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How to Properly clean your Refrigerator

Is it worth repairing my refrigerator instead of buying a new one?

Oven Cleaning Tips:

If your oven is setting off the smoke alarm every time you make a pizza, it might be time to give it a good cleaning.

Self-clean ovens have a setting that allows it reach very high temperatures and burn food mess off into ashes. Do NOT use oven cleaners on self-clean ranges, and make sure to take the racks out before you start a cleaning cycle to ensure they continue to glide well.

If you don’t have a setting for cleaning your oven, you’ll have to manually clean it of course.

To manually clean your oven:

1. Make sure you’ve allowed the cavity to properly cool down. We don’t need any heroes on our hands.

2. Remove the oven racks. These can be cleaned with steel wool, water and dish soap. To get off trickier messes, put racks in a garbage bag in a cup of ammonia overnight in the backyard and rinse with the garden hose in the morning.

3. First try scrubbing the oven cavity with soap, water and a soft cloth or sponge. Hopefully, this will do the trick.

4. If more rigorous cleaning is needed following natural oven-cleaning remedies:

  • Pour ¼ cup ammonia and 2 cups of warm water in a bowl in your oven, and close it up tight. If you’re at home during this, make sure you open a window so no one gets sick. You can clean out the dirty oven with a scrubby sponge after a few hours or overnight.
  • Fill a spray bottle with 1 tablespoon Borax (which works great as a cheap laundry detergent booster), 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil dishwashing soap and a quart of warm water. Spray the oven walls, scrub it clean after an hour and rinse thoroughly.
  • A paste of baking soda and vinegar left on the oven cavity surface could work well, but be careful to cover the holes of the gas line if you have a gas range really REALLY well, because if they get clogged, that’s a bad thing. If you go this route, you should be able to scrape off food mess with a spatula. Wipe out the oven thoroughly afterwards.


 

How to Clean a Refrigerator

 Turn the temperature-control knob inside the refrigerator to 'Off.' If you have a refrigerator with a drip pan underneath, remove it to clean.

  Take everything out of the refrigerator.

Throw away any food that is moldy, outdated or otherwise spoiled.

  Take all removable parts out of the fridge, including shelves, wire racks and drawers.

Fill the sink with warm, soapy water (use a mild dish soap).

Wipe any food matter out of the drawers.

Hand-wash the shelves, wire racks and drawers, then rinse them in warm water.

Let the shelves, wire racks and drawers drain in a dish rack, on paper towels or on newspapers.

Remove any food matter from the bottom of the refrigerator.

  Wash the inside of the refrigerator using a sponge or dishcloth and the warm, soapy water. Remember the compartments and door racks.

Rinse the inside of the refrigerator with a sponge or dishcloth and clean warm water.

For odor control, use a solution of 2 tbsp. baking soda to 1 quart warm water to wash the inside of the refrigerator. A solution of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon warm water is also effective; apply and rinse. A box of baking soda placed in the refrigerator will also cut down on odors.

Replace all shelves, wire racks and drawers.

  Wash the outside of the refrigerator and the gasket (rubber molding around the door) with warm, soapy water; rinse and wipe dry.

Turn the temperature control knob inside the refrigerator back to the recommended setting.

Return the food to the refrigerator, first wiping off any bottles or jars that are sticky.

How To Make Your Stainless Steel Appliances Shine

Banish smudges, smears and finger prints! Make Your Stainless Steel Appliances Shine!

Step 1: You will need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Baby oil
  • a jay cloth
  • and a paper towel
  1. Step 2: Rub on

    Squirt a little baby oil onto a jay cloth. Rub it all over the smudged areas of the appliance

  2. Step 3: Buff

    Take a sheet of paper towel, and buff. Work in small circular motions to ensure all smudges are removed. Pay particular attention to the area around the handle as this is where the most marks will be.

    Take your time to get a brilliant shine.

