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

Top 3 Fastest Ways To Defrost Your Freezer

via Flickr/magnetisch

For those of you who still own older refrigerators that don’t have defrost heaters, I bet you’ll all agree what a hassle it is to defrost a freezer thick with ice! It’s such a drag that most give in to the temptation and just go Michaelangelo on it with a hammer and chisel! Well that’s certainly one way to get rid of the ice, but it’s also a good way to punch a hole through your freezer’s coils and render it useless. Not to mention that it’s also terribly unsafe, the sharp tool can easily slip on the ice and hurt your hand. Or worse.

Now there are certainly a number of ways you can get rid of ice from your freezer, but here are the top 3 best ways that will save you time, effort and frustration.

As always, we’d like to remind you to be very, VERY CAREFUL! Take every precaution to minimize slippage or spillage, so make sure to have some towels around. Better if you have some chamois cloth as it is smaller but is highly absorbent. Also have a plastic bucket that you can use to collect the ice after.


Using hot water pans

1. Get a large metal pan with a thin bottom. The thinner, the better as it will allow for better heat transfer.

2. Pad the bottom opening of the freezer with a small towel, so that the pan won’t slip out. This is very important, the pan is very likely to slip out when you fill it with water if you don’t pad the opening!

3. Fill up the pan with hot or boiling water. Better if you can use a kettle and just fill the pan when it is already placed in the freezer.

4. Wait for a bit. The pan will melt through the ice on the bottom, while the steam from it should warm up and

loosen the ice above.

5. Have a plastic or rubber spatula ready. Once a gap between the ice and the freezer ceiling appears, try to push the spatula in between. Keep your hand on the ice to prevent it from falling into the pan as it might splash hot water all over.

6. Keep working the spatula on the remaining blocks or sheets of ice.


Using a hair dryer

Before you begin, make sure that the hair dryer or the outlet it is plugged in doesn’t get wet under any circumstances!

1. Use the highest or hottest setting on your hair dryer and try to melt the ice near the opening of the freezer.

2. As soon as you can see a gap between the ice and the freezer surface, try and push a spatula in between. The idea is to break off and remove the ice pieces before it can melt.


Using a butter knife

via Wikipedia

Again, be very careful as this can get tricky. Do this method only if you have steady hands!

1. Have a pot of hot water ready. This will be used to heat up the butter knife.

2. Warm up the blade of the butter knife.

3. Look for gaps between the ice and the freezer surface. If there are none, use the first two methods to melt a bit of the ice first. Once you can see some gaps, gently push the knife blade in between. The warm blade should slip in, DO NOT STAB or force it in!

4. If the blade slips in, gently push down on the handle so that it will push the ice up. You can also wiggle it a bit, but the idea is to move the blade in such a way that it won’t scratch your freezer surface.

5. Continue to work the knife in the gaps GENTLY until you can break off pieces of the ice.


If you’re really in a hurry, the best and fastest way to remove a thick layer of ice in your freezer, would be to use a combination of all 3 methods. What you’ll want to do is to use the pan of hot water as described in Method 1, and while that’s melting the bottom and top part, use a hair dryer to melt the ice around the opening.

While using the hair dryer, keep the blade of the butter knife in front of the stream of hot air. When it is warm enough, use it to prod through the gaps. Keep the hair dryer pointed at it to keep the warmth up.

Some suggestions also recommend using a squirt bottle to squirt hot water into the gaps. You can do this if you don’t mind the mess.

Now the best thing to do after clearing your freezer of ice would be to keep it frost-free. Frost will inevitably build up in your freezer, but there are things you can do to delay your next defrosting a little longer. Here are some maintenance tips that can help prevent a thick frost buildup in your freezer.

1. Defrost while the layer of ice is still thin. The thinner the frost, the shorter the defrost cycle, and since very little water will drain to your refrigerator’s evaporation pan (or drain pan), you can practically just push the defrost button and forget about it.

2. Avoid leaving the refrigerator door open for prolonged periods. Frost is made when warm air condenses in your freezer, the quicker you close your refrigerator door, the better.

3. Check if the door is sealed tightly. Here’s one quick way to check for a tight seal: put a dollar bill in between the gasket and then close the door. The more difficult it is to pull out, the tighter the seal. If you are able to pull it out easily, then it is time to have your gaskets checked.

4. Lean the refrigerator back just a bit. This will help the door close more easily.

The 10 Best Appliance Gifts for Father’s Day Under $100

Men will always have a special place in their heart for machines. It might be the innate attraction for anything metallic and mechanical, or the fascination with things that “do stuff”. Most of the time they just love the feeling of having the most bells and whistles on the contraption that they own. Whatever the reason is, you can be assured that any guy worth his salt won’t object to the idea of getting an appliance as a gift.

Now toys for big boys are often expensive, and it will be difficult to think of a good Father’s Day gift if you’re in a budget. To help you out, we scoured Amazon for the 10 small appliances that offer the best value for money.

For this year, we’d like to stay clear of some cliched items like power tools or grooming gadgets. You may notice that most on the list are kitchen appliances (we might have been hungry when we put this together). This is no mistake, because men also have a thing for cooking and eating. As they say, “The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, so what better way to do that than to get him something he can use to make himself some man food!

Dads love a properly chilled drink too, so we also included a couple of coolers and an ice crusher that will do the job right. You’ll find a little something that he can use for his car as well, for when the kids mess it up. In any case, we’re sure that whichever gift you pick from our list will be a certified hit with him.

