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Top Ten Appliance Complaints From Our Seattle Tacoma Clients

At Puget Sound Appliance Tech, we’ve been repairing appliances up and down the I-5 corridor for a while and have noticed some commonalities in the repairs we’re called in to fix. I’ve compiled a list of the top ten appliance issues you’re likely to experience and what you can do to mitigate the damage.

Number 1 Complaint – “Water is all over the floor in front of my refrigerator.” Or “Water is building up under the crisper bins in my refrigerator.” Or “My freezer is a sheet of ice.”

All of the above issues describe a clogged defroster drain. If your freezer is located at the top of the fridge, you may also be having issues with water leaking into the refrigerator compartment as well.

So how does this happen? When your freezer goes through a defrost cycle, the melted water is carried by a defrost drain down into a drip pan located under the fridge. If your drain is clogged with debris the heater is not close or hot enough to thaw out the water passing through it. This of course results in the above complaints.

Because of the nature and complexity of how to do this properly and safely, we don’t recommend that you attempt the repair yourself, as working with water in the presence of electricity can create a danger to you and others. However, this is what you can expect from our trained and licensed appliance repair techs in this scenario.

The first step we take is to unplug the refrigerator, as we want to avoid getting an unwelcome electric shock. We would remove the back panel of the freezer compartment with our tools and thaw the drain manually. If the drain is not plugged or obstructed, we would install a new drain heater, which should then properly thaw out the water during the defrost cycle. The refrigerator drain heater is delicate, and we are trained not to crimp around the heater, which would cause more damage, or use a tube that is subject to melting from the heat if it is pushed too far into the drain or that is too loose or short so that it is in no threat of slipping off the heater.


Number 2 Complaint – “My dishwasher won’t power on at all.” Or “My dishwater won’t fill up with water.”

Dishwashers have a built- in float switch, which regulates the amount of water that is pumped through each cycle. The moment you turn on the dishwasher, you expect to hear water running into the tub at the bottom of the tank. If you don’t hear any water, or your dishwasher won’t turn on at all, the likely culprit is an obstructed float switch. Because the dishwasher is an environment where clogs and obstructions are common, we get a lot of calls regarding this issue. Objects like utensils, lids, broken glass, or even chunks of food from the previous cycle can activate the float switch and make the dishwasher think that it is full, therefore not allowing any water to enter the washer. A simple fix here is to remove any debris or the object that is lifting the float switch.  


Number 3 Complaint –  “My icemaker won’t make ice.” Or “My ice tastes really bad.” Or “There are bugs inside my ice.” Or “There are debris in my ice.”

This is a sign that you need a new filter or a new mold in your icemaker. If the debris you see resembles something other than plastic, it is likely the filter. However, if you notice flakes of what appears to be plastic in your ice, call us in to take a look at the ice maker’s mold. Over time, the once slick coating of an icemaker’s mold can begin to disintegrate and get into your ice. This is not good for your health, and if this were the case, we would need to replace the icemaker. Gone are the days where icemakers lasted the life of your refrigerator, as we have found that most icemakers only last, on average, between four and eight years. You can slightly delay this by regularly changing out your water filter.


Number 4 Complaint – “There is crud in the water coming out of my fridge.” Or “The water coming out of my refrigerator tastes awful.” Or “The water coming out of my fridge is really slow.”

As I mentioned above, replacing the water filter in your fridge is key to keeping up its maintenance. We’d recommend replacing it every six months to no more than a year to keep your refrigerator running at optimal levels. If you do not perform this maintenance, you will begin to experience the issues I mentioned above. You’ll see floating debris in your water. You water may take on a bad taste. You may even lose the ability to dispense water over time. If you have a large or very active family, we’d recommend changing out your filter every six months (as recommended by most manufacturers). However, if you don’t consume a large amount of water from your fridge, you can wait up to a year before replacing the filter. We also recommend buying your filters in discounted multipacks, as they are on hand when you need them, and you save money over the life of your fridge.


Number 5 Complaint – “My freezer runs, but my refrigerator is warm!” Or “My (insert child here) left the refrigerator open for hours.” Or “There is a ton of frost building up in my freezer compartment!” Or “It smells like something died in my fridge.”

