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Appliance Maintenance Guide For Tenants

by Kate Morse

This is a guide on how tenants can troubleshoot common appliance issues that may arise. These appliance issues are common requests that can be resolved without an appliance repairman.

Please review the below steps before submitting appliance maintenance and repair requests on Hemlane or to your landlord/property manager. The majority of landlords and property managers will charge the tenant if a licensed professional is sent out to perform these troubleshooting requests. Licensed appliance repairmen are around $150 an hour in most regions, and therefore it is important for tenants to properly look at the appliance issue before reaching out with a maintenance request.

This appliance maintenance guide covers common problems that tenants regularly experience with:
Refrigerators
Clothes Dryers

Refrigerator Trouble Shooting

Refrigerator is not Cooling

Troubleshoot: Check that it is plugged in

People can jump to conclusions about the problem with their refrigerator, so although it seems obvious, be sure to confirm that it is plugged in. In some cases, there is a light switch that controls the power outlet that the freigerator is plugged into. If that is the case, check to make sure the switch has not been flipped.

Troubleshoot: Check if the thermostat has been turned down

The thermostat in a refrigerator can easily be accidentally changed or adjusted, so check that it is set to the correct temperature.
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Refrigerator Door is not Closing Properly

Troubleshoot: Double check the doors and gaskets

Does the light in the fridge turn on and off when you open and close the door? If it doesn’t, there may be a power issue or the door might not be functioning properly.

First:

  • Check for any nearby GFCI outlets (with the test and reset buttons on it) and reset them.
  • Reset the breakers

Second:

  • Check the gaskets on the door. Gaskets are the flexible elastic strips around the edges of doors that are designed to seal them closed. They can tear which can allow warm or humid air into the fridge. If the gaskets are torn, you should replace them and see if it helps your fridge to stay cooler.
    empty-fridge

The Cold Air Cannot Circulate

Troubleshoot: Check to make sure that there is no food blocking the vents

If there are boxes of food blocking the vents, cold air can be obstructed from circulating through your fridge.

Clothes Dryer Troubleshooting

Clothes dryer is not getting hot

Troubleshoot: Check the exhaust vent

One of the most common causes of a non-heating clothes dryer is a clogged exhaust vent. To determine whether or not this is causing your problem, turn your dryer on and go outside your home to feel the exhaust vent. If you can feel air blowing out the vent, the line is not clogged with lint. If you can’t feel air blowing, then it’s probably clogged.
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Troubleshoot: Broken heating element

Place a couple towels or shirts inside the dryer and let it run for 15 minutes on a high-heat setting. Make sure the drum is turning and air is blowing out of the exhaust. After 15 minutes has passed, check the inside of the unit to see whether or not it’s hot. If it’s still room temperature, there’s a good chance the heating element has gone out. A new heating element can range anywhere from $30 to $100.