About Fixing Things On Your Own

I know, I know, most of you will frown. Especially those of you who live in Indonesia, where the cost of repairmen is fairly low. So convenient to just simply make a call and let them take care of the business while you’re sipping your ice tea and reading the latest Martha Stewart Living on the porch. And for how much? The cost certainly won’t kill your cash flow and thus it will be totally, totally worth it. Hence the ice tea 🙂

However, you know, I was born a crafty hand. I inherited it from my late beloved Mom, who fixed her own sewing machine and would climb up the roof and saved us from fluttering potentially tumbling tiles tragedy. So I grew up not only adapting some fixing skill from my Mom, but also in deep appreciation toward this craftsmanship and the zeal that goes along with it. I figure if I live in western countries it would be very useful for us to master this skill. I know my Mom still needed a repairman to fix her oven, but I think if she didn’t have 7 kids hanging on her back 24 hour a day I’m pretty sure she would’ve taken the matter into her own hands.

I came across this website about 2 years ago, PartSelect, it sells spare parts of almost all appliances you could possibly have at home. I know it doesn’t make your jaw dropped, but here is the catch: what if it tells you how to fix your appliances?

Yes, the site is equipped with installation videos, that are basically videos that show you how to install things to get your appliances right back to function again. The videos are currently available on 105 of their available parts with more being shot every week. There you can see Steve, the repair technician, installing each part step by step. This obviously of huge benefit for anyone looking to do their own repair.

Onto the cooler thing, and this was just launched a few months ago, is the Virtual Repairman – essentially a free tool that instantly helps homeowners figure out what’s wrong with their appliance. How it works is amazing. It diagnoses the symptoms of each individual model of the broken appliances and connects the data with the parts that fix each symptom. I mean, really, it is like you have your own crazy scientist in your own basement lab!

Here is an example of an installation video of dryer belt, as well as installation instructions, which are provided by their very own customers. You’ll see the 3 minutes installation video just below the price that shows how to install that particular belt. Below the video, you’ll see a section of installation instruction which are sent in by the customers after they have installed the part. Customers can rate how useful the instructions are and each includes the tools required for the repair as well as difficulty and how long it took.

To check out the Virtual Repairman –which I think is the coolest feature, you can search, say, LAT9206BAE –or even a model number from your own appliance, try it! This will take you to a list of symptoms this model experiences and clicking on one of those, such as Leaking Water, will take you to a list of parts that will fix that specific problem, and how often it does, for your specific model. Tell me what is cooler than that? Your own crazy scientist at work!

On the conservative side, you can search for a model right from the homepage which gives you several ways to locate the part you need: by symptom, by searching for its name, and by location –which gives you exploded diagrams for each section of the appliance.

Aside from the value each of these tools provide, what makes them so special is that the site will be the only one in the industry that helps customers at every stage of the repair: diagnosing the problem, figuring out the part needed, getting the part, and then installing the part.

Seriously, these features, are such treasures, not to mention rare. Doing our own home repairs is a survival skill, just like cooking. Repairing a home appliance not only saves money but it is also great for the environment and can be very empowering. Trust me on that.

I say this PartSelect site, is totally a hero. ‘Nuff said.


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