Common Kitchen Problems to Check ASAP

Leaking faucet in bathroom

The kitchen is the heart of the home…but it can also be a source of major damage if problems are left alone for too long. This damage is often the result of either fire or water, and it can be devastating – not to mention expensive! If your kitchen is suffering from any of the following problems, make sure they get taken care of as soon as possible to avoid future damage.

Warm Fridge or Freezer 

If your refrigerator or freezer is not staying cold, first check that the doors are closing completely. Make sure that the seal is tight and pay attention to any warning lights. Also be sure to note any unusual heat, drips, or noises.

Unpleasant Smells in the Fridge or Freezer 

While leftovers can get smelly after too much time, these smells could also be caused by food that has gone bad due to temperature control or neglect. First try cleaning out the fridge. Throw out the old food, wash the bins and shelves with dish soap, let the unit air out, and clean the evaporator. Adjust the temperature to somewhere between 0-40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent frost buildup, mold growth, or odors. It’s also worth putting an open box of baking soda in your fridge to help with odor control in the future.

Under or Overcooking Oven 

If food burns quickly in your oven or takes too long to cook, buy an oven thermometer to check temperature settings. The oven may need recalibration, but it may need replacing, so it’s worth it to find out.

Microwave Not Heating Well

Magnetrons in microwaves can burn out when the microwave is turned on while empty. If this is the case, you’ll either need to replace the part or the unit entirely.

Microwave Plate Not Turning 

If the plate in your microwave isn’t spinning, then your food could end up under or unevenly cooked. Clean the turntable and make sure it isn’t obstructed by large crumbs or stuck on debris. If that’s not the problem, then there’s a good chance your microwave’s motor is going out. But don’t rush out to go buy a new microwave just yet – check your microwave’s make and model and see if you can purchase a new motor first.

Dripping Sink or Faucet 

This is a common problem that usually has a simple fix. If a faucet spurts or sprays water, clean the faucet screen. If you notice water or mold under the sink, check for leaks near the drain line and pea trap. Check the garbage disposal and water lines leading to other appliances too. Water damage can be one of the worst and most expensive things to deal with, so be sure to nip this problem in the bud.

Garbage Disposal Isn’t Working Properly or At All

First things first: try the reset button. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try grinding an ice cube or two. If you suspect it is blocked with food or silverware, unplug it before trying to remove the blockage. Replace damaged rubber sink gaskets if needed. They should look like flower petals and cover the drain hole completely. Remember to use caution when dealing with a garbage disposal!

Range Hood Isn’t Clearing Smoke 

This can be caused by a variety of issues, such as motor problems, clogged ductwork, or an air filter that needs to be replaced or cleaned. Air filters are a simple fix. If the problem is the motor, check your make and model to see if you can purchase replacement parts. If it’s the ductwork, this will most likely require professional help, so don’t hesitate to call!

Dishwasher Isn’t Cleaning Well

If you find pieces of food on your dishes, first try cleaning the spray arm, filter, and float in your appliance. Watermarks are often the result of detergent residue, so consider changing your detergent.

Gas or Electric Cooktop Not Working 

If your burners aren’t working, it could be that you need to replace the spark ignitors. However, you may also be dealing with a broken surface element, child lock, or power surge burnout.

With all of these, as noted, check for the simple solutions first and move up from there. Never rush out and buy a whole new appliance if you can help it without first checking all possible causes and consulting a professional first.