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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Appliance Repair Service in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, residents averagely spend around $260 per each repair of a dishwasher, fridge, garbage disposal, stove, or any other home appliance. Having a professional repair man fix your faulty appliance is a smart choice. Untrained handymen may cost you further expenses to rectify poor repairs and loss of your warranty for a replacement appliance. However, before you settle for any appliance repair service in the city, you should ask your intended repairman the following questions to ensure you are hiring a qualified professional for the job:

Are You Licensed to Practice as an Appliance Repair Service in Philadelphia?

There are no specific license requirements for appliance repairmen in the City of Philadelphia. Nonetheless, depending on the scope and nature of the work expected, these individuals may be required to obtain various certifications and occupational licenses from certain city and state agencies to offer repair services.

Per section 608 of the Clean Air Act, repairmen who intend to work on certain types of equipment and appliances that contain harmful substances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, must obtain a federal certification from the EPA. Similarly, to provide electrical services, like repairs, alteration, and installation of electrical appliances in Philadelphia, repairmen in the city must have a valid state-issued electrical contractor license. The City of Philadelphia's Department of Licenses & Inspections (DLI) is responsible for issuing this license. Individuals who carry out electrical work in the city without obtaining an electrical license commit a class II offense that attracts a fine of up to $1,000 or 90 days imprisonment.

Interested individuals must have at least four years of experience in electrical work or two years of education in the electrical field to be considered for this type of license. They must also prove that they have completed the Philadelphia Electrical Contractor Exam. Aside from this, they must have completed 8 hours of coursework for the NFPA70 exam approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. These requirements must be met within 12 months before the license application process.

Once the applicant meets all applicable requirements, they can apply for a license online through DLI's eCLIPSE portal. Alternatively, applicants can book an in-person appointment to apply at:

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., on Monday through Friday

To verify if your intended repairman is licensed as an electrical contractor, you can utilize the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections L&I's online platform. Also, you can use the city's Permit, and License Center suspended contractor's directory to verify if there is any disciplinary action against the repairman. For all licensing-related inquiries, interested individuals can contact the DLI by submitting an online request to 311 or call 311. Individuals outside Philadelphia can contact the DLI at (215) 686-8686.

Some appliance repairmen in Philadelphia also take advantage of non-mandatory certification programs with trade associations like the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET). These organizations should be contacted to verify the legitimacy of their certificate.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Appliance Repair Services in Philadelphia?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Philadelphia's appliance repairmen make around $23 an hour. The exact cost of hiring a skilled technician depends on several factors, such as the type of equipment needed and how much the appliance parts cost. Before hiring an individual for a job, it is essential to compare costs by getting and comparing quotes from at least three different appliance repairmen in the city. Although it is important to consider the charges associated with the service provided by the company, it is also important to note that the person you hire should be licensed and have the necessary skills to carry out the job.

Appliance repairmen in Philadelphia earn an average annual wage of $48,670. Provided below is a comparison of the average hourly wage for appliance repair men in Philadelphia with those of these technicians in other areas of the State of Pennsylvania and several other locations across the United States:

Philadelphia Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Pennsylvania Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Los Angeles Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Boston Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Houston Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Phoenix Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Seattle Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are You Certified by the Manufacturer to Repair the Appliance in Philadelphia?

When choosing a local Philadelphia appliance repair service, the individual you hire must be factory-certified by the manufacturer. Factory-certified refers to the status of an appliance repair company or an appliance repairman that a manufacturer has approved to provide specialized or advanced services on their products. This ensures that they can handle your appliance repair needs in Philadelphia. Having a factory-certified technician working on your appliance gives you peace of mind that the repairs will be carried out according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Aside from being able to thoroughly inspect and confirm the quality of the products they're working on, factory-certified repair technicians also have access to the support and technical resources of the manufacturer. This guarantees that they are doing the job the right way.

