Prepare Appliances for Your Vacation

5 Steps to Prepare Your Appliances for Vacation

It's that time of year again. You're getting ready to take your vacation, but you haven't really thought about getIng your appliances ready for your extended absence. Here's a list of what you should do to make sure your appliances will not flood your house, spoil your food, or otherwise create havoc while you're away.

  1. Some appliances, such as your water heater or refrigerator, may have a Vacation Mode. If so, utilize this handy setting. It makes some internal energy saving adjustments.

  2. Run an empty load through your washer and dishwasher. Use whatever cleaner you normally use for cleaning that appliance such as Affresh or LemiShine. For vacations of 2 weeks or longer, prevent odor build up by leaving the door or lid on the washer and dishwasher open while you're away. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. This will keep the dishwasher free from odor, and the rubber seal in the bottom of the dishwasher moist.

  3. Turn off the water supply line to refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher. (I'm paranoid about water leaks).

  4. For vacations that are more than just a long weekend, remove perishables from the refrigerator, and turn the icemaker off. That usually means just lifting the metal bar in the ice maker to its highest/off position. In some refrigerators only the ice bin is accessible, not the ice maker itself. For these models, there will be a separate on/off switch for the ice maker (see below example).

    Refrigerator-Icemaker

  5. Your refrigerator is going to be on while you're away, and it will use more electricity if it is empty. So, if you've removed most or all of the food from your refrigerator, fill a few empty plastic gallon jugs with water, and place them in the refrigerator.

*Most of the tips are for vacations of a week or longer. For those long 3 day week end trips, I'd just turn off the water lines and turn off the ice maker.

For questions about your specific appliance, check your use and care manual. For information about appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more home products consult your designer or builder, then call Arizona Wholesale Supply for an appointment with one of our consultants.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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3 Prong to 4 Prong Dryer or Range Cord

Proper Install of Your Dryer or Range Cord

It's not unusual for home owners to confront problems when they find that the 4 prong plug for their new electric range or dryer won't fit the 3 hole receptacle in the wall. Alternatively, they may find that the 4 hole wall receptacle in their new house won't match up with the 3 prong plug on their old electric dryer or range.

This mismatch occurs because in the mid 1990's homes had 3 wire systems that had two “hot” wires (red and black) and a single neutral/ground wire. In 1996, the National Electrical Code was updated to require new homes to be built with a safer 4 wire configuration with separate ground and neutral wires.

So today, your new 4 prong electric dryer cord won't fit in an older 3 prong wall plug. The solution is simple. You will need to switch to a 3 prong dryer cord. The same is true for mismatched range cord and wall receptacle. Here are three important points to keep in mind:

  1. If a cord's plug, and the wall receptacle don't match, you must change the cord, not the wall receptacle.

  2. Dryer hookups and range hookups are configured differently. A dryer cord plug won't work in a range wall receptacle, nor will a range cord plug fit a dryer receptacle.

  3. The current 4 wire system has red and black wires just as before, plus a white neutral wire, and a green or bare wire for the ground.

The move to a 4 wire system was an important safety improvement. However, you can tell from above, that the conversion from a 3 prong vs 4 prong configuration on the plugs can be a bit of a hassle. Even after 20 years, this still can be an issue if you have or move into an older house.

Now that you know what needs to be done, you should also know that range and dryer cords do not come attached with a new appliance. If you are installing yourself, you'll need to know how to attach the cord to the appliance. Below is a link to a Whirlpool video demonstrating how the 4 wire cords are to be hooked up:

How to install a 4 wire supply cord to your dryer

Of course, when Arizona Wholesale Supply is delivering and installing your new appliances we'll bring the correct cord with us!


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Detergent Pod Warnings

Dishwasher and Laundry Detergent Alert

Arizona Wholesale Supply

We've had several blogs over the last four years on the merits of using detergent pods for laundry or dishwasher loads. There are reasons for choosing the pods, and we've argued both against the detergent pods and in favor of them.

Detergent-Pod

We've also consistently complained that the companies selling detergent pods shouldn't make them in bright colors that might easily be confused with candy by children.

Safety Warning – Laundry Detergent Pods – May 2012

Detergent Pods a Safety Hazard

Now, it appears that this issue is continuing to evolve. In fact, Consumer Reports has withdrawn their support for detergent pods because of the danger to children.

