The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 7, 1997 · Page 377
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 377

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 7, 1997
Page 377
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, 34, THE PALM, BEACH. POST, 8ESJDECE ADVERTISING SECTON k t v 1 1 T i : i 1 SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1 997 " " ' iii.iflUtltllll a' it Realtors Find This Book Very Moving. Appliance repairs send owners running for help Barnett's Newcomers Guide will answer all your pospect's questions and give then more valuable information than any other source . . with your compliments! ! ! It's free and it's fast! (We'll send them a guide within 48m hours.) And it's full of useful information, including: 'Vt- il . 4 i I U-3 ' ' -Mwiir A free map of Palm Beach County complete from Tequesta to Boca How to get their driver's license, turn on utilities and register to vote How to register children for school Florida's Homestead Exemption Information on Palm Beach County's golf courses Barnett. Ideas ForThe WayVou Live." Just give us a call at : (561) 835-6661 ( il repair business in Latham, N.Y. "To make any repairs on the tub in a washer, you have to have a special set of tools." Always be aware of what it would cost to buy the appliance new before taking it to be repaired and always ask for an estimate before work is done. If the repair price is high and you plan to keep the appliance, ask for a 90-day written guarantee on the labor, instead of the usual 30 days. Pickett noted that some appliance repairs are difficult for consumers who don't have the specialized know-how. "Plus it's harder to get inside the appliance," Pickett said. "Not only do you need special tools to get inside and to do the job, but most of these new appliances contain a lot of electronics, making it almost next to impossible to repair something unless you're factory-trained." The microwave is one appliance that should definitely be fixed by a professional, warned the professionals, because a jolt of high voltage can hurt the someone who doesn't know what he or she is doing. Pickett said that in general it isn't worth repairing anything if it costs more than half of what the appliance cost new. "It might take $250 to repair a Magic Chef automatic clothes washer that's out of warranty and about 6 or 7 years old," Pickett said. "It takes at least four hours to repair the transmission." Even though they cost less than large appliances, small appliances aren't always worth repairing, the service experts said. "Just the initial hourly rate to repair it could end up costing half or more of what you originally paid for the item," said Feiden. "You can buy stereos and CD players for as little as $99, and the service cost on these can cost as much as $50 to $60. Sometimes repairs on these small items can put more stress on other parts of the circuitry, causing the board to burn out in 30 days." "But then again, most appliances, large or small, don't carry long life expectancies today," added Feiden. "Years ago the life of a refrigerator, washer, dryer was 25 years or more, depending on its use. Today they are all about 10 years. The good part is that the new cost of these drops a little each year." When it comes to warranties on small appliances, Andy Mirabile, vice president of Lake Electronics in Colonie, N.Y., said manufacturers do not often keep track of returned warranty cards. All the consumer really needs is to keep track of the proof-of-purchase receipt. "If a smalf appliance breaks, just send it back to the manufacturer," Mirabile said. "The manufacturer will replace it, because it's cheaper than trying to repair it. If a product is close to the code date, manufacturers won't give you much trouble, and especially if there is a product recall. They usually have all of that on file." Extended warranties may be available at the time of purchase. If an extended warranty is going to cost half as much as the replacement of the appliance, it's usually wiser to forget it, according to appliance experts. However, paying extra for an extended warranty may be worthwhile for an expensive appliance. By FRANCES INGRAHAM Albany Times Union Appliances. They help to make our lives run smoothly and afford us more, leisure time. But when they malfunction, they can be the bane of modern existence. "One man called just before the Christmas holidays to order a dishwasher part," said Adrienne Ilattaway, a Sears employee in Mobile, Ala. "He said his wife threatened to divorce him if she had to wash dishes over the holidays." He got the part and resolved the domestic strife. Yet when it comes to repairs, some people aren't too handy. "Just replacing the light bulb in a refrigerator can be complicated for many people," said Kim Pickett, the owner of All Brand Appliance Service in Troy, N.Y. "I can't tell you how many calls I get to replace refrigerator light bulbs, and that's no joke." Unless you're a handyman or an engineer, most people shy away from tackling any appliance repairs, Pickett said. You can buy a repair manual for appliances, or a specific appliance, and then nine out of 10 times inexperienced people will try to make the repair themselves, according to Pickett's experience. But only about one out of six will actually do the job. "Even then, there are times when the do-it-yourself consumer will finally call and say, 'Well, I tried to repair it, but the project was a bit more complicated than I anticipated," Pickett said. "Other times, they'll end up buying numerous parts that they don't need, costing them three times the amount of a professional repair job. Say new burners were installed (on a stove), when the problem may have been the terminal block." When calling a repair service, it is best to ask about charges in advance, and check warranties to see if any repairs are covered by the manufacturer. Many manufacturers of major appliances offer an 800 number for self-help, in an attempt to save the consumer time and money. In the early 1990s, Sears Roebuck and Co., America's largest supplier of household items, established Sears Tele-parts, a national service for do-it-yourselfers who want to fix their own appliances but don't have access locally to the right parts. By calling (800) 366-PART, customers can get access to both common and unusual parts, pieces and owner's manuals, for most major brand appliances. In 1996, Teleparts sold more than 34,000 timer knobs for laundry dryers, almost 29,000 sheer bolts for lawn and garden equipment and more than 13,000 vacuum cleaner belts. Many common appliance repairs include replacement of the driving belts on washing machines and dryers and new heating elements on an electric stove. However, some of the new models of washers and dryers are becoming more difficult to repair for the layman. "To change the belt on a General Electric washer, you have to first remove the motor in order to get to it," said Earl B. Feiden, general manager of an appliance Trudy & Ray Hoagland CERTIFIED RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS LIFE MEMBERS MILLION DOLLAR CLUB Medallion Club Commendable Service Award Realtor of the Year GimelStObQBetter Realty Inc. I i ITS 1 1 50 South U.S. 1 Jupiter, FL 33477 (561) 7450 111 Toll Free 1-800-228-2087 BrokersRealtors it- 1; I DIRECT RIVER AT RIVERBEND! JUPITER OCEANFRONT ?RR ?BTH condo riaht ON THE BEACH! Security, garage, Lovely views S breezes from this 2nd fl. entry TH in super condition. Many upgrades added window in master, cove ceiling in kitchen. Super at $88.5001 rjool. spa tennis. Available now. Owner MUST sell. Asks 1151,900 -wants oner Y' b.lh win i in hi mi. . ') - an ' "-.. i . -is - -. T .TV- i'f i i)J RIVERBEND. . .PRIVATE GOLF! JUPITER INLET COLONY Jupiter's quiet gem Private town surrounded by Ocean J Intra-coastal, strictly residential. Roomy, right & modem 32, with family mt. & large tiled porch & room for pool. Estate ordered sale priced barely over land value alone $304,900 Seller wiU entertain all offers between 59K 69K! Mint condition' White & Bnght with Berber. NEW Maytag stove S hood, newer AC. water heater, Refnq., washer S dryer. Challenging PRIVATE golf course, also tennis1

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