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Understanding the Basics of Kitchen Appliance Repair

Kitchen Appliance RepairUnlike in olden days, today housewives have to deal a lot with electricity. Why? It’s because there are so many appliances in kitchens all running on electricity. So, it won’t be wrong if we learn about electricity, currents, voltage and similar things, we can understand the basics of fixing small problems with our kitchen appliances before calling professionals. So, let’s learn.

As mentioned earlier, electricity provides the energy that powers our appliances. Current arrives to the appliances through the hot (normally black) wire and passes out through the neutral (normally white) wire. The current is moved with the help of a power known as voltage.

Most household systems contain around 120 volts in the hot wire and the neutral wire contains zero volts. Because of this difference in the voltage, electric current passes between the two wires and your appliance is powered.

There are 3 kinds of small, household, portable appliances. Some of them such as coffee makers or toasters heat something. Others like vacuum cleaners or food processors move something. And a few others like hair dryers do both.

You can easily learn your Viking appliance repair if there is a small fault and there is an emergency, before you can call a professional repair service.

Heating Appliances

In heating appliances, electrical energy is converted to heat, which is used further to warm coffee, toast bread, dry hair and do many such tasks. The current passes through a special wire known as an element and heat is generated. As it’s difficult for the electricity to pass through the element some of the energy is converted to heat. So much of the energy of the electric current is used to overcome the resistance of the element that it starts glowing bright red, e.g. in a toaster, and thus the bread is toasted.

This same principle is used in other heating appliances too like electric fry pans, clothing irons, waffle irons, griddles, woks, deep fryers, food dehydrators, convection ovens, rice cookers, espresso and cappuccino machines, popcorn poppers, iced tea makers, indoor grills and slow and steam cookers. Once you learn the basic working of these heating appliances and how to repair issues in them, you can repair any of them.


Motor Appliances

In motor appliances, electricity is converted into movement. This energy can be used to open cans, cut and blend foods, pick up dirt, move air and grind waste. Electrical energy is converted by a motor into magnetic energy that rotates a shaft the end of which may have a blade or some other attachment which then does these works.

Motor appliances working on this principle are garbage disposer, can openers, canister and upright vacuum cleaners, coffee maker and grinders, juicers, electric knives, electric pencil sharpeners, humidifiers, rotary-head and foil-head electric shavers, fans and electric clocks.

Combination Appliances

In some appliances, electricity is converted into both – heat and movement. The most common example of this is electric bread maker. It mixes dough and then bakes it. Bread makers even have diagnostic electronics that help in troubleshooting and repair. Other appliances of this type are stirring popcorn poppers and hair dryers.

Repairing Small Appliances

Almost all small appliances are powered by 120-volt electricity which means many problems that occurs with hair dryers can also arise in your toasters and garbage disposers. Mostly these issues result from circuit breakers or fuses, plugs and switches, or loose or grounded wires.


The cord of the appliance brings electricity to the appliance. It’s usually made of two or three wires and one plug. The appliance end of the cord is attached to the appliance with metal fasteners or connectors like electrical nuts.


Appliance cords contain wires that are of various diameters or gauges. The thicker the wire, the lower will be its gauge number. So, a 12-guage wire is thinner than a 10-gauge wire. Copper strands insulated with heat-resistant plastic are used in the cords of most small appliances.

Appliances that need low amperage to work, e.g. a lamp, typically contain a two-wire cord of 16- or 18-gauge wire. Higher-amperage heating appliances have a two- or three-wire cord of 12-gauge or 14-gauge wire. Two-strand cords contain a hot wire and a neutral wire, whereas a three-strand cord contains a hot wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire. This knowledge can be of use to you during your Viking appliance repair for example.


The other end of the appliance cord has a plug that receives electricity from the receptacle on the wall. Typically ungrounded appliances rated at lower than 15 amps use a two-prong plug. Some two-prong plugs are polarized to make sure that there is a correct connection of hot and neutral wires – the larger prong is neutral and smaller one is hot wire.

Three-prong plugs include a round prong for grounding and making sure that the hot and neutral pongs are inserted in the right receptacle slots. Most small appliances are rated at lower than 15 amps. A T-shaped neutral slot in a receptacle is created to accommodate 20-amp appliances, although 15-amp cords too can be plugged in it.



The electric power entering the small appliances should be controlled, i.e. it should be turned on or off, or changed according to the time, temperature or function. This is done by the appliance controls. These include switches, rheostats, thermostats and timing mechanisms.

Repairing Appliance Wires and Cords

You can test an appliance wire or cord. First confirm that they are disconnected from the electricity source and then use a multimeter or continuity tester to confirm that it can sufficiently conduct electricity. Now with the tester attached, move the wire to make sure that there is no break in the strands that may result into intermittent shorts. Also examine the pliability and quality of the cord or wire insulation. If there are any cracks or breaks that may expose strands, replace the wire or the cord with an equivalent gauge and rating.

Repairing Appliance Controls

You can easily test appliance controls with a continuity tester. Place the tester probe on the output side and the clip on the input side and activate the controller, whereby you can determine whether the control is working properly.

In most faulty small appliances, controls should be replaced instead of repaired. After removing the controller from the appliance, take the part together with the model and serial numbers of the appliance to an electronics store or part dealer to find an appropriate replacement.

electric test screwdriver

By learning these basics, you can troubleshoot small problems in your kitchen appliances, while for bigger issues you can call professionals.

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