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Dougie's Appliance Care Tips.

What is in your Drinking Water?

There are actually sewerage treatment plants that put out waste water that is more pure than tap water. But if you knew where it had come from you would not drink it!

So why do we continue to drink tap water? Because, by and large we don't know what's in it. (Giardia, Chryptosporidium, Lead, bacteria, mercury, to name just a few common contaminants)

A good water filter can rid your water of all of these nasties and more.

Doug Smith Spares has a complete range of water filtration units from the WF101 counter top unit (great if you are in a rented home, and want to take it with you when you move) to undersink units, and even reverse osmosis systems (suitable for those with medical conditions). Unlike most other filters on the market, we also stock a range of designer taps for the water filters, so your kitchen design doesn't have to be compromised.

Call or drop into our stores today, and we can help you chose the filter that is right for you.

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Is your Dryer a fire Risk?

You have probably seen or heard media articles recently that indicate that clothes dryers represent a significant fire risk, and you may be worried about just how safe your dryer is.

Well, the good news is that it is not as bad as all the hype would have you believe. The chance of a dryer bursting into flames is very minimal, so there is no need to panic. This is not to say however that there are not simple steps you can take to minimise the risk to you.

The first thing to look at is the filter. It is recommended that you clean your filter every time you use the dryer, and replace it every year. If you don’t keep the filter clean, lint can build up, and get into the heating element. This is what gives the dryer that dusty smell when you use it, and also what creates the risk of fire. When you clean the filter, check for any damage or ripping. If it looks at all damaged, replace it.

On Hoover and Fisher & Paykel dryers, the filter is located on the door, and is a mesh type. Simpson dryers have the filter inside on the back of the drum. They will either be mesh or foam. They usually just pull off for cleaning. 

If you are concerned that there may already be a build up of lint in your dryer, you can have it serviced. The process should just involve pulling the back off and thoroughly cleaning out all the lint. It is recommended you get a serviceman to do this work if required.

For owners of early model Simpson dryers who want complete peace of mind, you also have the option to completely overhaul your dryer by fitting a rebuild kit to it. (part number D055K – cost $75), It comes with a lower wattage element than the original. (the same ones fitted standard to the new Simpson dryers) It still works just as well, but doesn’t suffer from hot-spotting - and it will save you money on your power bills too!

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How to stop your Dishwasher 'Rotting'

You may have noticed that your dishwasher appears to ‘rot’ from the inside. All the plastic components become scaly or chalky and literally fall apart.

The cause of this is the detergent. It is really quite caustic and over time it can eat away at the components of your machine.

You need to make sure that you are using a dishwashing powder that reduces this effect.

Dishmatic dishwashing machine powder is the best powder available. It is manufactured for and recommended by Electrolux, (they are the manufacturers of Dishlex, Simpson, Westinghouse and Hoover) This is the only powder that is recommended by the Service Department of Electrolux, and has had proven results in reducing the decay of the plastic components.

The powder comes in large 5KG tubs, so it lasts for ages. It is available from Doug Smith Spares, at $43.80 per tub. (Part number 7402E) For best results, use in conjunction with the genuine ‘Dishlex’ rinse aid. (Part number 7405E)

You have spent good money buying a dishwasher, and if you choose the wrong powder, you may find yourself spending even more money replacing parts of it. Don’t you owe it to yourself to give your machine a fighting chance?

Extra Tip:

To keep your dishwasher looking like new, and feeling clean, use Dishwasher Descaler (part number T081) this will remove the ugly build up of brown scale that usually forms in the bottom of dishwashers and kettles. Simply shake some into your dishwasher and run it through a cycle empty. Repeat this about every three months, and your dishwasher will sparkle like it did the day you bought it. Click here for more information. 

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Do you know what germs are living in your Rangehood Filter?

Rangehoods certainly are a great way of stopping the grease from building up on your kitchen ceilings, but the grease has to go somewhere, and often it’s a case of out of sight out of mind.

But the truth is that, a grease build-up in your rangehood filter is not only a source of bacteria, but also represents a significant fire risk. A small flare up on your stove can become a much bigger problem, if your filter is clogged with flammable grease and fats.

Your rangehood filter needs to be washed regularly. Depending on the sort of cooking you do, you may need to wash your filter as often as every month. The filter is usually held in with small clips of some sort, which makes them easy to remove for cleaning.  Do not use any caustic compounds, as they may damage the filter. 

By far the best way to clean rangehood filters is with the New Hillmark Ranghood Filter Kleen which is specifically formulated to remove this grease build up, but wont cause the filter to disintegrate, or rust. Bathing your filter in warm soapy water can also be an effective method. 

If the filter is damaged in any way, you may need to replace it. Filters are relatively cheap, and easy to install. They are usually either a white mesh filter or one or more aluminium filters. Doug Smith Spares sell these types of filters for all brands. All you need to tell us is the size of the filter and what it’s made from.

Some rangehoods also have black, carbon filters. These filters are for odour removal and should be replaced about every two years, once again depending on what sort of cooking you do.

So don’t put it off any longer. For the health of your family and the safety of your home, pull your filter out and clean it today.

Click here for further help.

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Keeping your appliances looking like new.

Keeping your appliances looking like new is not just about appearance. Particularly where your stove is concerned, using the right cleaning and protection treatments regularly can protect your appliances, and keep them lasting longer, as well as looking smarter. 

Click here to view Doug Smith Spares range of Appliance care products (cleaners/descalers/polishes/covers etc)

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Want to be able to go out safe in the knowledge your kitchen won't flood?

