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 6/25/2012 12:07 PM
Many people consider trash compactors to be an upscale appliance. What people don’t take into consideration is how much better these appliances are for the environment. They can compress trash to 20% of the space it would normally take up. This means 80% less landfill space will be consumed by your trash. Not to mention, that much less space will be taken up on the trash truck saving in gas and emissions on the garbage disposal end. There’s also the fringe benefit that you don’t have to take out the garbage as much! Trash compactors come in both under-counter and stand-alone models. Stand-alone models don’t require fabrication of your kitchen and come in many different styles. Some of them just look like a regular trash can… with a cord.

Please remember to also recycle cans, bottles and cardboard wherever you can – this helps our landfills even more!

By Laura on 6/18/2012 10:13 AM
If your water has a strange taste or smell it’s probably because your water filter is overdue for a replacement. The problem is that there is no exact time for when you should replace your water filter so it can be difficult to determine when it should be replaced. Manufacturers try to set a specific quantity of water that the filter can handle before it needs to be replaced, usually set in gallons. The number that the manufacturer throws out isn’t that easy to calculate. The manufacturers take figures from outside filter manufacturers or sometimes run their own private tests. Either way, they’re not using your water. They are using a control water group, which means their test results are highly unlikely to match the exact life expectancy of a filter using your water. Your water quality makes a huge difference in the life of your filter. There are many variables that effect water, such as water table, septic waste or seepage, soil absorption, chemicals treating the water. Any variance in these can make a drastic...
By Laura on 6/11/2012 10:48 AM
Even though you have four elements on your stove (or more), having one out of commission can be a hassle. There is something you can try before having a technician out. Try replacing the element first. If you tend to go through elements more often than you think is normal, consider your cooking habits. Regular coil elements are meant for cooking a meal for one family, and if you find yourself cooking for long periods of time or at high heats you may want to consider replacing your regular coil elements with canning elements. Available at any parts supplier, canning elements are meant for just that – canning. They are designed to withstand higher temperatures for longer periods of time. They might just be your element solution! If a replacement element, canning or regular, doesn't solve your problem feel free to give us a call and we will be able to help you! Go to our PARTS page if you need help finding the correct part for your stove,...
By Laura on 6/4/2012 5:44 AM
Many trends have come and gone sometimes without ever leaving an impression. Others have made big waves but washed away just as quickly. Here are a few more trends that are hitting the markets: Outdoor kitchens are becoming a popular trend, believe it or not. This trend is generally catered to those that have “extra money to spend” but more simple designs can be incorporated relatively inexpensively. They generally consist of some central outdoor grill, but here’s where it gets interesting… There are often cooling or heating units integrated into the mix. Some people go to the extreme of adding sinks, refrigerators, griddles, storage, roasting pits, you name it! Some of the most lavish We’ve seen have all of these built into stone counters around patios with bar height seating and countertops as well as designer roofing to make sure the party can’t get rained out. Oh and don’t forget the custom stereo integrated into the structure. The last major trend change in clothes washing appliances came with the...
By Laura on 5/29/2012 11:28 AM
We have all seen several trends come and go, sometimes without realizing it. So many juicers and various small-scale cooking devices have flooded the markets and left almost as quickly. Some stuck around long enough to be useful but eventually lost popularity… i.e. foreman grill… Anyways, the same is true of full scale appliances. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re paying for an increase in quality for a product or just a premium for its popularity. I’m going to do my best to break down a few past and current trends to help you figure out what is worth spending your money on. First off, stainless steel is a touchy subject but it seems to finally be just about preference more than about its popularity as a trend. Some people still swear by it despite its cold feel and the hassle of trying to keep fingerprints off it… It has a very classy look but beware that when there are too many appliances and large-scale appliances, a kitchen with too much steel can quickly look more like an operating room if you’re...
By Laura on 5/21/2012 11:25 AM
Fear not! These may just be normal operating sounds. Your refrigerator has an evaporator, located in your freezer section (hidden away from view) that accumulates frost during the cooling process. When the refrigerator goes into a defrost cycle, a heater element switches on to help melt this frost off the evaporator. On occasion, the melting frost will come in contact with the element causing a hissing sound. Some refrigerator models will have vent slits on the back panel and this element may be visible when it’s on, glowing red. Don’t be alarmed, it’s doing its job. A cracking noise may also be heard during this defrost cycle. It will sound like snow crunching under your foot. As the frost is melting off the evaporator the change in state will cause that crunching/cracking sound. This is also another normal sound of your refrigerator during this cycle. These sounds will only be heard during this defrost cycle. If you hear more rhythmic or pronounced sounds don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy...
By Laura on 5/10/2012 5:21 AM
You may be thinking about buying a huge refrigerator just to accommodate the few times that it gets “stuffed” (i.e. Thanksgiving!). This may seem like good reasoning but you may want to reconsider. Try to plan out the refrigerator size you purchase based on regular use. Odds are that you wouldn’t be able to keep all the food that you put in there at the times that you stuff it anyways. When you consider the wasted energy of cooling a larger unit than you need year-round, it may actually cost less to invest in a compact fridge or freezer to use briefly on those rare occasions. This way you wouldn’t be cooling a larger space than you need to all year!
By Laura on 5/8/2012 10:02 AM
Clothes are woven from soft fabrics to provide flexibility, breathability and comfort. Over time, the fabric begins to deteriorate even if it is not washed and dried. The agitator of a washing machine will loosen these fibers from the cloth in the form of lint. We can certainly see the result when the clothes are placed in a clothes dryer. Placed in a dryer and spun around while hot air blows onto them creates a static friction that compounds the process. Dryers need to dispense their hot air exhaust and a lint trap or screen helps to block most of the loose fabric from entering the exhaust vent. If not properly cleaned, the lint trap or lint screen will trap the gathered loose fabric and choke the exhaust of the dryer. This means it takes longer to dry the clothes. It also creates a fire hazard. Many clothes and cloth material are not flame retardant. Placed inside the drum of a dryer with hot air created by a heating element or open flame, dryer lint can easily catch on fire. To make sure your dryer is running...
By Laura on 4/30/2012 11:01 AM
A lot of people get to the point where they want a nicer, more efficient refrigerator. What do you do with the old one? It’s still working and you could have to pay to get rid of it. It would be nice to have the extra refrigerating space. Keeping the old one around may be more expensive of an idea than you think. Newer refrigerators are far more efficient than older models. You would probably use far less energy if you got a larger refrigerator instead of holding on to two. Even if you did have a second refrigerator, depending on how much energy your old one uses, a smaller new second refrigerator may pay for itself in a year or two just in energy savings. You’d be surprised!   Here’s a helpful little chart to illustrate this point. Year Manufactured Estimated Annual Energy Cost* 1972 $302.01 1990 $135.45 2003 (Energy Star) $65.62 * Based on 2010 average Kilowatt cost

Hint: Ask before you purchase an appliance if they offer free removal of your old appliance in case you do want to get rid...
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.

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
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Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack
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Phone: 1-888-909-5160
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