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Hard Water is Harder on Your Appliances Than You Think

Hard Water is Harder on Your Appliances Than You Think

Chances are you’ve come in contact with hard water; that white-encrusted faucet, dull hair, or spotted dishes and glasses.

Hard water isn’t hard to find. But what is it exactly? Soft water is free of minerals. For example, rain is soft water. When it falls and passes through rock, sand and soil it picks up minerals. While it’s generally not harmful to your health, the same can’t be said for your appliances.

The minerals in hard water that you should be most aware of are calcium and magnesium. Hard Water on PipesWhen these are heated up, they leave the water and encrust on your shower head as a mineral deposit.

Not only is it an eye-sore, but it can slow the efficiency of your appliances. For example, the hard water buildup in your water heater is a poor conductor of heat, making it much harder to heat the water. Hard water can also wear your appliances faster.  These problems continue into your pipes. Hard water builds up and can create clogs, reduce flow, or increase stress on pipes and fixtures.

If you have a problem with any of your appliances, Complete Appliance Repair is here to help you get your dishwasher, microwave, dryer and more into tip-top shape. But there are also small things you can do to avoid unnecessary repairs. You can start by treating for hard water.


Vinegar is one way to remove some of the hard water build up you may have. Hard water is mostly made of calcium, which is highly reactive with acids like vinegar. Soaking faucets or other fixtures in hot, natural vinegar will dissolve calcium deposits in about an hour. Distilled vinegar will also clean your dishes and remove that white film or spots.

Other cleaning solutions

There are products available made specifically to remove hard water deposits. Lemi-Shine is one for example, and used to keep your glasses spot free. Soap and hard water build up are a bad combination, and can lead to tough-to-remove soap scum. To remove this, try one-part apple cider vinegar and three parts filtered water to remove.

Remove pipe buildup

It’s also important to remove buildup in your pipes to avoid slow water flow or draining issues. You can do this yourself with a few simple steps. First you’ll want to fill pots of water, shut off your water, and empty your pipes. Then you can use a chemicals treatment or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clean buildup from your pipes. Wait for the solution to do its job, then pour boiling water down each drain. You can find detailed step by step instructions for this here.

A more permanent solution

While the above mentioned methods are effective, they are anything but long-lasting. If you have a hard water problem, you may want to consider installing a water treatment system. A whole-home softening system is the only way to completely eliminate hard water from your home and keep your appliances running more effectively and without build-up.  For any of your installation needs, don’t forget to get in touch with the professionals at Complete Appliance Repair.


Show Your Refrigerator Some Love This Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you may be busy thinking about what special meal you will prepare for your sweetheart, or when to pick up those dozen roses. Don’t worry, you’ve still got time!Refrigerator Maintenance Salt Lake City Utah

But there is someone else who could use a little love – your refrigerator. Your fridge keeps your milk perfectly chilled and your vegetables frozen for you all year long. This is probably the last appliance you want to break. By taking a few minutes a few times a year to do these simple tasks, you can improve the lifetime of your refrigerator and avoid unnecessary repairs.

Refrigerator Maintenance Step 1:

Take a look at the inside of your fridge. You should be regularly wiping down the inside, but every once in a while give the bins, selves, shelf end caps, and retainer bars a closer look. Also check any glass shelves, crisper drawers and drawer slides. Look for anything broken, cracked, unstable or defective. As soon as you notice any of these problems, you’ll want to replace of fix it to prevent any further damage that may be caused by a falling shelf of food.

Refrigerator Maintenance Step 2:

Next, take a look at the seal, or gasket on the refrigerator. It is the vinyl strip that forms a seal between the cabinet and the doors. It keeps the fridge running efficiently by keeping room-temperature air out, and chilled air in.

You can perform a simple test to check the seal by shutting a dollar bill between the seal and the door. Once the door is shut, pull the dollar bill out of the fridge door. If there is tension when you pull, you’ve got a good seal. Try this test in several different spots along the seal. If this little test proves your seal is lackluster, it may not be flexible enough. Try massaging a vinyl conditioner or a thin film of petroleum jelly to loosen up the seal.

Bonus Step

Also, be sure to wipe up any spills before they stick and cause the seal to tear. This will also maintain flexibility and prevent odors. If you notice the gasket is loose or torn, it’s time to replace it. This can be tricky to do, so be sure to call Complete Appliance Repair to do the job right.

