Home appliance maintenance – some guidelines for keeping your Brother SE400 in good condition

Home appliance maintenance – some guidelines for keeping your Brother SE400 in good condition

In today’s throwaway society, it’s so easy to neglect our electronic gadgets. It’s also tempting to put our household appliances in the same category – especially when it comes to maintenance. A sewing or embroidery machine like the Brother SE400 is not really an electronic device. Because it has moving parts, it is not sealed like a digital camera or smartphone. Such a machine is classified as “electromechanical” and as such requires regular maintenance – unlike a mobile phone or a modern camera.

The following are some guidelines regarding safety precautions and regular maintenance of your sewing or embroidery machine. The same helpful tips will likely apply to many of your home appliances in one form or another.

Electrical Safety Precautions

Even today, when new homes and renovated homes incorporate advanced electrical safety switches and circuit breakers, there is still an electrical risk with every home appliance. Whenever you work with a computerized device at home, it is wise to use a surge protector. You should also unplug an appliance such as a sewing machine from the wall if you are leaving it for more than a few hours. The more energy an appliance draws during use, the more important it is to unplug it from the wall when not in use.

It would be a real shame if a valuable appliance like a sewing machine caught fire because it was left plugged into your home’s power source and something untoward happened.

  • You may have unknown problems with the wiring in your home or even just the electrical outlet in the wall – especially in older homes.
  • Some appliances may simply be “lemons” with an electrical problem that, if triggered, could damage the appliance itself or possibly short out other parts of your home.
  • Electrical storms are always a risk.

Sunlight and storage

Sewing machine casings today are usually made of plastic, which discolors if left in direct sunlight. The mechanical parts inside can also be affected if the machine is left in very damp places; always store your machine in a dry place away from direct sunlight.


These days, many machines are made of materials that do not require oil or their moving parts are already soaked in lubricant. However, make sure you read your machine’s manual to make sure this is the case. Otherwise, you should get into the habit of oiling your machine after every big project and when it has been left idle for a long time.


I once used a bright halogen table lamp over my sewing machine so I could see my work more clearly. It wasn’t until I finished my project and went to put the machine away that I discovered that part of the housing had warped because the heat from the lamp had melted the plastic. It may sound obvious, but you really need to be careful not to operate your machine too close to a heater, iron, or other hot appliance.

Dust and lint from fabrics

It may seem unnecessary to lay out precautions about dust when it is reasonable for so many. However, household appliances actually collect dust and dirt can be harmful! Some mechanical parts can malfunction simply because they are clogged with dust. Even if you leave your machine outside overnight, it’s good policy to cover it. Most machines come with a soft cover for this purpose.

Sewing and embroidery machines will inevitably pick up lint from the fabrics you sew. The friction of the needle constantly piercing your fabric and the movement of the material past the feed tines creates a surprising amount of fuzz. Therefore, it is important to regularly use the cleaning brushes provided to clean any fabric fluff from the feed teeth and bobbin case. It is also a wise precaution to check and clean your pedal from time to time. You’d be surprised at the amount of dust and dirt that collects around everything on the floor.

Unusual noises

Don’t ignore unusual sounds. If you notice that the motor is making a different noise, it probably means something. First check the LCD to see if any error code is displayed. Check that the needle is securely attached and that the bobbin mechanism is properly engaged. Make sure your thread spool is positioned correctly and that the thread is not pinched or stuck at any threading point. Check that all air holes are clean. If the noise persists, you really need to take your machine to an authorized service center for inspection. Fortunately, Brother USA provides a 25-year limited warranty, so anything unusual that isn’t due to rough handling is likely to be covered.

Remember, it’s not just machines like the Brother SE400 Computerized Embroidery and Sewing Machine that need to be treated with respect. The advice provided here also applies to many household appliances and garden tools, even if they are cheap to buy compared to days gone by.

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