My husband can fix just about anything. For crying out loud, he built our house from nothing. He had help, of course, and we hired professionals when his expertise was lacking. But honestly, he can watch someone do or fix something one time and voila – he can do it from that point on himself.
However, it’s making that repair call the first time that he resists more than getting his teeth cleaned. Why pay a repair technician a small fortune to repair a seemingly small and insignificant appliance? Why? Because that small, insignificant appliance washes your clothes, or your dishes, or keeps your food refrigerated and those appliances are important necessities – if you want to be clean and eat food that hasn’t gone bad, that is.
Case in point, there are steps to follow if you want to attempt that repair yourself and I list them here with some trepidation. The list is certainly not all-inclusive. I’m sure there are other tips you could add to share your personal experiences (and I welcome them in the comments section).
#1 – Know your limitations: If you are not a patient or mechanically inclined person, your good intentions could end up propelling that small appliance out the window or causing it to find itself with a size 14 boot print (assuming that’s your size) for all to see. Taking the appliance apart is easy. It’s getting it back together that remains elusive for many. That kind of frustration comes on almost immediately and by that time, you find yourself at the point of no return.
#2 – Know the model and serial number of your appliance: Finding repair tips on Google is infinitely easier when you can plug-in the appliance’s model number. It’s amazing how many step by step instructions there are on appliance sites and even more exciting is that you can watch the repair tech do it on YouTube and mimic his/her every move.
#3 – Consider a Home Warranty: This is especially true for first time home buyers or someone in an older home whose appliances and house systems are coming to the end of their lives. It depends on the appliance but I’ve found that the appliances that were made after 2000 all seem to have shorter and shorter lifespans. That’s because the manufacturer has convinced the consumer that a “pretty” machine is a “good” machine. NOT TRUE!
In fact, my 28-year-old Whirlpool washer is still running strong in my second laundry room (yes, I have TWO laundry rooms – don’t judge me!). But that gorgeous GE Profile front load washer I told my husband I just had to have has been taken apart twice now in 7 short years. The first time to replace a stainless steel drum that was attached by an arm spider that was made of pot metal (a.k.a. aluminum which will corrode over a short time) and the second time to replace a motor. My beautiful machine does me no good if I have to slug down to the basement to use my old washer. But I digress….
CALL THE MAN!
#4 – Find a reliable (NOT necessarily cheap) and certified technician to work on your appliance if you can’t fix it yourself or if don’t have a warranty: This is a key tip! GE, for example, will charge $99 for the diagnostic call and if you accept the repair, they will deduct that amount from the total repair cost. They will also guarantee the repair – something the other repair techs won’t do under normal circumstances. Their work is substantially better because they are more familiar with the ins and outs of the appliance and know its quirks. The parts are also under warranty – usually for a period of 5 years but double-check with your repair tech’s policy.
#5 – Plan to buy new every time your appliance breaks down: This, of course, I don’t recommend! But you see, our options are fairly limited. If you have deep pockets, you can always buy new and sell the working parts off of your dismantled appliance with your size 14 boot print on eBay!