The problem with laundry detergent pods.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, just in the first 4 months of 2016, nearly four thousand kids five and under have been victimized by exposure to detergent pods.

“Some children who have gotten the product in their mouths have had excessive vomiting, wheezing and gasping. Some get very sleepy. Some have had breathing problems serious enough to need a ventilator to help them breathe. There have also been reports of corneal abrasions (scratches to the eyes) when the detergent gets into a child’s eyes.” – AAPCC

In addition, the National Capital Poison Center has stated, “Biting into laundry detergent pods can cause serious injury or even death.”

Unfortunately, the detergent manufacturers have not addressed the pods candy-like appearance, and have instead decided to make the detergent containers more difficult to open.

So, use your discretion, but CR and others are now recommending against the detergent pods, at least in any households with children.

As always, for all your appliances, floor coverings, window treatments and more work with your design professional, or builder, and call Arizona Wholesale Supply for an appointment with one of our associates.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Easy to Make Slime: Fun Sensory Toy

We understand how fun summer can be for children, and how parents can sometimes run out of ideas to keep the kids busy, especially on days when they are stuck inside.  For the craft below, make sure to protect the floor underneath your work surface.  If any materials come in contact with your carpet, here’s a great link to clean it up!

Slime is a fun sensory toy for toddlers and even older children. It is fun to feel and play with. Adults can enjoy the slime too, they can play with it at work to de-stress and spark creativity. Find out how to make slime easily, with only a few ingredients! Below are directions for blue slime. However, you can make whatever color you want; simply choose color and glitter that you prefer.

What You Will Need:

Liquid Starch (This is usually used for ironing when it isn’t making slime!)

Water

Blue Glitter

Blue Food Coloring

Elmer’s Clear Washable Glue

Water

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, mix ½ cup of warm (it will mix better if the water is warm) water and ½ cup of the clear washable glue. Use an electric hand mixer for this part.

Next add 4-6 drops of food coloring and glitter. Use 2 tablespoons of glitter, feel free to add more or less.

In a separate large mixing bowl, add ½ cup of liquid starch. Slowly add the water/glue mixture into the liquid starch bowl. Use hands to mix all the ingredients well.

After the mixture has turned to slime, place slime into a dry container and let it set for another 30-40 minutes. Then have fun playing with your blue glitter slime.  It will last for several days!

How Long do Appliances Last?

When Should I Replace My Appliances?

It's complicated

Many years ago, I used to carry around a chart from AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) which itemized the expected life spans of various appliances: washing machines 15 years, ranges 20 years, etc. I've long ago disposed of this, but I did find this current version. Here is a look at today's appliance lifespans from Consumer Reports:

Dishwasher – 9 years
Dryer (electric and gas) – 13 years
Microwave oven – 9 years
Range electric – 13 years
Range gas – 15 years
Refrigerator – 13 years
Washing machine – 10 years

We all know that the life expectancy of appliances is not what it used to be, but let's not confuse quality with durability. Today's washing machines use less detergent, energy and water than their predecessors. They are more gentle on clothes, and get them cleaner than ever before, but have a life expectancy of only 10 years, compared to 15 years or longer from grandma's Maytag.

Today, manufacturers seem to be on a never ending quest to reduce costs, and as consumers we shop until we drop to get save every hard earned dollar we can on appliances. Moreover, we don't seem to care if our kids inherit the family refrigerator, and we are quick to get rid of a broken appliance to avoid paying a stiff repair bill.

I recently read that in upscale neighborhoods it is not uncommon for kitchens to be remodeled about every 10 years, and that includes new appliances. So, even though appliances don't last as long as they used to, we tend not to even keep them for as long as they last.

The truth is that we don't expect our appliances to last as long as they used to…but we do expect that they have the latest features and look great in our house. I once asked a customer if she had a brand preference for her new washer. She replied that it didn't make a difference as long as the washer was red.

So, don't feel guilty about replacing your 15 year old agitator style topload washing machine with a shiny new front loader. The old machine is at the end of it's life, and the new one could actually pay for itself in energy savings….plus, it's red!

