quick fixes

3 Common Freeview EPG Problems

Three Common Freeview EPG Problems

The Freeview Electronic Program Guide or EPG is an onscreen guide that indicates the channels and programmes available on Freeview over the next one week. The Freeview EPG service is only accessible on set-top boxes, TV’s, and digital video recorders that carry the Freeview EPG logo.

Thanks to the Freeview EPG feature, you will never again miss your favourite TV shows. All you need to do is simply record the programme as per the timings indicated in the Freeview EPG. However, at times the Freeview EPG does not work as expected.

Here are three of the most common Freeview EPG faults you may encounter, as well as the recommended troubleshooting steps to resolve the problems.

All channels missing

Regardless of the TV or box you are using, the EPG may stop displaying information on all channels. Press ‘menu’ on the Freeview remote control. If the menu is not displayed, it means that the set-top box is not correctly connected to the TV.  You then need to perform the following checks.

  • Check that the SCART lead from the output of the Freeview box is connected to the spare SCART socket on the TV.
  • Check that the TV aerial is connected to the input aerial socket of the Freeview box / TV.
  • Check that your outdoor aerial is not dislodged. If it has been raining, check that there is no water in the aerial connectors and that the aerial lead from the roof is not severed.
  • Check that you are not using an incompatible set-top box or incompatible TV.

Some channels missing

Freeview’s TV channels are transmitted in six blocks (known as multiplexes). If you are not receiving some channels, then most likely you are not receiving some of the multiplexes. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Scan for channels and add channels using the Freeview remote
  • Check that the missing Freeview channels are available in your area
  • Check the signal strength. If the signal is weak, there could be a problem with your aerial or cabling.

Sometimes passing bad weather can temporarily affect your Freeview signal. Also, if you are using a relay transmitter, you may not get all channels as these devices can typically transmit only a few of the multiplexes.

Missing a new channel

If you are receiving all other channels on a particular multiplex, but not a recently added channel, try the following steps:

  • If the channel does not get added automatically, unplug the box for 30 seconds
  • Plug it in and perform a full- channel scan. If you have a set-top box, go to menu, select ‘Setup’ and scan for channels. For Freeview TV’s, the scan channel option will be available under ‘settings’.

A recurring problem of missing channels or poor reception could also be due to an indoor aerial. Installing a rooftop aerial may help to solve the problem.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

7 Tips for a Sky Digital Box That Does Not Switch On

7 Tips for a Sky Digital Box That Does Not Switch On

So you’re eagerly awaiting the new episode of Game of Thrones, but discover, to your horror, that your Sky Box has become unresponsive. And like Jon Snow, you know nothing about fixing Sky digital boxes.

Sky box problems do occur occasionally, but rest assured that technical support is on-hand to help you resolve any issues you may have.

If your Sky digital box won’t turn on or becomes unresponsive, here are some 7 troubleshooting tips that can rectify the fault:

  1. Reboot the Sky Box

A reboot should be your first course of action when attempting to solve technical issues with any device. In the case of the Sky Box, you’ll need to switch off the plugs for the box and all connected devices (either deactivate them at the mains or unplug them). Make sure the power light for the Sky Box is off and that all connected devices are also powered off. Then switch them all back on. Wait about 3 minutes before pressing Sky on your Sky remote. A green light display on the front indicates that your Sky box problems have been resolved.

Need Home Appliance Insurance? – Cover for your Sky box and other home appliances Click Here for a quote!
  1. Power reset

If your Sky digital box has become unresponsive to the remote control commands, turn off the mains of the digital box and the television. Ensure there are no lights in the digital box panel, before you switch on the mains again.  As you do so, a red light will appear indicating that the box is in standby mode. Let the box remain in the standby mode for about 5 minutes and then switch on the television and press Sky on the remote. The digital box light should turn green and your Sky welcome channel should appear.

  1. Remote control

Sometimes the Sky Box won’t turn on because the batteries in your Sky remote are getting too weak to work. Replacing the batteries may help resolve the problem. Alternatively, if you have accidentally pressed the TV button on the remote, the Sky Box will become unresponsive.Press the Sky button on the remote to get the box to respond.

  1. Software update

The digital Sky Box may also become unresponsive if it is overdue for a software update. To initiate the software download, unplug the digital box and press the ‘Backup’ button located at the front panel of the digital box. Without releasing the backup button, plug in the digital box. Keep pressing the button until the lights on the front panel of the digital box flash. You can let go of the button but will need to wait for approximately 10 minutes while the software downloads. Once the software has been installed, your digital box should operate perfectly.

