Updated November 3, 2023.
DIY appliance repair can be dangerous if you don’t follow strict safety guidelines. Prevent risks of personal injury and property damage by following these 5 important safety tips.
1. Unplug the Appliance
Always, always, always unplug the appliance before you begin any DIY repair on your appliance. Once you begin disassembly, you’re exposed to wires and components that can electrocute you if the appliance isn’t unplugged.
Some appliances are hard wired to the electrical supply of your home through a junction box. You’ll need to shut off the house circuit breaker to disconnect electrical power to these types of appliances.
Appliances that are often hard wired to the electrical supply in your home include:
- Wall ovens.
- Water heaters.
- HVAC systems.
If the house circuit breakers aren’t clearly marked, its best to schedule a Sears Technician to diagnose and repair your appliance. Don’t risk your personal safety if you’re not completely confident that power is disconnected from an appliance before attempting to repair it yourself.
Some appliances such as microwaves have high-voltage capacitors that retain a lethal electrical charge even then the appliance is unplugged. Never attempt to disassemble and repair a microwave yourself.
2. Wear gloves
Metal edges inside appliances are sharp. Even the smallest of cuts can get infected. Wear safety gloves to protect your hands whenever you disassemble an appliance for repair.
Appliance technicians wear electrical safety gloves when conducing live voltage checks on appliances. We never recommend DIY appliance repair enthusiasts to conduct live voltage checks when diagnosing appliance failure. Although live voltage checks are sometimes more accurate in diagnosing an appliance failure, resistance checks through wiring can often accomplish the same goal of determining the cause of a failure. Sears Technicians have developed some DIY repair techniques that are safe for you to conduct on your own using a multimeter (with the appliance unplugged).
Here’s an example of Sears Technician Wayne Archer showing you how to diagnose a gas oven heating problem without using voltage checks:
Wayne’s expertise as a Sear Technician is demonstrated by his ability to explain to DIY appliance repair enthusiasts how to repair a gas oven that isn’t heating. The positive comments on his video show his success in helping customers repair their own appliances when possible.
Of course, if you get to a point in appliance diagnosis or repair where you’re not completely confident that you can safely continue on your own, schedule a Sears Technician to visit your home and complete the repair.
If you’re interested in becoming a Sears Technician, apply on our Sears Home Services Jobs website. We’re anxious to speak with anyone who wants to become a Sears Tech.
3. Wear Safety Goggles
You may not think that you need them, but you do need to wear safety goggles when repairing appliances. Keep your eyes safe by making sure they stay covered. You may have already completed several DIY appliance repairs without wearing safety goggles, but not wearing eye protection poses an unnecessary safety risk. Flying debris or splashing chemicals can easily get into your eyes when conducting appliance repair.
Even though they may look goofy, wear goggles whenever you’re working on appliances.
4. Reconnect All Wires Properly
Take digital pictures when necessary to document the wire connections before disconnecting the wires from components. Reconnecting the wires incorrectly can be dangerous. A wire connected in the wrong place can cause a dangerous short circuit that will damage wiring, components and can cause an electrocution hazard.
Also, don’t ignore ground wires when reconnecting appliance wires. Ground wires are typically green in color. They help prevent electrical shocks when a wire or component does short out.
If you’re ever unsure of how to reconnect wires, have a service technician reassemble the appliance so it’s safe to use.
5. Use the Right Tools
It’s always tempting to innovate and overcome obstacles during appliance repair by using the tool that you have immediately available. Sometimes, that approach can cause injury. Always use size and type of screwdriver, wrench or other tool when disassembling and reassembling appliances.
If you don’t have the right type of tool needed for an appliance repair, you may consider having a service technician complete the repair rather than buying a tool that you’ll rarely use.
The bottom line is “don’t bite off more than you can chew” when attempting DIY appliance repair. Sears In-Home Repair Technicians are trained to safely diagnose and repair any type of appliance failure.
If you’re an appliance repair enthusiast and you want to become a Sears Technician, apply now to begin your career in appliance repair.