Home appliances have become a pivotal part of our lives. From washing machines, dishwashers, and blenders to television, and air conditioners, these are a few among many other appliances that we can’t live without.

Due to these technologies, life as we know it has been made simpler and easier.

So, evidently, when one of these technologies decides to stop working one day, it puts us in a pickle until the appliance is repaired or repurchased. Why wait till then?

This article will tell you to look out for signs that indicate your appliance isn’t in good condition. The upside to this is that you’ll be able to fix it in due time before any more damage takes place.

Signs your appliance is malfunctioning

Almost all electrical appliances will have these signs when it is on the brink of collapse. It could be the noise, the sparks, or probably a high electric bill at the end of the month. You can easily identify which appliance needs repairs once you know what to look for.

1. Turned on but not working

This is the most basic and common sign when it comes to a malfunctioning appliance.

For instance, your oven is turned on, the tray is circulating but the food still comes out cold after two or three minutes. Or how about your dryer? You’ll see that your clothes are still wet and dripping after being in the dryer long enough or it’s taking too much time to dry them. These are surefire signs that your appliance has internal problems that are obstructing it from performing and needs to be repaired immediately.

Typically, you would think about ignoring this or it’s probably in the last place on your list of things to do, but the more time passes, the more damaged your appliance will be. Eventually, you may end up having to throw it away and purchase a whole new one which would put a dent in your budget. Therefore, it’s wise to spend a lot less money and get it repaired and keep enjoying it for a few more years.

2. Odd sounds

Clunking, clanking, rattling, or humming is symptoms your home AC compressor is going bad. The same goes for washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators. When you do hear these unusual, never-before-heard noises, don’t keep the appliance running in the hope that it’ll fade away. It won’t! You may end up damaging the internal components more than it already was.

3. Water leakage

Another sign of your appliance going bonkers is when it leaks water. Washing machines, electrical stoves, or even refrigerators fall prey to water leakage. And when they do, it’s a sign to get it checked.

Don’t sit around with a water leakage problem as it’ll give rise to the growth of mold and mildew, which will just cause more damage to your pipes and appliances concurrently.

For instance, if your refrigerator seal is broken, it’ll leak water and also lose the cold air, even when the doors are closed. When this happens, the compressor is pressured into working hard which reduces the lifespan of your appliance and increases your utility bill.

4. Electrical sparks

appliances in kitchen

When you turn on an appliance and you see lights and sparks inside, that is a warning sign telling you it’s high time you did something about it. Don’t keep your appliance running when you see it even when you notice that it’s working fine.

These power surges are due to faulty wiring and it needs to be checked immediately by a professional. You can also get the other electrical wirings around the house checked. Regular electrical maintenance of your entire house can help keep you and your family safe from potential fire hazards.

Electrical maintenance includes your generators, power outlets, HVAC systems, and even lighting systems that need to be checked. This way professionals will be able to exclude the home wiring issues and focus on the problems with the appliance instead.

5. The smell of burning or gas

When you work on your oven, dishwasher, or any other electrical gadget and suddenly you catch a whiff of something burning, even though it’s still working, turn it off immediately. The burning smell comes when an internal component overheats. Typically, it’s the electrical wiring but can be other parts of the appliance too.

The same goes for a gas stove. If you smell gas, don’t turn on the stove. Rather call in the professionals immediately and move to another location temporarily until it is resolved.

6. High utility bills

If your utility bills start to rise exponentially, then you can suspect the presence of malfunctioning appliances.

The reason why this happens is that when there are malfunctioning appliances in your house, they pull in a lot more energy than they typically require to perform their basic functions. Hence, your utility bills rise sharply.

Warning signs of each appliance

Every appliance performs different functions. So, therefore, it’s a good idea to look out for the specific warning signs they display when they malfunction.

1. Washing machine and dryer

all-in-one washers
  • Water Leakage.
  • Rattling sound from the dryer.
  • The water not draining properly.
  • Clothes come out wet from the dryer.
  • Smokes come out from the dryer.