  1. LNB settings

LNB settings determine whether or not your Sky Box can receive satellite signals, so if the box is not responding, it could be due to an LNB fault. Check that you have the right LNB settings. You can access your LNB settings by going to your menu system (press Select on the remote) and choosing the Settings option (it’s the option to the far left, with a spanner next to it). Choose the ‘Advanced Settings’ option; you will be asked for a PIN number (0000 for the older decoders, the first four digits of your account number for the newer models. You can call Sky for help if you don’t remember it). After entering your Pin number, select LNB setup.

  1. Connectors

Check that the connectors at the back of the Sky Box are tightly screwed on. Check that there are no stray wires around the cable connectors.

  1. Panel reset

If the above steps do not work, try resetting the box. (Important: This will delete all recordings in your hard drive). To reset the digital box follow these steps:

  • Turn off the mains
  • Press the left and right arrow buttons either side of the select button on your Sky remote
  • Keeping the buttons pressed, turn on the box again
  • Continue pressing the buttons and within 60 seconds the blue/green circle lights on the box will light up
  • Release the left and right arrow buttons and press the select button twice
  • The blue/green circle lights will move anti-clockwise and the record/ play lights will start flashing on/off
  • When the lights go off, the box is rebooted
  • You will only see the red light on the box
  • Wait for 3 minutes before switching on the box using the remote to see if the problem has been resolved.

If you still have problems and have a TV capable of Wi-Fi – why not try NOW TV?

NOW TV is available on demand with single day or monthly passes and can make accessing SKY’s services much easier and cheaper.

If the box is still unresponsive after trying all these troubleshooting tips, call the Sky helpline to speak to a technical advisor. You could also try booking an engineer visit upgrading your Sky Box.

Need Home Appliance Insurance? – Cover for all your home appliances Click Here for a quote!
Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Common Sky Digital Box Faults and Troubleshooting Tips

Common Sky Digital Box Faults and Troubleshooting Tips

Does your picture jump, or is it blurry? Do you have ‘snowflakes’ falling down your screen? Have you lost all colour except black and white, or has everything suddenly gone rainbow-coloured? Perhaps you have no picture whatsoever? Do these problems occur intermittently or do you experience them on a semi-permanent basis?

Before you throw up your hands in despair and toss out your entire Sky box system, here are some pointers that might sort out some common Sky box problems.

Switch Channels

It may be that the problem is specific to one channel, so first try another channel to see if the problem persists. If the other channels are fine, wait a couple of minutes before changing back to the problem channel. If all is well, then it was probably just the ‘ghost-in-the-machine’, but if you’re still not picture perfect, it could be a network coverage issue.

Bad weather conditions affect the satellite signal, and this can reduce picture quality. If the wind is howling outside, this could be the root cause of the issue, in which case the best advice is to just wait out the storm. However, if the weather’s fine, you could try checking the service status. There may be a network outage in your area, in which case you will still simply have to wait that out too. If the weather’s fine and there are no reports of a network outage in your area you could try rebooting your Sky box and checking a couple of connections. This is a common sky box troubleshooting technique that can solve the majority of faults.

How to Reset your Sky Box

  1. Start by pressing the standby button on your Sky box remote. For models with recording capacity, wait for the Hard Drive to stop spinning (it should take about a minute or so).
  2. Switch off everything, including your Sky box, TV and all connected peripherals and devices.
  3. Switch off the mains and then disconnect the Sky box (make sure that all the lights are out). DON’T take the small plug out of the power socket at the back of the Sky box, and be careful not to touch this plug while the cable is live because you could cause an internal fuse to blow and do major damage to the internal circuits.
  4. Check the rear panel of your Sky box for loose or disconnected cables. Pay special attention to the HDMI and SCART cables, they should be firmly attached at both the TV and Sky box ends.
  5. Wait five minutes and then switch everything back on for a straightforward Sky box reboot. The lights will come on after a few minutes, but if you want to download the latest firmware, skip this step and move to step 6. Note: this should only be done if your Sky box hasn’t updated for a while. Also, this step must NOT be done if the signal is missing or problematic.
  6. On the front panel press and hold down the Backup button and switch on the power at the wall socket
  7. Keep holding down the Backup button until the front panel LED light comes on.
  8. Wait until the Sky box changes to Standby (this should take about 10 minutes) and then reboot your Sky box again, without holding down the button.

Now press Sky on your remote and check back to the faulty channel. If the problem persists, then there may be something faulty with your LNB, which is fitted at the end of the dish arm.

LNB Check

LNB issues are rare, but they can happen. You could test your Sky box in a neighbour’s house to see if it works with their dish. If it does, and you’ve checked your own cables and connections, then you could be dealing with an LNB issue.