To get more information on appliances, floor coverings, and more be sure to consult your design professional or builder, and make an appointment with the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Follow-up on new GFCI code requirement

Remodeling a Kitchen? Think about updating GFCI outlets.

This is an update of a blog I wrote last year regarding new NEC requirements for GFCI plugs as of June 29, 2015.

New Rules on GFCI Receptacles

We purchased an older home recently, and did major remodeling including the kitchen. We had some electrical issues in the kitchen, so I called in an electrician to analyze and fix the problem. Not just an electrician, this fellow was an electrical inspector who did some odd jobs on weekends.

GFCI-Outlet

New GFCI Outlet

He addressed and fixed the main problem I had which related to the lack of adequate power in my kitchen. While he was there, I asked him to install new GFCI outlets in my kitchen. We had a brief discussion regarding the new code, and he informed me that GFCI plugs should not be used for the refrigerator. THIS IS WRONG, and it is widely misunderstood by the trade. The new NEC code which went into effect June 29, 2015 requires the new self-monitoring GFCI's in the kitchen, but does make an exception for a refrigerator in the kitchen. That does not mean that the GFCI is not a good idea for the refrigerator, but an exception is granted where needed (see below). Here's what you should know:

At one time, twenty years or more ago, refrigerators and freezers had large compressors, that had large power requirements when they turned on, a “surge” if you will. Old model refrigerators provided a lot of cooling very quickly, then turned off for a long time, and then kicked back on when the refrigerator warmed up. A refrigerator or freezer kicking on might unnecessarily trigger the circuit breaker and disconnect power to the refrigerator. This could result in food loss or spoilage. However, today's refrigerators have smaller compressors that run all the time at variable speeds, eliminating the “surge” and keeping temperatures even. Refrigerators today pose little risk of tripping a circuit breaker. In fact, if they do trip the circuit breaker, it is likely there is an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.

The real lesson for you is that if you have any electrical work done in your kitchen or baths, it is a good idea to update your electrical receptacles with new outlets that are compliant to the latest NEC requirements.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Cleaning Freestanding Clear Ice Machines

Clear Ice Machines

Tips and Advice for Taking Care of Your Ice Machine

Part 3

 

Ice machine

Freestanding Ice Machines that produce clear ice will require regular cleaning and maintenance. The basics are the same for most brands with the exception that some ice machines have automatic cleaning and will require less maintenance. Here are some considerations:

  1. Water filters. While using filtered water is not always necessary, it's a good idea. Some ice machines come equipped with their own filters that must be replaced regularly. If not, you can always install a standard inline water filter on the incoming water line. Replace the inline filter at least every 6 months.

  2. Cleaning the icemaker should be done every 3-6 months depending on usage and manufacturer recommendations. If the ice cube harvest drops or the ice cubes are cloudy, it's a good sign that your ice machine needs cleaning. Typically, ice machines with built-in cleaning cycles require less frequent cleaning. Here are the steps to follow when *cleaning ice machine:

a). Turn off and unplug the ice machine. Turn off the incoming water supply.

b). Remove all the ice from the ice compartment and wipe out the interior.

c). Remove all the ice machines parts that come into contact with water. Clean all the parts with nickel-free ice machine cleaner. Rinse off and let the parts fully dry.

d). Re-install all the parts and making sure that the ice machine is completely dry.

e). Turn on water, plug-in ice machine and turn on. Discard the first batch or two of ice.

*These are general instructions. By all means follow the directions that come with your specific ice machine. Take good care of your ice machine and you'll enjoy a regular supply of crystal clear ice for years to come.

Here are links to our two previous blogs about clear ice machines:

Part 1: Clear Ice Machines

Part 2: Clear Ice Machines


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Clear Ice Machines

Ice Makers that make crystal clear ice cubes

Wouldn't you love to have an ice maker that produced clear ice cubes just perfect for your drinks? You and your guests would be delighted. I know that I would love to be able to serve drinks with something other than those cloudy crescent-shaped ice cubes that spew out of the ice maker in my refrigerator.