 

Avoiding the 10 Most Common Laundry Problems

1. Detergent Overuse

As highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article, Americans continue to overuse laundry detergent. Detergent overuse not only shortens of the life of clothing, it can damage or even ruin a perfectly fine washing machine.

High levels of detergent can get trapped in fabric, making clothing appear dingy and faded. Inside your laundry machine, detergent residue gums up the inner workings of your washer, including the door gasket and drain system. In a washer dryer combo, suds from too much soap can accumulate in the condensing chamber, causing longer dry times.

The reason for detergent overuse is twofold. High efficiency washers of today use significantly less water (and therefore need less detergent) than the top loaders of an earlier era. While Americans are still getting used to new frontload machines, they continue to measure detergent based on top load washers. Making matters worse, modern detergents are much more concentrated, which means that a little goes a long way.

Today, accurately measuring out laundry detergent is more important than ever. Be sure to read the detergent box to determine the correct amount of soap for your load size and water temperature.

2. Overloading

Even with the expanded capacity of modern washers and dryers, overloading continues to be a common problem. Unlike old tub-style top load washers which use an agitator to stir clothing clean, new frontload machines clean by tumbling laundry. In order for frontload washers to work properly, there must be room for the laundry to tumble. These washers should be loaded to about 3/4 of full capacity to allow the clothing to fall away from the drum during the wash cycle. An overfilled washer will result in poor cleaning results and wrinkled laundry.

3. Forgetting to Empty the Lint Filter

Forgetting to empty the lint screen not only creates longer dry times, it can be a potential fire hazard. When emptied after each cycle, lint filters eliminate the collection of gooey lint in vent line ducting. However, screens that are not cleaned regularly can cause potentially hazardous lint accumulation within the dryer housing.

A perfect kindling for a fire, lint that comes in contact with a dryer’s heating element has the potential to ignite. While newer dryers are designed to be less susceptible to fires, no dry system is completely immune from years of lint built up.

Take the time to empty the lint screen after each cycle and be sure to inspect old dryers for lint accumulation behind the filter and where the vent line exits the back of the machine.

4. Forgetting to Remove Packing Bolts

Frontload washers use packing bolts to secure the machine’s suspension system during transportation. If the packing bolts are not removed before the washer is operated, the suspension system will not function and the machine will jump and vibrate. Be sure to refer to your user manual for directions on how to remove packing bolts. Also, remember to replace packing bolts if your washer is moved to a new location.

5. Not Using Fabric Softener

When most of us think of fabric softener, we think of soft fluffy towels or that snuggly little teddy bear. And while fabric softener can make your towels fluffy and your sweater softer, it also plays an important role in frontload washer operation.

As mentioned earlier, frontload washers tumble clothing during the wash cycle. In addition, they extract water by spinning laundry between rinses. The high speed spin of a frontload washer can cause clothing to stick to the side of the drum, keeping them from tumbling freely during the rinse cycle. A small dose of fabric softener will help laundry fall away from the drum and ensure that clothing is rinsed properly.

If you are averse to using a scented fabric softener, there are many mild and unscented softeners on the market today.

6. Mixing Fabrics and Colors

As life gets more hectic, we’re all more apt to cut corners when it comes to laundry. This often results in tossing every color and fabric type in the washer and selecting a warm water wash. Mixing colors and fabrics can not only discolor clothing (e.g. the pink sock that used to be white), it can break down delicate fabrics.

Be sure to read the washing instructions on each garment and take a few extra minutes to sort laundry into white, colors and delicates. Not only will your clothes last longer, you won’t have to be seen with that embarrassing pink sock.

7. Shrinkage

In a push for record breaking dry times, many appliance manufactures have turbo charged dry cycles with scorching heat and too often poor results. Excessive heat can ruin delicate clothing and significantly shrink cotton fabric. Hang drying garments in the spring and summer is a good way to save energy and avoid cotton shrinkage – and a quick five minute fluff in the dryer will release any wrinkles that may have developed while hang drying. In the cooler months, selecting a more moderate dry cycle will extend the life of clothing and keep shrinkage to a minimum.