Note that each satellite receiver has its own feed from an LNB and some satellite receivers (including Sky+, Sky+HD and the Foxsat Freesat) have two tuners. They allow you to record one channel while watching another. So you need to have two feeds from the LNB. While you’re checking the LNB you may as well check your dish using a satellite alignment meter.

  1. First check the F-connectors at the dish and Sky box for moisture or water damage, and replace the coaxial cable feeder, connectors and LNB if necessary.
  2. The cable between your dish and your satellite receiver needs to be satellite grade PF 100 or PF 125. The coaxial cable’s central core should be higher and stick out a bit above all the F-connectors.
  3. The coaxial cable feeder to your Sky Digital box or Sky+ HD box might have shifted during a windstorm, especially if your cables run over the ridge of your roof, or were badly installed. Make sure the cables are intact and firmly in place.
  4. Check for a wall plate, check the connections and make sure that it’s a fully-screened plate. Gently unscrew the LNB cables at the dish and look for corrosion. If you see a bright shiny copper wire, all is good. A suggestion to prevent corrosion: Apply some silicone grease to the copper wires carefully before screwing back together again.

No satellite signal

The most common reason for issues with your Sky satellite dish signal is bad weather. However, if this problem occurs during normal weather conditions, it could be due to any of the following four reasons:

  • Loose connection in the Sky digital box
  • Problem with the signal strength
  • Incorrect settings
  • Lack of memory in the recorder

Read our post “Super Quick Checks if Your Sky Digital Box isn’t Receiving Signal” for troubleshooting tips on solving this problem. Also, ensure that the Sky satellite dish installed in your home is correctly aligned.

Sky HD box stuck in ‘Standby’

If the red light on the front of your Sky box is on, but you are unable to receive the green light that indicates the box is active, this is described as being ‘stuck in standby’. Try the following:

  • Turn off the box mains
  • Wait a few seconds after the power-light of the box has gone off
  • Turn on the box and the standby light will be amber
  • Wait for another 2 minutes before starting the box using the Sky remote

If this does not work, try resetting the box. (Note: This will eliminate all recordings in your hard drive). To reset:

  • Turn off the mains
  • Press the left and right arrow buttons either side of the select button on your Sky remote
  • Keeping the buttons pressed, turn on the box again
  • Continue pressing the buttons; within 60 seconds the blue/green circle lights on the box will light up
  • Release the left and right arrow buttons and press the select button twice
  • The blue/green circle lights will move anti-clockwise and record/ play lights start flashing on/ off
  • As the lights go off, the box is rebooted
  • You will only see the red light on the box
  • Wait for 3 minutes before switching on the box using the remote to see if the problem has been resolved.

Freeze frames

If you’re only encountering freeze frames on certain channels, it may be because those channels are broadcasting at a weaker frequency, in which case you may have to purchase a larger Sky satellite dish in order to receive feed from those channels. This also applies if you get the “no satellite signal” error message on some channels but not on others.

However, if you are encountering a problem of freeze frames across all channels, then try resetting your Sky digital box or updating the software.  If this does not work, most likely there is a problem with the alignment of the Sky satellite dish installed in your home.

Digital-box maintenance tip: Sometimes inadequate ventilation can lead to overheating and technical faults in the Sky digital box. Ensure that you do not put anything on top of the digital box.

Other problems and tips

Some problems may caused by some insects who’ve found a nice cosy home inside your LNB feed horn. Remove the plastic cover (be careful not to damage it) and look for nests, webs and any other signs of infestation that may be the cause of your picture problems. Clean out the nest or debris carefully using a small, soft paintbrush and place some mothballs nearby to prevent future infestation.

DECT wireless telephones or Snooper radar detectors in vehicles parked close to your yard could also interfere with your picture quality; normally only a few channels are affected. You could try positioning your dish so that it’s out of the line of sight.

HDMI leads are not screened so you need to make sure you don’t bundle them with other cables. Keep them separately routed away from your other cables and equipment.

Need Home Appliance Insurance?Why Surewise.com Benefits Reviews & FeedbackGet a Quote
Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

8 Common Hob Problems & Repairs

8 Common Hob Problems & Repairs

Most of your cooking is done on a hob (either gas or electric), so it can be very inconvenient when they start giving you problems. There are several different types of hobs that have different features and functions. Knowing what type of hob you’re using will help you narrow down the potential cause of the fault.

Let’s take a look at eight of the most common hob malfunctions, so that when you have to call an engineer, you can properly explain what the problem is.

Problem 1: Erratic flames in the gas cooker

Gas hobs should give off stable blue flames if the burner is operating correctly. If the flames from your gas cooker look yellow or uneven, or if the flames look smaller than usual, this indicates that there is debris in the gas burners or jets.

