able to replace just the bulb--but you usually have to replace the entire light assembly. Alternatively, there could be a problem with your burner sensor (stuck open or closed) or your indicator light circuit.

 

The oven is hot on the outside.

It may be normal for your oven to become quite warm on the outside during baking, broiling, or self-cleaning. In some cases, the front door of an oven can become too hot to comfortably touch. Or, if the integrity of the door seal is poor, heat could escape from the oven and cause the overheating. Consult a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

Note… If you suspect that any part of the oven is dangerously hot, turn the oven off immediately and consult a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

I see sparks!

If you ever see sparks coming from the range or oven, unplug it immediately. Then, when the unit has cooled down, try to find exactly where the sparks came from.

 

If the sparks came from an obvious place like the surface burner heating elements or the bake/broil element, repair or replace any defective component you find. If you can't locate the place the sparks came from--or can't fix the problem yourself--contact a qualified appliance repair technician.

Washing Machine FAQs

My Washing Machine fills and drains at the same time.

Your drain hose probable isn't high enough. If this is the case, you will need to reposition your drain hose so that it is at least 36" above the floor.

 

My Washing Machine overfills with water.

If your Washing Machine is overfilling, the water level switch may be defective. Examine the water level switch to check if it works properly. If it doesn't, replace it.  It could also be that your water valve is faulty and needs to be replaced.  If you have to shut the water off at the faucet, it's usually the water valve.  If you can shut the water off at the timer, then it's probably the water level switch or something clogging your water level tube.

 

My Washing Machine is filled with water.

When you find that your Washing Machine is remaining full of water, it could mean that the water pump is inoperable. You should examine your water pump and check to see if it is clogged with something or defective.  Your washer won't spin until the water is pumped out.  Also- if the washer fills and then nothing, check the lid switch.  This is activated when shutting the lid.  Locate the area that the lid striker hits and press your finger  (or screwdriver) into the hole and if you do NOT hear a clicking noise, it's probably a defective lid switch.

 

My Whirlpool, Kenmore, Roper or KitchenAid washer won't spin or agitate.

These brands use a coupling (between the motor and transmission on direct-drive models only) and if the coupling is broken, it won't spin or agitate.

Gas Range FAQs

Warning! To avoid personal injury or even death, always disconnect your appliance from its power source--that is, unplug it or break the connection at the circuit breaker or fuse box-before you do any troubleshooting or repair work on your appliance. Also, because some components may have sharp edges, use caution while working on your appliance.

 

It's stopped completely.

Not all gas ranges/ovens require electricity. If yours has a clock, electronic igniters, self-cleaning, or any other electrical features, the unit needs electricity to work properly. Check to see whether there's power getting to the range/oven. Does anything turn on--even a light? If not, check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.

 

It won't bake.

If your oven won't bake, check these:

 

Bake igniter: Usually when an oven won't bake, it's because the bake igniter is weak or burned out. The igniter is a small, round or rectangular device, that's about 1 inch by 4 to 8 inches. It's near the burner itself.

 

The burner is the tube-type device the gas flows through before it's ignited. It has many small holes on the sides to let the gas, when ignited, form a long, low flame. If the igniter is weak, if it glows red but doesn't get hot enough, or if it's burned out, the gas doesn't flow to the burner and the burner won't ignite. If this is the problem, you may need to replace the igniter or (very rarely, the gas safety valve). Usually the igniter is to blame.  NOTE: The igniter can still glow, but be too weak to ignite a flame.  Even though the igniter glows, you may still have a bad ignitor.

 

Other reasons that your oven may not bake are:

  • The clock settings are incorrect (if you have timed baking or a self-cleaning oven).

  • The thermostat is defective.

  • The safety valve that prevents accidental gas flow is defective.

  • The selector switch is defective.

 

It bakes poorly.

Here are two instances of when food "bakes poorly:"

 

When the item takes far too long to finish, you probably have a weak bake igniter. Often, you need to replace the igniter, but you may want to troubleshoot the oven's electrical system further to more precisely locate the defect.

