I don’t consider myself extremely handy — and when it comes to appliances and electronics, I tend to be less than effective at making repairs. But I have been known to break some electronics in rather notorious ways. I guess maybe my problem is that I seem to know just enough to get myself in trouble, and not much else.
But if you are brave or have a wonderfully handy man in the house (much like myself), you don’t always have to first call an expensive repairman to get the job done. Thanks to the internet, you can not only find parts to repair your appliances yourself, but you can also find some expert advice (which is even more important than the parts in the end). For example, the Virtual Repairman from PartSelect which will help you pinpoint where your appliance is suffering, and then tell if you can fix it yourself, or should bring in a professional.
It is crucial to know what you are doing and to take precautions, especially when dealing with machines that mix electricity and water, like a washing machine. Although it may be hard to stomach the $65+ an hour charge you pay to the repairman, it’s going to be a lot more expensive on down the road if you accidentally set the house on fire, or cause something to flood.
- Washing Machine — You’ve run the spin cycle 3 times but the clothes are still sopping wet (your filter is probably clogged). Or your machine stops spinning altogether. The latter problem is certainly a more complex one, which could be caused by several issues, but most of them you can actually repair yourself. Just make sure your washer isn’t frozen — cause newsflash, water will not come into the machine when the pipes are frozen.
- Dryer — Dryers that don’t heat up, don’t tumble or just take forever to dry clothes should absolutely be troubleshooted to determine where the defect lies — and you can take care of the pesky situation yourself, feeling like a complete bada$$ when you solve the issue.
- Dishwasher — Your dishes are not getting clean, or they’re not being dried, or your detergent cup has decided to hold your detergent hostage. You’d be amazed at the number of things that might get clogged up, worn down or break in a dishwasher that you can tackle yourself. Those repairs are way easier than you think, especially when you have step-by-step videos and instructions to help you along the way, like this one from PartSelect.
- Refrigerator — No, you’re not going to need to pull out a can of Freon for these repairs. Malfunctioning defrost timers, heaters and thermostats are often at the root of cooling problems, all of which you can replace fairly easily after a bit of dismantling.
- Stoves & Ovens — I’m sure you know how to replace the lightbulb in your oven, and maybe even have mastered the digital clock on it (mine still stumps me from time to time). But what about a faulty timer, a oven that refuses to heat or just isn’t achieving results that you can live with. You can learn how to replace heating elements, thermostats and more. But do remember that you are dealing with 220-volt power, which will leave you feel a bit dazed if you get shocked.
- Microwaves – If you turntable stops turning, your microwave sparks (without any metal inside to blame) or your microwave just flat out stops working, you do not need to give up all hope. Unless, of course, you’re hoping to buy a bigger, better one! Or none at all…
- Televisions — You nailed your TV with a Wii remote and are hoping to repair it at home? Not likely. But there are certainly ways for you to repair your DLP TV if you need a new color wheel, or if you need a new tube or lights in some of your older models. You can even repair faulty projectors if your home movie theater experience is not going as smoothly as you’d like.
- DVD Players — We are avid DVD watchers here and have been through many a DVD player over the years. Motors, arrays, lost power cables and just about everything else inside your player can be replaced with a little patience and a steady hand.
- Camcorders – You lost the charger, the remote control was eaten by the dog (things like that could never happen!) or your kids got a little rough while watching footage of themselves one day. No matter what the problem is, if you’ve got some tiny tools, you can even replace the optical lens inside your camera.
- Remote Controls — I know I mentioned them above, but just in case your child or dog really goes to town on the remote, and they remove some of the extra flaps and you have to hold the remote a special way to avoid being impaled by dog teeth imprints, and the drool (from either your child or the dog) causes things to short circuit, you can actually get a replacement remote that is exactly like your old remote.
What have you found yourself repairing lately? Stefan is fabulous about keeping our computers up and running — and is my inhouse electronics guru.