A technician should remove the burner assembly and inspect for blockages around the jet and the burner head. They should then clean these parts thoroughly with water and remove the grime.

Do not attempt to clean the blockages with harsh chemicals or wires as you may enlarge the burner holes and worsen the problem.

Problem 2: Gas leak from a gas hob

If you have a gas cooker you should install a natural gas detector or a carbon monoxide detector that will sound an alarm if gas levels exceed their safety threshold. A slight whiff of gas is common from gas cookers, but if the smell of gas is stronger than normal, you may have a gas leak somewhere in the hob. Open your windows and doors to let air in and turn off the gas hob. Do not turn on any lights or light a match if the smell of gas persists in the kitchen. Call the gas agency immediately and do not attempt to fix the problem yourself.

Problem 3: Ignition not working

If the burners aren’t working it could be due to a fault in the igniter, the burner or the electronic ignition system. To find out more about this problem, read our Cooker Ignition Not Working – Troubleshoot Guide.

Problem 4: Turning on an electric hob trips the electricity

If turning on the electric hob causes your electric system to trip, you can unplug any other appliances on the same circuit and reset the fuse box. Turn on the cooker and try again. If the electrics trip again, you may need to have a technician replace the faulty hob.

There could also be a problem either with the circuit, the oven power plug or the oven itself.

Problem 5: Cooking plate of electric hob not heating up

If one of the cooking plates of your electric hob is not heating up, the cooking plate element may be faulty and you’ll need to call the appliance technician for a replacement.

Tip: You could also experience problems with the cooking plates if you use pans with uneven bases, so replace old dented pans with new ones.

Problem 6: Heating problems with an induction hob

Induction hobs are a little different from other electric hobs in that they transfer heat via magnetism. This enhances their efficiency and makes them safer to use, but it means that only pans made from ferrous material will work on them (ferrous means the material includes iron).

To check if your pan is composed of ferrous material, hold a fridge magnet to its bottom and see if it sticks. If it does, it will work on an induction hob. If your pan or pot is composed of ferrous material but the heating still doesn’t work, then the issue is with the hob itself and cooker repairs may be required.

Problem 7: Unable to adjust heat

If a burner turns on but the heat level can’t be adjusted (for example, it stays at high temperature as long as it is switched on, no matter what you do with the settings), it could be the result of a faulty ignition switch. To determine if the problem is with the switch itself, turn off all switches, unplug the burner and fit it into a different receptacle. Turn on the cooker and try adjusting the switch on that burner to see if it works. Any faulty switches should be replaced.

Problem 8: An ‘E’ symbol keeps flashing on the hob controls

The ‘E’ symbol indicates that a switch is being continually pressed. You could try cleaning the hob to remove any dirt that might be causing the error. Note, however, that cleaning might also cause the issue if any areas of the hob are still wet, so try using a hairdryer to get rid of any damp.

If none of these tips work, try rebooting the power switch for the hob. If you still have a problem, you may need to have the touch board replaced. You can call a technician to install a replacement touch board, or do so yourself if you’re confident in your ability to repair electronic devices.

Types of hobs

Now let’s take a quick look at some of the different types of hobs and the problems you’re most likely to experience.

Gas hobs

Gas hobs provide an even distribution of heat immediately. They come in two types: Standing pilot and electric ignition. Common problems with both include gas cooker rings not igniting, in which case it’s probably caused by debris, either from food or fibres from your cleaning cloth. You will have to remove the burner cap and wipe the rings clean. Use a special cloth that is not going to leave fibres or lint behind.

Make sure you dry the rings and hob properly when you clean it because any remaining moisture could cause incessant clicking when you switch it on. If the clicking persists you might need to replace the switch under the relevant knob.

Gas-on-glass hobs

These hobs have gas burners mounted on top of ceramic glass, which adds to their style and makes them easier to clean. They take longer to provide heat but they are also more precise. Unfortunately, the spiffing ceramic glass is easily stained, so you will have to use a special cream-based hob cleaner. The glass can also be pock-marked or even cracked by hot oil splashing or sugar spills or when food boils over.

Ceramic hobs

These hobs are very elegant and very easy to clean. They are electric hobs, so they have an extra element of safety if you have young children. They heat quickly and modern hobs come with touch controls. However, common problems include being cracked and broken by dropped lids or even pots and the surface is easily scratched. They are currently quite expensive to repair (if you don’t have an extended warranty) and you have to invest in special cleaners so you don’t damage the surface with anything abrasive. You may also have to buy new cookware because they don’t work with glass or copper-bottomed pots and pans.

