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How to Identify and Diagnose a Faulty Appliance

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faulty appliance
Jan 2023

A faulty appliance can be frustrating, especially when you can’t pinpoint the fault. Many things can cause a fault in an appliance, and sometimes, these faults aren’t repairable.

You must first diagnose the faulty appliance to know whether it needs repairs or a replacement. Similarly, quick appliance repair diagnosis is key to fire safety and prevention.

According to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs 2022 survey, Canada needs more fire-fighting professionals. This decline in the number of firefighting professionals makes fire safety more critical. And fires can start from a defective appliance burning out or triggering the circuit system.

This article will explain how to identify a faulty appliance, troubleshoot it, and find a lasting solution.

How to Recognize a Broken Appliance?

Key factors that should spur you to check if a device is working appropriately include the following;

Sudden Power Changes

A faulty appliance usually affects the home’s electrical system. It can start as a simple tripping off from the circuit breaker, but it will worsen if you don’t diagnose the faulty appliance.

For instance, if you have a faulty dryer with a bad thermostat, it can overheat, and your clothes will be the first point of the fire. Usually, the thermostat will cause power changes in the electrical system, especially the circuit breaker.

The next step is identifying the faulty appliance causing the circuit breaker to go off. Start by unplugging all appliances and turning on the circuit breaker.

Plug your devices one after the other to check for faulty appliances. The circuit will trip off when you plug in the defective device. And once you identify the device, unplug it and find a solution.

Apart from the circuit breaker, other power changes that may occur include

  • Electrical shocks
  • Flickering bulbs
  • Electrical shocks

Irrespective of the power change, use the same method to find the defective device.

circuit breaker

Burning Smell

The burning smell is the deadliest sign of a faulty appliance. It means an appliance or a wire is overheating and could spark a fire. And according to Statistics Canada’s 2022 analysis, the risks are higher during winter.

Shut out the electrical supply centrally using the circuit box when something smells burnt.

After that, trace the smell and unplug the appliances in that area. The wires are usually the first part of an appliance to start burning.  If there are multiple devices in one area, inspect the wires and plugs of each device to confirm the burning device and unplug.

Restore the power supply and check for any burning smells. Sometimes, electrical fires may come from the whole electric system, not one appliance.

Increased Energy Bills

Electrical bills are the fastest method to check if an appliance is working appropriately.

For instance, if you paid $200 monthly before and your new bill reads $500 without any new devices, you’ll want to ask questions.

Without expert attention, there’s no easy way to determine how much power each device consumes. If you’re experiencing unnecessary increases in energy bills, you need to call a professional appliance repair technician.

increased energy bills

Poor Appliance Performance

This sign is probably the easiest way to diagnose a faulty appliance. Appliances don’t suddenly become bad — they usually show some signs beforehand.

You either hear strange noises from the appliance, or it takes longer to work. These signs may not be too apparent initially, but with time, it becomes clear.

For example, the sound may be low clicking before it becomes loud. If the device takes longer to function, it’ll also reflect in your energy bills.

Water Leaks

Here’s how to recognize a broken appliance for water leaks:

  • Check the draining area of the appliance.
  • Move the appliance from its position and check the area.
  • Inspect the body of the device for water signs.

Water contact is hazardous if you have electrical wires made from saltwater aquariums, as it can spark a fire. Pipe leakages can cause a fire depending on the wire’s condition. If the wire insulation is bad or has exposed parts, any drop of water will cause a short circuit, resulting in a fire.

Related Article: 5 Easy Ways to Tell If Your Appliance Needs Repair or Maintenance

How to Troubleshoot a Faulty Appliance?

After you check if an appliance is working well, you must confirm and find a solution. Some of the best DIY practices include;

troubleshoot a faulty appliance

Monitor its Performance

If you’re unsure if the device is faulty, monitor its performance before calling for expert repair services.

Use a Multimeter

A multimeter is the best device to troubleshoot a faulty appliance accurately. It’s a small, affordable tool with two wired ends — positive and negative.

Here’s how to check if an appliance works with a multimeter:

  • Turn off the appliance you want to test and remove it from the power source.
  • Put your multimeter on and confirm the setting is at zero.
  • Test the appliance. The more components your appliance has, the more complex the test gets. You’ll need to unscrew most appliance parts to test individual elements.
  • Join the positive and negative ends of the multimeter to the corresponding terminals on the appliance or its elements.
  • The device’s element is good if the multimeter reading remains at zero or very low. However, if the reading surpasses 120 Ohms, there’s something wrong with that element.

Call an Expert

Diagnosing and pinpointing the problem in an appliance can be a lot of work. You’ll open different compartments and may never find the solution without proper experience.

Instead of going through this trouble, you can easily call a professional appliance repair technician to check the device. The expert will find the defective device easily and get a solution quickly. More importantly, they wouldn’t be guessing while finding the solution.

Related Article: What Causes a Fridge Not to Freeze?

call an expert

How to Diagnose a Faulty Appliance?

Learning to troubleshoot a faulty appliance is important. You’ll often find a lasting solution to any appliance fault if you discover it early.

Using a multimeter is the most accurate option to diagnose a faulty appliance. However, hiring an expert is always safer to avoid the complexities.

If you’re looking for a professional technician to pinpoint your appliance and electrical faults in Ontario, look no further than Prime Appliance Repairs. Our technicians are amongst the most creative and have the experience to save time on repairs.

Call us at 647-905-7302 for same-day appliance repair services in Toronto and the GTA.

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