What is That Thing?

What is this thing? How about that thing? With these questions that we have heard, we realized that there are items on appliances that, while they have been on them forever, we may not all know what each of them does or what they are for. We hope that we can answer some of these questions!

What is that circle thing in my washing machine? (Or, “Wait? My washing machine has a filter?”)

Yes, that is truly a filter in your washing machine. There are a few places that this could be located, it would just depend on the model. On some washing machines, the filter will be located under the cap of the agitator and on others, it could be in a circular enclosure on the wall of the cub. In others, it might be by the door behind a round or square cap.

You can see the filter on this LG washing machine. The location may differ depending on the brand.

The filter in your washer should be cleaned regularly, as it acts similarly to the lint trap in your dryer. This captures lint, hair (both pets and human), other dirt and debris and it can also contain built up residue from detergent and fabric softener if you use it. If this filter is not cleaned regularly, this could contribute to the washing machine not smelling as fresh as it should, or not cleaning as well as it should.

Why is there a vent on the back of my range?

You may have noticed a protruding, raised section that runs across the back of your range, whether or not that it is gas, electric or induction. What is this?

You can see the extended ventilation area at the back of this Bosch induction range.

This is simply a vent to release moisture, excess heat and, yes, smoke, from the oven cavity. Now, we are calling this a vent, but it should not be confused with proper kitchen ventilation that goes over your range to vent to the outside. All ovens need to have some type of ventilation to maintain a proper temperature, more recently this ventilation has taken shape as that raised area along the back of your range.  Whether it is flush or raised, that vent will help your oven cool down and also keep it at temperature. This vent will not remove smoke or odors from the top of your range.

Why is there metal in my speed oven? Isn’t it basically a microwave?

You may notice, that when you receive a new speed oven, (GE calls it their Advantium Oven) often have metal walls and metal racks. I know that we were all raised on the fact that “Metal is bad in the microwave! Don’t use it!”, but that is different with this type of cooking. We still do not want to put metal foils of pans in the oven when the microwave is going, this could still arc with the metal on the sides and the rack and also, it will slow the cooking times in the microwave, completely defeating the purpose.

Interior of Wolf’s 30″ M Series Contemporary Speed Oven

So, with the metal walls and racks, the microwaves that are used within the oven bounce off of this metal and it will not affect the way that it cooks. This is why when you look at the interior of the speed oven, you will see lines and dips and rises. This are specially engineered to concentrate those microwaves to get to the food that you are cooking! With the metal rack, this is seated in a plastic fitting in the microwave cavity, which allows it to not come in contact with the metal sides, so it will not arc.

We recommend only using metal pans and cooking items provided with your speed oven. These metal accessories are manufactured by the brand and made specifically to not cause arcing or other issues when being used in conjunction with the microwave cycle. Other than those accessories that come with your speed oven, please do not put metal in your microwave. Your results will not be great and there is a potential to damage your speed oven, or even worse.

Why is there a filter in my refrigerator that is not a water filter?

I think it is safe to assume we all know where the water filter is located within our refrigerators but depending on what refrigerator that you have. It could look like the image below or it may be a larger rectangle in the back of the refrigerator. Usually, it will say something like odor blocker or fresh air filter.

Fresh Filter from LG

These filters are great for cleaning the air that circulates within the refrigerator and freezer cavities. After a while, though, they will need to be changed. Depending on the refrigerator that you have, you may receive a notification on the refrigerator notifying you of this. They are really simple to replace by just removing the snap on cover. These filters can be found at many places such as Amazon, your local hardware store on online with the manufacturer.

You may be thinking, why, though? Well, this filter cleans the are and that does allow for fresher food for longer periods of time. This will also work better than that box of baking soda to remove odors and odor transfer to other foods in your refrigerator.

Why won’t my dishwasher fit my larger pots?

Well, here is the thing. It actually might. On a lot of dishwashers, especially those with a third rack, you will some buttons on the right or left side of the second rack. When pressing these, you will be able to adjust the dishwasher rack up or down to accommodate larger items that you would like to wash. Alternatively, you simply lift up that rack and it should snap into a taller space.

