The Best Kitchen & Laundry Appliances for a Tiny Apartment

Planning to move into a small apartment? If you are, or are already living in one and could use a bit more room, one way to go about it would be to use compact versions of regular household essentials. If you’ve already furnished your living room with space-saving furniture, the next thing to look at for more real estate would be the kitchen and laundry area, which is often combined in tiny apartments.

Slim, tiny apartment kitchen and laundry appliances have been available in the market for quite some time, but shoppers generally think that there is always a trade-off when opting for the smaller versions. While this is somewhat true and cannot be avoided, there are brands and models that can give you a good compromise between size, performance and price that will perfectly fit your needs.

Now if you really want to make sure that you’re getting the right model, you’ll have to do your homework. You’ll need to do some window shopping or research online, compare specs, features, and prices, all very time consuming! Recognizing this, we at TJ’s Appliance Repair, in collaboration with our good friends at H & H Appliance Center, went ahead and did all the work for you!

We combined our expertise on appliances and came up with an infographic which includes a list of compact dishwashers, refrigerators, washer-dryer combos, even ranges and cooktops, that provide the same level of functionality and amenities as their full-sized counterparts. Whether you’re looking for stylish high-end units, the bare essentials, or anything in between, our “The Best Kitchen & Laundry Appliances for a Tiny Apartment” has it. Feel free to share!

Best Kitchen and Laundry Appliances for a Tiny Apartment

Appliances listed:

Washer/Dryer Combo

  • LG WM3455HW 2.3 Cu. Ft. Washer and Electric Ventless Dryer Combo
  • Ariston ARWDF129NA 1.82 Cu. Ft. Elegance Line Front-Load Washer/Dryer Combo
  • Midea MFL70-D1211S 2.0 Cu. Ft. Combination Washer/Dryer Combo

Refrigerators

  • Summit FFBF285SS 24” 13.8 Cu. Ft. Counter Depth Bottom-Freezer, Stainless Steel
  • LG LRBP1031W 24” 10 Cu. Ft. Cabinet Depth Bottom Freezer, White
  • Avanti RA7316PST 20” 7.4 Cu. Ft. 2-Door Apartment Size, Black with Platinum Finish

Dishwashers

  • Bosch SPV5ES53UC 18″ Special Application Panel Ready Dishwasher
  • Frigidaire FFBD1821MS 18″ Stainless Steel Built-In Dishwasher with Interior and Delay Start
  • Avanti DWE1802SS 18” Stainless Steel Built-In Dishwasher

Gas Range

  • Verona VEFSGG244SS 24” Pro Style Gas Range with 4 sealed burners, 2.5 Cu. Ft. Convection Oven
  • Danby DR2099WGLP 20” Freestanding Gas Range with 4 sealed burners, 2.62 Cu. Ft. Manual Clean Oven
  • Summit R200W 20” Freestanding Gas Range with 4 sealed burners, 2.6 Cu. Ft. Manual Clean Oven

Electric Range

  • Summit REX204BL 20” White Pearl Series Freestanding Smooth Top Electric Range, 2.6 Cu. Ft. Oven
  • Amana AEP222VAW 20″ Freestanding Electric Range with 4 Coil Burners, 2.6 Cu. Ft. Oven
  • Danby DER2009W 20″ Freestanding Electric Range with 4 Coil Burners, 2.6 Cu. Ft. Oven 5

Gas Cooktop – optional

  • Bertazzoni P24400X 24” 4 Burner Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop
  • Ramblewood GC2-48P 12” (LPG/Propane Gas) High Efficiency 2 Burner Gas Cooktop
  • Atwood 56494 DV 20S 12” Drop-In 2 Burner Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop

Electric Cooktop – optional

  • Thermadore CEM304FS 30” Masterpiece Smooth Top Electric Cooktop
  • Summit CR3240 21” 3 Burner Smooth Top Electric Cooktop with Residual Heat Indicator Light
  • Kenyon B41601 12” Caribbean 2 Burner Smooth Top Electric Cooktop

How To Choose The Right Washer and Dryer

It’s nice to have choices, but having too many can be a problem. Do you agree?

In our busy lifestyle, having a washer and dryer is a must, but getting one is always a big financial consideration.

