Appliance Repair Professionals

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Tacoma/Pierce (253) 455-2080 or Seattle/King (425) 243-9482


When to Call an Appliance Repair Tech Instead of a Plumber

Over the years, we have received hundreds of calls from clients with very similar issues, including: 

  • “My dishwasher is clogged and won’t wash dishes.”

  • “My refrigerator is leaking all over the floor.”

  • “The washing machine won’t spin.”

  • “The fridge went completely off, and my food is spoiling.”

  • “My freezer is leaking into the refrigerator.”

  • “The washing machine is rocking all over the place.”

  • “The burners on my stovetop won’t heat up.”

  • “My oven won’t turn on.”

  • “My dishwasher is spilling water and debris onto the floor.”

  • The list goes on…

Because we are reliant on our daily appliances, most of these scenarios constitute an emergency, so who do you call? If your oven or stove top is malfunctioning, you would call an appliance tech, however in many water-based emergencies some of our clients have called in plumbers, who do not have the licenses or training necessary for refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine repair. Most newer appliances have a manufacturer’s warranty, or a warranty from the store they purchased it from. Many of these warranties require that the machine is fixed with approved parts and is completed by a licensed professional.

For example, let’s say your freezer compartment in leaking down into the back of your fridge, and water is collecting in the crisper drawers and eventually on to the floor. This is likely due to a clogged drainage pump or broken heat element. Every refrigerator make and model requires differing parts and components. An appliance tech is trained to fix these issues with that in mind. A plumber, however, is not likely to have specific parts on hand or a supplier that provides the parts necessary to fix the issue.

Additionally, if your appliance isn’t working due to an electrical issue, the repair job then goes beyond the plumber’s expertise and you just wasted time or money on a service call. In the case of a broken drainage pump, an appliance tech will have the correct drainage tubes on hand for your fridge’s make and model and will have access to the electrical heating element that may also need to be replaced.

It is very easy to associate appliance repair issues with plumbing, especially if the issue involves water. However, there are several differences that are important to keep in mind before making that emergency service call.

The fundamental job duties of an appliance repair tech differ from those of a plumber. Appliance techs are trained to uphold the industry standards of each appliance and have access to specialized tools that vary based on the make and model of your appliance. They also have tools and supplies that assist in diagnosing the issue related to your appliance and can order special replacement parts that won’t negatively affect your warranty. They are trained to deal with both electrical and plumbing issues associated with your appliance as well as any technical issues you may be experiencing regarding your smart or Bluetooth enabled appliances.

For instance, let’s say your freezer is backed up and is not defrosting. This can occur due to a number of issues. Your thermostat may need to be replaced. Your coils my be dirty or bent and may need to be cleaned, repaired, or replaced. Your evaporator motor may have failed and needs to be replaced. Professionally diagnosing the issue, providing the parts, and instituting the labor all falls into the field of an appliance repair tech.

So now let’s take the above scenario and contrast it with a plumber’s skills and responsibilities. Plumbers date back to the Roman empire, and since then have specialized in anything relating to water entering or leaving your home. Whether it be the bathtub, the kitchen sink, or the toilet, they are experts in providing services related to your water supply and drainage. They can order specialized parts for sinks, toilets, sewer systems, and much more, however their expertise stops when it comes to common household appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines.

So how do you make the decision on who to call?

Here are the variables that can and should play into your decision:

Where is the source of the leak coming from? If it is coming from your appliance, call an appliance tech. If it is coming from a pipe connected to your home plumbing system, call a plumber. Knowing the exact source of the leak can be tricky, but if you suspect that it is due to a malfunctioning appliance, a tech should be able to professionally diagnose the issue.

What is your budget? This is important to keep in mind, as plumbers tend to be more expensive that appliance techs.

What is the overall nature of the repair? For instance, if your refrigerator is leaking out onto the floor, a number of issues, including parts and electrical components may be needed to solve the issue. In this case, the electrical repairs, and parts fall outside of a plumber’s scope.

Do you have a warranty? If your appliance is newer and requires maintenance, in some cases your warranty will cover any of the damages. Some warranties require that a licensed appliance tech is necessary to maintain the appliance and repair it under the guidelines of current industry standards. Going with an appliance tech is the safest decision here.

In many cases, calling an appliance tech is the best way to diagnose your issue, and if you need any additional services involving a licensed plumber, your tech will recommend that you do so.

Another issue we have encountered are clients who tried to make the repair themselves. We have a number of helpful articles that go into detailed instruction on how to properly maintain and fix simple appliance issues, however in many scenarios the job may be out of your scope in which case it would be in your best interest to call a licensed appliance repair tech.

Puget Sound Appliance Tech specializes in providing the best appliance repair services up and down the I5 corridor, so whatever your appliance emergency may be, give us a call. We’re here to help!

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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