Posted: July 30, 2019
Tips for Installing a Four-Prong Dryer Outlet
Most homeowners have run into the problem of having a dryer with a three-prong power cord, but a wall equipped with a four-prong dryer outlet. Or, they may have the opposite issue—a four-prong dryer cord, but a three-prong power outlet in the wall. We wanted to explain why this is such a common problem in many American households and help you decide if installing a four-prong dryer outlet is necessary.
Why Do Two Different Types of Outlets Even Exist?
For decades, three-prong dryer outlets were standard in all American homes. However, in 1996, the National Electrical Code (NEC) was updated to require four-prong dryer outlets in all new homes. Existing homes may still use three-prong outlets, but new homes definitely need to have four-prong dryer outlets.
So, why did the NEC decide to switch from three-prong to four-prong dryer outlets in new homes? In short, four-prong dryer outlets are safer.
Although the old three-prong outlets were effective at providing power, they had one major flaw: the ground and neutral wires were grouped together. If a current happened to make its way onto the ground wire, it could travel up to the dryer, creating the potential for shock, damage to the appliance, or fire.
The more recent four-prong cords feature two hot wires, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. This configuration creates a separate return path for unused power, thereby eliminating the possibility of a ground current traveling to the machine and resulting in your dryer catching fire.
What if an Appliance's Power Cord Doesn't Match the Existing Power Outlet?
If you've moved to a new home or purchased a new dryer and have realized that your power outlet doesn't match the appliance's power cord, don't panic. The good news is that you don't have to purchase a new dryer if the current outlet in your home doesn't match.
One simple solution is to purchase a new dryer cord. Most home improvement stores sell both three-prong and four-prong dryer cables for about $25. You can easily change out the dryer cord using a Phillips head screwdriver. This is your best bet if your home is equipped with a four-prong dryer outlet, but your dryer's original power cord fits a three-pronged outlet. You certainly wouldn't swap out an existing four-pronged power outlet out for a three-pronged outlet.
Of course, if your appliance has a four-pronged power cord, but your home has a three-pronged dryer outlet, you may want to consider installing a four-prong dryer outlet. This is a more involved process than switching the cord on the appliance and will require a licensed electrician to make sure the job is done correctly.
What's the Bottom Line?
Ultimately, installing a four-prong dryer outlet helps make your home safer and brings it into compliance with the most recent NEC standards. Check the dryer outlet in your home. If it needs an upgrade, then be sure to call an electrician.
However, if you think your dryer needs an upgrade, then contact Reno's Appliance. We've got a wide selection of dryers from major manufacturers including GE, Samsung, and Whirlpool. You're sure to find the perfect appliance for your home.
Pros and Cons of an Outdoor Refrigerator
Summer's here and for many people that means more outdoor cooking and entertaining. One of the annoyances of outdoor entertaining is running in and out of the house to get stuff from the refrigerator. To solve this problem, homeowners are investing in outdoor refrigerators. Is an outdoor refrigerator right for you? Let's look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Outdoor Refrigerators
There are two big benefits of owning an outdoor refrigerator:
- Convenience: The biggest pro of having an outdoor refrigerator is having drinks, salads, meat, condiments, and other perishables within arm's reach of your grill. If you're someone who does a lot of outdoor entertaining, then an outside fridge means enjoying more time with guests and less time running back and forth to the kitchen.
- Increased home value: An outdoor refrigerator, as part of an outdoor kitchen, can also increase your home's value. An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill, a refrigerator, and seating. Or, you can install a full outdoor kitchen complete with appliances such as pro grills, outdoor ovens, and cocktail stations. Whether you keep it simple or go for something more elaborate, an outdoor kitchen is a worthwhile investment.
Cons of Outdoor Refrigerators
Having an outdoor refrigerator does have a few drawbacks as well.
- Cost: Outdoor refrigerators can be pricy depending on their size. They come with thicker insulation and are equipped with more powerful components so food stays cold during those hot, humid summer days. In addition, they have waterproof electronics. All of that additional material and care put into manufacturing adds to the cost.
- Power needs: If you don't already have an ample power supply on the outside of your house, then you'll have to have proper wiring installed. That will require hiring an electrician and will certainly add to your overall costs.
- Rust: Almost all outdoor fridges are made from stainless steel thanks to its ability to resist rust in wet environments. However, stainless steel can still rust under the worst of conditions. To avoid rust on your fridge, you'll want to buy one with a higher grade of stainless steel—which tends to be a little more expensive.
Considerations When Shopping for an Outdoor Refrigerator
If after weighing the pros and cons you decide to purchase an outdoor refrigerator, there a few things to consider as you shop.
Where will you place the refrigerator? Will you be building it into an outdoor kitchen island, or will it be stand-alone on your patio? Make sure that your refrigerator is in a shady area away from direct sunlight. Knowing where you will ultimately place it will help you choose a refrigerator that's perfect for your space.
Look for an outdoor fridge with the Underwriters Laboratories Seal of approval. This means that the fridge and its components are safe for outdoor use and have passed multiple tests to prove their durability in harsh weather.
