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 9/24/2012 7:36 AM
We have grown so accustomed to the conveniences our household appliances offer that we seldom realize how much our daily lives are dependent on them until they inconveniently take a break on us (pun intended). Our washing machines make it possible for us to take up just a few moments cleaning laundry not to mention where we’d be without our refrigerators! Can you imagine not having the ability to keep your food cold? Our appliances are so important to our daily lives that they can instantly change our schedules if something goes wrong with them!  We thought we’d write some information from our standpoint that may help you get your schedule back on track as quickly as possible. When something goes wrong with any of your appliances, there is some information that you can put together to make the scheduling process go much more smoothly and get your problem fixed as quickly as possible.  First off, safely get your appliance’s make, model, and serial number. This helps us pull up the right information on...
By Laura on 9/17/2012 11:14 AM
All sorts of vent hoods have come out with different purposes in mind. Some suck the air up, some pull the air back, some act as a downdraft inhaling the cooking fumes directly down. There are all sorts of companies that make beautiful and unique hoods that look like chandeliers or ornate cabinetry or flat panels or… you name it! One thing I’ve been seeing a lot more of lately are motorized vents that move to the optimum position for functionality then retract to a less obstructive position when they’re not in use or disappear entirely becoming flush with the appliance or counter. Some of them come up from the back and pull the air back or pop up from the center and suck the air into the center of the oven. Many of these have built-in charcoal filters to recirculate the air and eliminate the need to vent outside. They can also be equipped with LED lighting to shed some light on your cooking experience. They often come in various stainless and glass construction depending on the look you’re going for or the appliance it is matching up with. A bunch of the major appliance manufacturers are building these motorized vent hoods into some of the appliances themselves....
By Laura on 9/10/2012 10:56 AM
Everything breaks down with time regardless of how much it’s worth. Knowing how long an appliance will last can help you plan accordingly so you’re not surprised into making a major purchase. The lifespan of some appliances has increased thanks to advances in technology, while it has decreased in others due to various other reasons. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducted a study on the longevity of housing components. Many of the manufacturers, trade associations, and researchers surveyed emphasized that the life expectancy of all appliances is “largely affected by the quality of the maintenance performed on them”.  Regular maintenance can go a long way in getting the full life out of an appliance. Regular water filter replacements not only improves water quality but also keeps hard water deposits from building up and causing damage to your appliances. Emptying out the lint trap before every use reduces hazards and keeps the dryer from struggling to force air through a buildup of wet lint. Fully cleaning out cooking appliances can keep vents from getting clogged and prevent any other potentially dangerous issues that can result from a lack of cleaning....
By Laura on 9/4/2012 11:26 AM
A lot of innovations have been made in the appliance industry over the years allowing functionality to make things easier while working in the kitchen. Refrigerators have taken on some of the biggest advancements in functionality. Over the years, refrigerator doors have gone from flat doors that serve solely as the function of closing up the refrigerator to outside temperatures to becoming one of the most useful storage areas on the appliance. Now they have multiple shelves that serve alternating functions and can be raised and lowered depending on their purpose. They also now hold quite high weight ratings so you can load them up with as many drink cartons or other heavy contents as you need to without worrying about tearing the doors off. One other nice feature about this is the accessibility since the doors open out essentially making the contents come out into the room for ease of reach. Many of these door bins are large enough to accommodate up to full size gallon water and milk jugs so you’re not even...
By Laura on 8/27/2012 11:26 AM
Studies show that the average home uses $1,300 to $1,900 in energy costs every year. Energy Star rated appliances can cut $400 - $600 off that figure. Energy Star is a standard generated by the U.S. government back in 1992 with the intentions of reducing power consumption and greenhouse emissions generated by power plants.   In order to qualify for Energy Star ratings, a product has to deliver features and performance that are demanded by consumers plus they have to deliver certain standards of efficiency. If the product costs more than an appliance in the same category, it needs to make up for the added cost by recovering the investment through savings within a reasonable amount of time. Energy savings must be able to be measured and verified through testing. Labeling of Energy Star rated appliances also make the standards visible for consumers. Energy Star appliances use up to %50 less water than standard models making water savings a huge incentive. The less water that gets used; the less water is polluted...
