The Internet is crammed full of advice from experts, diy enthusiasts, and well intentioned people in forums. Millions of people try to repair their own appliances so it’s impossible to stop them. Whitegoodshelp has lots of useful advice but is very big on safety. If you must try to do diy repairs at least check out my many useful safety tips.
DIY Repairs Safety
Stay Safe: These articles are all related to DIY safety but not in a patronising way. After 30 years experience carrying out repairs I've learnt about and experienced many safety related issues and have important advice to share with anyone contemplating fixing their own appliances.
Electric shock is the first thing most people would think of if asked about the potential dangers of fixing your own washing machine or white goods appliance, but there are other potential dangers too. Although this advice was written about washing machines much of it is applicable to any appliance. Some of these points may be common sense, others may be something you hadn’t thought of, or at least be handy reminders of things you already knew (in the back of your mind).
Can you still get an electric shock repairing an appliance if it’s turned off?
Yes. If you touch any electrical parts inside an appliance don’t rely on any on/off switches because potentially, you could still get electrocuted. Always remove the plug from the socket, or if the appliance is hard wired into a switched socket remove the fuse. Always test for electricity with a neon screwdriver or other method, and never assume anything. You can also receive a shock from some appliances when they are totally unplugged.
Trying to repair something you’re not trained to do can be dangerous, or just costly. Many people want – or need – to try, and as there’s countless advice on the Internet this page at least tries to give good safety advice. It’s not a list of patronising obvious advice, it comes from a repairman with 30 years experience – and plenty of electric shocks and close shaves. If you aren’t experienced you shouldn’t attempt involved DIY repairs on appliances, but even if you are competent and experienced at DIY repairs you should still find useful tips or reminders on this page. Remember, complacency is dangerous.
Warning – Some washing machines can give an electric shock even when unplugged. Some models of Hotpoint washing machines (and potentially many other brands) can electrocute up to 5 minutes AFTER the washing machine has been unplugged. This is not a concern for an ordinary user but if you are attempting a diy washing machine repair do not touch the main PCB or any capacitor until the washing machine has been unplugged for over 5 minutes. In fact don’t touch anything for at least five minutes.