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Local Articles in Southern California

Small Appliance Repair

Small appliances play a big role in our daily lives. When shopping for microwave ovens, vacuums, toasters, mixers and more, choose appliances that fit your need and budget. When it comes to repairs, compare the cost of fixing to the cost of replacing the item.

refrigerator
Appliance Sales, Appliance Repair - Large, Appliance Repair - Small

Show your workhorse appliances a little TLC, and they may stick around a bit longer.

DVRs are a top Energy Vampire
Electrical, Appliance Sales

DVRs are the most diabolical of the many home appliances that use energy even when turned off.

Kitchen with new appliances
Electrical, Appliance Sales

Evolution in product standards has led to significant energy savings.

new washer and dryer set (Photo by Victoria H. of Humboldt, Neb.)
Appliance Repair - Large, Appliance Sales

Should you buy a new washing machine? Appliance repair pros say some newer washing machines might not be better than older models. Find out why here.

Angie's Answers

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Personal opinion but I will not buy another front load washing machine again.  They simply do not clean clothes as well as the old agitator style washers do.  In the summer when I am hot and sweaty I have to wash shirts at least twice, sometimes up to four times to get the stink out.  Also, while they may save water per load washed, they run a lot longer.  My old washing machine took about 20 minutes to wash a load of clothes.  The front loader takes about an hour.  What it saves on water it more than makes up for in electricity I'm sure running three times as long.  Our front loader has not leaked but it doesn't do the job for my clothes.  Maybe someone sitting in an office all day has fewer problems having to rewash clothes.

 

As for appliance brand recommendations I have no particular favorites.  They all seem to be disposable these days, often costing as much to repair as to replace.  Samsung has made some good appliances as of late I've heard a lot of good reviews about from customers.  I've got a customer who bought a Kenmore refrigerator when they built the house.  The ice maker has gone out and the replacement part isn't any better since it's a known defect according to the appliance repairman they had look at it.  It was just past the warranty so they didn't pay for another part to be installed that was going to fail again.  Since Kenmore is made by other companies I'm sure they aren't the only one with this problem.  We live in a disposable society.  I look at how well it works, the warranty and cost and weigh the last two of those after kicking out the ones with bad reviews on that model.

 

Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX

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Depends a lot on your current configuration. Rough numbers, $4-7,000 for the generator including autostart and automatic load transfer circuit box and master breakers (usually all come on the generator).

Installation (with pad already inplace and gas hookup - about $500-1000.

Electrical about $800 minimum, to maybe $2500. The $800 will get you a simple transfer switch installation but if you want some household circuits to run on the generator but others not, depending on how your current wiring is run, can run to $2000 to pull existing circuits to a new panel.

The problem is that all circuits that are going to be on the generator, unless you are planning to carry the entire household load, have to go to a separate circuit breaker panel which is fed off the automatic transfer switch, so they get power from either the power company or the generator, depending on which is providing power at the moment. That means the circuits running off either source have to be disconnected from your current breaker box, extended (commonly) over to the new box, and hooked up. All other circuits stay on your current breaker box, to run only off the public power when it is on. If the generator is large enough capactiy for your entire house load of course it costs more, but this circuit termination point moving is not needed, so electrical work drops way off to basically a connection box with the transfer switch.

A couple of words of advice - pay attention to weather protection, fire barrier between the unit and the house (including issues of overhead decks that can catch fire), automatic fire shutoff/suppression, and trickle charging from house power to generator battery. Also read CAREFULLY your power comopany rules on generator installation (commonly requires their signoff), any code restrictions on generators and noise in your area, and if your insurance rate will go up. (It definitely does if you have a fuel tank, I don't know if it does with natural gas-fired generators.)

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Appliance Stores in Southern California, CA

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