Looking at: https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/appliances

Raises the questions:

  • Are appliance repair questions in scope?
  • Are appliance installation questions in scope (eg, installing water lines for a dishwasher; whether a separate circuit is needed for a microwave)?

3 Answers 3


I don't see why they shouldn't be on topic. They might be very difficult and very specific to answer, but I think that only adds to the site's appeal.


I think they should be on topic because appliance repair is related to home repair (both end up on my honey-do list) and the target audience for this site are precisely the people who would install their own refrigerator and try to test whether the compressor is shorted out before replacing an old fridge.


I got a comment that appliance maintenance it wasn't home improvement. With that literal interpretation, building a home is not improvement, repair is not an improvement, maintenance is not improvement. Is replacing a broken garbage disposal a repair, while installing one an improvement? Are general DIY (like building something out of wood) not improvement? So cabinetry would on-topic (but only new cabinets, not repairs), but any non-functional woodworking wouldn't be?

I'm not going to get worried until I see lots of people vote to close on perfectly valid questions, at that point, there's no point in me coming back here.

FWIW, I think that these questions about what is in scope are coming up far too frequently on these early sites. People are voting to close on stuff and saying it's off-topic before there is a sizable base of questions where it would be reasonable to start making these determinations.

If a site is taken over by police enforcing narrow topics, the site will not thrive and people WILL find another place. This is also a possibility as a site becomes popular with people due to the good SEO, but people being used to sites with far more community features (people sure love those off-topic forums) that SO/SE sites will never have.

  • To be fair, I think it's less of a question of the "improvement" vs "repair" vs "maintenance" (arguably, doing repair and maintenance both "improve" the home), but more a question of the "home" part: is an appliance part of the home? Clearly (to me, at least), DIY anything is too large of a scope (eg, DIY car repairs likely has it's own site), but DIY home-related things make sense (including cabinetry*, and appliance repair). (* There is a Woodworking proposal: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/5356/… - cabinetry probably belongs there if that site starts)
    – gregmac
    Jul 23, 2010 at 22:01

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