Should you repair your major appliance or buy new?

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I recently wrote a blog about my experience getting a dishwasher serviced vs having it replaced. In this case, it was an easy decision because of my specific circumstances.

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However, there remains the general question, when should you choose to replace an appliance versus having it repaired? Depending on the product category, most major appliances today should last from 8 to 15 years. For example, refrigerators and ranges usually last longer than dishwashers and washing machines.

If your appliance breaks down in the first year, it’s likely to be under warranty so you definitely will want to have it repaired. In some cases, appliance parts have longer warranties, such as the 5 year parts warranty on my dishwasher’s control panel. In that case, it was worth it to pay the labor for the repair even though the dishwasher was 4 years old.

However, if you are on the hook for an expensive repair for a 5 year old appliance that has only an 8 year life expectancy, you might be far better off purchasing a new appliance, even if the repair means your old appliance is good for another 3 years.

Here’s why:

  1. How confident are you that your repair job isn’t going to be the first of many? Too often, one repair leads to another, and this is a rabbit hole you don’t want to go down.
  2. Are there additional costs or burdens associated with an appliance that isn’t working or is likely to fail soon. Suppose your refrigerator is beginning to act up. You may want to replace the refrigerator sooner rather than later so that you won’t also have to replace all the food. At a minimum, a broken washing machine, creates major inconveniences.
  3. A newer appliance may have advanced features that you find desirable. New “smart” appliances may tip the scale and make your decision easier to replace rather repair your existing appliance.

Either way, the folks at Arizona Wholesale are ready to help. Not only do they provide great service, but they also have the best selection and prices on major appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more.


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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I hope your new appliance fails.

Yes,  I hope your appliance fails. Here’s why:

Four years ago, my wife and I moved into a nice bungalow in Westbrook Village (Peoria). The house we purchased was a complete gut job inside. We added new paint, new floors, new fixtures, new baths, and a complete new kitchen including new appliances.

Arizona Wholesale outfitted us with new KitchenAid refrigerator, range, microwave oven, and dishwasher. We love our kitchen. However, we recently began to experience problems with our dishwasher. Then, it quit working entirely.

After a call to Arizona Wholesale, we set up a service appointment. Sergio, the technician, showed up in an Arizona Wholesale service van, a clean Arizona Wholesale shirt, and a well-organized tool box. He asked a few questions, and proceeded with a detailed diagnosis process. It was a thorough check of the machine, so it took a while, and when completed, Sergio informed me the diagnosis indicated that the dishwasher needed a new control panel.

“Oh no!” I knew that this was going to cost big bucks. I had already decided that rather than spend a small fortune on repairing the dishwasher, I’d replace it with a new dishwasher. Then Sergio told me that the dishwasher parts were covered under a 5 year warranty! My only cost would be the service call.

Fortunately, the parts were in stock locally, and we set up an appointment to have them installed the following week! Voila’, my new best friend, Sergio, showed up on time and with the needed parts.

Now, my KitchenAid dishwasher is up and running, and life is good!

But, you need to know more. From beginning to end, my dealings with Arizona Wholesale’s service department were first rate. They were friendly and courteous. Appointments were scheduled and kept on time. Sergio, was friendly, and polite, but at the same time he was businesslike and efficient.

So, I HOPE YOUR APPLIANCE FAILS, so you can find out for yourself what it is like to have such excellent service from Arizona Wholesale Supply.

Placement of New Appliances

Giving Your Appliances Some Space of Their Own

Bad things can happen if you don’t give your appliances the space that they need. Here are the most common occurrences of crowding an appliance.

1. You should not install a range or cooktop flush against a side wall. For sure, you don’t want to do this with a gas range or cooktop. Manufacturer directions are going to warn against it because of the fire hazard resulting when the flame from the gas burner is that close to a flammable wall. I’d argue that it’s also a bad idea to install electric ranges or cooktops against a side wall. Even if there isn’t a safety issue, it makes the two elements next to the wall not so useful for larger pots and pans.

2. Make sure that refrigerator doors swing open more than just 90 degrees. They need to open wide enough not only to give you access to the refrigerator’s contents, but also to allow inside drawers or compartments to slide out. Take into account that a protruding refrigerator handle bumping up to an adjacent wall may prevent a refrigerator door from opening far enough to grant full access to the refrigerator’s contents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Corner installations of appliances can prevent adjacent doors or drawers from opening. For example, the dishwasher below might have worked just fine in this design if it had a recessed handle. However, the adjacent drawer cannot be opened in this instance.

I once showed this dishwasher quandry to a designer friend of mine. She quickly pointed out the cause of the problem. “This is the reason we have CKD’s. It’s a designer’s job to make sure that this doesn’t happen.”

Of course, there are sometimes tradeoffs to be made. Consider the refrigerator below. The refrigerator protrudes into the kitchen aisle. A counter-depth refrigerator could have been purchased instead of the full-depth model shown below, but they cost more and do not store as much food. It’s up to the customer, but it’s the salesperson or designer’s job to advise the consumer and let them make the decision.

 

 

 

 

 

For the best advice on purchasing major appliances consult a professional such as the sales advisors at Arizona Wholesale.


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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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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Appliances that are practical

Intuitive Innovation in Appliances

Major Appliances that Just Make Sense

There's a lot of talk these days about smart appliances. That usually refers to an appliance that can be connected and operated through bluetooth or wi-fi to an remote electronic device such as a smartphone. Most innovative appliances these days, are all about this connectivity. However, most of the great innovations in appliances over time had nothing to do with high-tech designs.

