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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Appliance Repair Service in Seattle

In the Seattle area, homeowners typically pay around $221 to fix various household appliances, such as washing machines and refrigerators. Although repairing the faulty appliance yourself may seem like a cost-effective alternative to having a professional appliance repairman do the work, doing so could void your warranty and cause you to pay more for repairs in the future.

Before you hire a professional repairman in Seattle, it is essential that you thoroughly research the individual's qualifications and experience. Having a well-equipped and experienced technician can help you avoid costly repairs. To ensure you hire a qualified repairman in Seattle, you can ask the following questions:

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

Household appliance repairmen in Seattle are not required to obtain occupational licenses to offer services in the city. However, certain individuals who maintain and repair equipment and refrigerant appliances are statutorily required to complete an EPA-approved technician certification. Similarly, those involved in the installation, repair, or maintenance of refrigeration equipment in the city must obtain a license from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. Operating without a license can result in civil penalties of up to $500 a day.

The department issues three types of licenses to individuals who are involved in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning:

  • An operating engineer license
  • A journey refrigeration mechanic license
  • A refrigeration and air conditioning contractor's license.

Interested individuals who wish to be issued one of these licenses must meet the following requirements:

  • Journey refrigeration mechanics must provide proof of three years of experience. Alternatively, provide evidence of training for at least one year in a recognized technology school.
  • Pass a licensing examination.
  • Apply for the relevant licenses on a form prescribed by the Director of the Department
  • Pay the applicable fees.

For more information regarding the licensing process, you can contact the Department of Construction & Inspection at (206) 684-5174. To verify if your intended appliance repairman is licensed to carry out repairs on your refrigerator, you can use the Find Trade Licenses by Last Name platform provided by the city's Department of Construction & Inspection.

Since there is no licensing requirement for appliance repairmen in Seattle, it is generally good to check if your intended repairman holds any certifications. These certifications prove that the repairman has the necessary skills and experience to perform the job. These professional appliance repairmen obtain these certifications from reputable organizations like the International Society of Electronics Technicians, the Professional Service Association, and the United Appliance Servicers Association. If the repairman you are dealing with claims to be certified, you should ask for proof of the certification. In addition, ensure you authenticate such certificates with the organization that issued the certification.

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

The total cost of repairs for various household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and microwaves is usually determined by various factors. These include:

  • The scope of the problem
  • The extent of the appliance's damage
  • The brand and model of the appliance
  • The cost required to replace parts

Before you hire a technician, make sure that you get and compare multiple quotes from different technicians near you before finalizing any hiring contract. Avoid hiring the repairman that submits the lowest estimate. You should also ask for an explanation of any difference in the estimates. Ensure all estimates are dropped after the repairmen have diagnosed the issue of the damaged appliance. Note that some repairmen in the city may also charge a separate fee for this service.

Appliance repairmen in Seattle earn an average annual wage of $49,550. Provided below is a comparison of the average hourly wage for appliance repair men in Seattle with those of these technicians in other areas of Washington State and several other locations across the United States:

Seattle Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$23.82
Washington Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$22.83
New York City Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$27.05
Los Angeles Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$23.44
Chicago Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$17.16
Houston Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$22.60
Phoenix Appliance Repair Man Average Hourly Wage
$29.43
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

A factory-certified technician is an individual who has been thoroughly vetted and approved by the manufacturer of a product to provide the best possible service for their household appliance brands. This ensures that you can rely on the repairman to perform an effective and timely repair.

A factory-certified technician can provide you with the best possible service and easily access authentic parts. Aside from regular training, factory-certified technicians also receive direct technical support and administrative support from the manufacturer of the appliance they are working on. This ensures your appliance warranty is protected.

The accessibility to a factory-certified technician in Seattle depends on the make and model of your damaged appliance and your location in the city. If you cannot find a factory-certified technician to fix your appliance, you can consider hiring a non-factory certified technician. Before hiring a non-certified factory technician, make sure that the individual has the necessary skills and experience to handle your specific appliance. Also, confirm the repairman can access authentic components and parts when carrying out the repairs.

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

The average lifespan of most household appliances is around 10 to 15 years. However, before that time, you can expect to change some major or minor component appliances, and these replacements may affect their work efficiency. When it comes to replacing faulty components and accessories, it's important that you hire a professional appliance repairman that will use the Original Equipment Manufacturer's parts.

An original equipment manufacturer's part refers to the components, accessories, and other items made and supplied by the company. The difference between an original equipment manufacturer's part and a generic one is that the latter is made by third-party companies not associated with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer does not authorize these companies to produce and supply parts for your appliance. Some advantages of using OEM parts over generic ones include:

  • Better work efficiency
  • Compatible with most appliances than generic parts.
  • They are more durable than generic parts. They can last much longer.
  • They are designed to protect the original warranty on your appliance.

Nonetheless, you may need to use generic parts for your appliance repair. This can happen when the original product manufacturer no longer makes or distributes the parts. The repair professional may have to use generic parts to repair your appliances. However, the repairman will typically request that you provide the necessary information that authorizes them to purchase and use the generic parts.

You must ask for a warranty from the repair professional regarding your appliances. This warranty is designed to protect you and allow the repairman to incur liability if the faulty part is not fixed properly. Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions in the warranties issued by the repairman before you sign it.

