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 1/28/2013 7:55 AM
Since 1850 people have been able to enjoy the luxury of being able to throw dishes into an appliance to get clean dishes. The first models were hand operated but still didn’t require hand washing! The next major step was in the 1920s when they started hooking dishwashers up to permanent plumbing. That was when the innovation started as well. They started adding racks and soap dispensers for soaps that could perform different functions. Many times when someone is having trouble with their dishwasher not doing its job correctly, it’s actually just because they aren’t using the correct detergent. But how do you know what the correct detergent is? The purpose of detergents is to aid in cleaning dishes but there are so many types of detergents let alone number of brands carrying those different types. We can’t begin to discuss every combination of brand and type of detergent but we can shed some light on the different types of detergents and hopefully help you pick out what should work best for you. Since phosphates...
By Laura on 1/16/2013 1:12 PM
We have seen and heard so many ideas on how to clean a refrigerator that it would make your head spin. We’ve heard everything from home-made pastes and scents and cleaning agents to creating contraptions. The most effective method of cleaning a refrigerator is just doing it! You don’t need fancy three part hand-churned pastes with vanilla extract. I’m sure they smell great but unless you want a refrigerated potpourri box, just get whatever the owner’s manual suggests for cleaner types and take the time to clean out your refrigerator from time to time. As for the areas you might be missing when you’re going at it, we can shed some light on a few things that may help you be more thorough and maybe even get you some energy savings out of it. Refrigerators work by running fluids through a series of coils and contraptions that in short shed off heat. They are only as effective as they are clean. If you roll your refrigerator out far enough to see the mechanics on the back, you will likely see dust and other debris...
By Laura on 1/14/2013 6:26 AM
Cloth is amazing. We wear it. We sleep in it. We carry it. We sit on it. We use it for everything! One thing is for certain though… it gets dirty! You could just rinse stuff off but some of the dirt and oils and even smells will still be there unless you use the right cleaner. As far as laundry goes, there are two basic types of laundry detergents; liquid and powder. It got a little more confusing lately with the new front-load washers and “high-efficiency” washers. Typical top-loading washing machines take a conventional detergent and don’t work particularly well on high efficiency detergents. On the other hand, high-efficiency washers function very poorly with conventional detergents and can even junk up the washer and leave the clothes poorly cleaned. There are powder and liquid detergents available for both conventional top-load washers and high-efficiency washers. There are also some detergents that are dual-use but they might not be the best for what you need. This is very important to take note of...
By Laura on 1/9/2013 8:04 AM
Washers used to be such a simple appliance. You’d turn a dial and push a button and off it goes filling up with water, agitating, draining, filling, agitating, draining, spinning, done! Now we have all sorts of electronics that have made everything more efficient, clean clothes better, and even prolong the life of your clothes. These are all great things but everything comes with a cost. I’m not just referring to the price tag which we all know has gone up as well! I’m talking about how much everything has gotten complicated. If your washer isn’t draining properly, it may just have something clogged in the line. Or it could be the pump, or the computer could be stuck between cycles, or not allowing it to drain because it thinks it’s already empty, or the computer could be bad altogether. Complicated! If you’re handy enough, try to check the drain hose for kinks or a blockage but be extremely careful that you don’t create a flood in your home. Check the lid...
By Laura on 12/20/2012 1:07 PM
If you’re reading this, then apparently we’ve all survived the end of the world. Since we’re all still around we should probably start those New Year’s resolutions after all. I’d start off with simple stuff like filling in the schedule that you left blank past the 20th. There are a lot of things that you could do differently going into 2013. For one, you could start reading our blogs since they’re full of marvelous information! Plus, we have a fantastic Facebook page that you could “Like” and a Twitter feed that we tweet on like it’s our job... because it is.  We are an appliance repair company first and foremost but our job is to provide a quality service to our customers and in doing so, we have learned a LOT about appliances and have a great deal of information that could help you save money. We are extremely thankful for our customers and those of you who have given us repeat business and recommend us to your friends. Thank you for your business in 2012 and we promise to continue to provide the best...
