Safety Advice: Best Way To Handle Broken Appliances At Home or Away

There’s never a good time to have broken appliances. We’re so reliant on household automations and conveniences today that when the washer, dishwasher, or—oy!—the refrigerator breaks down, it’s a crisis. But with some rational thinking, safety advice, and a little skill, the problem won’t last long. Then, you can get back to your daily routine or vacationing without further interruption. Keep reading to learn the best way to handle broken appliances. 

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn all about dealing with broken appliances and how to recover, replan, and repair the situation, including:

Safety Advice When Dealing With Broken Appliances

If an appliance has broken in your household or while you’re in a vacation rental, you may find yourself in a bit of a frantic panic. 

This is especially the case if the appliance in question is one that you use on a daily basis and rely on. 

However, there is no need to fret. 

The best thing to do is to breathe and assess the problem. 

The first thing that you need to tackle is safety. 

After all, when appliances break, they can easily be a safety hazard, especially as electricity tends to be involved. 

Keeping that in mind, we will look at some of the safety tips you need to follow if you have a broken appliance. 

Proceed With Caution

Make sure you resist the urge to dive right in and do a bit of DIY to fix the problem. 

This is where a lot of people go wrong. They start poking and prodding, without really knowing what they are doing. 

This can end up making the issue a lot worse. 

Moreover, there are a lot of people who have found themselves injured because of this, and that is the last thing we want! 

People working for appliance repair companies have had to undergo a lot of training, and there is a reason for this – it is a specialist skill and safety is a big concern.

Needless to say, there are some problems that you will be able to fix yourself. For example, you can learn how to fix the shelves in your fridge here. The shelves in your fridge are not connected to any electricity and so you’re not going to have to worry about your safety if you are replacing them or doing a bit of a repair job.

Minimize Any Risks

One thing that we do advise you to do is to turn off the broken appliance at the plug. 

This is important irrespective of the electrical device that has broken. 

Whether it is the fridge, oven, microwave, or something else, make sure that you turn the plug off and remove the plug from the socket so that you can stop the electrical current from flowing. 

For some appliances, like your stove, you may have to slide it out from the counter to access the plug. (Make sure you get some help, since any appliance can be bulky to move.) 

Dishwashers, on the other hand, are usually hard-wired so you cannot simply “unplug” them. If you’re concerned, you can always turn the circuit breaker off.

Have A Back-Up Plan

Depending on what appliance is on the fritz, you’ll want to have a backup plan. 

Refrigerator not cold enough? Pull out a big red cooler (or two!) and get some ice so you’re food doesn’t spoil. Or, if you happen to be in winter and it’s cold enough, you can move your food storage outdoors, temporarily. (Just be sure to secure it from any wildlife marauders.)

Oven not working? Try cooking only stove-top or microwaved meals, or plan to eat out for a few days. Sandwiches are always a good option. And if it’s summer, you might break out the barbecue or propane stove you pack for tent camping.

Washer or Dryer out of commission? You might plan on heading down to the local laundromat for the next week to keep the laundry from piling up. Or, put up a clothesline for the short term if the washer is in good repair.

Dishwasher done? Go back to good old hand-washing and drying, and stock up on paper plates to keep the chore to a minimum until your dishwasher is working again.

Even if your broken appliance will only be out of commission for a short time, they’ve become so essential to our daily lives that you’ll want to jump right into these back-up plans. That way, the good working of your home is not disrupted.

Use the Proper Tools

Now, if you are renting a vacation property, you are going to just skip the next steps and call the rental agency or owner so they can handle it.

But if you are going to be doing the repair to your own appliance yourself, quality tools are a must. 

One of the worst things that you can do is cut corners. It will just make your job harder if you’re trying to disassemble a panel using a butter knife, or come up with a workable solution for an allen wrench.

Worse, you may end up solving the problem for a short period of time, but it may not work for the long-term or creates a new problem (like a stripped screw).

Your tools are critical in determining the end outcome, and if you end up using something of poor quality then your appliance could even be damaged further. In the end, that will cost you more.

Whether you call the manufacturer for guidance or are watching YouTube videos for appliance repair advice, you’re going to want to do it right – using the right tools. 

That may mean making an investment in a set of quality tools. Rest assured, they will come in handy time after time.

Call in the Experts

When it comes to repairing any of the broken appliances within your home, safety always needs to come first.

If you do not have any experience and the repair involves working with electrical components, you should always make sure you call in a professional.  The risk to your health and safety is too great if you do not.

When you hire our for a repair, expect to pay the cost for their visit. Bigger appliances, like a stackable washer/dryer unit, might require two repairmen (and a higher trip cost). Then, you’ll likely pay additional fees for any parts and the labor for installation.

Before you dial someone out of the phone book to fix your appliance, check with trusted friends and family for their recommendations. Or, if you bought your appliance from a company that also does service (even better if you have a service policy!), you’ll want to contact them.

Finally, if your appliance is very old and needs a major repair, you might consider replacing it altogether.

Final Thoughts on Dealing With Broken Appliances

Appliance failures happen – often at the worst possible time. But they are a necessary part of life, these days.

If you approach the situation with a level head, an eye to caution, and recognize when you’re in over your head, you’ll be okay. 

Besides, it might just be a perfect excuse for you to dine out.

Photo credits: refrigerator – Pexels from Pixabay. All other photos courtesy of Canva Pro.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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