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safety issues concerning the fitting of domestic appliance spares

WARNING: In the interest of consumer safety, parts should only be fitted by a suitably qualified person with the appliance disconnected from the mains electrical supply.

You are likely to come across this warning whenever you purchase parts for domestic appliances.

Work safely

Well, if you are not a service engineer and you are about to fit spare parts to your domestic appliance, then you should be certain you are competent in what you are about to do.

The above warning is one that you should take very seriously, and if you are in any doubt, call in the professionals. You should also check out the faults list.

Washing machine spares, dishwasher spares, cookers spares, tumble dryer spares, fridge spares and vaccum cleaner spares are sold to just about anyone who has the means to pay for them. The above warning is an attempt by the manufacturer or supplier to sound out the possible dangers, and at the same time, distance themselves from the consumer should there be an accident.

If you purchase spare parts and intend fitting them yourself you are assumed to be suitably qualified, and do so at your own risk.

If you are an engineer or someone who is suitably qualified, this page is an attempt to re-focus you, so that you do not become too complacent with safety issues in regards to domestic appliances.

Suitably qualified

If you are about to carry out a repair on an appliance, you should have the correct tools as well as the necessary skill. Having the proper tools will enable the correct diagnosis of the appliance faults, as well as assisting in the correct removal and fitting of replacement parts. You must be able to correctly interpret readings from test equipments.

Safety procedures

Safety should not be compromised. Complacency can be the cause of serious injury or death and so, safety should be paramount. If you are a rookie engineer, ensure you always use ring spanners when tightening and loosening nuts and bolts. Physical injuries are quite common among inexperienced engineers.

All domestic appliances seems to have dangerously sharp edges. An awareness of sharp edges should always serve as a constant reminder to use the correct size ring spanners. This will serve to minimise slipping and help to avoid serious cuts.

Spare parts should not be altered in any way and must be fitted exactly the same as the original.

Under no circumstance should you work on an appliance whilst it is still connected to the main electrical supply. The plug must be pulled out of the socket (not just switched off) or the power switched off at the consumer box. The area you work in must be dry and free from water. Always be aware of people around you, especially children and animals.

Never have an appliance plugged into the electrical supply and switched on, with any part of it uncovered, if children and animals are still in the room, for fear of causing electrical shock or other injury.

Remember, the appliance may be switched off at its on/off switch but the rest of it (internally) will still be live. That is why the plug should be pulled out from the socket before any work is carried out on it!

After working on an appliance, ensure the necessary earth continuity or insulation resistance tests are performed before reconnecting to the mains electrical circuit.

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Hot Tips

switch off

There are two main points where you can fully control the electrics to a washing machine:

  1. Mains socket
  2. Consumer box

The mains socket is sometimes behind the washer and therefore not easy to get at.

Pull the plug from the socket before any work is carried out to the machine. Don't just switch it off at the socket. Switches at sockets have been known to fail!

You may find it easier to switch off at the consumer unit. All electrical appliances plugged into that ring mains should now be off.

It is your responsibility to make absolutely certain the appliance is electrically dead before you proceed to work on it.

nice pic

Never never work on an appliance with it only switched off at its on/off switch on its control panel. Parts of the appliance will still be live!