By Laura on 12/20/2012 1:03 PM
As we are cartwheeling into the holiday season, make sure you aren’t putting yourself or others in danger. As we get busy, we sometimes overlook potential hazards and sometimes misusing appliances or not being conscious of the potential hazards if neglected and cause serious bodily harm. Please take a minute to read these quick tips for safety’s sake and have a wonderful holiday season! Never turn on appliances and leave them unattended. If you are taking off for several days, don’t fire up your dryer or rush cooking something and forget to turn off your oven! Double-check that every major appliance (except refrigerators) are turned off before taking off on trips. Even washers can be a potential hazard as they could potentially flood if left unattended. Turn off your main water valve! As you’re decorating, keep in mind what could cause safety hazards. Lights and decorations can be beautiful but make sure you’re not hanging anything flammable over the stove. Avoid putting any decorations over the cooking surface if possible and only put non-flammable decorations on top of the stove....
By Laura on 12/17/2012 6:26 AM
When we get into a cooking project, it’s not uncommon to lose sight of some simple things that could be potentially dangerous like leaving a burner on after we’re done using it or worse. There are a lot of things you should be sure to not overlook when it comes to safety in the kitchen. Here are a few that come to mind: While you’re cooking, make sure the handles of pots and pans are turned inwards to avoid hitting them or bumping them and knocking them off the stove. Only use potholders that are dry. If one gets wet or gets cooking oil on it, put it somewhere you won’t accidentally use it. If you grab a scorching hot item with a wet potholder, the liquid can transfer the heat right to your hand as if you weren’t even using a potholder! When moving boiling liquids, be extremely careful to avoid splashing.  This may seem straightforward but take the time to make sure your path to where you’re moving something to is clear so there’s no way you could trip or bump anything causing you to drop or splash the liquids....
By Laura on 12/10/2012 6:16 AM
Microwaves can make quick work of many things you need to cook. Unfortunately, they can also start fires very quickly if you’re not careful. Metal objects in the microwave can spark and start fires very easily so never use aluminum foil or metal objects. Be careful that even your coffee mugs don’t have any metal accents or anything that could set off a fire when you’re heating your coffee. Only use microwave safe containers and dishes in the microwave to avoid melting or breaking. Melting plastic can cause spills but hard containers that aren’t capable of withstanding rapid temperature changes could not only rupture in the microwave but even worse could rupture when cold air hits it as you open the door.  When you open containers, make sure you open them away from your face so no hot contents pop up into your face including any hot steam. This as well as using a hot pad to handle the container should help you avoid burns. ...
By Laura on 12/3/2012 6:08 AM
Cooking is the number one cause of house fires. Most of us have sat around a bonfire at some point roasting marshmallows and chatting. Fires are great when they’re somewhere they’re supposed to be and are kept contained. If you’ve ever had something ignite in your home then you know this doesn’t bring any of those good feelings. Oven fires are extremely dangerous and unfortunately more common than most of us want to admit. Sometimes all it takes is leaving something on a heater coil that boiled over from the last baking project and the bottom of your oven erupts into flame when you open the door. The most important safety advice is to never leave cooking unattended. At the very least, check on what you’re cooking every 20 – 30 minutes and never leave the house while anything is cooking. Turn off any cooking appliance as soon as you’re done cooking to make sure you don’t forget to. Keep appliances clean and wipe all surfaces of any debris from spills or crumbles. Be particularly diligent in keeping your oven...
By Laura on 11/26/2012 12:04 PM
Cooking appliances are essential if you cook a lot. They are particularly vital when you’ve gone through all the efforts to prepare a meal only to discover that your oven isn’t up to the task. If you are trying desperately to get your oven going in a pinch, here are a few guidelines to help you diagnose your problems in case it’s something that can be easily fixed to get back to preparing a meal: Gas Range:

It doesn’t work at all: Check to make sure it’s getting power. Check for tripped circuit breakers or a blown fuse. Check the wall socket for power by plugging something else in. Top burner doesn’t work: This could just be a clogged burner so check to make sure it is clean and free from any obstructions. If your model has a spark igniter instead of a pilot, the problem could be very difficult to diagnose and you’re likely better calling in the experts. It doesn’t bake: first off, make sure your oven is set to manual bake and it’s not on a timer. If that isn’t it, the most common problem is a burned...
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