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 4/29/2013 5:22 AM
With the warmer weather on its way, it would be a good idea to be ready before it hits. Our refrigeration systems have to work much harder in the warmer weather in order to keep things cool.Refrigerators and freezers have a device on them that is called the condenser. This part of the appliance is similar to the radiator in a car in that it takes the heat away. This unit is only as effective as it is clean. Over time the unit can become clogged with animal hair and dust making it harder for it to dissipate the heat it pulls from the appliance. This makes the unit work harder making it less efficient and more prone to failure due to the higher temperatures the unit will reach.Take a look at your owner’s manual to find the recommended cleaning method for your particular appliance. Please note that this is considered routine maintenance so it is not covered under manufacturer’s warranty. If you want to make sure the cleaning is done properly or you don’t feel like being covered in dust and animal hair, give us a...
By Laura on 4/22/2013 6:16 AM
Laundry is a common household task that most of us do quite frequently out of necessity. The worst thing most of us can imagine happening in the laundry room is a stain not coming out or a possible tear. The truth is that many serious injuries can happen with your laundry room and around the washer especially.This is an appliance that floods with a significant amount of water and detergent. The combination of these two fluids can make for a very slippery accident if either or both get on the floor. And since they use electricity, there is also the risk of shock, which can be increasingly dangerous if there is also a leak or spill. Statistics show that 4% of all house fires in North America in 2010 were caused by clothes washing machines and another 4% by washer/dryer combination appliances.The main cause of these fires was failure to properly clean the appliances and associated hardware. Mechanical failures were also listed as a cause for some of them.The first step in preventing electrocution in the laundry room...
By Laura on 4/15/2013 7:00 AM
Totem Appliance has been providing high quality appliance repair for over 45 years now. We know what it’s like to have to keep up with changes. Changes in equipment, training, trends, and especially technology make for interesting challenges we have to meet head on to stay at the forefront of the repair industry. Lately we have been getting drastically increased viewing of our website from mobile devices. We wanted to make sure our website was just as easy for you to get the information you need from us regardless of what you’re viewing our site on. With that in mind, we made a complete overhaul of our website from head to toe. Whether you’re looking at it from your fancy new computer or smartphone or anything in between, you can now easily navigate through our website for all your appliance repair needs. Take a look around!
By Laura on 4/8/2013 6:55 AM
Every year there are household fires. We all believe that it won’t happen to us but if you’re not paying attention to things that could cause fires then you could be at higher risk than you realize. In Canada alone, statistics show that an overwhelming 41% of household fires originated in the kitchen in 2007 (according to the Council of Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners findings). Most people think of candles or fireplaces as the likely source of house fires but the truth is a lot of residential fires occur as a result of appliances. So the first thing most of us think of would be the stove, especially gas stoves since they have an open flame.  I bet you wouldn’t think of the dishwasher though.  Think again! Dishwashers account for well over a thousand structure fires in North America every year. Many injuries occurred as a result of these fires and at least two people died as a result so don’t overlook this appliance. Nearly every time a structure fire occurs, the cause is found to be negligence in...
By Laura on 4/1/2013 6:53 AM
Most of us take our dryers for granted but if you think about what they make possible, they should get more credit than we give them. The drying function they perform is also potentially dangerous if they aren’t taken care of properly. Take cloth, put it in an enclosed drum and add heat and air. This could end very badly of not treated properly. We put together a short list of things to consider when using your dryer to prevent disasters. Cloth is made up of tiny fibers made into strands through a series of magical weaving that is beyond me but when you dry your clothes these fibers separate from what you’re drying and will blow out of the dryer. Your lint trap is there to keep these fibers from making it into the tubing outside your dryer where it can build up and create blockages that would be a dangerous fire hazard. That being said, make sure you’re cleaning your lint trap before every single use to make sure it is allowing air to flow freely out of the dryer and not creating a blockage itself. Make sure the venting pipes coming out of the dryer are not bent, restricted, or pinched in any way. Restrictions can create higher temperatures in the dryer and vent tubes allowing potentially dangers you should avoid....