What Kind of Appliance Repair Services Do You Offer?

Seattle's professional appliance repairmen carry our repair services on various home appliances, including but not limited to washing machines and fridges, garbage disposals, microwaves, and other home electrical appliances. Before hiring your intended repairmen, ensure you confirm that they can handle the specific make and model of the appliance. This is to ensure that you get satisfactory repair work.

Aside from confirming the specialization of the appliance repairman, you should also confirm what the repairman will charge for their services. The estimate provided by the repairman will help you make an informed decision. The following are some of the estimated charges that appliance repair men in Seattle charge for their services.

Central vacuum system installation
$1,409 - $2,092 (for existing typical four-bedroom home)
Dishwasher repair
$100 - $280
Dishwasher installation
$110 - $127 (labor only)
Dryer repair
$80 - $220
Electrical appliance installation
$106 - $145 (for basic appliance hookup only)
Garbage disposal unit repair/installation
$296 - $374
Ice maker water line installation
$100 - $150
Microwave oven installation
$108 - $126.50 (labor only, for basic microwave installation)
Microwave oven repair
$100 - $250
Refrigerator water line installation
$110 - $155
Washer repair
$110 - $355
Stove/oven repair
$100 - $300
Refrigerator repair
$100 - $325

How Do You Handle Issues of Product Repairs Going Wrong?

Even when all necessary steps are taken to ensure that only genuine components and parts are used for the job, there is still a chance that you will end up with a dissatisfied service from an appliance repairman. If this happens, it is essential that you contact the repairman in question to inform them of your dissatisfaction and the problem. A professional appliance repairman may redo the repair job, offer a refund in full or partially, or refer you to a different repairman.

If the repairman does not take the necessary actions to resolve the issue or you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you may consider filing a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General's Office or the Better Business Bureau for necessary consumer protection actions. You can file a complaint with the state's Attorney General's Office via an online general consumer complaint form or by mailing a completed pdf complaint form to:

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
800 5th Avenue
Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104-3188

You can get assistance from the Better Business Bureau by contacting the Seattle office at:

1918 112th Street E,
Suite 2,
Tacoma, WA 98445
Phone: (253) 830-2924

These offices cannot compel the appliance repairmen to resolve their complaints. Nonetheless, these offices can provide you with various options to try and get the best possible resolution. This includes filing a legal action against the repairman at the Small Claims Division of the King County District Court for matters that do not involve more than $10,000. Even though you can file a small claims action without an attorney, it is best to get proper legal advice from an attorney before filing an action in court. To find a licensed and qualified consumer attorney in Seattle, you can contact the King County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service at (206) 267-7010 between the hour. 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays. You can also contact the referral services via email or by filing a request form online.

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

If you fail to confirm the insurance status of your appliance repairman, you can be held liable for the injuries and property damage that occurs while the repairman is working on your home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 1000 reported workplace injuries involving household appliance repairmen in 2020.

Even though there are no legal requirements for appliance repair men in Seattle to carry liability insurance, it is still important to hire only repairmen that have the necessary insurance coverage. To ensure they are covered, request a copy of their insurance certificate and ensure you contact the insurance provider to authenticate the certificate.

Note that any appliance repairmen carrying out refrigeration repair in the City of Seattle must maintain a general liability insurance policy and surety bond. Contractors with employees are further required to maintain workers' compensation insurance. For more information regarding insurance requirements for this type of repairman, you can contact the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspection at (206) 684-5174.

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

The Office of the Attorney General of Washington has resolved over 25,000 consumer complaints and has helped consumers regain over $4 million in lost income. This makes it very important to hire a professional when hiring an appliance repairman in Seattle. This is because unscrupulous appliance repairmen have different ways of defrauding unsuspecting residents of Seattle, like collecting payment without carrying out the work, abandoning the work midway, or using substandard parts for repairs. To ensure you do not end up with a deceptive repairman, it is important that you thoroughly check the details of their previous work and their reputation.

When it comes to searching for a qualified appliance repairman in Seattle, you can use the following tips to ensure you do not end up with a conman:

  • Get referrals for professional and reputable repairmen in Seattle from trusted sources like family and friends and third-party websites like Google Review and the Better Business Bureau. You can also check out reviews and testimonials about appliance repairmen in the area on these websites.
  • Ensure that you request references from the appliance repairman and ensure you contact these references to inquire about the professionalism of the repairman. Also, be wary of technicians who cannot provide verifiable and local references.
  • Request for estimates from multiple technicians. This will allow you to compare the services offered by different repairmen.
  • Inquire about the appliance repairman's insurance status.
  • Avoid making cash transactions. Also, be wary of any repairman that requests that you pay upfront.
  • Check if your intended repairmen offering repair services on your refrigerator or any other appliances that use refrigerants are duly licensed by utilizing the Find Trade Licenses by Last Name platform provided by the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspection.

You can file a complaint with the Washington Attorney General's Office if you are dissatisfied with the services or repairs provided by a certain appliance repairman in Seattle. You can file a complaint by completing an online general consumer complaint form or by mailing a completed pdf complaint form to:

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
800 5th Avenue
Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104-3188