Appliance repair pros share their strangest finds



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Do you believe in magic? Brad Taljonick, lead appliance repair technician for Broad Ripple Appliance in Indianapolis, says he often feels like a magician when pulling unusual items out of his customers' appliances. The appliance repair pro says you won’t believe some of the things he finds lodged inside refrigerators, dryers and garbage disposals.



Even David Copperfield would be proud of Taljonick’s ability to pull a live rabbit out of an Indianapolis clothes dryer. 

The homeowners called for help after hearing a loud noise and noticing their clothes weren’t drying as fast as usual. Taljonick says he received the surprise of his career when he stuck his hand in the blower and felt two long furry ears. A rabbit became trapped in the blower after crawling in through the dryer vent. Taljonick says he released the healthy bunny in the homeowner’s backyard and they happily paid him for the magic trick that brought their dryer back to life.


Hidden treasure

Service providers are no strangers to finding money while fixing appliances.

Al Iwaniec, owner of Chicago Appliance Service in the Windy City, says one of his technicians discovered three $100 bills inside a dryer drum. While handing the money to the owner, the technician received a surprise when the homeowner told him to keep the money.

Vic Williams, owner of American Appliance Service in St. Louis, meanwhile, says his brother, who works with him, was doing appliance repair work in the basement of a home and found several hundred dollars hidden in the ceiling beams. “He just left it there [and didn’t say anything about it],” Williams says. “He wasn’t sure if the owner even knew it was up there. It could have been there from a previous owner.”


Ring the alarm

While most appliance repair calls typically lack drama, Taljonick says one encounter comes to mind. He says he responded to a home after the owners reported that the pump stopped working on their front-loading washer. With both the husband and wife present, Taljonick opened the pump and saw the husband’s $6,000 wedding ring lodged inside. Thinking it would bring great joy to the family, he presented it to the couple. Instead, he says the wife demanded to know why the ring was in the husband’s pocket and not on his finger. Taljonick says he never left a job faster than that one.

Iwaniec received a call from a woman who had lost her diamond wedding ring a few years earlier. Iwaniec says the woman told him she had a feeling the ring was lodged somewhere in the dryer.

“She wasn’t positive it was in there, but we took the dryer apart and found it on the bottom by the motor,” Iwaniec recalls. The woman, so excited at the discovery of her ring, handed Iwaniec and another serviceman $50 each. “She was ecstatic,” he says. “We didn’t want to take it, but she insisted.”


Hickory, dickory, dock

In a race to find food and shelter, one mouse got too close for comfort for one family. 

Taljonick says the homeowners called him to investigate a foul smell in their refrigerator. Upon inspection, he noticed blood in the drip pan, and after further investigation, he realized the mouse met an untimely death in the fridge’s fan. 

Other critters have also met a similar fate.

You may have seen the movie “Snakes on a Plane,” but have you seen snakes in your dryer?

Dean Landers, owner of Landers Appliance in Rosedale, Maryland, has on a few occasions. “They came up right through the [dryer] vent,” he says.

Landers has also discovered birds' nests inside dryer vents. “Once, I even found a bird nest in the dryer [assembly],” he says. Landers has also discovered a pet ferret in the dryer blower.

The refrigerator condenser fan motor also attracts all types of items. Unfortunately, Williams says, it’s not always dust and debris. "Once we had to pull the family pet [a hedgehog] out of the fan motor,” he says.


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This article was written by Tom Moor of Angie’s List.

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