What are your appliances trying to tell you?


Are you fluent in appliance-ese? The truth is that many homeowners simply don't understand what their appliances are trying to tell them. However, most big-ticket items will present warning signs before they break down completely. 

Use this guide to interpret what your appliances are trying to say when they're not working quite right. 


                Your appliances are talking to you! Be sure to listen carefully. Your appliances are talking to you! Be sure to listen carefully.

Washer and dryer
Have you ever opened your washing machine, only to be greeted by an unpleasant odor? When this appliance gets smelly, it's a signal that mold or mildew is growing inside. Banish the odor by running the machine with a special cleaning tablet. In the future, make sure to leave the door open between loads, which will allow the moisture to evaporate. 

There are also signs that your dryer isn't working correctly. If your clothes are taking longer than usual to dry, check the lint trap to see if dust and dirt have built up. If the problem persists, call in a professional, as the heating element might be broken. 

When you have a gas stove, there's a chance that the burners won't light even though the igniter is clicking. This is usually an easy problem to solve, as the burner is probably just clogged from a food or liquid spill. Clean off the burner and try again. 

On the other hand, an electric burner that won't get hot might need to be replaced. Many people don't realize that placing too much weight on a stove burner can damage the connection, so be cognizant of what you're storing on the stovetop. 

If your oatmeal is taking twice as long to cook all of a sudden, there's likely something wrong with your microwave. Over time, the heating elements in this appliance wear down and lose their power. Call a professional to figure out if it's time to replace the appliance. 

Milk usually stays drinkable for a week after opening, so why does yours keep spoiling after only a few days? Your fridge is trying to tell you something! If food goes bad well before its expiration date, the temperature in this appliance might be wavering. This could mean a defective thermostat, malfunctioning compressor or coolant leak. Call a professional or file a claim with your TotalProtect® Home Warranty. 

Freezer problems are pretty commonplace as well. If there's ice building up at the bottom of your freezer, the defrost drain might be clogged. Make sure that water can run through to the drip pan to avoid future problems. 

Last but not least, dirty plates after the dishwasher cycle has finished may signal a problem. Chances are that there's either not enough hot water to remove food buildup or the filter is clogged. 

Many of these mechanical problems could be covered by a TotalProtect warranty. Look into this service today to find out how it can save your family time and money. 

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.