Four Tips to Increase the Efficiency of Your Dishwasher

close up of loaded rack in dishwasherThe chore of washing dishes uses water, chemicals, energy, as well as your valuable time. However, an efficient approach can help you save some of each. Here are some simple tips to ensure your dishwasher is being used efficiently.

Wait Until You Have a Full Load
Refrain from running a cycle until your dishwasher is at full capacity. Rather than washing only partial loads of dishes, waiting for a full load will ensure you the most cleaning power for every dollar you spend on water, energy, and dish soap.

Skip the Pre-Rinse
Most of today’s dishwashers are effective enough to clean dishes without them being pre-rinsed in the sink beforehand. Save water by scraping leftover food into the trash instead, and use a dry sponge to get rid of food particles that may clog the drain.

Turn Down the Thermostat
Most dishwashers are preset to heat water to about 140°F. By turning the water down to about 120°F, you can still get clean dishes while using less energy.

Consider an Upgrade
Thanks to new standards, newer dishwashers use just a fraction of the water that older models do. While dishwasher installation in Washington, DC, is an investment, money and resources will be saved in the long term when less water and energy is being used.

Reasons Why Your Dishwasher is Leaking or Overflowing

open dishwasher after a cycleFinding a puddle of water or suds on your kitchen floor is never ideal. Since clean-up is tedious and water damage to your floor can become expensive, it’s important to schedule a repair or dishwasher installation in Maryland as soon as possible. In the meantime, the following causes below can help you better understand why your dishwasher may be malfunctioning.

A Worn Door Gasket
The door of your dishwasher has a rubber seal around it that prevents water from escaping. If it is worn down or damaged, water can leak from the dishwasher. To prevent further leaks, you will need to replace the gasket.

Misuse of Detergent
If the mess on your floor includes suds, you may be using too much detergent or a soap that is incompatible with your dishwasher. The owner’s manual of your unit should state how much detergent should be used, as well as recommendations for compatible soaps.

Faulty Float Assembly or Switch
As the water level in your dishwasher increases, the float rises. When the float reaches a certain level, it signals the float switch to turn off the water flow. However, if the float becomes stuck, the switch will not be activated, causing your dishwasher to overflow. If the float is moving freely, but your appliance is still overflowing, the float switch may need replacing.

Defective Water Inlet Valve
The inlet valve is what delivers water to your dishwasher. If it is working properly, it will provide your appliance with the proper amount of water and then shut off. If it malfunctions, your dishwasher may overflow, and the inlet valve will need to be replaced.

Four Benefits of Self-Cleaning Ovens

close up of knobs on range ovenWhen it comes to saving time in the kitchen, automated appliances can make certain tasks quicker and easier. Such is the case with self-cleaning ovens. Here are just a few reasons why it pays to incorporate a self-cleaning oven with your appliance installation in Rockville, MD.

Convenience is the most obvious benefit to self-cleaning ovens. Long gone are the days of scrubbing away at spilled, baked-on food – Simply turn on the self-cleaning feature, and you’ll soon have a clean oven interior once again.

Energy efficiency
Because a self-cleaning oven must heat up to high temperatures during cleaning, they feature especially well-insulated doors and walls. This means the oven is especially energy-efficient compared to regular range oven units, thus saving you money on energy costs.

No chemicals
Cleaning an oven manually requires the use of oven cleaners. With a unit that self-cleans, you can avoid using toxic chemicals and solvents to do the job. In most cases, you will only need a damp cloth combined with baking soda or lemon juice. Otherwise, simply heat to clean!

While you may pay an additional $100 for the self-cleaning feature, you will be saving by not continuously purchasing oven cleaners and scouring pads.

Surprising Kitchen Items You Can Clean in the Dishwasher

The dishes, cups and utensils you place in your dishwasher are likely all made of glass, plastic or metal. If you look around, there are plenty of other things in your kitchen made of the same materials. For that reason, you can make the most of your new dishwasher installation in Maryland by cleaning more than just dinnerware!

Refrigerator Shelves, Bins
If you’d prefer not to hand-wash these while cleaning down the refrigerator, you can run them through a cycle in the dishwasher.

Kitchen Sponges, Brushes
These kitchen tools are notorious for collecting tons of bacteria, and should be cleaned regularly. Whenever you wash a load of dishes, place your sponges and brushes in the utensil holder.

Oven Mitts (Silicone)
To remove food residue, you can place oven mitts made of silicone on the top rack of the dishwasher.

Kitchen Hardware
While stove knobs and metal cabinet handles may be some of the last things you think of cleaning in your kitchen, their frequent use can make them dirty quickly. If they’re removable, you can put them in the utensil holder of your dishwasher.

Microwave Turntable
For easy cleaning, you can run the removable turntable in your microwave through a dishwasher cycle.

Range Hood Filters
A dirty stove hood filter can attract pests and decrease indoor air quality. A weekly cleaning in a dishwasher will help keep it clean so it doesn’t block the vent.

Electrical Circuits for Kitchens

A typical kitchen requires several electrical circuits. While bedrooms or family rooms are commonly served by a single, standard lighting circuit, a modern kitchen is likely to have about seven circuits due to its hardwired electrical appliances. Here is a list of the most commonly used circuits in a kitchen.

A modern refrigerator requires a dedicated 20-amp, 120/125-volt circuit. 12/2 NM wire with a ground is required for the wiring.

If you’ve sought an appliance contractor for oven installation in Washington, D.C., you likely know that an electric range will need a dedicated 240/250-volt, 50-amp circuit. This means you’ll need to install a 6/3 NM cable (or #6 THHN wire in a conduit) to feed the range. However, a gas range will only require a 120/125-volt receptacle to feed the range.

A dishwasher circuit should be a dedicated 120/125-volt, 15-amp circuit. It is fed with a 14/2 NM wire with a ground.

A microwave oven needs a dedicated 20-amp, 120/125-volt circuit to feed it. This will require 12/2 NM wire with a ground.

Small Appliances
Above your countertop, you will need two dedicated 20-amp, 120/125-volt circuits to run your small appliance loads (toasters, blenders, coffee pots, etc.).

Garbage Disposal
A dedicated 15-amp circuit is required for a garbage disposal. It is fed by a 14/2 NM cable with a ground.

Lighting Circuit
A 15-amp, 120/125-volt dedicated circuit is required to power the ceiling fixtures, under-cabinet  fixtures, and track lights (if you have them).

Spring Cleaning Your Refrigerator

For many of us, pleasant weather is a sign that it’s time to get started on our annual spring cleaning. This year, consider adding your refrigerator and freezer to your list of areas and items to be cleaned. Not only does a clean refrigerator mean a tidier kitchen, but getting rid of food that’s been kept too long or stored improperly can prevent illness. The following are the steps you’ll need to know to guarantee cleanliness after refrigerator installation in Gaithersburg, MD.

Throw Out Old Food
If food appears or smells strange, throw it away. Otherwise, check the labels for dates and toss out any items that have been expired for over a month.

Wash the Shelves and Drawers
Take out any removable shelves and drawers and wash them down with a microfiber cloth that’s been submerged in hot water and dish soap. To prevent cracking, any pieces made of glass or ceramic should warm up to room temperature first before coming into contact with hot water.

Wipe Down the Interior
From top to bottom, wipe down the empty interior of your fridge. Treat tough spills with a small amount of baking soda. Repeat the same process on the interior of the door.

Clean the Exterior
Dip a scrub brush in warm and soapy warmer and clean the gasket seal. Scrub the hinges as well, then wipe dry. Next, wipe down the exterior with all-purpose spray and clean from top to bottom. Be sure not to miss the underside of the door handles, as this is where our hands mostly come in contact.

Vacuum the Coils
The coils of your refrigerator can be found on the underside or back of the unit. Using the dust attachment of your vacuum, remove any dust that has built up among the coils.

Common Causes of a Leaky Refrigerator

When it comes to leaks or moisture found on your kitchen floor, they don’t always originate from your sink or dishwasher. Your refrigerator may be to blame, even if it doesn’t have a water dispenser or ice maker.

A Damaged Drain Pan
To prevent pooling inside the food storage area, your refrigerator drains water into a pan. With age and use, your pan may crack and cause water to drip onto the floor. Inspect your drain pan by removing your refrigerator’s kick plate and following the drain line to the pan.

An Obstructed Defrost Drain
This small drain opening is easily blocked by debris or ice, thus preventing water that accumulated during the defrost cycle from draining to the pain. If enough water builds up, it can leak onto the floor. Try clearing the drain by flushing it with hot water.

A Faulty Water Filter or Ice Maker
If there is a poor connection between the water filter or ice maker and the water supply, water will likely escape. Inspect the filter and housing assembly for any signs of dripping, which can be spotted on the outside of the filter and into the fridge’s interior. Then, inspect the water-line connections to the ice maker which may have become loose or damaged.

If your refrigerator is over ten years old, you may want to consider a replacement. To replace your current unit with the help of professional refrigerator installation service in Rockville, contact us at 301.987.9700.

Five Common Kitchen Styles

When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, there are endless styles and décor ideas that you can choose from. Here are some of the most common styles you can consider for a kitchen remodel before investing in décor and kitchen appliance installation in MD.

Traditional kitchens typically incorporate painted cabinets with or without glass front doors, simple granite or laminate countertops, and hardwood floors. They incorporate soft, muted colors such as creams, taupes and light grays.

A rustic-style kitchen utilizes natural materials such as wood and timber, stone, and brick. Metal/industrial-style touches are also common. Painted finishes in earth tones help create a warm and inviting space.

Cottages naturally bring with them the idea of comfort and beauty. Homeowners can incorporate this in their remodeling by using simple patterns, soft colors, vintage accessories, natural wood accents, and old-fashioned decor themes.

Contemporary kitchens are the epitome of the sleek, minimalist layout. Characterized by dark wood or black cabinetry, fresh white countertops and smooth stainless steel appliances, the contemporary kitchen is functional and sometimes artistic in nature. Contemporary styles often include curves and pops of bold colors.

Modern kitchens can come in many forms. However, they are typically highlighted by neutral colors, strong lines, minimal décor and man-made materials such as laminate, ceramics and plastics.

The Difference Between Ovens, Stoves and Ranges

appliance installation Rockville MDAs home cooking has evolved over the decades, the terms we call our cooking appliances have also changed. However, there are very definable differences between an oven, a stove and a range. Keep reading to learn what separates these appliances before requesting your appliance installation in Rockville, MD.

An oven is simply a chamber used for cooking, heating or baking food. This can include home ovens, countertop toaster ovens, industrial ovens, and even earth ovens.
While an oven does not refer to anything outside the cooking chamber, such as a burner, many people still refer to the entire unit as an oven.

Technically, a stove is any enclosed space that uses fuel to generate heat. There are many kinds of stoves that provide heat but aren’t used for cooking, such as coal stoves. That being said, ovens can actually be seen as a subset of stoves.
Usually, stoves often include what’s called a stovetop. Stovetops can be separated from the stove and exist on their town, where they’re typically called “cooktops”. These surfaces can use gas or electric heat.

When a stovetop has its own fuel and is connected to an oven, this all-in-one appliance is called a “range”. A range is most likely what is in your kitchen.

What to Do When Your Dishwasher Won’t Drain

dishwasher installation servicesIf you find water standing in the bottom of your dishwasher, you may need to call a professional for help. However, you can attempt to rectify the problem yourself first by trying the following:

Look for a blockage
Check for a blockage by ensuring there are no objects blocking the sump area in the rear of the tub. If not, inspect the drain hose (where it connects below the sink) for a blockage or kink.

Clean the filter
Some dishwashers have a simple screen filter, some have removable filters below the screen, and some require removing the bottom spray arm.

Run your disposer
If you have a garbage disposer, run it to clear the drain system.  Remember that you should turn on your disposer prior to running the dishwasher in order to first rid any food or debris from the drain system.

Clean the air gap
Look for a small cylinder on the back edge of your kitchen sink. If water comes out of the air gap when you run your dishwasher, the blockage is between the air gap and the garbage disposer. Remove the air gap cap and clean way any debris.

Look into your detergent
Using the wrong type of detergent, or too much of it can cause sudsing that may prevent the dishwasher from properly draining.

Because improper installation can cause issues with your appliances, you shouldn’t leave your major appliance installation in the hands of just anyone. If you are replacing your unit or buying one for the first time, contact us for professional dishwasher installation service in Maryland.