Appliance Repair

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Bob Scott
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Appliance Repair

Post by Bob Scott » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:23 pm

I am assuming that some of us fix our own appliances when they break down, rather than pay a repairman $100 for half an hour's work. I will attempt to fix both my washer and dryer today. Maytags DO break down.

I was fortunate to find an online source of exploded parts diagrams with parts lists for just about any appliance. These guys have expanded from Canada to the west coast US and Hawaii.

I am not associated with tham. I just think they are a great resource, welcome in a sometimes shady business.

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Re: Appliance Repair

Post by Bigglez » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:40 pm

Bob Scott wrote:I am assuming that some of us fix our own appliances when they break down...
Nope, I just move the next one in the coin-op place.

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appliance repair

Post by evahle » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:55 pm

Thanks Bob. I put the link into my MISC folder. Sometimes I repair my own, but my repair guy only charges about $60/hr. here in the Midwest, which isn't bad if you don't want to turn the washer upside down. They are heavy! hehe

evahle :smile:

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Post by dtief » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:40 pm

I repair just about any / everything I own. Usually try to get better stuff, so it's less likely to need repair, and more likely to be worth bothering with if it does. I won't spend hours on a $25.00 item.

As far as washing machines go, this one is hard to beat for reliability & easy self repair & support.

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Post by MrAl » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:17 am


I repair anything that can be repaired, and even used to repair my
microwave until the prices came down so low you can get a new one
with better features for a decent price that will last a decent time.
By the time i get done with one anyway it's pretty much dust.
My current microwave started to act up with the number "6" button
not working anymore, then it started working again, then stopped
working again...i lost track now i dont know if it works or not at
the moment :smile: so i'm due for a new one soon.

My drill charger was carp when i bought it, so i 'fixed' that by
redesigning/rebuilding completely using a microcontroller chip
to do the charging (plus associated parts of course).
It's worked for years now after the rebuild, plus had to replace
the NiCd cells cause Ryobi uses really carp cells in their stuff.

This seems like a silly little repair, but, probably one of the most
critical you can do. This is, replacing the connector on the end
of a fairly high quality extension cord.
Now this doesnt sound like much, but when you go to get a new
connector end (the end that things plug in to, not the two prong
end that plugs into the wall) you find many types and qualities
but they all use two screw terminals and are a little strange as
to how they hold the wire from pulling out of the connector
(strain relief). What i had to do was take out the screws and
solder the wires directly into the screw holes so it was more
permanent, and tie a knot in the cord so it could not pull out
of the connector when a little force was applied. This was for
a neighbor and you dont want them to burn the house down
just because of a silly extension cord, so it's a very important
fix that should not be taken lightly.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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Post by Jim Barrett » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:22 am

You must all remember, though, that the first rule of intelligent tinkering is "save all the pieces" :smile:
Yeah, if I can figure out how to take it apart I can usually fix it.
Several years ago my snow blower stopped working & I had to take it apart to figure out how it worked. I figured out the parts I needed & since it was carb. intake pieces I figured I'd buy two kits & save the second in case the problem cropped up again. Sure enough, a couple years later it happened again ( funny how leaving that gas in the thing all summer screws it up :eek: ).
You guessed it! I couldn't find the extra parts. Once again, I ordered two sets, repaired the machine & said to myself, "Self, find a clever place to put these things so you can find them again. I went to my clever place and , yep, there was my spare set of parts. Now I have two sets & at the instant I know where they are.

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Post by MrAl » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:07 am

Who was it that said,

"If you take it apart and put it back together enough times you
eventually have enough parts to build two of them with".

hee hee
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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Post by Joseph » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:10 am


I repaired an old Amana refrigerator with a bad defroster by putting a hair dryer inside the evaporator compartment. I set the power setting on low. Disclaimer: this was my personal unit.

Last year I replaced the brushes in my electric lawnower. I noticed that the new brushes were charring again, so I increased the tension the brush springs.


I just replaced the outlet plug on my long yellow extension cord last year. I soldered on a three prong adaptor.

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Post by Joseph » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:13 am

Al, I know what you mean about finding a clever stashing place for spare parts.

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Post by Robert Reed » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:27 am

I have not sought for nor had a serviceman enter my house since m first year of marriage. That was for an old Philco TV. And as to Jims remark - I think the best insurance against a part failing the second time is to buy double for the first repair :grin: . It is a great satisfaction to accomplish ones own repairs in a timely manner and save money to boot. Unfortuneatly new technology has taken the repair aspect out of most devices these days due to 'unified' constuction, where the part needed is basically the cost of a new product. For example I had to scrap my 3 year old vaccuum cleaner due to a boss that broke on the plastic housing, that there was no way to get to or repair. The housing replacement cost 60% of what I paid for the whole unit. Very sad for us DIYers. :sad:

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Post by Jim Barrett » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:12 am

So the other day my adult son (who lives with us) and I were working on a plumbing problem & he said "Dad, why aren't we calling a plumber to do this?" to which I replied, "Why should I pay a plumber $175-$200 when I can instruct you on how to fix our problem?"
45 minutes later he was offering to pay for the plumber & I assured him that some day, when he had a home of his own, he would thank me for this lesson.
His response was "yeah, right, Dad". He mumbled something about starving, out of work plumbers, but I think that's an oxymoron.

