What to Do When You Have a Home System or Appliance Breakdown

Every homeowner dreads the inevitable home system and appliance breakdowns, which usually seem to happen at the worst possible times. After all, it’s not a matter of if malfunctions will occur, but a matter of when.  It seems that every homeowner has a horror story of when the furnace stopped working on the coldest night of the year, the oven went on the blink right before a holiday dinner, or the washing machine overflowed while everyone was at work. Here are some steps to take the next time a home system or appliance lets you down:


plumber with clipboard near washing machine


First, take a deep breath. System and appliance failures can be stressful, especially when they occur at inopportune times, when you don’t have a reliable repair contact, or when repairs or replacements could potentially be costly. It’s important not to overreact and to approach the problem calmly and logically.


Before you seek repair help, check the power source. Make sure the unit is plugged in and turned on properly, restarting if necessary. Inspect the corresponding electrical breaker to make sure power is getting to the system or appliance. Check for loose cords or connections that could be causing power interruptions.


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Look for filters that need changing, lines that may be clogged, fan belts that could have slipped, tubing that may be cracked, parts that may be jammed, or other simple repairs that you may be able to handle yourself without professional help.


Refer to operating manuals, warranty information, or online instructions for troubleshooting tips.


Take steps to be without the system or appliance if it will be a while before repair help is available. If your heating system is on the blink during cold weather, start the fireplace or safely use space heaters. If your refrigerator stops working, temporarily keep food safe in coolers or ask neighbors to store the contents. If your washing machine is on the fritz, remove wet items and find an alternate way to dry them.


Anticipate what your repair contractor might need. Clear furniture and other items for easy access, know where electrical panels and shut-off valves are located and have maintenance records and operating manuals available. Be ready to provide details on how the system or appliance has been operating and what went wrong.


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Home system and appliance breakdowns can be a lot less stressful if you have a plan in place. An HSA home warranty is a one-year service contract that helps safeguard against the cost of covered repairs or replacements to major components of home systems and appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. When a covered item breaks down, homeowners simply place a service request online or call a 24/7 toll-free customer service number for assistance. HSA will assign a local, qualified service professional to handle the covered request. With budget protection plus a ready repair resource, HSA home warranty coverage provides homeowners with a plan plus important peace-of-mind when inconvenient, covered home breakdowns happen.