Monday, December 03, 2012

Fixing Home Appliances on My Own

By using the Internet, I have found making minor repairs to home appliances has become much easier.   In the past, it would take a lot of effort to find information on an issue and necessary diagrams.  I would need to check the library for any do it yourself books.  In some cases, I would call the manufacturer and talk to tech support on the issue.   That's all changed with the Internet. 

Here's how I approach fixing a home appliance now:
  1. Check appliance repair forums.    To start, I do a search for the specific issue, which returns several results in repair forums.  Usually, several other people have had similar or the same problem as I am experiencing.  Often, there is a single answer.  Sometimes, there are two or three different solutions which require some further work in diagnosing the issue.
  2. Check videos on doing the repair.  About half the time, there is a video on repairing my specific issue.  This is very helpful since I am visual person and seeing the video give me more confidence.
  3. Check for parts diagrams.  The online appliance parts store typically have the manufacturer exploded parts diagrams.  These are useful for identifying the part and determining how the appliance is assembled.
  4. Contact tech support.  I only do this about 10% of the time, when I don't find a video and there is a special disassembly procedure that isn't obvious from the parts diagram.  In these cases, I usually just ask how to take apart the appliance without damaging it.

In 2012, I made three successful small repairs to our washer, grill and dishwasher.   In each case, I probably saved around $150, which is about the cost of a service call and an hour's labor.   So my total savings was about $450.   I did call in a repair service for a dryer repair where I wasn't quite sure of the solution.   This was a good call because there were two electronic bad parts and I would spent a significant amount determining both were not functioning since I don't own the electronic diagnostic tools.

For more on Strategies and Plans Ideas, check back every Monday for a new segment.

This is not financial or repair advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2012 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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