 

When the temperature is consistent but too high or too low, the oven thermostat or sensor is either mis-calibrated or defective. If your oven uses an electronic temperature-regulating device, you may have an electric sensor in the oven instead of a mechanical thermostat. If the oven temperature is off by 30 to 40 degrees in this type of unit, you must replace the sensor.

 

On many units with a mechanical thermostat, you can remove the thermostat knob and adjust the knob itself to more accurately represent the actual setting of the thermostat. If, when you remove the knob, there's a screw on the back of it with a small calibration plate, you can loosen the screw, adjust the plate, then tighten the screw again. If the knob isn't adjustable, and the oven temperature is off by more than 30 to 40 degrees, you need to replace the thermostat to solve the problem.

 

It won't broil.

If your oven won't broil, check these:

 

Broil igniter: Usually, when an oven won't broil, it's because the broil igniter is weak or burned out. The igniter is a small, round or rectangular device, about 1 inch by 4 to 8 inches. It's near the burner itself.

 

The burner is the tube-type device the gas flows through before it's ignited. It has many small holes on the sides to let the gas, when ignited, form a long, low flame. If the igniter is weak, if it glows red but doesn't get hot enough, or if it's burned out, the gas doesn't flow to the burner and the burner won't ignite. If this is the problem, you may need to replace the igniter or the safety valve. Usually the igniter is to blame.

 

Other causes

  • Other reasons that your oven may not broil are:

  • The clock settings are incorrect (if you have timed baking or a self-cleaning oven).

  • The thermostat is defective.

  • The safety valve that prevents accidental gas flow is defective.

  • The selector switch is defective.

 

A burner doesn't work.

The most common problem for gas surface burners is that they get gas but don't light. This is generally caused by dirt or grease splatters on the burner itself. Residential-grade range/stove burners are round and have small holes around their perimeter to allow gas to flow out and create a round flame. The gas coming from these holes is often ignited by a small vertical row of holes on the side of the burner. If these vertical holes are clogged or obstructed, the gas can't ignite.

 

The solution is to clean the burners thoroughly. Use a toothpick to clear the small vertical holes, then allow the burner to dry completely and try lighting it again. If it doesn't light immediately, either repeat the procedure or call a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

It won't bake or broil.

If neither the oven nor the broiler heats, but the range burners still work, the clock may be set for a timed or self-cleaning cycle. Check to be sure the clock buttons and knobs are set properly. If your clock has a knob that says "push for man(ual)," push the knob in and try heating the oven and broiler again. If they still don't work properly, you probably have a defect in the thermostat, selector switch, or common wiring.

 

Note… If the oven doesn't have a separate bake/broil/etc. selector switch, the problem is often with the thermostat. It's not easy to check the selector switch or thermostat for proper operation. If you suspect a problem with either of these, call a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

The clock stopped.

The non-electronic clocks on gas range/ovens often don't last long. That's a problem, because the clock is essential to the self-cleaning and timed-bake features. Clocks are rarely repairable--you usually just have to replace them.

 

Electronic clocks have been more reliable. But, they're often integrated with several other features of the range/oven. So when the clock develops a defect, it often renders the entire oven and broiler inoperative. The electronic clock is usually integrated with a circuit board, and the touchpad that holds the buttons you press is often a separate component. If your electronic clock is defective, you may need to replace the touchpad, circuit board, or both. Although these may be expensive, they aren't usually very complicated to replace.

 

The oven light doesn't work.

The interior oven light in most ovens is a standard 40 watt appliance bulb. Often, to change the bulb, you first need to remove a shield or glass dome. If the bulb isn't burned out, the problem may be with the switch on the oven door frame. If the switch works poorly, intermittently, or not at all, you need to replace it.

 

There's a self-cleaning problem.

The self-cleaning system on a gas oven is fairly complex. To be able to set and use the self-cleaning feature, you need to read and understand the owner's manual. If you have problems with this system, call a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

The door won't close.