Induction hobs

Induction hobs are gaining in popularity because they are energy-efficient and cost-effective. The downside is that, like ceramic hobs, they require special posts and pans with ferrous metal bases. It’s ok if your hob makes low-level whirring noise because it’s just the induction fan working as it should. Note, however, that repairs can be expensive.

Electric hobs

Electric hobs are usually the most affordable option. The most common problems are related to faulty switches and elements. The signs are difficulty regulating temperature, plates not switching on and tripping the electrics when you switch the hob on.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which you can found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call an NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent further damage.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

3 Reasons Why Your Oven Keeps Tripping Electrics

3 Reasons Why Your Oven Keeps Tripping Electrics

It’s a Sunday and you’ve planned to cook the perfect roast for the family, but as soon as you switch on the electric oven, it trips all the electrics in the house. You curse and reset the fuse box before turning on the oven again; only for the same thing to happen. Now you’re worried. After all, Sunday roast only comes once a week.

If the electric system keeps tripping, it could be due to one of numerous problems. As a general rule, if the trip occurs whenever an electric oven is switched on, then it’s usually a problem with the circuit or the wiring. If it occurs when a specific function on the oven is used however, then it may be because a component linked to that function is faulty.

Need Home Appliance Insurance? – Cover for oven and more home appliances Click Here for a one step quote!

There are a number of checks your technician can perform to narrow down the potential cause of the trip. Here are a few examples:

1) Problem with the circuit

The technician will check for a circuit overload. As a first step, they will look to see if there are multiple appliances connected to the same circuit as the electric oven. If that is the case, then unplug the other appliances and switch on the oven again. It should no longer trip. You may then have to upgrade the over circuit to increase capacity or add the appliances to a different circuit – there is usually a separate circuit for ‘Plugs’.

If there are no other appliances connected on the same circuit, they are likely to perform the following checks:

  • Using a clamp-on ampmeter, they will measure the current power load on the circuit when the oven is on. If the load is to great for the circuit, you will have to upgrade.
  • Electricity could also be tripping if there is a faulty circuit breaker or a problem with the wiring in the circuit. Have a qualified electrician check for any damage in the insulation of the circuit wires. For the electrician to test the circuit breaker, he could swap it with a breaker of the same rating from another working circuit.

2) Problem with the oven power plug/wiring

A technician can measure the current when the oven is off. This should normally read zero. If the current is > 0.3A, then the oven wire could be damaged. After unplugging the appliance a technician can inspect the power plug for any soot or damaged wiring.

Some manufacturers equip ovens with terminal blocks designed to be used across Europe. In order for these to be compatible with UK circuits, the links need to be positioned in the correct way. So if you’ve recently purchased the oven, check the user manual for Instructions on how to correctly position the links.

If it’s an older product, however, check to ensure that the terminal block is still in workable condition. Terminal blocks tend to deteriorate over time, in which case it will need to be replaced; be sure to seek advice from a technician as to which would be the correct model to purchase.

3) Problem with the oven components

To check if there is a problem with the electric oven itself, ensure that no other appliances are connected on the same circuit. Turn on the oven at a low temperature. If the electricity doesn’t trip immediately, this confirms that there is no short in the fuse into which it is plugged.

Now raise the temperature of the oven. If the electricity trips when it reaches a higher temperature, there is most likely a problem with one of the heating elements. You need a new element to solve the fault. Call out an appliance technician to replace it for you.

Other components that could potentially cause your electrics to trip include:

  • Selector switch (used to change oven functions)
  • Fans
  • Thermostats
  • Internal lamp

Through a process of elimination you can determine the general area in which the fault is occurring, by selecting certain functions to see whether the oven only trips when those functions are being used.

There are also certain tools designed to measure components in ovens to see if they are working correctly. You can find detailed information on how to test the thermostat on UK Whitegoods, for example. However, it’s recommended you seek the assistance of a technician if you are not trained to work with electronics.

Electricity tripping can be due to a short circuit at any place in your home. If a household appliance trips more than once or twice, you must contact a qualified electrician to look at the problem.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which are detailed in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call an NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent it from seriously damaging the appliance.

Need Home Appliance Insurance? – Why Surewise.com Benefits Reviews & FeedbackGet a Quote
Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

5 Simple Checks for Freezer not Freezing

5 Simple Checks for Freezer not Freezing

Having your kitchen freezer break down can be expensive both with regard to the frozen food that spoils and the cost of having your freezer repaired.

If your freezer suddenly stops working or becomes ineffective, perform the following quick checks:

  1. Check for excessive ice in the freezer: Excessive ice in the freezer prevents the cold air from circulating. If you see an unusual build up of ice in the freezer, defrost the freezer completely. Now plug in the freezer to check if it is working as before.Remember, this may only be a temporary solution. As a normal process, self-defrost freezers turn off the compressor for a few minutes every 6-12 hours. Repeated excessive build up of frost in the freezer means that the freezer’s auto-defrost system is not working. Therefore, either the defrost heater, the defrost thermostat, or the defrost timer have a fault. This needs the attention of a professional appliance repair person.
  2. Check the thermostat: Perhaps the thermostat is stuck. Try turning it up and down again, and see if it clicks when you turn it. Set the temperature at the level recommended in the appliance manual and use a fridge thermometer to check if the problem has been resolved. If not, then you may have to replace the freezer thermostat.
  3. Check if something is blocking the freezer fan: Excess loading of the freezer renders the cooling system ineffective. Remove any food items that may have been stacked against the freezer fans. Also, if you cannot hear the fan operating when you open and close the doors, then you need to call a technician.
  4. Check the freezer door seals: If you see that the freezer door is not closing completely, check for damage of the freezer door seals. Sometimes simply cleaning the freezer door for any debris that may have accumulated can solve the problem. In case the freezer door gasket is damaged, it would need to be replaced by an appliance professional.
  5. Check the coils: All freezers have coils. These coils contain the refrigerant that absorbs the heat inside the freezer. If there is dust on the coils, the cooling function of the coils is affected. Unplug the fridge and very gently clean the coils with a vacuum cleaner or a dust magnets. If you are not sure how to do this, call a repair person.Your freezer may also not freeze for the following reasons:
    • There is a gas leakage, or a blockage that is restricting the gas flow in the fridge freezer
    • A noisy compressor indicates damage to the compressor motor. This part can be expensive to replace. Depending on how old your freezer is, it may be a wise decision to buy a new freezer.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions – found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Cooker Ignition Not Working – Troubleshooting Guide

Cooker Ignition Not Working – Troubleshooting Guide

If you take good care of your appliances, checking for problems regularly and cleaning them properly, chances are that they will last longer and save you money in the long-run. To take proper care of your cooker (and other appliances) it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about the workings and possible problems that can crop up. This means you can carry out some quick DIY if the problem is a simple one and you’ll save money by not having to call out the technician something annoying goes wrong.  After all, good maintenance is always preferable over costly repairs.

Some of the most common problems cookers relate to ignition issues, simply because igniters are used so frequently.

Generally, gas ranges these days have one of 3 basic ignition systems:

  • Pilot ignition: It’s a mechanical system that needs to be lit manually.
  • Hot surface ignition: It’s an electronic system with a glow bar or glow coil – aka an ignitor.
  • Spark ignition: It’s an electronic system and often cookers with this type of ignition have different systems on the oven and the range.

There is an older style (early to mid-1970s) electronic ignition system that can also still be found in some cookers: The ‘constant’ pilot electronic system. However, chances are that your cooker has a much more modern ignition system, unless you’re cooking with a family heirloom.

Obviously, the exact problems differ from cooker to cooker, but there are some commonalities that apply to malfunctioning ignitions.

Remember: If you have to call a technician, ensure they’re Gas-Safe registered.

If you want to try a DIY solution – only if you are confident in your abilities, because if you tinker and make things worse it could affect the validity of your claim – then you can try some of the following trouble-shooting tips.

Check the burners

Turn off all the burner dials and switch off the main gas supply. Lift the hinged top of the and check to see whether there are bits of food clogged around the ignition. If you see a build-up of grime and food, clean the burners by wiping them down gently with a soft damp cloth. Use a magnifying glass and needle to clear as much of the muck between the igniter and gas supply as possible.

Is the burner clogged up with grime from the metallic tubes?  Clean tubes, holes and valves carefully with a damp cloth rinsed in vinegar.  Turn on the gas supply and test again.

These are both delicate jobs, so if you aren’t comfortable, call in a Gas-Safe technician.

Note: If you have problems with one burner, another might be about to give notice. It’s a good idea to check them all just to be sure.

Gas supply

If this doesn’t do the trick, try checking your gas supply line and check the oven’s system. If your stove-top ignition system is working, but there’s a problem with the oven’s system then you don’t have a gas supply line issue but a problem with the oven’s system. Take a look at your gas levels in the gas tank to make sure the tank isn’t empty.  Double check the valves by turning to them on, if there’s no gas they won’t light.

Electronic ignition system

If you still have no luck in getting your cooker to work, try testing the electronic ignition system. If there’s no spark when you switch on the burner, there might be a problem with the electric circuitry. Check that all the plugs are plugged in and the electricity is on. If it trips there’s a problem in the circuit breaker. Switch off the current and check for loose wires between the igniter and the burner assembly. If there’s still a problem with the ignition system, it could be the igniter switch, in which case it’s time to call the Gas-Safe Technician.