Other reasons why you need to work with a factory-certified repairman include:

  • They have access to authentic parts to complete the job effectively
  • They have the latest technical knowledge and equipment to perform effective repairs and maintenance.
  • They have gained extensive experience working on specific brands.
  • Having a factory-certified man working on your appliance is also important to ensure that the warranty is still intact.

It is important to note that not having factory certification does not mean that an appliance repairman or repair company is not qualified to service or repair your appliances. Some manufacturing companies only issue certain certifications to certain individuals in certain geographical locations. This does not mean that if a repairman or company doesn't have the necessary manufacturer certification, they can not service or repair your appliances. Non-certified repairmen also have extensive training and experience in handling repairs of different appliances. If the manufacturer's warranty no longer covers your appliance, you can hire a non-certified repair technician to perform the necessary repairs. Nonetheless, this individual should be able to provide you with the tools required and authentic parts to complete the job.

Will You Get the Appliance Parts and Accessories Required by the Manufacturer?

Before you hire a repairman for your home appliances repair in Philadelphia, you must know the parts that the repairman will be using for the job. There are two equipment and appliance parts categories: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and generic parts. The first type of equipment and appliance parts called an original equipment manufacturer, is made and supplied by the original equipment manufacturer. On the other hand, generic parts are made by a third party and may not be affiliated with an original equipment manufacturer. When it comes to fixing a faulty appliance, using an OEM part is usually a good idea. These are usually higher quality and can help protect your warranty.

Compared to generic components, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are more durable and last longer. If your appliance manufacturer can no longer produce the parts for your repair. If this happens, you might consider using a generic component instead. This can help repair technicians avoid getting stuck during the repair services.

Before starting a repair project, make sure that you are aware of the various parts and accessories needed. Also, make sure that you are given warranties for these items. Warranties are legally binding guarantees and provide you with peace of mind that the parts needed for the repair job you need are of the highest quality. Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the warranty before signing it. This will help prevent you from voiding its terms and conditions.

What Kind of Appliance Repair Services Do You Offer?

In Philadelphia, home appliance repairmen can handle repairs and installations such as kitchen hoods, central vacuum systems, washing machines, and garbage disposal units. Aside from these, they can also perform other services such as replacing faulty appliances and repairing water leaks in washing machines and microwaves.

The repairman that you hire must have the necessary experience to handle your specific appliance. Having the right knowledge and skills can help prevent issues between you and the repairman. Before you hire a repairman in Philadelphia, you must confirm the details of the service you need, most importantly, the cost of the repairs. Some of the cost estimates for commonly requested appliance repair services in Philadelphia are listed below:

Central vacuum system installation
$1,751 - $2,600 (for existing typical four-bedroom home)
Dishwasher repair/replacement
$30 - $150
Dishwasher water and drain line installation
$100 - $160
Electrical appliance installation
$132 - $180 (for basic appliance hookup only)
Garbage disposal unit repair/installation
$368 - $465
Gas appliance installation
$10 - $25 per hour
Ice maker water line installation
$137 - $192
Kitchen hood repair/installation
$120 - $260 (labor only)
Microwave oven installation
$134 - $149 (labor only, for basic microwave installation)
Microwave oven repair
$25 - $210
Refrigerator water line installation
$110 - $170
Washing machine water line and drain installation
$115 - $215
Stove repair
$80-$360 (labor only)
Refrigerator repair
$95-$190 (labor only)

How Do You Handle Issues of Product Repairs Going Wrong?

Even after hiring a factory-certified appliance repairman, there are still some situations where you might not be satisfied with the results. If this happens to you, it's essential to talk to the repairman about the issues that you are having with the repair job. Professional appliance repair technicians can usually reasonably resolve these issues or refund the money you paid for the job in full or partially. If the issue persists, you might want to refer the work to another technician.