Dishwashers are a great labour saving device, but if you have ever experienced the unhappy sight of coming home to a flooded kitchen, you will know what we mean when we say that they can be more trouble than they’re worth.

The problem is that a dishwasher is permanently left connected to the mains pressure, and the taps are nearly always left on. Nearly all dishwasher hoses are made from rubber, and have a crimped fitting on the end. Over time the crimping rusts or the rubber perishes, and one day you find yourself with a swimming pool you didn’t want.

Whenever you plan to go on holidays, or away from your house for a period, always turn the tap off under your sink. (do it on your washing machine too) Ideally you would do this every time you use the machine, but it’s just not practical.

The next step to take is to check your hoses for any signs of perishing. If the rubber looks crazed, or the crimping rusty, or if there are any signs of seepage from the ends, replace the hose. Always use a complete hose assembly that is specifically designed to do this purpose. A cheap hose from a hardware store is probably not right, and never use a clamp on nut and tail to repair your old one. New rubber hoses start from under twenty dollars and are guaranteed for 12 months.

The ultimate solution to any dishwasher connection concern is the PEX hose, which Doug Smith Spares stocks. The PEX hose is a one piece, plastic molded hose. They can never leak from the crimping, because there is no crimping. They are guaranteed against splitting for 3 years!

Whereas rubber hoses are only available up to 2.5 Metres long, PEX hoses also come in lengths up to 4 Metres, which is great for difficult kitchens. You should always use the shortest hose you can, and NEVER EVER join two or more together!

PEX hoses are a little more expensive, but it is a very small price to pay for complete peace of mind. (note – some insurance policies may not cover flood damage, even if it is from pipe leakage!)

Extra Tip: lay some rat baits under your dishwasher and in your cupboards where the hoses are. Dishwasher hoses are a prime target for mice.

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Make Your Stove Elements Last Longer.

No doubt about it, stove elements are expensive, and it can be really frustrating when your solid elements rust and pit, in much shorter time than they should.

Solid element should last about 10 years on average, and they can last much longer than that, if you keep them polished. By applying  solid hotplate cleaner (part number ACC033) to your elements regularly you can significantly increase the life expectancy of your elements.

Depending on how often you use your stove (long periods of inactivity can be the worst thing for them) you should apply hotplate polish about every two to three months. It comes in an applicator tube, so you just rub it on and then turn the element on to bake it for a minute or two. there's no scrubbing, or elbow grease in involved, and it takes seconds. 

The polish will give the element that nice, new, blackened look as well as providing a protective film over the element to stop it from rusting. (protecting your element from the elements so to speak) 

The tubes are priced around ten dollars and will probably last you for several years.

click here for further assistance

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Keeping your fridge smelling fresh.

Over time fridges, no matter how clean they are kept develop that stale, off plastic smell that can be really unpleasant. (not to mention the smells you get when things go rotten in the bottom of the crisper bins!) Air fresheners, and de-oderants only make it worse, and may taste your food. 

There is a really simple solution to the problem, that everybody should be following. Simply sprinkle some carb soda on a saucer and put it in the bottom of your fridge or freezer and leave it there for a day or so then wipe it up. Repeat this process about every month or two and your fridge will smell like a new one again. (or rather not smell - like a new one!)

As well as this, try a Refrigerator Air freshener. Be pleasantly surprised every time you open you fridge. Part number ACC156, Only $7.70

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My Stove Element Needs a Wriggle to get Started.

 If you need to wobble the element on your stove to get it to come on, you have a problem with the socket in your stove and you should stop using that element immediately. (just use one of the others if possible)

Plug in elements are very handy, because you can remove them and clean under them. The problem is that constant plugging and unplugging (or time and heat) causes the socket (where the element plugs in) to become weak and eventually it stops making a good contact. This is why you have to wobble it to get it working.

Your stove needs a new socket and you should change it as soon as you can. If you keep using the element with a faulty socket, you will get arcing. This is where a spark jumps across the connection causing it to burn the tips off the elements in fairly quick time. A socket is fairly cheap and if you replace it as soon as the problem becomes evident, you will probably save your element. Sockets are wired in, so if you need an electrician give us a call and we can recommend someone for you.

A simple inspection of the element will tell you immediately whether or not you have caught it in time to save the element. If your element is damaged, just changing the socket will not work. If you put a new socket into your stove and fit a damaged element to it, you may burn the new socket out. 

If you are in any doubt, bring your element down to our store before you spend any money on your stove at all. We can inspect and electronically test the element, which is a free service, and we can then advise you what is your best course of action.

Just don't ignore the problem. it will not go away, and it will only cost you more money.

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Does your fridge pass the 'paper' test.

Try this: Get a small piece of paper (about the size of a post-it note, but not sticky.) Place it in between your fridge gasket and the body of your fridge and close the door. Does the paper stay or fall? 

Repeat the test in all four corners of the gasket for both the fridge and the freezer section.

If the paper falls out, the magnet on your fridge gasket is not making a proper join with the body of the fridge. If the paper comes out so will the cold air. Not only will your fridge will not function properly, but you will waste energy as well, especially in the summer months.

A perished door seal can cause many problems on your fridge, not least of all sweating around the doors. This can lead to rusting, swelling, splitting of the plastic panels, and of course the build up of moisture that turns into mould.

Fridge door gaskets are easy enough to replace yourself, and not expensive. If you can find the model number on your fridge, then that is all we will need. If not, measure the exact size of the seal, and bring us a sample of if. We can have one made to exact measurements for you.

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