This video shows the adjustibility of the Cafe line of dishwashers.

Also, on these racks, it is very possible that the tines that hold your plates also fold down, so you do not have to finagle your pot or pan around the tines. This makes it so much easier to washer your larger or odd sized dishes. For me, I have some ceramic baking dishes that have wider handles that do not fit within the tine spacing. Folding these tines down, really makes it easier and much more convenient to wash those items.

Café™ Smart Stainless Steel Interior Dishwasher with Sanitize and Ultra Wash & Dual Convection Ultra Dry – CDT875P4NW2

Why does anyone need Wi-Fi in a range? Or a Refrigerator? Or, for that matter, your laundry?

We hear this a lot (especially from our parents) from our customers, and it is one of our favorite things to explain. While to some people, it may seem like an additional feature to either break, or be hard to learn. We get it. It is hard to adjust to new technology for most of us, but Wi-Fi on your appliances is a great feature! Let me explain.

First, let’s just discuss a range with Wi-Fi. If you are pre-heating your oven, and you need to take caure of something else in your house away from your kitchen, your range can notify you when it is up to temperature. With the use of the included temperature probe, it can also notify you when whatever you are cooking is at the temperature that you set it to, so that you will never have an over-cooked roast again! Say you are at a grocery store and it feels like a frozen pizza night. Well, you can simply open your phone, connect to your oven and BAM! Your oven is pre-heating and will be hot and ready for that pizza when you arrive home.

GE’s Wi-Fi connectible app is called Smart HQ, which is run by the Smart HQ app.

Now, the refrigerator. You are thinking, well, I don’t cook with my refrigerator, so why would I need a Wi-Fi feature? Easy. It can notify you when either your water filter or air filters need to be changed and a lot of times, it will provide you with a link that you can use to purchase the filter that your refrigerator needs. It is simply a very convenient and easy way to replace those filters and to ensure that you get the correct ones. Your Wi-Fi enabled refrigerator can also notify you if one of its doors have not closed fully, or if you are running out of ice in your ice maker.

On some higher end refrigerators, you will find full internet access to allow you to play music with a music service. They can also have cameras on the interior allowing you to view the interior of your fridge remotely. Some of these cameras will also face outward so that you will be able to use a program like Facetime to make calls from your kitchen.

When looking at washers and dryers that have a Wi-Fi option, you may think it is just for notifications, since, well, that just makes sense. Not only are they able to send you those notifications, but you will also be able to start your washer or dryer remotely, so that when you get home, your laundry will be either ready to be put away or it will be ready to switch to the dryer. This feature also can remind you when to run a clean cycle on the washer to ensure that your washing machine lasts as long as possible. On some machines, your washer and dryer are able to communicate with each other! When you select an automatic wash cycle, the dryer will use the corresponding dryer cycle when the cleaned items are transferred to the dryer.

With Whirlpool’s Whirlpool App, you can unlock specialty cycles, as well as get alerts on service or cycles. WTW6120HC is a fantastic smart washer.

While all of these Wi-Fi enabled appliances are going to make your live easier and make doing the shores around your house more convenient, there is another benefit. Repair. Wi-Fi connected appliances make it easy for a customer service person at the vendor to assist you with what is wrong with your appliance if it stops working. They will obviously not be able to fix the appliance over the phone, but when the repair person comes out, they will know what is wrong with the unit and have the correct parts with them. Win, win! Isn’t it great that you have an appliance that can tell you what is wrong with it instead of you having to guess what the problem may be?

We hope you learned something that you didn’t know before you read this article and if you have any other questions, please reach out to one of Metropolitan Appliance’s Specialists. They are knowledgeable about every feature and quirk on all the appliances that we carry. Just give us a call, text, email or web chat and we will answer your questions, no matter how odd you may think it is. There are no odd questions, and it is likely that we have heard it before!

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