If your oven door has gotten bent or warped (maybe you rested something heavy on it…), you need to remove the door, disassemble it, and straighten it. You can lift most oven doors off of their hinges by opening the door several inches to its first "stop," and lifting the entire door straight up.

 

If the hinges have become worn, damaged, or bent, you probably need to replace them. We recommend replacing both hinges at the same time, to prevent uneven wear of the undamaged hinge.

 

An indicator light doesn't work.

When an indicator light has stopped working, you may be able to replace just the bulb--but you usually have to replace the entire light assembly.

 

The oven is hot on the outside.

It may be normal for your oven to become quite warm on the outside during baking, broiling, or self-cleaning. In some cases, the front door of an oven can become too hot to comfortably touch. I f the integrity of the door seal is poor, heat could escape from the oven and cause the overheating. Consult a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

Note… If you suspect that any part of the oven is dangerously hot, turn the oven off immediately and consult a qualified appliance repair technician.

 

I smell gas!

Warning! If you smell gas coming from your range/oven, you may be in danger! You may, of course, get a brief whiff of gas as you light a surface burner, but if you smell gas at any other time, turn off the gas to the appliance immediately. Then call your local gas company and ask them to pinpoint the source of the gas. If the problem is with the range/oven, have a qualified appliance repair technician repair it.

Dishwasher FAQs

My Dishwasher does not work at all.

Your Dishwasher may not be receiving any power. It is somewhat difficult to check for power at the plug outlet because the plug for a Dishwasher is usually behind the unit. You should make sure all the circuit breakers of your circuit breaker panel are in the correct positions, or check to make sure no fuses are blown.

 

Also check your cycle selector dial. If it is the case that the cycle selector dial is not functioning, you should replace it.

 

Your Dishwasher's timer could be broken, causing your Dishwasher to not function. Check your Dishwasher's timer, and if it is broken, replace it.

 

My Dishwasher does not completely clean my dishes.

Your water inlet valve may be inoperable. You will need to replace your water inlet valve if it is defective.

 

Your Dishwasher's filter or grate might be clogged, or blocked with debris. You should periodically inspect your filter or grate and remove any buildup blocking the flow of water.

 

The water temperature inside your Dishwasher may be too low. Your Dishwasher relies on hot water to properly clean and dry your dishes. Make sure the hot water heater is working and heating up the water properly.

 

It could just be that you aren't using enough soap to completely wash your dishes. Your Dishwasher may be designed to dispense soap at two different times during the wash cycle. If you don't fill all of the detergent cups, then the dishwasher will lose a cleaning cycle.  (Too much soap is also not good)

 

If you have a lot of hard water, lime or scale build-up, you may want to purchase a product called "Dishwasher Magic".  This is a liquid cleaner than you run with the dishwasher empty to clean the debris.

 

The water does not drain out of my Dishwasher.

Your drain hose could be installed incorrectly. If your drain hose is attached to a garbage disposal, the hose should be installed so that it is about three to six inches above the bottom of the sink. If the hose is installed improperly, it would be difficult for water to syphon from the Dishwasher to the sink.

 

Check your Dishwasher's pump or impeller. A defective pump/impeller assembly could be why your Dishwasher isn't draining. If you pump/impeller kit is the problem, replace it.

 

The transfer tubes and spray arms may be clogged, affecting your Dishwasher's draining cycle. You should periodically inspect your telescoping transfer tube and the spray arms. Clean out any debris that may have been clogged.

 

It could just be that your Dishwasher isn't draining because the timer is defective. If your Dishwasher's timer is no longer working correctly, replace it.

 

My Dishwasher will not fill with water.

If your dishwasher will not fill with water, your water inlet valve could be at fault.

 

Another possible reason for your Dishwasher not filling could be that your float switch has become defective. If this is the case, first check to see if it is stuck in the 'up' position. If it isn't, then you will need to replace the float switch.