Most bread machines do ship with a manual. Just like with any other kind of appliance, there is this nice little booklet that comes with your bread machine. However, if you bought your bread machine second hand, or you bought a refurbished unit from Craigslist or Ebay, the manual might not be there. In fact, the original sales page for the refurbished bread machine might say it is missing a manual.
What do you do when it’s time to maintain your bread machine? Obviously, you don’t have a manual available. If you do, this should be the first place you check. Now, if you don’t get a manual, for some reason or another, with your unit, here are the steps to follow.
Search the Manufacturer’s Website
Most manufacturers have a website. Go there and look up the brand and model that you need maintenance information on. This is pretty straightforward. It’s not rocket science and most people can do this. This is very simple.
Now, what complicates things is when the machine that you bought has an unlisted manufacturer. In other words, it has no brand and its manufacturer is located at the other side of the planet. To make matters worse, the manufacturer doesn’t have a website that you can easily find.
A lot of Chinese manufacturers are like this. They actually have a website, but since you don’t read Chinese, you can’t find their website. Accordingly, you can’t find the manufacturer’s site and you can’t get a copy of the manual.
Beware of Model Number Clusters
Even if you were able to find the website of the manufacturer of the bread machine you’re trying to maintain, you’re not out of the woods yet. When you know the model of the item, this can still be a serious issue because a lot of manufacturers actually keep track of their products in terms of model number clusters. For example, the Mark 7 or the Mark1000 or the Optima Series.
In other words, the particular product that you have is in the series, but the manufacturer’s website just talks about the series instead of your exact model. They don’t specifically support your model on their website, but the series.
Now, generally speaking, this is not a problem. Generally speaking, the information you find on their website should be enough for your specific model. But in many cases, they completely skip your model. They either talk about the model before your product or the model right after. Talk about frustrating.
Be on the Lookout for Manual Updates
Even if you were able to find the manual on your manufacturer’s website, make sure you’re looking at the most up to date version. Many manufacturers, especially software or computer hardware companies, do frequent updates to their manuals or their online support. Be on the lookout for updates to the manual. Make sure that you’re looking at the most recent update.
Don’t be Afraid to Contact
If you’re still confused after all these steps and you still don’t know how to go about finding maintenance information for your best bread machine, don’t lose hope. You can still look up the contact information of the manufacturer.
For the most part, this is fairly straightforward. For the most part, it’s either on your invoice, you can contact the seller, the seller can then patch you through or connect you with the manufacturer or the distributor. Whatever the case may be, if you put in the time, effort and energy, you will be able to find somebody or some organization to contact.
They might not be able to give you the information you’re looking for, but they can point you in the right direction. You just have to take the initial steps. You have to take the initiative because nobody is going to do it for you.
Don’t be afraid to contact the manufacturer or anybody related to the manufacturer. Here’s a key tip: anybody who had a role in getting that product to you can be a potential source of information. Again, they might not have the information you’re looking for, but they can at least push you onto somebody who might.
Take Forum Advice with a Grain of Salt
The worst place to get maintenance information is a forum. As much as possible, try to exhaust all official channels. Try to work all the different angles to get a hold of the manufacturer. If that’s not working out, then you have no choice but to look at forum advice.
You have to be very suspicious and very skeptical of whatever advice you get. A lot of it is inaccurate, a lot of it is self serving. In fact, a lot of it can actually be quite harmful.