The above issues are likely caused by your refrigerator door being open for a long period of time. This could be from a small child who didn’t close the door or in some cases a worn or ruptured seal. Over the time the door was left open, the defrost system (composed of a thermostat, a timer, and a heater) was in overdrive. If you can still hear the fan, this is likely your issue. Lucky for you, this is a simple fix, as we would then replace either the defrost heater, defrost timer, or (in most cases) bi-metal thermostat.

If there is not anything mechanically wrong with your fridge, we recommend unplugging your refrigerator, opening the doors and thawing it out to reset the system. However, if the same issue returns within a week, you may have a broken component in your defrost system that needs to be replaced.


Number 6 Complaint – “My gas dryer won’t heat!” Or “There is no flame coming from the igniter.” Or “My dryer heats for a little bit, then completely stops.”

Gas dryers contain safety coils that open the gas valve as the burner goes through its cycle. This regulates the temperature and keeps the dryer properly working. If the coils break, the valve does not open and it stops the dryer from heating your clothes completely within a few weeks to a couple months. In this case, you will need to call us in to replace the safety coils on your gas dryer.


Number 7 Complaint – “My dryer heats up for a while every time, then it cools down.” Or “My dryer heats up but it won’t dry my clothes.” Or “ It takes two or more cycles to dry my clothes.”

Remember the lint trap? Over time, lint from towels and clothing builds up in the ducting attached to your dryer. This can occur even if you regularly clean your lint trap, and especially more so if your dryer’s ducting is mounted vertically. A clogged duct leads to excruciatingly long dry times, which in the long run increases your energy bill. It also negatively effects other components in your dryer, which can lead to more expensive repairs. To mitigate this issue, check to make sure your duct is no longer than ten feet in length, is mounted in a way that allows for lint to be released, and clean out your duct with a duct brush or vacuum to keep your dryer running at optimal levels.


Number 8 Complaint – “My washer filled with water then it just stopped.” Or “My dryer won’t turn on at all.” Or “My dryer is making a really annoying beeping noise.”

Clothes Washers and Dryers have a switch or a strike that senses when the door is closed. This is a safety feature that prevents accidents with pets, children, and spill overs. The switch on your washer or dryer is most likely damaged by someone or something slamming the door too hard. If the appliance senses that the door is not properly closed, it will not run. In this case, we would replace the broken lid or switch and get your washer or dryer working properly again.


Number 9 Complaint – “My electric dryer won’t start.” Or “My dryer sounds just fine, but it won’t heat.”

Electric dryers utilize heat to hasten the drying process. When your dryer begins to run cold, the most likely culprit is a blown thermal fuse. Because there are several different models and makes of electric dryers, the location of the thermal fuse varies, so it is important to refer to your manufacturer’s manual beforehand. In this case, we would locate and replace the thermal fuse, cycle the thermostat, and check the duct (as we mentioned earlier) for any lint clogs.


Number 10 Complaint – “My washing machine is making a ton of noise.” Or “My washing machine won’t go through the spin cycle.” Or “My washing machine is making a noise I’ve never heard before.”

When dealing with today’s top loading washing machines, this is surprisingly common. Whether you have a Whirlpool, a Maytag, or any other model, this is the main reason people replace their washing machines. Fortunately, this is something we can fix for much less than a new machine.

If you find that the washing machine fills with water, but refuses to spin or agitate, there are a number of issues that can be mitigated before busting out your wallet for a new unit. Call us, and we can diagnose whether it is a faulty lid switch, an issue with the motor, or a broken belt. Simply fixing or replacing the faulty component will save you time and money in the long run.

We hoped you found the explanations to these top ten issues helpful. If you are experiencing the above issues, or something else that is negatively affecting your appliance(s), don’t hesitate to call us at Puget Sound Appliance Tech. We’re here to help!

You can contact us online by filling out our appointment form or call us directly at (253)455-2080 Pierce County or (425)243-9482 King County. As always, thank you for your business, and we look forward to serving you and your family!

To make sure that you receive the highest level
of service and expertise any time you need appliance repair be sure to call:

Puget Sound Appliance Tech

(253) 455-2080or (425) 243-9482


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