Checking faulty goods
Faulty appliances are more than just an inconvenience. Replacing large items is time-consuming, frustrating and occasionally expensive. They can also lead to greater damage across the home in general, such as flooding from a broken washing machine, fridge or dishwasher. Even worse than this, at the extreme end of the scale they can also represent a major safety hazard, given the complexity of the technology that is usually involved and the dangerous combination of elements such as electricity and water in close proximity to each other.
Household appliances are often a significant investment from a financial point of view and it is perfectly reasonable therefore for us to expect a certain standard and quality from them. When things go wrong it is frustrating and knowing how to deal effectively with a faulty appliance is not just helpful, it's essential.
Here are some of the most common household appliance faults:
Fridge Freezers. A faulty fridge or freezer can cause a whole range of problems. Even more important than the expense and inconvenience of loss of food is the fact that breakdowns can lead to flooding and even fires. Sadly, fatal incidents have occurred and these have led to several recalls in recent years, and even legal inquests.
Dishwashers. Like fridges and freezers, faulty dishwashers can lead to flooding that can seriously damage flooring. In some instances they also pose a potential fire hazard. Even appliances from large organisations with good reputations can have problems. In 2013 Hotpoint recalled 71,000 of one particular model of dishwasher following a disproportionate number of safety incidents.
Kettles. These appliances may seem small in comparison to fridges and freezers, but also have the potential to be extremely dangerous if faulty. In one incident, Tesco was forced to recall a kettle from its rapid boil' range as there was a risk identified of the bottom of the kettle becoming detached, leading to burns and scalding.
Hairdryer. Another item at the smaller end of the scale, but like kettles, hairdryers are no less dangerous. Hairdryers can get extremely hot during use and can stay like this for some time after the appliance has been switched off. Most models have technology installed to speed up the cooling down process but when this technology does not work for whatever reason, there is a serious risk of overheating which can lead to burn injuries, as well as damage to floors and other surfaces. It can even be the cause of house fires.
To mitigate against the risks posed by faulty appliances, the first step is to check if an item is on the faulty good register. You can check this at electricitysafetyfirst.org.uk/productrecalls. If an item appears on here, it is critical to contact the supplier immediately.
Ongoing maintenance is also crucial, including regularly checking that the appliance is working in the way it should be, and that it does not have any obvious signs of damage or significant wear and tear. Repairs should then be carried out by a fully qualified and registered professional. Such an approach will give you peace of mind that the risks of a faulty appliance are being properly managed.