When money gets tight, many homeowners (and business owners) will attempt to make their own repairs on appliances that are not working as they should be or are not working at all. While there are many simple repairs that most people can perform on their own, there are other appliance repairs that should only be performed by trained professionals. The trick is knowing which is which.
In very broad terms, there are two types of appliance repairs that most homeowners and business owners should not attempt. These are repairs that deal with electricity and with natural gas. In both cases, major damage, fires, injuries, and even death can occur if the repairs are not made properly and safely.
Unless a person is well-versed in working with electricity, they should leave these repairs to the pros. Many individuals believe, and rightfully so, that disconnecting the power from the appliance is the first step when making these types repairs. This is true and the experts will attest to it. However, one of the major causes of accidents and death that occurs when a homeowner is working on an electric appliance comes “after” the person believes he or she has made the repair.
For instance, many repair jobs that involve the electrical system of an appliance require new wires or new wiring. When electric wires are not installed properly, shorts and shocks are almost certain to follow. In many cases the wires that were repaired may “look” like they were installed properly, but, in essence, were not. It is not hard to get wires crossed, especially when working with older models of appliances. A loose connection or a bad connection can also lead to fires once the power is returned to the appliance.
Unless a person is an experienced plumber or have a great deal of experience working with gas appliances, this type of repair should also be left to the pros. Most people know that they need to close the gas line before they begin work. The major problem that occurs with gas appliances (as is true with electric appliances) often comes after the person believes the repair was completed.
Many repair jobs on gas appliances require work on gas jets, gas lines, and other parts that are connected to the gas system itself. If the new connections are not made perfectly, gas leaks will occur. These leaks can vary from small ones to large ones, but in all cases, gas can (and will) accumulate. Once a flame comes into contact with this built-up gas, fires and even explosions can happen. Many times these fires and explosions result in complete loss of property and injury (or death) to those in the immediate area. A gas leak can also lead to asphyxiation if it is undetected.
Making your own appliance repairs is a smart move and can save you money, just make sure you are up to the task, have the right tools and equipment, spare parts, and instructions for making the repair correctly.