Does keeping an appliance in storage hurt it?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ May 26, 2014 ~ No Comments

We bought a Kenmore water softener and my husband left it in the garage for at least five years before he installed it. It was subjected to extreme weather conditions. After installing it, it never worked right. Is there any way to fix it? Did this storage cause the problem?


Jeffrey Anderson

Maureen, I'm not quite sure what you mean by the appliance being exposed to extreme conditions while being stored in your garage. Do you mean that it was subjected to rain and snow or just hot and cold temperatures? If the appliance got wet, or at least parts of it that shouldn't be exposed to moisture did, then there is a good chance that could have caused problems you're having with its function. Just about any appliance can be repaired, but the big question is whether you might be better off just purchasing a new unit.

Sears, and their Kenmore appliance division, are usually pretty good at customer service. It might be worth having a rep visit your home to give the water softener a quick inspection. Unless you purchased an extended warranty, the service call will more than likely cost you a few dollars, but at least you should get an idea how much repairing the water softener might cost. And even if you did purchase the warranty, chances are that being exposed to extreme weather isn't going to be covered. However, it might turn out that all that's needed is a simple inexpensive repair, in which case it may be money well spent.

If the extreme weather you're referring to are just very cold or hot temperatures, then I wouldn't think they should have affected the unit's function. More than likely, it may just be that the unit sat for so long that internal parts could have dry-rotted. Again, it becomes an issue of whether the repair is inexpensive or you would be better off just purchasing a new appliance, and only a certified repairman can really answer that question. I can't say that the storage caused the problems you're having, but there's a pretty good chance being inactive for so long in those conditions didn't help it much.

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