Problems with the igniter

Check the igniter for sparks. Turn the gas off and try the ignition button on your stove. You should hear the ‘clicking’ sound, check whether there are sparks, if not then it’s time for a new igniter. The igniter could also be clogged with dirt. Clean the igniter with a toothbrush to remove dirt and debris. Gently scrub the surface of the igniter with the toothbrush and softly blow on it when you’re done cleaning. The igniter is located in different places in different cookers, but generally you can find it near the burners for the oven. You may need to remove the bottom oven cover to expose the igniter.

Calling a technician

When you do call in a Gas-safe registered technician, explain the steps you’ve been through. The technician might repeat them to double check the problem, but at least they will know that what’s been tried and where the potential problem could be.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which are in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent further damage.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

5 Quick Checks for Fridge Freezers Not Working

5 Quick Checks for Fridge Freezers Not Working

The fridge freezer is an essential appliance for a fully functional kitchen. Good fridge freezers are silent hard working machines that operate round the clock to safely store your food supplies.

However, at times a few glitches may cause your refrigerator to stop working or become ineffective. Common symptoms are:

  • It stops cooling
  • The fridge light does not come on
  • The appliance starts making some strange noise that you have never heard before.

Before, assuming that there is a major electrical problem with your appliance, we recommend you do the following quick checks.

  1. Check the power cord: If your refrigerator stops working or if the light does not come on when you open your refrigerator door, the problem is likely due to a loose power cable. Pull the fridge away from the wall, and check whether the plug is firmly fixed into the socket. In addition, unplug it and inspect the electrical cord. Have it replaced immediately by an electrician or technician if you suspect any damage. Also, ask the electrician to check for any blown fuses in your house or tripped circuit breakers in the appliance’s circuit breaker box.
  2. Turn power off / reset: If the electrical cord is not the problem, you can try turning off the power to the fridge and starting it again. Also, check the appliance manual on how to reset your fridge freezer to ensure that there is no problem with the settings.
  3. Check the seals and the gaskets: If the light remains on when you close the refrigerator door, the problem is most probably on the door seals and the gaskets. Check the door seals for cracks and rips. If the seals and gaskets are broken, an appliance engineer should replace them.
  4. Check the thermostat: It is possible that the thermostat temperature has been accidentally turned up, causing the interiors to be warmer than usual. Ensure that the thermostat is at the ideal temperature recommended by the manufacturer.
  5. Check the freezer: The refrigerator and the freezer have different controls and can malfunction separately.
  • The freezer fan may be blocked.
  • Condenser coils located beneath or behind the appliance may have collected debris. This would prevent the freezer from cooling properly.
  • There could be a problem with the defrost timer. The refrigerator compressor goes silent when it is in automatic defrost mode, which lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. If the compressor motor does not start after this time, the defrost timer may need replacement.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions – found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

6 Causes For Beeping Fridge

6 Causes For A Beeping Fridge

You know your refrigerator is in perfect working order when it is not making any noise. On the other hand, a beeping sound indicates that something is wrong with the appliance. It could be a minor problem that you can resolve in minutes or something far more complex that needs professional attention.

The first thing you need to do is check the fridge manual to understand what the beeping signifies and what you can do to stop it. If you cannot find the relevant information, simply unplug the fridge for a few seconds and plug it back in. If it was a minor hitch, the fridge should stop beeping.

However, if the beeping persists, do a quick check for the following:

  1. Check if fridge and freezer are overfilled: Over-stuffing of these compartments will prevent the doors from closing properly and can cause the fridge to set off a beeping alarm.
  2. Check the fridge door seals: Broken or damaged door seals may prevent the fridge from closing. This can also happen if the seals are dirty. Wipe clean the door seals with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water, and close the fridge doors. If the door still appears ajar, then you need to replace the door seals.It is also possible that the inbuilt door-alarm (which sets off if the fridge door is ajar for more than a few minutes) has tripped. This would need to be looked at by a qualified repair technician. Until, you can call a technician, transfer all the food items to another cool place.
  3. Check the fridge balance: To function properly the fridge must be placed on a levelled surface. Even a slight tilt in the fridge structure can set off a beeping alarm. Check if the fridge is balanced evenly.
  4. Check if the fridge exterior is warmer than usual: Check if there is adequate distance between the fridge and walls to allow for proper ventilation. If you have already ensured this, and the fridge exterior still appears warmer than usual, have an appliance engineer look at the problem. If the beeping continues, switch-off the fridge.
  5. Check the freezer: If your fridge does not have an auto-defrost function then excessive ice-build up in the freezer can cause the beeping alarm. If you see a lot of ice build-up in the icebox or freezer, switch off the fridge and let the ice thaw. Once the fridge is thawed, the beeping should stop.
  6. Have a technician check the circuit board: It is possible that there is a problem with the appliance’s circuit board. If so, it will most likely need replacement.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions – found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