Knowing what you plan on storing in your outdoor refrigerator will help you decide on the capacity that's right for you. If you just want something to keep beverages and salads cool, then a smaller fridge might work best for you. If you love to grill and entertain often, then a full-sized refrigerator is a better investment.
Make sure that you get an outdoor refrigerator with a lock. Not only does it help protect the contents of your refrigerator, but it prevents curious small children from getting into dangerous situations.
Outdoor refrigerators are great for enjoying your outside living space to the fullest. If you're ready to purchase an outdoor refrigerator, then come to Reno's Appliance. We've got a wide selection of outdoor appliances, including refrigerators, from the industry's top manufacturers.
Posted: July 16, 2019|
Follow These Electrical Fire Safety Tips
Electrical appliances certainly make our lives easier, but they are also potentially dangerous. Do you know what to do if one of your appliances goes up in flames? Follow these simple electrical fire safety guidelines to keep your home safe from unexpected electrical fires.
How to Extinguish an Electrical Fire
If you notice that an appliance has caught fire, it's important not to panic. First, unplug the appliance and call the fire department. Even if you think you can take care of the fire yourself, you want to have the fire department on hand in case the flames get out of control.
You may be tempted to douse the flames with water, but the first rule of electrical fire safety is: Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Dumping water on or near a power source can give you a severe electrical shock, and it might even make the fire worse.
So if water isn't an option, what should you use? For small fires, it's recommended that you pour baking soda directly onto the fire. The baking soda will prevent oxygen flow to the fire and help smother the flames. And unlike water, baking soda does not conduct electricity. Baking soda also contains sodium bicarbonate, which is the same substance used in standard fire extinguishers.
If there is no baking soda available, you may be able to use a heavy blanket to extinguish the fire. This is recommended for small fires only. You want to be sure that the blanket doesn't catch fire while you're putting out the appliance fire.
If you're faced with a larger electrical fire, then you should use a Class C fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Class C rated extinguishers include mono-ammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate, neither of which conduct electricity. If you have a working extinguisher on hand, just pull the pin at the top, aim the nozzle at the source of the fire, and squeeze the handle. If the extinguisher does not completely put the fire out, then leave your home immediately and wait for the fire department to arrive.
Electrical Fire Safety Tips
Now that you know how to handle an electrical fire, you should follow these electrical fire safety tips to help prevent your appliances from catching fire.
- Do not to plug too many devices into one electrical outlet; the wiring can get overloaded and spark a fire.
- Avoid placing refrigerators and freezers in direct sunlight. Doing so can cause the cooling systems to work harder and overheat.
- Do not leave large appliances like washing machines, < a href="https://renosappliance.com/products/laundry/dryers.html" target="_blank">dryers, and dishwashers running overnight.
- Clean your dryer's lint traps regularly; clogged lint traps are one of the biggest causes of house fires in the United States.
- Do not leave paper clothes or other clutter near any outlets.
- Check all outlets regularly for excessive heat, burn marks, and buzzing sounds. Have an electrician inspect and repair any damage.
- Consider unplugging appliances when not in use.
- Consider replacing older appliances with newer, safer, and more efficient models.
- Install at least one smoke detector on every floor of your home. Test them regularly to keep them in good working order.
- Make sure you have at least one Type C or multi-use extinguisher in your home. Extinguishers should also be checked regularly to make sure they haven't expired.
Electrical fire safety is something everyone should take seriously. Use the tips above to reduce your risk of experiencing an electrical fire.
If you think any of your appliances are due for an upgrade, then stop by Reno's Appliance in Paterson, NJ. We've got every appliance you may possibly need. Any member of our friendly sales staff can help you find the appliances that are best for you and your family.
Posted: July 09, 2019|
Weighing the Difference Between Top Mount and Bottom Mount Fridges
Top and bottom mount refrigerators are two of the most popular refrigerator models available today. If you're looking for a new refrigerator, you may be wondering: is there really a difference between a top mount and bottom mount fridge? And if so, which type is better? At Reno's Appliance, we're refrigerator experts and wanted to explain the difference between a top mount and bottom mount fridge so you can make the best choice for your home.
Top Mount Refrigerators
When you think of a traditional refrigerator, there's a good chance you're picturing a top mount refrigerator. These units feature a large fresh food compartment below a smaller freezer compartment.
There are several benefits to owning a top mount refrigerator:
- Size: Top mount refrigerators are typically between 30 to 33 inches wide and feature wider doors and interior storage areas than many other models.
- Variety: Theses fridges come in an impressive range of sizes, styles, colors, and designs, so they'll match with any type of décor.
- Cost: Top mount units are very common, which makes them the least expensive refrigerators on the market. They're a great option for today's budget-conscious homeowners.
- Versatility: You can get a freestanding model or, for a more contemporary feel, you may invest in a built-in top mount refrigerator.
Of course there are few drawbacks as well:
- Limited accessibility: The greatest disadvantage to a top mount refrigerator is the fact that you'll need to frequently bend down to reach fresh food. This can be less-than-ideal for older homeowners or those with back or knee issues.