Once you see smokes coming out of your dryer, immediately call in a professional. An unclean lint vent or filter can result in a potential fire hazard. So remember to clean it properly after every wash to avoid damage to the appliance and to yourself.

Read more: How to clean a dryer vent

2. Refrigerator

The average lifespan of a fridge is approximately 15 years. So if you had your fridge for around ten years, it may be a good time to think about replacements or to have a small budget kept aside for repairs. Typically, you’ll see one or more of the following signs:

  • Odd Noises.
  • Not Cooling or too frozen.
  • Water leaks.

When you see your frozen foods are defrosting or have moisture covered, it means your refrigerator is not cooling enough. There’s probably something wrong with the cooling system that needs to be repaired immediately. The same can be said when your food is too frozen that tiny icicles start forming.

Read more: Why is my fridge filling up with water?

3. Electric and microwave oven

  • Food not heating properly.
  • Baked foods take too much time to cook.
  • Internal light or the display not working.
  • Burnt Oven Elements: the rods inside the oven will be dark instead of the usual yellow-orange.
  • Burning smell.
  • Timer not operating properly.

Microwave ovens utilize high amounts of energy to operate, so therefore, if you notice any of the signs mentioned above, call for professional help immediately instead of waiting it out. Don’t try to fix it yourself if you are inexperienced.

4. Stove

For common electric cooktops, watch out for these signs:

  • Won’t turn on.
  • Coils do not heat up.
  • Creates sparks when turned on.
  • Unable to adjust burner temperatures.

For gas stoves, it’s a good idea to replace the entire unit if you see any of the following signs:

  • It doesn’t turn on.
  • The control panels don’t work.
  • Burners won’t heat properly.
  • The smell of Gas.

The control panels are the expensive part of a gas stove, so when you see it not working, consider replacing the stove rather than repairing the panels.

5. Air conditioning units

Hvac inspection and maintenance

It’s easy to notice if something is wrong with your air conditioning unit. You’ll have:

  • Poor airflow.
  • Strange noises or a bad odor.
  • Spraying of water.

Air conditioners are an integral part of our lives, especially during the summer heat waves. Just by taking care of the small things, you’ll be able to avoid expensive repairs or even worse, replacement.

Clean out the air filters at least every two weeks. Cover it up when not in use so dust does not accumulate inside or out of your unit. Call in a professional every few months for a maintenance check.

6. Dishwasher

Dishwashers display errors on their control panels suggesting that something may be wrong. Signs it needs repair work are:

  • Water Leaks.
  • Steam coming out.

These signs may indicate there’s something wrong with the door seal or there are some other underlying issues.

7.  Water Heater

hot water heater

Your water heater is almost ten years old and gives out the following warning signs such as:

  • Water leaks.
  • Noises.
  • Works unpredictably.

This means that your water heater unit is in need of repairs or a replacement. It’s best to replace the unit as new water heaters consume low amounts of energy with an equal amount of performance or maybe even better than the old ones.

However, if you’re on a tight budget, and if your water heater repairs cost less than 50 percent, then go ahead and repair it instead. Otherwise, if your repair costs go over 50 percent, it’s best to replace it with a new one.

Final thoughts

Every appliance has a different function to perform but most of them typically have common repair issues. You’ll be able to tell if your appliance isn’t in good condition when you hear strange sounds, and notice water leaks or electric sparks.

Seek help from a professional immediately as damaged appliances can turn into a potential disaster in the blink of an eye. Also, try to regularly conduct maintenance of all your appliances and even your house’s electrical systems.

All of the common signs, symptoms, and solutions mentioned in this article will help you avoid potential hazards, save money in the long run, and ensure that you enjoy continued access to all the necessary appliances.   

6 Signs your appliances are malfunctioning was last modified: September 2nd, 2023 by Billy Guteng
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You can give me a thousand signs but the pain of your favorite appliance being damaged remains…