When your appliance starts making a funny noise, you might ignore it hoping it will go away (or is that just me?). Sometimes that works, most of the time it doesn’t. A few years ago the “Start” button on our (13-year-old) Duet frontload washer was starting to break away from the dashboard (like the one in the above image). When it finally broke – it meant the washer couldn’t be used because there was no way to turn it on. Whirlpool told me I had to replace the entire electronic panel for the tidy sum of $325 (plus installation).

There had to be a better way to solve the problem without shelling out that much money. Given the age of the machine, I figured a DIY fix was worth a shot. After removing the panel face from the washer I saw that there was a broken plastic lever that was what actually started the machine. I used Crazy Glue to reattach the it, put the panel back in place and it actually worked! The repair extended the washer’s life for another year and a half until the front loader drum detached from the body  — that was a $1300 repair. I accepted defeat at that point.

Sometimes you can decide to try a DIY fix before you call the repair service. It really depends on your own comfort and skill level of “DIYness.” There are some great sites to help you diagnose and fix a problem.

Great Places to Find Appliance Repair Advice

appliance411.ca/appliance411.com. Dan O’Neill and his colleagues are great at helping diagnose problems. There is a place where you can find out how old your machine is by inputting the manufacturer, model and serial number and it will tell you when it was made. We tried it with a colleague’s new Thermador dishwasher and it was bang on. Once you’ve identified your make, model and year it was made, there are forum categories you can search to see if someone else has already had your issue. Otherwise, you can submit a question and Dan or one of the other repair people will respond in a timely manner.

Reddit. This subsite of Reddit states: “Need to fix your stove, cook-top, oven, refrigerator, washer or dryer? Thinking about buying a new one? You’ve come to the right place!” There is great info on this site about appliances and some lively conversation too.

DIYChatroom has some great advice for appliance problems – from dishwashers not draining to what to do with old, non-working stoves, the chatroom is full of people with helpful advice.

Youtube: There seem to be instruction videos for everything these days. I used Youtube to help me replace an electronic panel on my dryer. I followed the instructions and within 15 minutes, had the dryer back up and working. Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, you might want to watch the instruction video first to see how easy or complex the repair is before you order the part.

RepairClinic: If you have an appliance with electronic panels, you might get a flashing “F-2” or some other similar code when you try to turn on your appliance one day (that’s what happened to me with my dryer).  I used RepairClinic to figure out what the code meant – in my case I had to replace the electronic panel. They also have videos for installation instruction on here as well. RepairClinic has parts for a wide variety of brands, including some of the more difficult ones to track down, such as LG and Samsung.