8 Reasons For Beeping Dishwashers

8 Reasons For Beeping Dishwashers

Having your dishwasher breakdown is a massive inconvenience. The thought of all those long years of peace in the household giving way once again to bitter conflict as struggle ensues over who has to wash the dirty dishes. But the good news is that the dishwasher is the most likely to appliance to malfunction as a result of simple issues that can be easily resolved, without requiring expensive dishwasher repairs.

Furthermore, unlike geysers and circuit boards, fixing a dishwasher is not a matter of urgency. So you have time to troubleshoot the fault and see if it is one of the many issues that you can resolve yourself. Here are just a few examples of common dishwasher problems:

Safety First: The first thing to bear in mind is that a dishwasher is an electrical device, and thus you are required to follow electrical safety guidelines when carrying out DIY dishwasher repairs. If you suspect the problem requires electrical work to fix, take the safe option and call a professional, unless you have experience working with electronics. Electrical components will usually be located in the door and at the base, and can be accessed via the inspection panel or by removing the inner door. These parts can carry current even when the dishwasher is switched off and unplugged.

Dishwasher won’t turn on

  • The first thing to do is check the plug and socket. Try plugging another small appliance into the same socket and see if it works. If it does, the problem is with the dishwasher.
  • Check the dishwasher door is properly closed.
  • Check to see if the dishwasher door latch is broken. Most dishwasher door latches are made of plastic, and if they’ve degraded to the point where they can’t hold the door closed then the dishwasher won’t start.
  • Try resetting the dishwasher. You can find instructions on how to do this in the manual.
  • Was there a power surge? Again, reset the appliance by pressing the reset button. In addition, some dishwashers have their own circuit breakers which can be reset.
  • Other components that could prevent the dishwasher from turning on are the thermal fuse, the door switch and the main control board. Checking the condition of these components will require you to remove the control panel, so you may want to contact a professional unless you’re familiar with the inner workings of a dishwasher.

Dishwasher not Draining

This is usually a problem with the dishwasher drainage systems or with the house plumbing. Here are some routine checks you can make before calling a professional:

  • Remove, clean and replace the filters. You’ll find them in the bottom of the dishwasher, and they’re easy to twist and pull out.
  • Pull the dishwasher away from the wall and check the waste hose. If it’s squashed it may not be able to drain properly.
  • A blockage in your sink could also prevent proper drainage, if the dishwasher waste water pipe is connected to it.

Dishwasher making beeping sounds

If your dishwasher starts beeping, it is probably a sign of either incorrect use or a part that needs replacing.

Electronic appliances such as dishwashers often come inbuilt with electronic sensors, which may make beeping sounds or display blinking lights to caution the appliance user that something is wrong. It is important to note here that the combination of beeping and lighting display mean different things in different dishwasher models.

Turn off the dishwasher and check for any of the following that could be causing your dishwasher to beep:

  • Did you open the dishwasher door before the cycle was complete? If so the appliance may memorise the cycle status and will not start a new cycle the next day. Check your appliance’s instruction manual on how to reset the appliance.
  • Have you added rinse aid or coarse salt? Check your dishwasher handbook on how to refill this.
  • Have a technician check the pressure switch or flow meter.
  • Have a technician check the reed sensors for normal wear and tear – these detect obstruction to the dishwasher spray arms.
  • Is the dishwasher beeping in tandem with blinking lights? This may indicate anti-flood device activation. This means that the dishwasher sensors have detected water in the casing and has stopped working to prevent the water in the drum from leaking over your floor. If it is an integrated model, sponge off water in the base. If it is a freestanding appliance, tilt the machine slightly to drain out the excess water.

Prevent dishwasher problems by keeping it in good condition

It is estimated that you save three weeks a year by using your dishwasher! Regular cleaning and maintenance of the dishwasher will ensure that it continues to work without developing a fault and so saves you hours every week.

Also be sure to read the dishwasher instruction manual. According to service engineers on UK White Goods, most dishwasher problems are down to people not knowing how to look after their dishwasher because they didn’t read the instruction manual.

Please remember:

Appliances should be serviced regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions found in the product manual. If you have a problem with an appliance, call in a NICEIC or Gas-Safe registered appliance engineer to repair your appliance. Don’t forget that if your appliance is not working optimally, you should also have it serviced to prevent causing damage to the appliance.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles