The most used element on our wonderful but over-30-year old electric kitchen stove had been acting up for several months. We were usually able to get it to work, but often it required a hard slam of the pot onto the element. When it did work, the heat seemed to be coming from only part of the element. I procrastinated, especially as I did not have personal knowledge of a good repair person who would be willing to tackle an old appliance. Then our Maytag clothes dryer, also getting close to 30 years old, began to squeal loudly. I was willing to hang my washing up in the basement over the winter, but decided that the cooler basement temperatures in the spring would make this solution less appealing (unfortunately, we don't have an outdoor clothesline). It was time to act.
Although I had originally thought I might have to find two appliance repair people, one for each of the machines, browsing HomeStars' recommendations reminded me that I should be able to get someone who could tackle both machines.
I chose Modern Appliance from among the higher-rated repair companies because there was specific mention of "Caloric", the now-essentially-defunct brand of stove we have, as one they can repair. I sent Modern Appliance an e-mail, outlining the appliances and their problems. Someone from Modern Appliance replied within an hour, describing what likely needed to be done and itemizing costs for service call, repair for each appliance and parts. I was also asked to provide the model numbers of the appliances.
I agreed to Modern Appliance's quote and searched for the model numbers of the two appliances. There were some back and forth messages about the model numbers. With the stove in particular, the model number was a bit difficult to see and it was somewhat worn. But my husband and I double-checked the numbers and said what we had provided seemed to be correct.
As Caloric parts were no longer available for our stove, Modern Appliance told us they could order a universal element and block. The dryer would need a tune-up kit. I gave them the go-ahead to order these things.
It took about 5 days for Modern Appliance to receive the parts. We had no problem with the wait; I had already told them we were not in a rush.
Once the parts had arrived, Modern Appliance e-mailed me again and we set a date for someone to come over to do the work. We were given a 2 hour time slot during which the repair person would arrive.
On the designated date and within the specified time period, Peter from Modern Appliance arrived. He began with the stove. When possible, I like to spend some time watching and asking questions when people are working; I find I can get a great deal of useful information relevant to whatever is being done. Peter was agreeable to my hanging around and to answering my occasional questions. After studying the stove top carefully, he replaced the misbehaving block and element with the new universal ones. Initially the universal element sat a bit high over the stove. Slightly concerned, I asked if it would eventually adjust to sit more in line with the other elements. Peter said that it might but he himself was not completely satisfied with how it looked, so he tried a few adjustments to the element. Soon its position was indistinguishable from that of the other elements. And the element worked fine too.
The clothes dryer essentially required taking apart. Unfortunately, Peter had to work in a tight space to access the interior of the machine, so I largely left him to it. While doing the tune-up, he found a belt that was on the verge of breaking. He replaced this and the rollers and tested the dryer. It was working properly, with no squealing.
All of this took between 1 and 2 hours. I found Peter to be pleasant and willing to explain things to me. I liked how he approached his work (from my vantage point, he spent some minutes studying the machine first likely to familiarize himself with it, then proceeded to tackle the required task. He then checked that everything was working properly.) I was especially impressed with his willingness, without any outright request on my part, to try to better align the new stove element with the original ones. I also liked his positive attitude towards older appliances.
More than a month has gone by now since this work was done. Both appliances are used regularly and they have been working fine. The new stove element is actually impressive in how rapidly and evenly it is heating; I suspect we were living with a malfunctioning element for a lot longer than we realized.
Although I am not hoping for any more appliance failures in the near future, if one did occur, I would definitely choose Modern Appliance again.