Quiz: How well do you know your small appliances?

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Quiz: How well do you know your small appliances?
Image: ©iStockphoto.com/Don Bayley

About This Quiz

From our blender to our toaster and our hair dryer to our fan, small appliances play a big part in making our lives easier and more comfortable. Learning as much as you can about how they work makes sense. Take our quiz to see if you know how they do their magic.
What color is the "hot" wire in your electrical appliances?
black
In electrical devices, current flows to the device through the hot, usually black, wire and returns through the neutral, usually white, wire.
white
red

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What do we call the force that moves electrical current through a circuit?
wattage
voltage
The difference in voltage between a hot wire and a neutral wire moves the electric current that provides power for your appliances.
tonnage

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How do heating appliances convert electrical energy into heat?
by providing resistance to the electric current
Heating appliances pass current through a special wire called an element. Electrical energy turns into heat when it meets the resistance of the element.
by merging two wires
by splitting two wires

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How do motorized appliances convert electrical energy into movement?
by converting electrical energy into magnetic energy that turns a knob
by converting electrical energy into magnetic energy that turns a handle
by converting electrical energy into magnetic energy that turns a shaft
A motorized appliance converts electrical energy into magnetic energy that turns a shaft. For example, the blades attached to the shaft of a food processor chop, while the blades of a fan circulate the air.

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What are cord wires connected to inside a small appliance?
a plug
a switch
Inside a small appliance, cord wires are connected to a switch with solder, a wire nut or connectors.
a valve

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Which of these appliance cords is the thinnest?
12 gauge
14 gauge
16 gauge
Wires used in appliance cords come in different gauges. A higher gauge means a thinner wire.

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What is the electrical current rating of most small appliances?
less than 15 amps
Most small appliances are ungrounded and rated at less than 15 amps.
20 amps
35 amps

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Which of the following is an example of a small appliance control?
thermostat
Appliance controls regulate the flow of electricity to an appliance. They include timing mechanisms, switches and thermostats.
rotating shaft
appliance cord

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Which of the following small appliances might have a rheostat to increase or decrease motor speed?
blender
Since a rheostat controls the amount of current flowing to an appliance part, you'll find one in a multispeed blender.
toaster
coffee maker

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Why do excess breadcrumbs cause toasters to break so often?
They clog internal mechanisms.
Toasters often break because bread crumbs can clog any of several internal mechanisms.
They cause overheating.
They prevent the slots in the toaster from going up and down.

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Which part of a toaster is designed to release trapped breadcrumbs?
dust bin
crumb tray
The toaster's crumb tray is a mini marvel. Simply unlatch the door, hold it over the garbage can and brush away all that mess!
ash pot

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How do toaster ovens differ from toasters?
They perform more functions.
Though toaster ovens are used to toast bread like toasters, most can bake, broil and roast as well. They are larger and more expensive than toasters.
They are less expensive.
They look better on your kitchen counter.

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What should you do when your toaster oven's main switch is faulty?
Clean the switch.
Though you might need to replace a faulty main switch to get the toaster oven to work, sometimes just cleaning it will do the trick.
Wash the entire toaster oven in hot soapy water.
Strip the plastic covering off the toaster oven cord.

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Which tool is best suited for checking a coffee maker's thermostat?
continuity tester
Place the probe of a continuity tester at either end of the thermostat. If the thermostat is defective, it's best to replace it with a new one.
candy thermometer
digital thermometer

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How do food mixers blend ingredients?
They turn a blade on a shaft.
They rotate beaters in opposing directions.
In most food mixers, a set of gears transfers the motor's movement to the rotating action of the beaters. The opposing rotation of the beaters is very effective at blending ingredients.
They turn a blade on an axle.

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What is the biggest danger to a blender motor?
liquid
Liquid that leaks or overflows into the blender motor can ruin it. A blender usually has a seal around the motor coupling.
crumbs
grease

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Which is NOT suggested preventative maintenance to keep a blender working well?
Oil all the mechanical parts in the blender's base.
Preventative maintenance will keep your blender whipping up smoothies for a long time. The two most important things you can do are not to overload the blender and to keep the seals tight.
Don't overload the blender jar.
Keep the blender's seals tight.

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If your garbage disposal is leaking from underneath the unit, what should you do?
Replace the seal.
When water leaks from underneath a garbage disposal unit, the problem is usually a leak in the flywheel seal. Remove the garbage disposal from the drain system and replace the seal.
Replace the flange.
Replace the entire unit.

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What component of the vacuum cleaner loosens dirt in the floor covering?
suction cup
bristle brush
beater bar
Both upright and canister vacuums use a rotating beater bar with a brush to loosen dirt. The beater bar is located in the power head and driven by a smaller motor

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Which part in a hair dryer is included for safety?
fan speed switch
temperature switch
thermal cutout switch
If the heating element in your hair dryer gets too hot, the thermal cutout switch shuts off the dryer immediately.

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You Got:
/20
©iStockphoto.com/Don Bayley

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