If the technician doesn't acknowledge your concerns or if you suspect that they're being unfair to you, you can seek the assistance of the Better Business Bureau in resolving the issue. This organization can help you resolve your issues with the repairman, and their office is located in Philadelphia at:

1880 JFK Boulevard,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 985-9313

In addition, you can file a consumer complaint against a repairman licensed as an electrical contractor with the Philadelphia Department of License and Inspections. This office can be contacted through the online Philly 311 form or by calling 311. If you are outside of Philadelphia and have a complaint, you can call DLI at (215) 686-8686. You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Bureau of Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General by completing an online complaint form.

If these agencies can't provide you with satisfactory compensation, you can take the necessary legal steps to sue the person who caused the issue. You can file a small claims action at the Philadelphia Municipal Court if the amount in dispute is not more than $12,000. However, if the amount involved exceeds $12,000, you should consult a consumer attorney to know other available legal options. You can find a consumer attorney in Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Bar Association'slawyer referral service.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Appliance Repair Services in Philadelphia?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1000 nonfatal occupational injuries were reported by home appliance repairmen in the United States in 2020. Before you hire a technician for an appliance repair job, make sure that they have the necessary insurance to cover the expenses incurred from a job-related injury or property damage during the repair process. This insurance will help minimize the financial losses you might incur due to a breakdown.

Although Philadelphia does not have a specific requirement for home appliance repairmen, it is still important to have proper insurance coverage. This should include workers' compensation and general liability insurance. Note that if you are hiring an electrical contractor to carry out electrical repairs on your appliances, they are required by the City of Philadelphia to obtain a Certificate of Insurance, with the minimum coverage amount listed below:

  • General liability insurance: $500,000 per occurrence
  • Auto liability insurance: $300,000 per occurrence
  • Workers' compensation insurance, where applicable:
    • $100,000 for each accident
    • $100,000 for each employee
    • $500,000 policy limit

To ensure that you hire an adequately insured technician, ask for proof of their insurance coverage and contact the insurance company to verify it.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Appliance Repair Service in Philadelphia

Many individuals pose as genuine repairmen and home improvement professionals to defraud unsuspecting residents of Philadelphia. In March 2022, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office announced that a general contractor is facing multiple charges for defrauding 11 homeowners of over $40,000. The contractors' scheme involved collecting payment, usually complete from the victims, and then abandoning the work midway or absconding immediately after payment.

These scams often include technicians lying about their licensing status, exaggerating the damage to your appliance to get more money, or requesting full payment before commencing work. These scams can also affect the quality of the work that the repairer does. Before you hire a technician, it's essential that you thoroughly check if they are experienced and skilled to carry out the repair work properly. The following tips can help you avoid a deceptive repairman:

  • Make sure that you thoroughly compare the prices of different repairmen. Doing so will help you avoid getting ripped off.
  • Make sure that the repairman has the necessary license where one is required. For instance, you can verify the licensing status of an electrical contractor you are hiring for repair services to confirm that they are competent and experienced in repair.
  • Check online reviews and testimonials about your intended repairman through various websites such as Google Reviews and the Better Business Bureau. It's also good to contact past clients to get their feedback.
  • Avoid unsolicited door-to-door repair services that offer lower prices. These individuals typically try to get money from you by promising to provide better service, but they usually do nothing.
  • Keep a record of all documents related to the repair job. These include the warranty documents and any other documents related to the work.
  • Be wary of a technician requesting an upfront payment.

If you have been the victim of an appliance repair issue in Philadelphia, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Bureau of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General by completing an online complaint form. You can report a fraudulent business or electrical contractor to the Department of Licenses and Inspections by using the online Philly 311 form or calling 311. If you are calling from outside Philadelphia, contact DLI at (215) 686-8686. However, if the matter still cannot be resolved, you can take legal action against the technician by filing an action against the repairman at the appropriate Philadelphia Court. It is advisable to seek legal advice before commencing an action, and you can use the lawyer referral service of the Philadelphia Bar Association to find a lawyer.