Self Cleaning the oven

Self Cleaning ovens are wonderful. Push a button and 4 hours later, your oven interior is clean. However, it is not recommended to self clean before a major cooking event. These include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and more.

Self clean puts a lot of stress on the safety components due to the high heat needed to clean the interior. Our recommendation is to self clean 1 to 2 weeks before the event. If a component does fail, this gives the service company plenty of time to get the parts needed for you to have a cooking success.  Most service companies, like A to Z Appliance Repair of Dayton and Cincinnati, will stock the common parts needed to get you up and running quickly so that you can enjoy your event.

Most ovens are designed to handle 4 self clean cycles in a row before being put into production. They do not fail often, but when they fail at the wrong time…it just causes unnecessary stress.

Enjoy your cooking events and your self clean oven. They can be wonderful components to your family and friends events.


Thanksgiving Cooking

Thanksgiving is upon us and many are preparing for the big family meal and gathering. I am thankful for my family and friends and customers, but I am also thankful for the appliances that make entertaining easier. Refrigerator for storing food, dishwasher for cleanup, washer and dryer for the tablecloths and clothes, and the oven for cooking the turkey.

Todays post is going to stick with the oven. Many customers want that clean oven for the holiday meal with company coming over. Logically, we use the self clean feature to get it clean. One button and done is a great feature. However, some of our customers have had some not so good experiences.

When is self clean, the oven gets to a very high temperature to remove the baked on food. A lot of ovens are built to withstand 4 self clean cycles in a row. With this high heat and safety features to keep the oven from overheating, sometimes the safety shuts the heat down. Most safety devices do not reset. This prevents the customer from using the oven until the safety has been replaced.

The techs at A to Z Appliance Repair try to be preemptive and keep a stock of safety thermostats and fuses in their vans. Sometimes our customers “self clean” too late for service though. Our advice is as follows.

We recommend that you self clean your oven at least 1 week prior to any major cooking event. This gives plenty of time to get you back up and running in time for you family event.

A to Z Appliance Repair hopes that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.


Time, Time, Time

Energy Saving dishwashers can take over 2 hours to run a cycle.

Dryers with poor venting take 2 or 3 cycles to dry a load of clothes.

Some service companies offer ALL DAY appointments.

There are some time saving steps to help with the above, but some are out of your control.  Energy Saving Dishwashers just take more time even though they use less energy.  A clean vent for your dryer will save you time and money.  ALL DAY appointments just make it tough to plan your day around.

A to Z offers: 2 hour appointment window, technician call ahead, online scheduling and more

At A to Z Appliance Repair, we narrow each appointment down to a 2 hour time window.  Our techs even call ahead so that you know we are on the way.  Most errands are within 15 minutes of home.  Most of our tech-call-aheads are about 10 to 15 minutes before they will arrive at your home.  This is a WIN-WIN for everyone.  You get your errands done AND you are home for us to get your appliance repaired.  We do not want you home from work without pay waiting for our tech to arrive.  Our call ahead can be done up to 30 mins prior to arrival so you only go home when you need to.

Whether you live in Cincinnati or Dayton, your time is valuable.  A to Z Appliance Repair understands and has put systems into place to be a value to you, our customer.  It one of the ways we say thanks for using our service.  By the way, most of our jobs are done in one visit.  Your time is valuable to you and us.

Don’t miss out on using our online scheduling system either.  We want to earn and keep your business.



Dryer takes too long to dry

Is it time to buy a new dryer just because it takes 3 loads to dry?  Probably not!

If your dryer heats, then you are likely looking at some sort of venting issue.  Could be something in the dryer, but most likely your house vent.  A new dryer will not change your house venting.  Here are some steps to to try before buying a new dryer.

  • Wash your lint screen.  Your screen may look clean, but run some water slowly on it and see how much it will hold.  If it holds water, gently rub in some dish detergent (ex. Dawn, Joy, Palmolive, etc) and watch the water run through the screen.
  • Pull vent off the back of dryer.  This one can add some lint to your laundry room, so be prepared.  When you are ready with the vent off, start dryer.  If you get good strong air flow, then it is time to get you house vent checked and cleaned.
  • Vent cleaning.  There are plenty of DIY kits out there.  I like the 4 inch brush on the end of a rod.  Some kit have extension rods for extra long vents.  If you are unsure or have not ever done it, you may want to call in a professional vent cleaner.  Even if you are a do it yourselfer, you can learn volumes from a professional just by watching.  Well worth the one time investment.  A plugged vent is a fire hazard.

A to Z Appliance Repair in both Dayton and Cincinnati have seen plenty of customers throw out good dryers for something that was not the dryers fault.  Don’t throw your money away.  

As we enter Fall and Winter, make sure your dryer is ready!


My Washer Smells bad

Does your Front Load washer stink?  Told to leave the door open, but it smells too bad?  How do you get rid of the odor?

This is very frustrating for owners of expensive washers.  We at A to Z Appliance Repair get asked how to resolve or prevent this from both our Dayton and Cincinnati customer base.  Front load washers are designed for efficiency.  Less water, HE detergent, Less energy, gentler on clothes…ALL of which is very appealing to a lot of customers.  Most customers want to close the door on a front load washer when not in use for a number of reasons.  Looks better, looks cleaner (like the showroom), have to close it due to location of the laundry room in the home.  Unfortunately, this prevents air flow to the unit due to the water and air tight seal around the door.  In a lot of instances, this can help lead to odors in the washer.

Some solutions include leaving the door open between washes and/or running washer cleaner once a month.  Some can’t leave the door open and some don’t want to be required to run cleaner through their very expensive washer.  At least one manufacturer has built a fan into the washer to circulate air through the unit when not doing laundry.  If you do not have the unit with the fan, what can be done?

Before I suggest some cleaning options, here are a couple of things that you should check.

  • Are you using too much detergent? – you should use the HE detergent that is available.  However, if you have soft water, you can typically use less detergent than what is recommended.  How do you tell if you are using too much detergent?  Throw in a load of clothes and NO detergent.  Let unit fill up and agitate for 5 minutes.  If you have suds on top of the water, than you have been using too much.  Cut back and use the “extra rinse” option for a while.
  • Yes, you should use the washer cleaners that are available.  If your unit does not have on odor, this will help prevent the odor in a number of ways.  This keeps the pump impellers and corrugated hoses clear from buildup.  This build up affects the performance of the drain pump.  If your unit cannot drain properly, it will likely develop an odor

If you currently have an odor in your washer, here are some things our customers have done

  • A concentrated washer cleaning tablet.  Most washer cleaners (found next to the laundry detergent) have a concentrated method available.  This is a good first step.
  • If your rubber door seal has mildew in it, that does need removed and sometimes it takes doing it by hand with gloves and a cloth and mildew type cleaning detergent.
  • Using something, like a sock or towel, on the door that would help keep it from shutting completely.  Once the odor is resolved, this can be a subtle way of propping the door without having it wide open.

Thanks for you time


Cloudy Dishes

Nobody likes them.  They torment you when you have company and they want a glass of water.  Agitated, you give them a glass that is cloudy or worse yet, you know hand cleaning after running through the dishwasher is coming.  

What can be done to help?

There are some simple steps and some not so simple, but A to Z Appliance Repair in Dayton and Cincinnati has been able to solve this issue for a lot of customers.

Simple Steps

  • Turn on hot water at kitchen sink until it is hot, then start your dishwasher
  • Rinse you dishes, but DO NOT scrape them clean.  There needs to be something on them for the detergent to work properly.

Not So Simple

  • Since the removal of phophate from detergent, finding the right detergent for you has been a challenge.  We have seen more success from the tablets over powder or liquid detergent.  Our customers with soft water get better results if they place the tablet in the floor of the dishwasher instead of the soap dish.
  • Heated Dry vs Air Dry – A lot of customers have better results from Air Dry, it is what I use.  The hotter the dishes get during rinse cycle, the better the water leaves the dishes during the dry cycle.  This helps to prevent spots
  • Rinse Aid – YES, it must be used.  Rinse Aid basically makes your water like soft water so that is does not stick to the dishes.  It does not coat the dishes.

Nobody wants to buy 17 different types of detergent to find one that works, though we have seen it done.  Most of the time the effort to get your new dishwasher exchanged will not make a difference in the end.  It is finding the right detergent for your dishwasher and water type that makes the biggest difference.  Some detergent manufacturers will send you a sample if you call and ask.  I also think a stainless steel interior does a better job of keeping the water hot during the cycle and there are some of those available at a good value if you are shopping for a new unit.

Hopefully these steps can save you from an appliance repair bill that tells you the dishwasher is fine. 

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