8. Out of Balance Loads

Unless you live adjacent to a pile driving project, the sound of an out of balance washer is hard to mistake. While most modern washers have an automatic shut-off trigger that eliminates damage to the machine, the few seconds of earth shattering pounding is not something that can (or should) be ignored.

While reshuffling clothing will usually do the trick, larger blankets and bedding can be hard to balance, particularly if they’re too bulky to fit comfortably in your washing machine. The best way to avoid out of balance loads is to use an extra large washer at your neighborhood Laundromat or have those bulky items professionally laundered.

9. Pens and Other Pocket Hazards

Long hailed as a nerdy fashion accessory, the pocket protector just might be the best defense against this next laundry mistake. That’s because one unsuspecting ballpoint pen left is a pocket can ruin an entire load of clothing.

If a single ink stain is tough to remove, image dozens on ink streaks scattered over an entire load of shirts and pants. The best way to avoid this disaster (other than the pocket protector idea) is to take the extra time to check each pocket for pens, gum, rocks or any other unfriendly item that may cause harm to your clothing or washer and dryer.

10. Leaky Hoses

A leaky or bursting washer hose can cause major water damage in a matter of minutes. Like any material, the rubber used in laundry hoses breaks down after years of use, particularly under high pressure. Thankfully there are a number of products on the market that can eliminate leaks before they become disasters.

There are many aftermarket multi-layered hoses that offer additional flood protection. One word of caution about aftermarket hoses; many European washing machines have custom hoses with a metric sized connection for the washer and a standard sized connection for the water input. In this case, you may need to stick with the stock hoses or search for a more customized hose option that blends metric and standard sizing.

 

Ice Makers

Order Parts for Your Icemaker

 Most icemakers are one of two types: The flex tray (square cubes made with a plastic tray) and the crescent cube icemaker. Flex tray icemakers also have the refrigerator's defrost timer built into it and are most commonly seen in Whirlpool/Kenmore refrigerators. Crescent cube icemakers are all made by Whirlpool and used in all other brands. It is important to determine the type of icemaker before proceeding with diagnostics.

No Ice

  • Freezer too warm. Must be below 17ºF before icemaker will operate.
  • Icemaker timing gear broken or stripped (old style crescent cube icemaker). The flex tray icemaker also uses a timing gear (of a different type) which can strip out and cause this problem. Inspect and replace as needed.
  • Water switch defective (older Whirlpool-style units).
  • Icemaker module head defective (newer crescent cube icemaker). Jump T to H to activate icemaker and observe harvest cycle. Measure for 120v at the fill valve which should appear momentarily toward the end of the harvest cycle. If valve never gets the 120v, it'll never open to let water in. Replace the module (on the modular crescent cube icemakers) or the water micro switch (on the older crescent cube icemakers).
  • Water inlet valve open. Test coil continuity with ohm meter.
  • Water fill spout in freezer plugged with ice, usually indicating a leaky water valve. Clear ice plug and replace valve. Install in-line filter just before valve to protect it from future damage.
  • Saddle valve used to source water for the icemaker line is plugged with sediment. Test by disconnecting water line at inlet valve. If no water, and saddle valve is open, replace saddle valve.

Leaks Inside Freezer

  • Leaking ejector seal kit in outdated and inferior (GE-made) icemaker. Replace icemaker with modern crescent cube design.
  • Reduce icemaker fill to reduce cube size and fill volume. Adjustment on side of module head.
  • Leaking water inlet valve evidenced by frozen leak originating from fill spout and spilling over side of icemaker.

Objectionable Taste, Odor, or Color in Ice Cubes

  • Install in-line water filter in icemaker water line just before the fill valve. Replace annually.

 

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Santa Monica, CA

 

 

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