We often trace the history of modern appliances to the early 1950's when a deluge of convenient major appliances became popular in the post WWII expansion. Automatic washers and dryers replaced wringer-type washing machines and clothes hanging on a line. Frost-free refrigerators, self-cleaning ovens, and dishwashers all began to show up in our kitchens. These were all products that had demonstrable work-saving benefits, and the American public gobbled them up.

In the mid to late 90's, full-sized front loading washing machines took the country by storm. But there was also another appliance that caught the attention of many appliance buyers, The Double Oven Range.

I've always referred to this as the perfect example of “intuitive innovation”. Created by Maytag, and called the Gemini Range, the innovation was evident just by looking at it. In the space below a range's cooking surface, Maytag added a small oven/broiler, with a full-sized oven below the small oven.Viola, two ovens in a range that used to have only one oven and a storage drawer. The Gemini Range was a big success for Maytag, and was soon copied by all the competitors in this category.

Today, you can find double-oven ranges by these major brands: Frigidaire, GE, GE Café, GE Profile, Maytag, Samsung, Whirlpool, and KitchenAid. Of course, all are available at Arizona Wholesale Supply. Ask your builder or designer and call Arizona Wholesale Supply for an appointment today.


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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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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Fixing The Galley Kitchen

Efficiency and Space in an updated Galley Kitchen

The term galley kitchen goes back to the galleys on ships and carries forward to home kitchens that are built in an aisle with counters, cabinets, and appliances facing each other as in this photo (This Old House).

Galley-Kitchen

Galley kitchens are the antithesis of the open kitchens that are de riguer these days. Galley kitchens are closed off, and can be cramped and crowded to work in. If you have a galley kitchen, and want a more open kitchen, you should work with a designer to explore your options. Occasionally, a wall can be opened to create addition space, or a window might be added to give a more open look and feel.

However, while opening things up in your galley kitchen creates a more open feel, it often doesn't create additional space. If you need additional cabinets, more counter space, or freedom from bumping into appliances that stick-out into the room here are 3 ideas from the appliance guru that might help.

1. Counter depth or built-in appliances

Most appliance manufacturers now offer counter-depth refrigerators that will not push out into your kitchen aisle, and some brands have built-in refrigerators, that will be flush with your cabinet faces. However, it's not unusual for freestanding ranges to stick out a bit into the kitchen, and some pro ranges will stick out more than just a bit, so take care when choosing a range. Since galley kitchens usually have opposing workspaces, it's important that refrigerator, range and dishwasher doors have enough clearance to fully open,

While some dishwashers have fronts that can stick out a bit from the cabinet front, others can be installed flush. Always be careful about installing dishwashers in a corner. If the dishwasher has a protruding handle, it may prevent an adjacent corner door or drawer from opening.

2. Narrow width appliances.

With influence from Europe, there has been a revival of smaller width appliances. Luxury brands such as Wolf and Miele offer 24″ wide ovens along with their standard width American-sized models. Similarly, there are also more choices in 24-inch wide freestanding and slide-in ranges. All of these options create more space in cramped galley kitchens.

3. More accessible appliances.

There are a host of new appliances now on the market that are designed to provide greater accessibility. For example, nearly all major brands now offer microwave drawers, ideally installed under countertops. Great for accessibility, this product also frees up space on countertops or upper cabinets.

Microwave-Drawer

In the last couple of years Sub Zero has introduced a wide array of undercounter refrigerator and freezer drawers in different sizes and configuration. They also have an amazing selection of wine storage units, traditional undercounter refrigerators, and beverage centers. Much of the industry has followed their lead and similar undercounter units are widely available in different configurations, brands, and price points.

For more ideas on fixing a cramped galley kitchen, consult your design professional. For the best information on appliances make an appointment with one of experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply.


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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Buying Appliances to Save Energy

Making Sense out of Energy Savings Appliances

Question. Can I justify buying new appliances based on energy savings alone?

Answer. Maybe. If your current appliances are old energy hogs, you may be able to justify replacement for energy savings alone because the savings will pay for the replacement. This applies more to washers, dishwashers, and refrigerators than it does to ranges, ovens, cooktops, and dryers.

Here are three specific recommendations:

  1. Topload agitator-type washing machines are real culprits. In general, the older they are the more water they use, and the more water they use, the higher the energy costs, because of the cost to heat the water.

  2. Here's a quick way to find out if your dishwasher is an energy hog. If you have a porcelain tub dishwasher which has no filterbasket, it's very likely a big energy user. Energy saving dishwashers are likely to have stainless or polystyrene tubs and often use a wash system with a filter basket vs. a built-in food chopper.

  3. Does your refrigerator make a loud clunking sound when the compressor turns on? That's a good clue that this has a traditional compressor that runs a long time at high speed to provide cooling and then shuts down for a long period. Most refrigerators today have smaller more efficient compressors that do not cycle on and off but slow down and speed up based on cooling demand.

Another test you might use is age. If an appliance is over 15 years old, consider it suspect. If the appliance is working well, not service prone, and you just love it, then keep it. But, when you have the next service call on old Bessie, it's time to say goodby. The combined cost of repair and potential energy savings of a new appliance make a compelling case for replacement.

GE Monitor Top Refrigerator

GE Monitor Top

There are other reasons to replace appliances such as a kitchen remodel or a move into a new house, but use the above recommendations to think through your appliance replacement needs. Of course, consult your builder or designer, and count on the professionals at Arizona Wholesale Supply for all your appliance needs and more.

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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