Appliance repair tips from Indianapolis experts

What are some easy things people can do to keep their large appliances in good working condition?

Bill Krier: Keep the refrigerator coils clean. For a stove, make sure nothing spills into it. For dishwashers, use a citric acid cleaner once a year.

John Mathew: Keeping them clean and not being rough on them is probably the best preventive maintenance.

Chris Sublett: Keep them clean and use them regularly.

How do you charge?

Krier: The trip charge is $49.95 to $59.95, which entails the diagnosis and estimate. Then it starts at $35 an hour, depending on the work, plus parts.

Mathew: Currently, we have a $48.50 trip charge, and once we're there it's $10 every 15 minutes, or $40 an hour plus parts.

Sublett: My trip charge is $65, which covers the diagnosis, and then it's $40 an hour plus parts.

How does a customer know when it's better to replace, rather than repair?

Krier: If repairs cost half the price of a new unit, it's probably not worth the trouble.

Mathew: You should think about replacing it if your repairs are halfway to the replacement cost.

Sublett: If the repair is going to cost half the price of a new unit, most companies will tell you it's not worth it.

How do you know it's time to call a professional?

Krier: If you don't feel comfortable attempting the repair, or if it looks like it's too much for you.

Mathew: Everyone has different abilities, but it really can hinder the service tech if a customer tries to do it first.

Sublett: If you don't know how to take it apart, call an appliance tech.

What advice do you have for customers looking to purchase a new appliance?

Krier: Make sure it's a reputable brand, and there's somebody out there that can fix it.

Mathew: Don't go real cheap, or real expensive. Stay in the middle with a brand you know.

Sublett: The more bells and whistles an appliance has, the more bells and whistles there are that can break.

Do you have any unusual repair stories?

Krier: It's not real common, but animals climbing in through a dryer's exhaust and dying can happen.

Mathew: It's usually simple repairs where they've forgotten to push a button, or a kid has unplugged the refrigerator, or their GFI outlet has tripped.

Sublett: It's happened a couple times where I've opened up a dryer and a bird has flown out, but usually they're dead.

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