Totem Appliance Service Blog - Vancouver, Calgary, Fraser Valley

Author: Created: 3/21/2012 6:35 AM RssIcon
Stay tuned for appliance repair information and interesting appliance topics
By Laura on 4/23/2012 5:57 AM

Are you getting what you pay for? A premium price tag doesn’t always mean a premium product.  A good example is a basic top-bottom refrigerator at a reasonably low price – many manufactures have multiple brand names but the reality is the appliance is exactly the same under the hood.  They put a different face and logo on it and sell it for a premium price. It may not be a higher quality you’re paying for, instead it may be a popular style and you could be buying a lesser quality product for a higher price tag!  The best thing to do is look under the hood.  Check out the reviews online and best option yet, talk to your appliance repair professionals.  They see these products day in and day out and can tell you which ones they do the most repairs on.  Ultimately it is up to you – what you like, what will fit into the designated appliance space and what you can afford to spend.

By Laura on 4/19/2012 12:52 PM
DIYers aren’t just one category of people. There are people like our technicians who are highly trained in what they do before they take on a task. The opposite end of this are the people that either never get to the task… or start it and never finish it… ever. Some appliance work is certainly easy enough for someone untrained to take on. For example, if your light comes on in your refrigerator to replace the water filter, most anyone can get this taken care of on their own. First off, find your owner’s manual. Success? Secondly, locate the water filter. If you can do both of these steps, give us a call at 1-877-472-4574 (toll free) with the part number (located in that manual you didn’t lose). There are a few other tasks as easy as this that we suggest to the “DIY” crowd. However, if your refrigerator has stopped keeping your food cold or sprung a leak, we would advise that you NOT try to redo the plumbing on your refrigerator or try to fix the refrigeration! Either of these tasks is far better left up to a highly...
By Laura on 4/9/2012 5:13 AM
Dishwasher smells like a dumpster? The first thing to look at if the dishwasher smells is the bottom of the basin. Pull the bottom rack out and take a look around. Sometimes the filters get clogged up or just have something floating around that didn’t make it through and started rotting. Clear those things out and wipe the bottom down with some dish detergent or baking soda and water and see if that clears things up. If that wasn’t it, check the gaskets around the edges of the washer for mold or any other buildup. Wipe them down with a cleaning agent and maybe even diluted bleach solution. Many people recommend running the wash with a cup of vinegar through an empty cycle to kill off any bacteria in places you can’t get to for cleaning. Another tip I’ve come across is running baking soda through an empty cycle to kill off odors. There are also additives that you can get from local stores made by familiar cleaning agent companies that help kill off odors. If this is a recurring issue then it’s also possible that...
By Laura on 4/2/2012 8:33 AM
Garbage disposal smells more like a sewage truck? The most common issue with garbage disposals is a buildup within the unit itself. Most people run their food waste through it with the water running but immediately shut the unit off. The blades chop up what you put in there but it slings the debris onto the outside walls of the unit which needs to be washed off. The general rule of thumb is to run at least a gallon of water through with the disposal still running after it’s done chopping (it’s a good idea to pour a little dish detergent in there too to add a cleaning agent). Unfortunately, you’re already past this stage if it smells foul. You most likely have a caked up garbage disposal and it needs more than just some water and detergent. The good news is that the best solutions I’ve come across are easy and inexpensive.

Lemons! Chop up some lemons into quarters and run those through the garbage disposal with lots of water. Leave the water and the disposal running for about 30-40 seconds. If you have a...
By Laura on 3/26/2012 8:31 AM
Your refrigerator smells? That stinks! The first step in dealing with a smelly refrigerator takes a little bit of time since the first step is cleaning it. The tricky part is getting it done before your food spoils since you really need to take everything out to be thorough. Freezer packs and coolers would come in handy if you have access to some to keep your food cold while you’re cleaning. If you don’t have enough coolers, your kitchen sink actually makes a decent cooler in a pinch. Wipe down the whole inside of the refrigerator with an all-purpose cleaner. Get every surface and especially every crack and crevice. Remove the drawers and clean every surface of those as well. Clean out the drain pan below the refrigerator (which will require you to remove the bottom panel). Be careful as you remove this pan in case it has water and/or debris in it. It’s possible you’ll need to clean the drain lines running down to the drain pan as well. Pay close attention to the seals on the doors as they can build up moisture...
By Laura on 3/21/2012 6:35 AM
Need to wash your washer? Front load washers are very efficient, using less water and less energy to get clothes clean. They also seal extremely well in order to keep them from leaking. The downside to this incredible seal is that a sealed area designed to hold in moisture becomes a hotbed for mold and other awful smelling odors. You can try to prevent these smells from ever generating by leaving the washer door open when you aren’t running a load of laundry. This can be difficult due to space or for people with small children or adventurous pets. Use only HE “high efficiency” detergents which have less residue to build up in the washer. If you can, wipe down the inside of the tub after the last load to remove the moisture. A common place for moisture to build up and create mold and mildew is the seal around the door. Grab a cloth and wipe it down with some form of bleach based solution to kill off the mold. You can also use a stronger product called Affresh which is available from our technicians and parts suppliers.

Metro Vancouver
Vancouver and Lower Fraser Valley
#110 17 Fawcett Rd., Coquitlam, B.C.
Phone: 1-866-933-1333
Service Email:
Greater Calgary
Calgary, Airdrie, Strathmore,
High River, Bragg Creek, Cochrane
Unit 2160 – 3961 52nd Ave NE, Calgary,
AB T3J 0K7
Phone: 1-877-700-5414
Service Email:
Upper Fraser Valley
Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack
Rosedale, Harrison
Phone: 1-888-909-5160
Service Email: