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Old 10-12-2013, 07:47 PM   #21
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The agitator quit on our 17-year-old basic Kenmore top-loader washing machine. Husband looked into the cost of service call and parts. Instead, he went to an appliance store and bought a small $8 part, installed it himself, and our washer is working again!

We've saved thousands, over the years, with his repairs.........on our fixer-upper houses, on appliances, on bicycles, on all kinds of stuff. When he was a boy, his job was to carry the tool box behind his dad whenever a repair had to be done. He had to hand Dad the tools, and eventually help Dad finish up the jobs.

I never knew any of this before I married him. When we bought our first house, I walked in after we signed the papers. There he was, tearing huge sheets of fake maple paneling off the living room walls. I thought he was destroying the place. Instead, I came back the next day to a bright airy room, looking bigger with its new coat of off-white paint!

DIY helped us to RE!

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Old 10-12-2013, 08:06 PM   #22
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...

DIY helped us to RE!

It would be interesting if I could tally up all the cost savings from DIY. I know some frugal people who just aren't good at this stuff, and they end up calling a repair guy for the simplest things. I try to encourage them to call me first, but I guess they don't want to trouble me. Heck, I'd be glad to help, they help us in other ways.

OTOH, there was the time I tried to fix our mini-van by replacing the thermo-stat... boy that bolt is tight.... wooooops, it broke off. So I try to drill it out and use an ez-out, and I end up with a hole in the manifold.

Oh well, it was burning oil and needed a valve job anyhow, so my 'ooops' didn't add that much cost to the total repair. Turns out the thermostat problem was a blown head-gasket, so this would have run me some bucks anyhow.

And another time, after I figured out that the part that drives the igniter in our stove was bad, I figured I could just jumper it to get it started for dinner, and then go order the part. Turns out that I jumpered something that limits the current in the gas valve, and that blew the gas valve and then I had to buy a $150 part in addition to the $10 part that was bad! double

Oh well, I'm still way ahead.... I think?

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Old 10-12-2013, 08:10 PM   #23
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Bad caps are plague of electronics, whole site devoted to it Badcaps.net - Badcaps Home

Several Dell PC lines were hit with it and many motherboards replaced.
The Web site you cited was for PC motherboards, and I also saw a similar site for TV. It was reported that the problem cost Dell alone $420M. The total cost to all electronics makers would run in the billion dollars. When I researched the problem with Mitsubishi TVs, I saw sites where people were ranting about their expensive TVs crapping out after just 1 or 2 years, and costing a lot of money for repair.

There was a lot of damage to reputation of electronics makers, and the consolation was that nearly all of them got hit. For example, not just Dell but HP also was affected. Consumers were raving mad, but there was no brand that was spared.

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I'm impressed. I would not have the patience or dexterity for that. I tried to replace about 8 caps on my dead iMac motherboard (same cap issue), and I failed. That one hit the recycle center.
This TV job required more patience than finesse. There was plenty of space inside, so the components were not crammed tight on the boards. Connectors were larger and easier to handle. However, because of the space, the wiring harnesses were thrown out like a rat nest, and components were not arranged as neatly as inside a laptop.

My nephew said that this TV had been repaired once under warranty. So, initially I was reluctant to attempt to fix it, because perhaps the faulty caps had all been replaced, and the problem now would be something less elementary, which I would not be able to determine let alone fix.

But I had some time and decided to take a look inside to see what I could learn. And as it turned out, the initial repairman did not replace all the critical caps, and more caps failed after that repair. This TV was quite complicated, and besides the main power supply, each of its boards had its own switching regulator section. One of the boards was overlooked by the repairman, and its cheap Taiwanese caps were not replaced as they should be for a cautionary measure.



When disassembling, I took time to label all connectors or take pictures like the following to document the connections and relative positions of subassemblies.






The main chassis assembly, taken out of the cabinet, looked like this on my kitchen table.







Further disassembly got me to the main power supply. Blue marks on some caps indicated that these caps were not original from factory, and I verified that the solder joints on the other side were obviously done by hand and not by machine soldering.







Here's a subassembly signal board that got its caps replaced earlier. No problem here.






I finally got to a board that had its caps bulging indicating failures. I was so happy to finally find the smoking guns, hence did not take pictures.

I ordered replacement caps from Digikey, buying the best high temperature Japanese caps that they carried. Electrical values aside, it took a bit of time to study the specs to make sure that they would be physically compatible to go in the same mounting holes.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:05 PM   #24
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I think he knew what he was doing. His profit margin on a new oven might be $100, but he might have a bunch of obsolete stockpiled boards that he could make $400 out of the repair job.
Maybe his profit is less on a new oven than it is for a repair. He sent the bad board back to the mfg. The mfg fixed the board and sent it back to him. He claimed that he couldn't report that it was beyond repair because the insurance co would question him
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:18 PM   #25
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Let us know how that goes. Many times, the automotive products are 'potted' - sealed with epoxy or some other goo that makes a re-solder job a real challenge. Worth a try though, esp if this guy has experience. +1 on the youtube videos and other on-line sources. Back in the old days, all you had was the library copy of a Chilton's manual, and I don't think they lent them out, they were 'reference books'. Now you can take your laptop right to the repair, and use the camera to snap pics as you go. -ERD50
FYI - http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-t...r-fleabay.html

But I'll let you know how it goes. I read that corvettes will generate various warnings when voltage gets low, but I changed the battery and still get warnings. I'll attack this when I putt in the garage for the winter.

I know what you mean about manuals. I bought my mercury outboard service manual for around $60, but didn't need it - I found YouTube videos that explained the repair better.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:54 PM   #26
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But, but, but the web site you linked shows that the problem might be simply caused by bad solder joints to pins of a relay. These solder points are readily accessible, and can be reflowed with a soldering iron and a bit of solder.

Why do you have to send it to some guy?
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:02 PM   #27
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But, but, but the web site you linked shows that the problem might be simply caused by bad solder joints to pins of a relay. These solder points are readily accessible, and can be reflowed with a soldering iron and a bit of solder. Why do you have to send it to some guy?
I haven't looked into this for a while, but IIRC the problem was getting the device properly sealed after it was taken apart and soldered. That's the part I'm worried about. I know I can solder, but I'm not sure how to seal it- yet. Need to do more research.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:03 AM   #28
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DIY helped us to RE!


I am reminded of an acquaintance who recently took her monster luxury SUV to the dealer . . . . . so they could reset the clock when we changed to Daylight Savings Time. She won't be retiring anytime soon.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:26 AM   #29
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DIY won't help us retire any earlier but it has enabled us to have much nicer finishes in our houses than we'd ever be willing to pay someone to install.

Over the years we've learned how to move plumbing in a concrete slab, take down non-load bearing walls, install tile and appliances, run electrical for lights and switches, paint so you don't know it was DIY....

Lots of work, but when we buy a house we don't worry about what it looks like inside. As long as we like the floorplan we can make it exactly what we want for the cost of materials.

There are two exceptions. We won't touch anything related to gas. If we need a gas line installed or moved we hire someone qualified to do it. The other exception is if the addition/change requires a permit that you'd have to show if the house were ever sold. We recently had to replace a water heater. In our county new water heaters must be brought to code with earthquake strapping and some other silly stuff. We hired it out even though it cost >$1000.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:45 AM   #30
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Many great fixes! I recently ordered an 8 foot sliding glass door for our porch. Water got between the panes on the current one and steamed up, blocking the view. They (Home Depot) want $580 to deliver and install. I have a buddy with an enclosed trailer to get the door here and cart the old door to the dump. Taking out the old door and installing the new one will take no more than an afternoon. I am looking forward to doing it! Being handy or becoming handy has it's monetary rewards .

I also changed a 6 foot window into a sliding door last year after putting a hot tub outside the master bedroom porch window.. This was a little more involved with removing a small section of wall (below window) and re-locating wiring above the opening. Still just an afternoon job and we use that door daily now. I'll bet it would have been $1000. to have that done by a pro.
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Miele vacuum hose repair
Old 10-13-2013, 06:27 PM   #31
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Miele vacuum hose repair

Well, my recent success pales compared to most posted here but for an old lady with few DIY skills, im pretty happy.

We have TWO ancient Miele cannister vacuums, one for upstairs, one for down.
They are tanks. They are deliberately the same vintage and the parts are interchangeable.

The dopey plastic collar that attaches the hose to the cannister cracked.
New hose was going to be 150-200 bucks. Went online, found specs for the small collar part, bought it on amazon for 29dollars.

Viola, one screwdriver and two minutes, all good.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:34 PM   #32
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I just survived completed the replacement of a 50 gallon water heater in my attic. Details here: Water Heater Advice Needed
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:38 AM   #33
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I just survived completed the replacement of a 50 gallon water heater in my attic. Details here: Water Heater Advice Needed

I enjoyed reading your water tank thread! Picturing a 170lb tank getting up into your small opening/small space attic was entertaining.....no joy for Harry
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:41 AM   #34
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I just survived completed the replacement of a 50 gallon water heater in my attic. Details here: Water Heater Advice Needed
I read that feat of endurance. Me and plumbing just do not play nice together - I'd have hired a plumber. Growing up we didn't have that option so to me it is pure luxury.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:20 AM   #35
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I also read about Harry's heater-in-the-attic ordeal. I have never seen one there. In my part of the country, heaters are put in the garage, or the utility room next to the garage.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:24 AM   #36
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I also read about Harry's heater-in-the-attic ordeal. I have never seen one there. In my part of the country, heaters are put in the garage, or the utility room next to the garage.
+1

Since all water heaters will eventually leak, wouldn't it make sense to have them at the bottom?
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:32 AM   #37
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+1

Since all water heaters will eventually leak, wouldn't it make sense to have them at the bottom?
Htown Harry lives in Houston (Htown) where it is common to run plumbing through the attic rather than within the slab (no basements in that part of the world). Freezing temps are very uncommon. But when temps do dip into the 20's as they did on a rare occasion in the early 80's, broken pipes and major water damage can - and did - ensue.

Water heaters located in the attic are commonplace as a means of saving space - but they are a PITA to replace.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:06 AM   #38
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Reading NW-Bound's accounts of electronic repair leaves me in total awe. I'll try almost anything except Air Conditioning, but the part about replacing capacitors makes me shudder. I recently took apart an older 17" laptop, just to see what was inside.
I mean.. who builds these things? The screws were so small that I couldn't even find them, and the parts that "snap" together make ya wonder if that's the only way to to take them apart. The LCD screen didn't seem to have any connections, except the plasticky tabs with brass strips inside.
I DID go to a YouTube step by step instruction for a similar laptop. It showed what looked like a 50 step process to take apart, and a similar "put together" series of steps. NO WAY!...

Now when I hear about friends who get estimates for laptop repair that total into the $200+ range, I understand.

Amazing we've come to the point where "replace" is cheaper than "Repair".

On the other hand, my neighbor gave me a $500 electric boat motor that he had taken to the dealer where he bought it a year before, for repair. The "shop" estimated a $250 repair to replace a circuit board. When I opened the "head", and did a continuity check, I found a cold solder joint. Total repair time 7 minutes. Gave the motor back, and am now the local "Mr. Fixit"... Not sure it was a good move.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:27 AM   #39
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I have a bosch dishwasher that I hardly used. Maybe the first 6 months of when I bought it 5 years ago. Then used it maybe 4 or 5 times a year after that. Now it stop working. Anyone know what forum I can go to for diy repair?
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:16 PM   #40
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I have a bosch dishwasher that I hardly used. Maybe the first 6 months of when I bought it 5 years ago. Then used it maybe 4 or 5 times a year after that. Now it stop working. Anyone know what forum I can go to for diy repair?

You can start here. Also youtube has videos showing most repairs once you diagnose your washers problem.

Bosch Dishwasher Diagnostic Procedures; dishwasher repair | Dishwasher Repair | Fixitnow.com Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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