By Laura on 3/25/2013 8:43 AM
We live in the age of information.  We no longer even have to sit down at a computer to look something up. We can literally be walking down the street and push a button to tell our phones to look something up for us. Manufacturers and servicers have been keeping this in mind as technology moves forward.  The smartphone has changed everything. Even appliances are being built with smart phones in mind! At this point, if you forgot to shut your dryer off before you left your house you can connect to your dryer and shut it off from the road! But don’t worry, you can tell it to start back up as soon as you get home. Many new refrigerators are equipped with a sensor that alerts you with an audible alarm to let you know if the doors are left open. Imagine if it sent a message to your phone as well. Better yet, imagine if you could check with your phone to make sure your oven or surface elements weren’t left on. One manufacturer is even talking about making their robot vacuum cleaner accessible remotely. Clean...
By Laura on 3/18/2013 8:10 AM
We use cloth so frequently in our everyday lives that cleaning it just becomes an instinctual process. Throw like colours in the washer, add detergent, push buttons and wait for the alarm then throw everything in the dryer and start the next washer load. What most people don’t realize is that the appliance doing all that cleaning may need a cleaning from time to time itself! Clothes washers use detergents that tend to build up in hard to clean areas. Not to mention all the residue and grime that builds up while we’re doing the laundry. Take some paper towels and an all-purpose cleaner and wipe down the top and outsides of the washer. Scrub down the inside of the washer lid with a mildew cleaner or a vinegar and water solution. Be sure to thoroughly clean the seal around the door if it is a front-load washer.  Remove all fluids dispensers and scrub them down in the sink. If you appear to be getting a buildup in the tub itself, a good trick is to run the washer empty with two cups of vinegar or lemon juice...
By Laura on 3/11/2013 5:44 AM
Many manufacturers are building appliances in North American plants but it’s pretty much impossible to find any appliance that’s North American from the ground up. Viking, Dacor, Sub-Zero, and Wolf are some of the companies producing appliances in North American factories. Sub-Zero even acquired a manufacturing facility in Arizona with the intentions of increasing quality control for the products they’re selling. Whirlpool, Maytag (which is owned by Whirlpool), and GE manufacture appliances in North America as well as overseas. Some foreign-owned companies even manufacture in North America such as Bosch and Electrolux.  Interestingly enough, many manufacturers produce some appliances in North America while others may be made in another country entirely and where the parts were manufactured is even harder to track. In order to acquire the “Made in America” sticker, an appliance must have all of its “significant parts” and processing in the U.S. otherwise it might still be able to grab a “Made in the U.S.A....
By Laura on 3/4/2013 9:13 AM
There are a lot of things that we can deal with procrastinating a little on but when an awful smell is emanating from an appliance, it’s hard to ignore. Here are a few quick tips for how to get rid of smells as quickly as possible. If you accidentally burn something in the microwave, the smell can be a reminder of your mistake for a long time.  The entire house could smell like burnt hair if you really goofed and no one wants to smell that! Believe it or not, tea does wonders for microwave stench. Fill a cup halfway with water and put a single tea bag in it. Cook it on low for five minutes then let it sit in there for another 5 to 10 minutes. If the smell doesn’t go away, repeat it daily until it does. Scrubbing the inside with a water and baking soda can go a long way in eliminating odors. Ovens cook our food and for the most part the food that spills over during the cooking process gets burned off. Some of the residual leftovers can start to smell. The first step in dealing with this is cleaning out anything...
By Laura on 2/18/2013 9:32 AM
Steam has been around for a long time. It used to power huge locomotives, automobiles, and we all still use it today for limited purposes. Most of us are familiar with that whistling sound that signifies our water is ready for tea. Other than that, steam has all but… lost its steam. This is changing now that different companies are discovering uses for steam in appliances. Many of us own or have used steam cleaners and discovered their impressive carpet and upholstery cleaning qualities but did you know steam cleaners can also clean countertops to get you back to a new looking finish?  Many dishwashers have started introducing steam cleaning functions. Steam can get hotter than water so it’s not surprising that people like this function from a sanitation standpoint. Many of us see steam cleaners in dentist’s offices or doctors’ offices to sanitize tools before they are used on patients. It may be overkill in our homes since an effective dishwasher should kill off bacteria at its current temperatures with...
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