Refrigerator Maintenance Step 3:

The inside of your fridge isn’t the only place that needs to be maintained. For starters, the hinges get plenty of action every day. Which is why it’s important to make sure the hinges are in good shape and have proper lubrication. Wear and tear is normal, but occasionally using some food-grade lubrication on the hinges and checking for any damage on the top and bottom hinges will prolong the overall life of your fridge.

Refrigerator Maintenance Step 4:

You can also help your fridge stay efficient by removing any dirt, dust, and hair that often collects on the condenser coils and condenser fan. Cleaning the condenser coils and fan can also maintain proper airflow.

To clean these parts, you should first make sure that your refrigerator has been unplugged. The condenser coils are usually located at the back or the fridge or across the bottom. If the coils are at the bottom of the fridge, it’s likely the fan will be there too. To clean, remove the back panel of the refrigerator. Then with a vacuum and soft brush, remove any buildup. Do this carefully and avoid damaging the coils or fan.


Occasionally taking the time to maintain your refrigerator will help you avoid any unnecessary repairs, and it will also help you catch those repairs that are important to address without delay. If you have any questions about your refrigerator or other appliances, be sure to call Complete Appliance Repair.




Soon, Smart Wall Ovens Will Rule the World!

Wall ovens have been around since ancient Greece, about 800 B.C. Thanks to the rapid advances in today’s technology, we think the ancient Greeks might be impressed with today’s Smart Wall Ovennew generation of smart ovens.

You have no doubt heard of smart thermostats, smart cars and smartphones. The smart oven, however, may be one you haven’t heard of before.

What Is Smart Home Appliance Technology, Anyway?

This term is used whenever advanced technological components assist you in using your appliances or devices.

For example, a dishwasher might sense the level of soil on the dishes and activate a more vigorous scrub cycle in response. Your microwave may be able to determine how large, heavy and frozen your hamburger package is, and run an appropriate defrost cycle.

Some of today’s new generation of refrigerators have the ability to inventory your food and tell you when to throw the eggs away or what to buy at the market.

But the intelligent ovens we’re about to describe make all these features look like your grandma’s appliances.

What Features Make a Wall Oven Smart?

Whether you’re a gourmet home chef or someone who burns water, these innovative appliances have something to offer you.

The new generation of intelligent ovens all feature state-of-the-art TFT (thin film transistor) LCD touch screens, providing a clear and readable display that uses little power.

Most brands have a built-in self-monitoring feature that alerts you (and in some cases, the manufacturer) when a service issue is detected. This way, when the service technician arrives, he or she will already know the diagnosis and have the correct parts on board.

Most models allow you to access them remotely via smartphone, tablet or computer. If you forgot to turn off the oven before you left home, no need to turn around the car. If you want to have your oven preheated when you arrive home, simply tap a button.

The newest generation of smart ovens offers some pretty impressive features.

Advanced Technology Takes Cooking to New Heights

Menu-driven interface systems can literally walk you through the steps of preparing most any dish. Many models have hundreds of pre-programmed selections as well. For example, tell your smart oven that you want to cook your standing rib roast to medium rare and you’d like it ready at 6 p.m.

Your oven will weigh the roast, set the correct temperature, monitor the process and have that perfectly cooked slab of beef ready and waiting at the appointed time!

The Dacor Discovery iQ series offers a 7-inch display that’s designed to look and operate just like your tablet. You can access the Internet to find recipes, watch Netflix while you make dinner, or switch on Pandora for background music while you eat.

The Miele M-Touch Contourline model has a water reservoir that allows you to release a burst of steam into the oven. If you’re a bread baker, you understand how amazing this is! It also has a feature that removes moisture from the oven, for crisper pizza crust.

Complete Appliance Repair, serving the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, cares for all types of ovens, even the not-so-intelligent versions that most of us still own and love. If you’re ready for new home appliances, we can sell, service and install whatever you like. Give us a call today and see if one of these smart wall ovens is for you!

Gas Versus Electric Water Heaters

Are gas water heaters better than their electric counterparts?

The U.S. Department of Energy says that heating water is the second largest expense in your Gas Water Heaterhome, behind heating and cooling your house. You spend, on average, about 12 to 18 percent of your power bill on this effort.

For some families, saving money and reducing energy consumption is a top priority. For others, it’s all about having plenty of hot water to fill the bathtub, wash dishes and clothes or take that eye-opening morning shower. Which camp you’re in helps you determine which water heater may be better for you.

The Pros and Cons of Electric Water Heaters

About 40 percent of U.S. water heaters are electric. Typically they cost less to install because it’s not necessary to run or connect a gas line. They cost a bit more to buy and operate, and they heat water more slowly than their gas counterparts (more on that below).