DIYers arise, you have nothing to lose but the pieces that just fell out of whatever it is you're trying to fix. :smile:

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Janitor Tzap
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Post by Janitor Tzap » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:50 am

:lol: I know what you guys are talking about. :lol:

I had to replace the oxygen sensor on my car.
But I needed a special type of socket to remove it.
The socket was $20.
I ask the mechanic at the local auto repair shop what he charge me to replace it.
He said $35 plus what the sensor cost.
I let him do.
Because the chances of me needing that exact same tool again, are slim to nill.

It's like I replaced the antenna on a Plymouth Reliant.
I needed a three prong type socket to remove the fender mount.
I got one for $10 bucks from a specialty tool vendor.
I've never used it again because now the antenna mounts are completely different.

As for the consumer electronics..........
If it isn't something simple like bad solder, or a broken trace.
You might as well just replace it.

I had a friend who would go to these auctions, and bid on pallets of computers, monitors, etc...
He then got me to go through the monitors, and see which ones worked,
and which ones could be repaired cheaply.
Since the Monitor's were all the same make, and model.
The worst ones ended up as parts for the ones that could be repaired.
Out of the pallet of 20 monitors, 5 were not worth repairing.
My friend cleaned up the computers, and resold them with the monitors to several small businesses, or individuals.
But when the prices of new computer's and monitor's started to tumble.
The call for used computer equipment all but dried up.
Now unless you have special, or known good equipment.
It's just not wanted any more, or you just can't get the prices for it, you once could. :sad:

Signed: Janitor Tzap

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Post by philba » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:29 pm

In addition, some of the newer appliances have highly specialized components that have controlled distribution.

I had the bad misfortune to buy a fisher-paykel washer. Their controllers burn out if the motor jams. That's what happened two years into owning the product - wife called the repair guy. $600 of which $400 was parts. it took 3 weeks to get the parts (from fricking australia). It breaks again like 4 weeks later so repair is under warrantee. I pulled our 25 year old wirlpool out of the garage since I expected it to take weeks. They can't fix it - it takes 4 months and 5 repair guy visits (on their nickel) to figure this out. So finally after threatening a lawsuit, they give us a new washer - a more recent version. Two years later, the same thing happens so I figure I'll fix it, I go to find the parts. Motors are available, controller is out of stock everywhere. I spent hours trying to track one down. The service center we first used said they can get the controller but won't sell it to me unless they install it. arrrggg. I tried other places to no avail. I pulled my old wirlpool out of the garage again and it's working just fine. And all the parts are still in stock. I'm giving up on the FP.

By the way. never ever buy an FP product. what a nightmare. There are similar stories to mine all over the internet. Wish I had seen those before buying it in the first place.

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Post by jollyrgr » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:03 pm

Finding parts can be challenging. But thanks to the Internet and especially eBay this is MUCH easier now. My parents central AC condenser went out. I diagnosed it as a bad capacitor over the phone by listening to what it was doing. So I go out and sure enough the cap is swollen and about to burst.

The cap is really two caps in one; one cap for the compressor, one for the fan. I'd pulled one out of a dead AC unit but it was not the right values. So I start calling around. Plenty of the value of the spare I had. Very few of the one I needed. I could find guys that had them on their parts truck but they would not sell it to me unless they installed it. Finally found a guy that would order me one and would have it the next afternoon. Since temps were running in the upper 90's I couldn't wait for eBay. Cost twice of what it would from the Internet (even when counting shipping) but at least I was able to get it the next day.
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

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Janitor Tzap
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Post by Janitor Tzap » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:21 am

Oh, Boy......

The old, "You have too be an Authorized Dealer" bit, for me to sell you the part.

When I worked in the local TV/VCR/Stereo shop.
The local video rental store would send customers to us,
as well as their own rental Nintendo Game Systems over for repair.
Well, most repairs were minor, cleaning contacts, repairing or replacing connectors.
But, there were a few that were in need of more work.
Thus, we needed to get some of the specialty chips for a unit.
We talked to Nintendo, but they would not sell us the parts because we were not an Authorized Dealer.
We asked what it would take to be one.
I don't remember all the requirements.
But the big one that stopped us.
Was that we needed to clear $100K of business per-year to qualify. :shock:

Well, We continued to work on them.
But, if a unit was to the point where the specialty chips were needed.
We gave the customer Nintendo's 1-800 number.
Told them they'll have to send it to Nintendo for it to be fixed.
Or just get a new one.

Lost a lot of business because of that. :sad:

Signed: Janitor Tzap

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