Many problems with household appliances can be diagnosed d by consumers with the help of an inexpensive multimeter and a nut driver, according to The Family Handyman. Most problems with appliances have simple causes, and these tools help to make diagnosing problems easier.
The nut driver can be used to take an appliance apart to check for jams, debris or to change a filter, and the multimeter is used to test the power supply to make sure that the appliance is getting the right amount of power, notes The Family Handyman. There are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about appliances. Some have filters, some have cycles, some have heating elements and some have igniters. There simple components can be compromised through normal use and are fairly easy to replace. Before replacing components, it's important to unplug all appliances first. It's also worth it to check and make sure that the circuit breakers that power the broken down appliances haven't tripped. This often happens with appliances that have heating elements,such as ovens, and these appliances are susceptible to their heating elements burning out, which can be fixed by replacing a few wires.
When things get jammed in appliances that have cycles, such as dishwashers, the first thing to do is look for anything that would hinder the cycling function, such as debris and food pieces. If a washing machine or dryer fails to rotate, owners must first make sure that there are no factors that would hinder centrifugal force, such as a wash load being unbalanced or a dryer that is not on a level surface or one of its feet underneath needs to be adjusted.
There are also sites where you can download appliance repair manuals for free, such as appliancerepair.net. The free manuals give an overview of common appliances, teach about their basic mechanics and tell the most common troubleshooting methods.