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July 22, 2008 11:55 AM

Fix-it for KitchenAid -- and other small appliances

Posted by Nancy Leson

Jay Rogers wrote, wondering:

"Do you know of any places to take my KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer to get it fixed? Sadly, when making a full batch of bagels a few weeks back, it started to groan and then quit-out on me (it is only 4 years old). It looked like a little oil was seeping out of the top and my guess is that I blew the motor. Just wondering if you have had any similar experiences with this mixer."

Funny Jay should ask. Twenty years ago I became the happy owner of KitchenAid standing mixer -- a small appliance I'd longed for but never bought because they were way too expensive. One day, while visiting a friend, she showed me her latest purchase: a beautiful cobalt blue version of the very mixer I coveted. "Guess how much it cost?" she asked. "Uh, $250?" I replied. "Nope. Half that. Want one?" "Where'd you get it?" I asked. "Don't ask. Just tell me -- do you want one?" I didn't (ask questions). And I did (want one). I got one, too. It's still in business:

But there was a karmic price to pay for getting that deep discount -- and not asking from where or whom that discount came. About a year later, while in the middle of making my favorite recipe for potato gnocchi, I lifted the mixer's heavy arm up to test the dough and -- BANG! -- it promptly fell, hard. At which point it began making the exact useless groan Jay describes, before "quitting-out" on me. And that's how I got turned on to Action Small Appliance in Belltown. The crowded little shop is one of too few small-appliance shops left around town, but it came to the rescue then (fixing my mixer for, if memory serves, something like $60), and I've become a happy customer ever since. I've gone to Action to replace the glass carafe for my old Braun Aromaster when it smashed to smithereens, and recently replaced the adjustable lid portion of my 25-year-old Cuisinart when it gave up the ghost.

Jay might also consider calling Ajax Electric. When I did just now, the fine fellow who answered the phone said they, too, can fix a KitchenAid -- for a flat-rate labor fee of $42.50 plus parts.

Anybody have any other advice? Where do you go to get your small appliances fixed?

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