- Smaller freezer size: Top mount units tend to have smaller freezer sizes than other models. If you're someone who likes to stock up on frozen items, then having limited freezer space may be a source of frustration.
Bottom Mount Refrigerators
Bottom mount refrigerators, otherwise known as bottom freezer refrigerators, are units that feature a fresh food compartment on top and freezer on the bottom. Thanks to an abundance of space and easy-to-access design, bottom mount refrigerators are an ideal selection for many kitchens. Here are the advantages of owning this type of refrigerator:
- Accessibility: A bottom mount fridge provides easier access to fresh vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy products, and beverages, which are the items people tend to use most often.
- Spacious freezers: The freezers on bottom mount units are larger than their top mounted counterparts. If you're someone who relies on freezing meats, soups, and stews, then you definitely want to consider a bottom mount unit.
- Versatility: As with a top mounted unit, you can choose to get a freestanding bottom mount fridge or a built-in model.
However, bottom mount refrigerators have a couple of disadvantages that you should consider:
- Cost: These units tend to be more expensive than their top mount counterparts.
- Freezer accessibility: Although it's larger, the freezer is on the bottom, so you'll have to bend over to reach items. Again, not ideal for older folks or if you have any back or knee problems.
- Crisper position: In some cases, the crisper drawers in a bottom mount fridge can be colder than necessary because of their close proximity to the freezer. So you may find that some of your fresh produce gets a little too cold or even develops a bit of frost.
The Bottom Line
Both bottom mount and top mount refrigerators are popular choices with their own sets of pros and cons. But in the end, the perfect refrigerator for your home is the one that matches your family's needs. Now that you know about the differences between top mount and bottom mount fridges, you can make the best decision.
Reno's Appliance has a large selection of refrigerators in a range of popular styles from top-of-the-line brands including Sub-Zero, Bosch, and Frigidaire. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to see our entire inventory.
Posted: July 02, 2019|
Recycle Coffee Grounds for a Great Green Initiative
If you're like most Americans, then you love your daily cup of coffee. And if you brew your coffee at home, then you may find yourself throwing a lot of used coffee grounds in the trash. But did you know that there are many ways you can reuse and recycle coffee grounds? Check out the eight ideas below and start putting your used coffee grounds to better use.
- Eliminate odors: Spread your used coffee grounds onto a baking sheet and allow them to air-dry. Then, pour the dried grounds into small bowls or jars and place them around the house to neutralize odors.
- Make your garden grow: There are several ways that you can recycle coffee grounds in your garden. Coffee is very acidic, so you can spread the grounds around plants that love acid, such as hydrangeas and azaleas. Coffee grounds also contain several key minerals that your vegetable garden needs to thrive including nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and chromium. What's more, coffee grounds help attract worms, which are great for your garden. To use coffee grounds as fertilizer, simply sprinkle them onto the soil—it couldn't be easier!
- Get clean: Make soap from recycled coffee grounds? It sounds strange, but you can melt a bar of glycerin soap in a pan over low heat and add 1/3 cup of coffee grounds. Then pour the mixture into a soap mold or even an old ice cube tray and allow it to cool and harden. Your bar of "coffee soap" will be perfect for exfoliating old skin cells and producing tighter, healthier skin.
- Repel insects, naturally: Forget toxic and pricey commercial insect repellents. If you've got an ant problem, sprinkle dried coffee grounds where ever you see them congregate and they'll soon disappear. Keep mosquitoes, fruit flies, and bees away from your summer barbecue by simply setting out bowls of grounds around outdoor seating areas. If you've got a cockroach problem, then place moist coffee grounds in a jar lined at the top with double sided tape. Cockroaches love the smell of coffee so they'll try to enter the jar and get stuck on the tape.
- Clean your canine: After you give your dog a bath, rub a cup of grounds into their fur, and then be sure to rinse well. The grounds will help kill fleas, neutralize odors, and give your dog smooth and silky fur.
- Repair furniture: Coffee grounds can be used to disguise scratches in wood furniture. Mix 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture to furniture with a cotton ball or cotton swab and then wipe dry. You'll never realize the scratch was there.
- Clean more green: Recycled coffee grounds are a fantastic alternative to less environmentally-friendly cleaners. Mix grounds with a little bit of baking soda for an abrasive scrub that's perfect for scouring pots and pans and cleaning stove tops and other kitchen appliances. Just avoid using it on light colored surfaces as it can create stains.
- Sharpen the garbage disposal: Add 1 tablespoon of dried grounds to the garbage disposal while the water is running to sharpen its blades. It has the added benefit of removing garbage disposal odors.
By using recycled coffee grounds you're not only reducing the amount of trash you produce, but you’re saving money because of all the products you won’t have to buy now that you've discovered the power of coffee. If you're not a coffee drinker, the benefits of using recycled coffee grounds may even make you want to start.
If you're looking for a new coffee maker, then stop by Reno's Appliance. We've got basic freestanding machines and built-in models with all the bells and whistles. Our friendly sales team will help you find the perfect machine for your home.