Even the cheapest ones cost a couple of hundred dollars, by no means an easy purchase. This is why you should make sure that the one you buy will meet your needs perfectly.

With so many washer and dryer models out in the market today, how would you know which is the right one for you? If you are budget constrained, do you immediately go for the cheapest one? Or should you wait and save up for a high end model that comes with all the bells and whistles?

To help out those who are shopping for a new washer and dryer, we’ve made an infographic that compares the features of popular types of washers and dryers currently available in the market such as the top load washer and front load washer, the gas dryer, electric dryer and heat pump dryer, and the various configurations (stacked, washer-dryer combo, laundry center). In it we also provided several key criteria which you can base your decision on so that you can clearly see which washer or dryer type fits your purchase requirements.

The Ultimate Washer & Dryer Comparison Infographic

Need Cheap BBQ Grill, AC, Dryer Vent Cleaning, Refrigerator Repair? We Have You Covered!

It’s such a hassle when your appliances, especially the big ones, break down on you. When your refrigerator breaks down, food gets spoiled. What a waste! When your AC dies on you, imagine how uncomfortable your house would feel.

But that’s nothing compared to what would happen if your dryer malfunctions. A vent clogged with lint can easily burn your house down! Aside from your dryer, there are a number of other home appliances that can start a house fire (check out our Unexpected Residential Fire Starters infographic) which is why your appliances need regular checkup and maintenance.

A lot of times you might be hesistant to call for check-ups and repairs, thinking that it would be an unnecessary expense. We totally understand this, but the need to keep your home safe is of utmost importance which is why we now offering quality appliance services and checkups at even more affordable prices! Check out our new special rates below.

TJ's Appliance Repair - New Low Rates for Appliance Checkups and Repairs

Don’t forget to like and share this flyer with your friends!

GE DBXR453EAWW Residential Dryer Won’t Start, Makes Humming Sound

via Geappliances.com

A Facebook fan by the name of Barry sent us an interesting question about a GE residential dryer with model number “DBXR453EA1WW” a couple of weeks ago. It was an old dryer that wouldn’t start. From what he had mentioned, it seemed like the unit was getting power, but the motor would run only if the drum is given a push. There was also a humming sound once the unit was powered on.

Since we weren’t able to do an inspection and run some tests on the unit, we just did a search on the model number he gave us before giving our diagnosis. We turned up a number of results, but only for parts and almost nothing for the unit itself.

Initially, it sounded as if the problem was caused by a faulty start capacitor. Now what exactly is a start capacitor?

To explain it simply, a dryer is driven by a rotating cylinder in its motor called the armature. This armature is spun by the windings that surround it by providing alternating push and pulls. These “push” and “pulls” happen immediately when the voltage comes on, but since the armature cannot react instantaneously, a start capacitor is used to create a “lag” to give the armature time to gain momentum.

A dryer’s start capacitor often looks like a white cylinder with terminals on one end, similar to a battery. When a “start cap” fails to work, the motor will just sit and produce a sound called “Mains Hum” which is typical in electrical wiring and equipment.

But Barry replied that he couldn’t find a start capacitor in his dryer, which sounded quite accurate because we weren’t able to locate the part online for his dryer model as well.

Our research also made us conclude that the model number might be “DBXR453EAWW” instead of “DBXR453EA1WW”. The first one shows up as a GE® Extra-Large 6.0 Cu. Ft. Capacity Electric Dryer at the GE website. Even with this, there’s still an unfortunate lack of technical information online for this model.

Barry also said that he made sure the belts were on correctly. At this point we were thinking that it was an issue with the start winding of the motor, and so recommended replacing the motor altogether. From the image he provided us, it looked like the motor was a GE Hotpoint Dryer motor with part number “5KH26JJ064S”

By the way, the start winding is the fine, insulated copper wire that receives current in the motor at startup. A humming dryer motor that does not start can also be caused by a bad start wiring.

We have not heard back from him so we think he went ahead with our suggestion. In any case, we hope that the information we’ve uncovered from this issue helps others who own the same GE dryer model.

Dryer Won’t Start? Check The Thermal Fuse and Thermostat

Dryer with clogged venting

Here’s one call we did where the dryer won’t start. Upon inspection, we found out that the vent was horribly clogged! Now the clogging wasn’t the one that caused the dryer not to start, but it did cause an overload which damaged some parts that were needed for the dryer to start up.

