Understanding the basics of electric circuits can go a long way in allowing you to help yourself when it comes to many common problems around the house, including dealing with a wide variety of home appliance repairs. Not that you’ll be able to do everything that a professional repair tech can do, but you will be able to save yourself some money on house calls.
Plus, when you do need to have someone with professional training come out and help you, you’ll be able to ask relevant, intelligent questions, and you might even be able to mooch a bit of free education off of them as they go about doing your repair. I always love doing that (both sides of the equation, actually – both the mooch and the teacher! Lol). It’s a great way to learn more… watch over the shoulder as someone with more experience does what you can’t do on your own. It’s not only the way I got into the fixing things, including appliances, way back when I was a kid, it’s also an attitude I look for in all the technicians I hire at Appliance Masters – someone who is equally interested in learning as they are in teaching. Because we can all always learn from one another.
So anyway, there are a few techniques used for identifying what kind of problem you are dealing with when it comes to electric circuits, and point you in the right direction to locate it. There are two main types of circuits having the same key elements: A power source, conductors, load, and a control device.
Series circuits are formed when two or more components, or loads, which offer resistance to the circuit, are replaced in series. When a problem such as the ones I described earlier happens, the entire circuit fails.
The other style, a parallel circuit, is when two or more components or loads are placed in parallel. In this style of circuit, depending on where the problem occurs, one component may fail while the other components remain unaffected. Many appliances use circuits that have both styles in one circuit and this is called a series parallel circuit.
Now you may be saying, “You said this was easy!” Anything worth doing takes some time and practice to master.
Now you know the four key elements of a circuit and the three most common problems that can cause your appliance to call in sick. This is a solid foundation of information to get you started.
Most appliance problems happen when a particular component fails to work properly, or a control device, like a thermostat, door switch, or timer, fails to open or close when it should. Each of these component failures gives clear signs as to the cause of the problem and where to start looking.
The easiest way to troubleshoot most appliance problems is by these symptoms, such as a dryer that will run with no heat, a refrigerator that is cold in the freezer but not the fresh food section, a washer that does nothing when it should spin, or a dead dishwasher.
These clues will tell you where to look, and with a little practice you are well on your way to experiencing the satisfaction that comes from solving your own home appliance problems.