All I Want for Christmas – Is an Appliance that won’t Conk Out: Top Tips for a Stress-Free Yuletide

Posted by capitalrepairs on December 8, 2014

All I Want for Christmas – Is an Appliance that won’t Conk Out: Top Tips for a Stress-Free Yuletide



Supermarkets might have sneakily started the run-up to Christmas back in July, but now there’s no escaping the imminent arrival of the festive season.

Along with the traditional Yuletide staples of the Queen’s speech, flatulent elderly relatives and over-boiled sprouts, maintaining your kitchen appliances should rank pretty high on your to-do list too.

Don’t be naughty and risk ruining your festive merriment – be nice, and prevent any unwanted appliance catastrophes with these simple tips for a stress-free Crimbo 

The Cooker: King of the Kitchen  

The festive season is a time for feasting – and you don’t want to leave your relatives salivating for a slice of the turkey. Make sure your cooker’s ready to tackle every conceivable culinary assault you throw at it this Christmas.  


The element is one of the most common oven parts that needs replacing and is reasonably straightforward to fix.  Signs that the element isn’t working properly are the oven not heating up properly or at all, and patchy or bright spots on the element itself.       

Oven Thermometer

This is an absolutely must – especially if you’re cooking the traditional turkey, or anything else that requires a specific, consistent temperature. 

Oven Door Seal

If the oven isn’t hitting the proper temperature, it’s most likely a problem with the door seal, which is relatively easy to fix. If you find that the knobs on your cooker are melting, this might also be the result of a faulty seal, which is allowing the heat to escape. 

Washing Machine: Appliance of Science

Nowadays there’s a head-scratching array of washing machines and, depending on the make and model, they can range anywhere from £185 to £600 or more. Sure, you might have a local laundrette, but you don’t want to leave the house to clean your clothes or literally air your dirty washing in public. 

If you spend a few hundred pounds on any appliance, it stands to reason that you want it to last as long as possible. Contrary to popular belief, it’s often more cost-effective to repair a malfunctioning appliance than to buy a brand new one – especially when you consider the average life of a washing machine is around 14 years

Clothes In, No Spin

If the machine’s performing its usual functions unaffected - switching on and off, filling and draining – but not spinning, the solution may be easier than you think. Spinning problems are usually down to a damaged, worn or broken belt. These can cost between £12 to £30, which is – significantly cheaper than a new washing machine.    

Bit of a Drip

Discovering your washing machine’s leaking is enough to send you into domestic meltdown, especially when you consider the potential damage it can do. Most of the time, though, it can be repaired by replacing the hose, replacing or cleaning the lint filter, or finding and sorting out any kinks in the hose itself. If there’s been prolonged leakage over an extended period, it might be wise to check the carpets and floorboards for water damage or mould. 

The Dryer: The Heat Is On

Dryers – like washing machines - are expensive to replace. And – also like washing machines – it’s an appliance that’s subject to regular use and inevitable wear and tear. One of the most common reasons for the dryer not working is a defective door switch, located within the front panel.  It’s a cheap part to purchase, and easy to remove and replace.   

Another common dryer problem is that it takes several cycles to get the clothes completely dry. It’s possible that it might need a replacement filter, but it could also mean it’s too close to the wall. Small adjustments like this will rack up a significant saving on your electric bill, particularly because you won’t be using up the electric by running the drier a few times a day.      

The Dishwasher: Keeping It Clean

Since the advent of the dishwasher, we’ve gleefully abandoned the Fairy Liquid and marigolds and let it worry about removing those greasy stains. A common dishwasher problem – and one that’s easily rectified – is when it pools water on the floor in front of the machine.

All dishwashers have a rubber gasket that creates a seal to prevent water escaping, which, if damaged or broken, will let water escape. Replacing the gasket will ensure you won’t have to return to the bad ol’ days of washing those dirty dishes by hand.

It’s a common misconception to think soap residue or a film on the dishes indicates a problem with the machine. Very often, however, it’s down to the type of detergent you’re using. Enzyme-based detergents are recommended, as is avoiding pre-washing dishes before you pop them in the washer.     

The Refrigerators: Keeping Your Cool 

The fridge is the contemporary and cool fortress of solitude, forever keeping our perishables fresh. Occasionally, however, you might find that the fridge is running a bit warmer than usual – and you’ll want to sort it out quickly to prevent potential food poisoning. 

Fridges have condenser coils, which sometimes fill with lint and dust and need to be replaced. Check the coils for damage and vacuum them for a good clean, and this should keep it at a suitably chilled, appropriate temperature.    

It goes without saying that every household appliance will need replacing eventually, but the lifespan of most of them is generally a lot longer than most people think – usually between 10 and 15 years.

Happy New Year!

By having a rough idea of what to look for, replacing parts and getting a malfunctioning appliance repaired, you can save yourself hundreds of pounds – which, during these austere times, should be enthusiastically embraced. It also means you could start the New Year with a bit of extra bounce in your back pocket too.     

Of course, if you don’t feel you can fix an appliance malfunction yourself, you can always call the expert engineers at Capital Repairs.  For all your appliance repairs and spares, our engineers will be available on Christmas Eve, the 29th, 30th & New Year’s Eve of December.   

*Image by hagwall