By Laura on 8/20/2012 6:01 AM
We’ve all seen the remakes of old movies with everything styled in beautiful, soft-edge styles and bright colors. Many appliance manufacturers have caught on to what the film, fashion, and automobile industry manufacturers realized a long time. Fashions come back around. Many companies are now making appliances with a retro look to them. Ranges, refrigerators, washers and dryers and many others can be found with that early era feel.  Refrigerators seem to be the most common to be seen resembling older style ice boxes from an era long forgotten with the implementation of electricity and refrigerant. They often have rounded off edges and a much softer look as well as large metallic handles and hardware. Sometimes you’ll even see them adorn vibrant colors or pastels from earlier eras. Don’t be fooled by the appearance though, these cooling appliances are packed with all the technology for efficient, low-maintenance cooling unlike the models they’re designed to look like. Washers and dryers have obviously come...
By Laura on 8/15/2012 6:20 AM
Hard water is caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium sulphates and/or chlorides which causes a lot of interesting problems for appliances. Hard water affects an estimated 85% of North American households. Dishwashers can make quite the display of hard water problems. They will leave spots and a hazy film on your dishes. The minerals that make water hard are released faster when they come into contact with heat which exaggerates the problem. 

This is not a health risk but it can be embarrassing and a royal pain if you take the time to clean the film off your dishes after already washing them! Hard water can change your laundry as well. The minerals combined with soils can team up and leave your clothes feeling stiff and scratchy as well as break down the materials of the clothes sometimes cutting their life almost in half.
By Laura on 8/6/2012 10:48 AM
There are many things that cause a refrigerator to break down but some of them can easily be avoided. A refrigerator runs off a liquid based cooling system. This system has an intricate network of parts on the exterior of the unit that all have to stay clean and free of debris. If any part of this system gets covered or stuffed with dust, the whole system will be working harder to make up for the obstruction and can eventually fail. The efficiency loss aside, this can be a costly replacement or repair when you consider that all you need is a brush and a few minutes twice a year to clean your refrigerator.  Take a look at your owner’s manual to see how to take the front plate and back plate off your refrigerator and gently pull out all the junk that has accumulated on your appliance. Keep in mind that you will need a strong back to pull the refrigerator out, and a strong stomach to deal with what you may find in and around it.  Failure to keep your condenser coils clean is the number 1 cause of condenser failure...
By Laura on 7/30/2012 11:24 AM
Front load washers have made a huge impact in the washing machine industry primarily because of their efficiency both in water and energy savings. They also hold the standard in space efficiency since they are front loading and can be stacked. They are gentler with clothes since they let gravity do most of the work instead of a central agitator tugging on the clothes. That being said, they have their drawbacks as well. One of the most discussed is the higher price tag. It is argued that in most circumstances the energy savings pays for the higher price tag in a relatively short time period. Another drawback is the build-up of mold in the air tight cylinders. This can be dealt with fairly easily but it’s maintenance that isn’t required on the top load machines. While some of them have been designed to allow the door to be opened to add clothes after the wash has begun up until the last cycle, many of them still can’t. Top-load machines generally offer a higher capacity. This is at the cost of a less efficienct...
By Laura on 7/23/2012 8:50 AM
Plug it in! This may sound ridiculous but you’d be amazed how often this is the first and only step in fixing an appliance. We don’t always know how it happens but somehow cords come loose or get disconnected. We love helping our customers but unfortunately we can’t send out technicians for free to plug appliances back in.

If there was any one tip I could give customers before they call us, it is to please check to make sure your appliance is tightly plugged in! Sometimes it is just vibration from the appliance such as a washing or drying machine that dislodges its own cord. Sometimes it happens when moving something for cleaning or spillage reasons. The rest of the time it’s usually a mystery but trust us, it makes for an awkward visit if the technician just has to plug your microwave back in for you! Take a look at our Checklist for a few other things to check before calling us.
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: