Repairing and Fixing

It’s odd to me that in this day and age, it is so much easier than ever before to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair various machines, appliances, and ‘things’ that we own. It is very easy to download a manual from the Internet for just about anything your might own. Yet at the same time, there seems to be less and less interest overall in repair. Many people see something breaking as an excuse to go our and buy a new one. I’m going to give two examples below of recent repairs I have done.

One morning I went in the bathroom and turned on the hot water. The water stayed cold. I went downstairs to the basement. The water heater was there, on, and connected. The LEDs seemed to show that it was ok. I looked up the model on my phone, adding some verbage like ‘will not heat water’ to the Google query. Up popped an article that said that the most common and likely culprit was that the heat sensor was dirty. So I followed the instructions to get to the sensor, and cleaned it for a minute with some sand paper. Turned the heater back on and it has been working flawlessly ever since. This was several months ago. It took me less than a 1/2 hour to fix, start to finish. If I had called service, it would have taken more than a 1/2 hour for them just to show up, and would have cost much more. (my cost was $0)

A couple of days ago my sister in law reported that her power recliner chair was not working properly. It would go up, but not down. I powered it off and on, reseated all the connections, no change. I looked online, and many articles said that the issue was  likely to be the hand controller. I took it apart and cleaned the contacts. It still did not work. Then I took the tip of a screwdriver and put it across the contact to lower the chair, and the chair went down. I cleaned those contacts again, still no luck. I came upon the idea of cutting a small piece of aluminum foil. I place it over the conductor for the top button part of the switch that was not working, and tucked it into a recess on each side to hold it in place. I put the control back together, and it has worked ever since. Again, less and $0.01 work of material saved $100s in either service or a new chair.

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