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Irons work by using moisture, pressure and heat to smooth out a wrinkled surface. Obviously if you do not have a steam iron, it works by heat and pressure solely. Steam irons have multiple parts, which makes disassembly complicated. Some people recommend using an instant camera to take pictures as you go, to remember the order in which you removed items. It might sound cumbersome, but it could help. Otherwise, troubleshoot what is wrong with your iron, and fix those parts. Here is a list of common problems and how to fix them.
1. Iron does not heat
a. As always, make sure the outlet works, and the power cord is not damaged.
b. Then, check the temperature selector. If it is in the correct position, something else is wrong.
c. Check the thermostat. As you disassemble the iron, clean the lint from the thermostat. Then test it with your VOM. Set your VOM on RX1 and clip the probes onto the terminal. Take a piece of wood or plastic and move the
contacts open, then closed. When it closes you should see the VOM just from high to zero. It so, it is working well.
d. Test the heating element. Do this by removing the base of the iron. There you should see the probes. Take you VOM, set on RX1, and touch the probes. If it reads between 10 to 25 ohms, it is working correctly.
e. If you have an electronic iron, the only other possibility is the circuit board. If you have exhausted your options, take the iron to a professional.
2. Iron does not heat enough
a. Check the power cord. (see 1a)
b. Check the thermostat. (see 1c)
c. Check the circuit board. (see 1e)
3. Iron gets too hot
a. Check the thermostat. (see 1a)
4. Steams improperly
a. Check tank for water. If it is overfilled, it might spit or leak. If it is not filled it won't steam at all. If the water tank has a crack, it will leak a lot.
b. Check the nozzle. The nozzle could be clogged. Just clean it by checking the holes with a needle, or pipe cleaner. To flush any sediment out, put cleaning solution in the tank, and run the iron on a throw away cloth.
c. Check steam chamber. If you have a steam chamber, it might be cracked, or clogged. If it is clogged, just clean it. If it is cracked, you will need a new iron.
5. Iron sticks to fabric or stains fabric
a. You need to clean the soleplate. Just take a sponge and a mild detergent and run it across the soleplate. Remove any scratches with a fine piece of steel wool. Make sure it is dry before using it again.
b. Check your water. It could be dirty or too hard.