Basing on experience, we immediately looked at two things:


The Thermal Fuse

Dryer Thermal Fuse for Whirlpool Sears Kenmore 3392519. Image via Amazon.

The thermal fuse is designed to blow as a protective measure when your dryer overheats or gets an electrical overload. Your dryer won’t start if it is broken, but thankfully, replacements are usually cheap.


The Thermostat

Whirlpool 279816 Thermostat Kit for Dryer. Image via Amazon.

A cycling thermostat regulates the temperature by turning the heater on and off. When this breaks, it can set the heat at the highest setting all the time, which can cause overheating especially if the vents are clogged.


Testing the Thermal fuse and Thermostat

There’s only one way to test both, and that is with a multimeter. If you have no idea what it is an how to use it, check out our post on “How To Use A Multitester“. But we really recommend just calling us. Fixing appliances without sufficient knowledge and experience is very unsafe!

Take out both parts and then proceed to test for continuity. Continuity just means an unbroken flow of electrical current.

Testing the Thermal Fuse – since the thermal fuse only has two terminals, checking it is straightforward. Touch each needle to a terminal: if you get a 0 reading, this means the fuse is ok since there is no resistance and there is continuity. If you get a resistance reading, it’s time to replace the fuse.

Testing the Thermostat – you may notice that your dryer’s thermostat has more than 2 terminals. To test, touch the needles only to the outer terminals, as the inner terminals are mostly used only for smaller heaters. Same as the fuse, it should be ok if you are getting a 0 reading.

Thermostat circuits are typically closed, and opens only when sufficient temperature is reached. If you want to make sure that your thermostat shuts off the dryer heater at the desired temperature, you need to test it while it is exposed to a heat source.

The temperatures when the thermostat opens and closes should be printed on itself, but most are made to switch off at around 120 to 160F. Having an electronic griddle would be handy in this situation since you’ll be able to heat the thermostat up to the exact temperature while testing. If the thermostat doesn’t switch off anywhere within the temperature range indicated, then it’s time to replace it.

How To Clean Your Dryer Vents

Lint: A fire hazard.

Lint: A fire hazard.

Did you know that around 15,000 fires are caused by clothes dryers? These fires are likely to start from vents clogged with lint. Lint buildup not only reduces airflow and promotes mold and mildew during the cold months, even worse, it is highly combustible.

If your laundry room gets unusually warm, or your clothes need another cycle to dry, then it’s time to clear your machine of lint and dirt.

There are 3 places you need to clean out:

  • the lint trap
  • the ductwork
  • the electrical wiring

The first two are fairly easy to do, while the last one is a job best left to a professional technician.

Before you begin, make sure that the dryer is unplugged and the gas is turned off, if you have a gas dryer.


Cleaning the lint trap

On most dryers, the lint trap can be found at the front, but always consult the manual first on where to locate it and how to clean it.

Next, clean the lint trap slot by running a flexible cleaning brush rod through it. You can get this brush at any household product store. Vacuum the hole after to suck up any remaining lint the brush didn’t reach. 


Cleaning the ductwork

This involves cleaning the hoses and the inside and outside vents. First, move the dryer carefully away from the wall to expose the hose. Now some hoses may be fastened using a ring with two prongs. To release the hose, simply pinch the two prongs together to loosen the rings.

Your dryer hose might also be fastened using a screw clamp. This looks like a band with screw thread holes held together by a captive screw. This just has to be loosened and does not need to completely come off. After the hose comes off, clean both ports with your vacuum.

Next, clean the hose with a hose brush. You should be able to get a hose brush at any household product store, but if you’re finding it difficult to clean the hose thoroughly, especially if it is an old vinyl one, it might be a better idea to simply replace it with a new foil-type one.

Clean the surrounding area after, then reattach the hose and move the dryer back into place.

Lastly, locate the outside dryer vent. Mostly what you’ll need to do is to just give it a quick brush and wipe. As long the opening isn’t being blocked by dirt, and the vent closes when the dryer if off, it should be fine.

That’s it! The entire task should take just around 20 minutes, but if your ductwork isn’t as accessible, or would also like to give the wiring a cleaning, we’re just a phone call away!