Anyway, let’s get to it. Here are some Father’s Day gifts that would make any dad’s life a li’l bit more awesome!


For the dad who always takes his ‘Joe to go

via Blackanddeckerappliances.com

1. Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker with Travel Mug – $22.99

  • Brews directly into the mug.
  • Compact design. Measures only 9-3/4 by 7 by 6 inches.
  • No need for disposable filters.

For the dad who needs a faster and easier way to make breakfast

via HamiltonBeach.com

2. Hamilton Beach 25475A Breakfast Sandwich Maker – $24.00

  • Automatically cooks everything, including the egg, in around 5 minutes.

For the dad who likes ‘em deep fried!

via GoPresto.com

3. Presto 05420 FryDaddy Deep Fryer – $33.93

  • Uses less oil due to compact size.
  • Built-in, preset thermostat maintains proper frying temperature.

For the dad whose waffles must be Belgian

via GoPresto.com

4. Presto 03510 FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker – $39.99

  • Cradle-less design.
  • Features a countdown timer for more accurate cooking.

For the busy dad who loves cooking potluck recipes

via HamiltonBeach.com

5. Hamilton Beach 33464 Set & Forget® Programmable 6 Quart Slow Cooker – $69.99

  • Cooking time is fully programmable. Includes preset modes for worry-free cooking.
  • Probe Mode uses the temperature probe to shift from cooking to keep warm function when desired temperature is reached.
  • Clip-locked, secure lid ensures no spills.

For Dad’s man cave

via Amazon.com

6. Midea HS-65LB Compact Refrigerator Mini Fridge – $70.00

  • A well-rounded product despite the cheap price tag.
  • Features a stylish black finish.

For Dad’s mini bar

via WaringPro.com

7. Waring Pro IC70 Professional Stainless Steel Large-Capacity Ice Crusher – $79.95

  • Powerful 150-watt motor.
  • Heavy-duty stainless-steel blades can crush up to 50 pounds of ice per hour.

For the dad who loves to keep his car clean

via BlackandDecker.com

8. Black & Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum, 20-volt – $79.99

  • Uses Lithium Ion (Li-ion) instead of Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries. Power does not fade as charge drains. No overcharging problems.
  • Powerful suction in a compact package.
  • Pivoting nozzle can access hard to reach spaces.

For the wine connoisseur dad

via Haier.com

9. Haier HVTEC06ABS 6-Bottle Wine Cellar with Electronic Controls – $89.70

  • Curved door with smoked glass with black trim & black cabinet looks very stylish.
  • Uses an adjustable digital thermostat control.

PIZZA. Need we say more?

via PizzaPerfector.com

10. Pizza Perfector PERF1000 The Original Theo and Co Pizza Perfector – $99.99

  • Easy to operate.
  • Upper and lower elements can be used together or seperately.
  • Can be used to cook fresh dough, pre-baked, or frozen pizzas.

Wishing you a Happy Father’s Day, from all of us here at TJ’s Appliance Repair!

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.

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How To Diagnose A Refrigerator Defrost Problem

Refrigerator defrost problem

Dug up this picture from a previous client of ours. Can you guess what’s going on here?

If you ever encounter a situation where your freezer is cooling fine, but the rest of the refrigerator is warm, it could be a defrost problem.

Above is the freezer with the problem. This happens when one or more of these components break down:

  • ADT (Adjustable Defrost Timer) board – this times the On and Off cycle of the evaorator coils.
  • Thermistor – short for “thermal resistor”, this is used as a temperarature sensor in the freezer.
  • Defrost limit switch – or defrost thermostat, this detects the presence of frost and makes sure the heater turns on only when needed.
  • Defrost heater – as it’s name suggests, this is a heater found in or under the freezer evaporator coil.

So how would you know which one is the problem? Here are a couple of tests you can carry out, but we recommend doing these only if you have experience working with electronics and appliances.

  • ADT – A simple way to test it would be to advance it to defrost mode. Turn the advance screw clockwise until it clicks. Wait 30-40 minutes then check if the compressor comes back on. If it does, then the ADT is still ok. If it doesn’t, then you’ll need to test the timer for continuity.

    Test the terminals using your multimeter. You should see 4 terminals, locate the one marked “C”, “3″, or the one that is connected to the white wire which should be the common terminal. Touch one needle on the common terminal, then tesh the remaining terminals with the other needle. One terminal should read “zero” and the remaining two “infinity”.

    Turn the advance screw again until it clicks. If the ADT is ok, two terminals that previously read “infinity” should now be “zero”, and the other one that previously read “zero” should now read “infinity”.

  • Thermistor – One way to test this would be using a multimeter. Expose the thermistor to a heat source like a soldering iron tip to determine if it reacts to change in temperature. A short thermistor will show a zero meter reading, while an open thermistor will show an infinity meter reading.
  • Defrost limit switch – The only way to test this would be to do a continuity test. First, remove the part from the refrigerator to isolate it, then place it ice water for a couple of minutes without submerging the terminals. This is to see if the thermostat is still triggered when the temperature is lowered. Use the multimeter to test: if the meter shows no resistance, then there is continuity and the switch is still ok.
  • Defrost heater – Since this comes in different shapes and sizes, the most accurate test you can do is a continuity test, which basically checks if a continuous electrical path is present. This can be done using a multimeter and is particularly useful when you can’t see if the connection physically broken.

For this particular call, we ended up replacing the ADT board. As you may notice, most of these tests involve using a multitester, so if all of these sound too complicated for you, call us!