You can add extra insulation or an insulating blanket around your tank to improve operating efficiency and reduce power use.

If electricity is your water heating method of choice, check out the new high-efficiency heat pump (HPWH) models. They cost more initially, but over time, you may be surprised at the potential cost savings.

Is a Gas Water Heater the Better Choice?

In general, the answer to this question is yes. Unfortunately, not all homes are equipped with natural gas.

Given the choice, however, gas models are typically more efficient and less costly to operate. This is true for two main reasons: First, gas is cheaper than electricity. But the real difference comes in the way each type works to heat the water.

Gas models use heat from burning fuel (gas) to heat the water, whereas electric models use electric resistance coils. Without giving a full physics lesson, let’s just say that the gas method does the job more quickly. In fact, you rarely run out of hot water with a gas model, because it can recover much more quickly.

Gas water heaters are also much less expensive to purchase, initially.

You can determine which type is better for your home and family by using the cost calculator for electric and gas water heaters.

Tankless Gas Water Heaters

Tankless models, popular in Europe for decades, began to gain popularity in the United States in the 1990s. At that time, however, U.S. manufacturers hadn’t quite worked out all the bugs.

Today, these heaters are both reliable and highly efficient.

By heating on demand, tankless models provide a never-ending supply of hot water without wasting the energy to maintain a tankful at all times. With a life expectancy of about 20 years, these models will last much longer than traditional designs, and you never need fear a devastating flood and the resulting damage to your home.

The EPA’s Energy Star site estimates that a tankless model will save about $1,800 over its lifetime, when compared to a standard gas model. And since gas models save about $120 per year when compared to those that use electricity, add another $2,400 in savings if you upgrade to a 20-year tankless gas unit from a standard electric water heater.

Complete Appliance Repair, serving North Salt Lake and the neighboring communities, sells, installs and services all types of home appliances. Contact us today for an evaluation of your home and water heating needs. We can help you determine whether electric or gas water heaters are better for your family.

Are Energy Star Appliances More Expensive?

Many of you have asked whether Energy Star appliances cost more than traditional machines, and whether they are a wise choice economically.Energy Star Appliance

On any home appliance, the Energy Star designation means that the U.S. Department of Energy has independently certified that particular product as being the most efficient in its category.

Now let’s look at the nuts and bolts of how a certified appliance can save you money, and how to determine the best time to upgrade.

Do Efficient Appliances Actually Save Money?

According to the National Resources Defense Council, Energy Star appliances have saved U.S. consumers more than $200 billion to date, or about $2,000 per household.

They have also cut consumer electricity use by 5 percent and significantly reduced environmental pollution. The NRDC predicts that these electricity and cost savings will more than double over the next 20 years.

Generally speaking, these ultra-efficient models will save you several hundred dollars in electricity use over the life of the appliance. But the price difference between an Energy Star certified model and the alternatives is usually negligible.

Ultimately, the answer to this question seems to be an emphatic yes!

When Should You Replace Your Old Appliances?

The NRDC recommends replacing any appliance manufactured before 1994 to realize immediate cost and electricity savings. Standards and technology improve constantly, so any model that’s 10 years old or older is probably costing more than it should to operate.

Federal, state and local governments and your local utility company offer a variety of rebates and other incentives for purchasing efficient appliances. You can use the EPA’s rebate finder tool to identify all the incentives in your area.

If you’ve been considering an upgrade, this tool can help you identify the best time to go shopping!

Tips for Selecting Efficient Appliances for Your Home

In addition to looking for the Energy Star label, consider a few other energy-saving tips for choosing new appliances.

Refrigerators with freezers on top use 10 to 15 percent less power than side-by-side models of the same size. And, of course, the larger the refrigerator’s capacity, the more power it will need to operate.

Top-loading and front-loading washers use roughly the same amount of electricity. However, front-loaders use significantly less water. If your home has natural gas, choose a gas dryer over an electric model to save money and power.

Choose dishwashers that offer light wash or power-saver cycle options as well as the option to dry dishes without heat, to save even more money.

Finally, keep your home appliances in good working order. Have them inspected and maintained at least once a year. Worn or faulty components will draw more energy, even when it seems like everything is working correctly.

Complete Appliance Repair, serving Bountiful and the communities of the Salt Lake City area, specializes in sales, installation and maintenance of all types of home appliances. Contact us today for even more helpful hints to keep your appliances running well, and for help choosing the right Energy Star appliances for your home and family.