Broken appliances are a drag. When they can be fixed, paying the repairman gets quite expensive. And when the repairman won't do the job, new appliances can cost a fortune. Wouldn't it be nice if you could fix broken appliances yourself? Well, you can – at least sometimes. There are some appliance fixes that do not require professional training and a set of tools you don't have lying around.
We are not talking about things like replacing a fridge compressor or repairing a broken pump on a dishwasher. If you can do complex repairs yourself, good for you. You're better off than most. Rather, we're talking about minor fixes you shouldn't have to call a repairman for.
The point here is to learn how to fix broken appliances in order to save some money. Fixing appliances is no different than fixing anything else, in principle. But as we always say, modern culture has moved away from fixing things. We have stopped learning how to fix. Perhaps we've even lost the desire to do it. But just think how much money we could collectively save by getting back to the fixing mentality.
Costly and Hard to Deal With
Appliances represent an especially difficult problem when they break. The two biggest concerns are cost and the fact that they are just hard to deal with. You understand the cost aspect. But in terms of being hard to deal with, think about what it takes to properly dispose of a broken refrigerator.
Refrigerators employ dangerous chemicals to keep food cold. So in most places, you can't just throw a refrigerator in the bin. It needs to be hauled away by a licenced hauler who knows how to deal with it safely. Now you are talking an extra expense along with a bit more hassle.
Likewise, a broken dishwasher or clothes dryer will not fit in the rubbish bin. Your regular bin hauler may be able to pick one up on request, but there are no guarantees. You might have to hire a contractor to come out and take the appliances off your hands. And even at that, what happens next? Waste appliances need to be disassembled if reusable materials are to be recovered. What's left winds up in a scrapyard or landfill.
Let's Start Fixing Them
We get the fact that appliances sometimes break beyond reasonable repair. It's okay in such situations to dispose of the broken appliance, as long as disposal is handled the right way. But when repairs are possible, we should choose that option. Repair is the better way and go in so many cases.
If you would like to join us in our quest to help people save money and reduce their individual environmental footprints, then let's start fixing those broken appliances ourselves. We can offer a few examples to show you just how easy minor repairs can be. Some of our examples involve Sugru. Others don't.
Fix a Dishwasher Rack
Our first example of fixing broken appliances involves a dishwasher rack. We can think of two possibilities here: an actual piece of broken metal and a section of the rack that's starting to rust. Both fixes can be easily affected with a small amount of Sugru. Keep in mind that Sugru is a mouldable glue that can be formed into just about any shape. It is also waterproof and temperature resistant.
Whether you are looking at a broken piece or simple corrosion, this particular fix begins with a thorough cleaning of the affected are. Then take a small amount of Sugru and work it in your fingers to create a tube shape. Next, wrap that tube around the area in question. Make sure to join it all the way around so that you are not left with any kind of seam. Then use your finger to smooth things out for a nice finish.
It will take between 12 and 24 hours for the Sugru to fully dry and set up. But when that happens, you will notice that the material turns into a rubber. You'll have no further problems with that particular area of the dishwasher rack. You're good to go!
Replace a Faulty Washing Machine Timer
Another easy appliance fix involves replacing a faulty washing machine timer. For the record, the timer is that control box mounted to the top of your washing machine. It could be an analogue control you rotate to determine the length of your wash cycle. On more expensive models, the timer could be digital. In either case, a faulty timer either won't allow your machine to start or prevents it from progressing through the different stages of the wash cycle.
It turns out that replacing a faulty timer isn't hard at all. You just need the correct part and a few basic hand tools. Before you get started though, here are two important tips you should definitely not ignore:
● Order the Right Part – Makes sure you order the right replacement part. Check the documentation that came with your washing machine for the part number. If you didn't save the documentation, you can probably look up the make and model of your machine online.
● Wait Until It Arrives – Wait until the replacement part arrives before taking the old part out. Also, hold on to the old timer just in case you attempt to install the new one and discover that it's not the right part. You can take the old part to an appliance repair store and see if they are able to identify the genuine replacement part you need.
With all of that said, replacing a faulty washing machine timer is usually as simple as removing a few screws and unclipping a power cable. You simply disconnect the old timer and then connect the new one by reversing the process. Whatever you do, make sure you unplug the machine from the wall before you get started. You don't want to risk getting zapped by high voltage electricity.
Fixing Broken Fridge Parts
A Cracked Drawer
Fixing a cracked plastic drawer is pretty easy with Sugru. Remove the drawer from the fridge and prep it for repair by cleaning the damaged area and wiping it dry. Next, take a small piece of Sugru in your fingers and form it into a tube shape. Then just press it over the crack. If the crack has occurred on the edge of the drawer, bend the tube over the edge to cover both sides of the crack.
Cracks that don't reach all the way to the edge can be sealed on either side. We recommend sealing both sides to prevent a crack from growing a larger. Be sure to press the Sugru firmly into the crack before using your finger to gently spread it out to create a tight bond.
A Broken Shelf Bracket
The plastic shelf brackets installed at the factory aren't the strongest pieces. They can crack and break over time. Fortunately, Sugru can be used to fashion an entirely new bracket that is both strong and durable. First, prepare the surface you will be sticking the Sugru to by cleaning and wiping it dry. Form a larger piece of our mouldable glue into a tube shape.
When you are satisfied that the glue is ready to go, flatten one end and then press that end against the wall of the refrigerator. Now bend the other end up to create a hook of sorts. Let it set up and dry and you have a new bracket to support that section of the shelf. If you are worried that it will not offer enough support, you can always make several more brackets to pick up the slack.
A Faulty Ice Maker
Just like replacing a faulty washing machine timer, replacing a faulty ice maker is a pretty simple task if you can use basic hand tools. In nearly every case, this type of repair boils down to making sure you purchase the right replacement part. You should be able to find a part number in the documentation that came with you fridge. Otherwise, contact the manufacturer and ask. Affecting the actual repair is a matter of removing some screws, installing the new part, and replacing the screws.