Clear Ice Machine

You may need a clear ice machine. Scotsman, U-line, Whirlpool, and others manufacture stand-alone ice makers that provide a constant supply of perfectly sized crystal clear ice cubes. In addition to the obvious benefits above, these ice-cubes won't freeze and stick together. They're free from the chemicals and minerals that come from your water supply, and the icemakers are available in a variety of sizes and capacities. This is not an appliance you should just pick-up at the home improvement chain. There are many factors to consider and some planning to do before making a selection. You won't regret dealing with professionals such as the trained staff at Arizona Wholesale Supply.

Here are just a few considerations that you need to be aware of before rushing out to buy one of these.

  1. Clear ice machines are expensive. Major name brand clear ice machines start at around two thousand dollars, and premium models can be much higher.
  2. They require maintenance. In most cases they need to be cleaned at least every 6 months.
  3. In addition to a water line, clear ice makers also require a drain. Depending on the location, a pump may also be required to pump water to the drain.

There is much more to learn about ice makers, but this will get you started. Check this blog often. We'll be offering more detailed information on choosing ice machines in the coming days.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Gifts for your Appliances

Holiday Appliance Tips for the New Year

So you think that you have all your holiday shopping done? Think again. You must buy some Christmas presents for your appliances. The appliance guru insists!

Refrigerator – I replace my water filter once a year (unless it needs to be done sooner. see blog link below.)

Replacing Refrigerator Water Filters

The end of year works out good for me so that I don't forget it. Just add it to your shopping list. While your at it, you may have other filters in your refrigerator that you want to replace also. Look for an air filter in the refrigerator compartment, and a charcoal filter in one or more of the crispers.

refrigerator-water-filter

Refrigerator Water Filter

Oven – You're not going to want to hear this, but after the company has left and before the Super Bowl, you might want to look at your oven interior. Time to clean the oven? **Merry Christmas Oven**

Dishwasher – How often do you clean the filter in the sump of your dishwasher?…Shame on you – you've been naughty. While it should be cleaned regularly, Santa will forgive you if you take about 2 minutes to remove this filter, clean it, and rinse it out.

Washer – The one thing I'd recommend that you do for your washing machine is to examine the hoses. Make sure the connections aren't corroded and that the hoses aren't split or cracked. Replace if necessary.

Dryer – I know that you clean your dryer filter regularly :-), but did you know that lint build up in the dryer vent is the number one cause of house fires. If the vent has never been examined take a look, and pull out any accumulation of lint in the vent line with a coat hanger or even a vacuum. If the vent line is long and has elbows, you may need to get professional help.

These are just a few tips to help your appliances as they head into the New Year – ready to give you another great year of service.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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D-I-Y Appliance Repair

Tips on Fixing Your Own Appliances

Appliance Repair Advice

Having more than just a few years in appliance sales, I've often had the impulse to do some minor repairs on my own appliances. It never went well. For example, replacing a refrigerator door gasket seemed like an easy job, but in my case it turned into a nightmare. Did you know that in the process of replacing a gasket, you may have to remove and re-install both the door and the door liner? Not a fun experience. Here are some tips to save you time and money:

1. Be certain of your diagnosis.

What's the problem? Refrigerator not cooling. This can be many things. If your use and care manual doesn't help, you might be able to get a repair manual and/or a parts list from your nearby appliance parts house. It's not always possible, but it is so much better if you know what needs to be fixed or replaced before you start taking things apart.

2. Learn what you need to do before you begin.

Review online help pages and videos that demonstrate the process. There are many YouTube videos by appliance service companies and appliance manufacturers demonstrating common repairs.

3. Assemble the necessary parts and tools in advance.

Nobody wants to remove a refrigerator and freezer door, only to find out that there is a broken plastic part on the hinge assembly that also needs to be replaced, and by the way, the part is on backorder. Order all the parts you might need, just in case.

4. Clear your work area in advance.

If you're working in the kitchen, at a minimum you'll need a floor mat, a few small boxes or trays for saving screws, bolts, clips or other small parts that need to be re-attached later, and a place to put large parts such as doors, etc. Make a list so you know the order in which you removed parts, and can replace them in the reverse order. In some cases, its better to remove the appliance from the kitchen entirely and take it out to a workshop or garage if you have this option.

5. Have a backup plan.

If you get stuck, be ready to call a friend for help, use the nearby coin laundry until that backordered part arrives, and as always… count on your friends at Arizona Wholesale Supply to save the day with a new appliance!


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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