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Your recent repair?
Old 10-12-2013, 11:11 AM   #1
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Your recent repair?

I have a 20 year old Magic Chef (maytag) kitchen range. It still looks good, the burners all light right away. But the oven was slow to ignite and would not always restart after getting to requested temp and turn off. I shopped around and all the ovens I liked were $800. + and then would be $200. more to convert to propane and deliver! $1000.+ tax!!
I got online and read about this oven start issue. Turns out oven electric igniters get "weak" over time and don't accept the necessary amps for the regulator to release gas. I got splayed out on the floor, found the igniter way back in the oven. Removed it with some yoga like positions, found a new one on ebay for $22. shipped. The new one was here in 2 days I did the road kill and wounded possum positions and installed - oven now works perfect!

I did a deep clean of the unit and we are good for another 20 years. I find this kind of repair very enjoyable and rewarding!

Anyone else have a repair success that makes them smile?
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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My front loading Sears "elite" washer sprung water leakage from the gasket. It would leak out huge amounts of water onto my cellar floor with each load. It is about 8 years old.

I was ready to replace the gasket til I read on line a) the price of a new one and 2) the difficulty/rigamarole of removing the old one and installing the new one.

THere was a 1/2" x1" piece of of the rubberish gasket missing. I cut a strip of rubber off a garage floor mat, and used JB Weld glue to glue it in place. Used two Binder clips to hold the repair to dry for two days, then held my breath....


It worked!!!!! No more leak, the repair cost about 6.00 in glue and the rubber patch was free!!!

If it matters, I am a 57 YO single woman.....I also change the filter, oil and blades on my riding mower. I was scared to death of removing the mower deck and then one day just followed the instructions in the John Deere manual and was amazed how well it went....

And YES it feels great to accomplish something like this washer repair....I smile every time I approach the washer at end of cycle and the floor is dry!!!!
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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GREAT idea for a thread! Why didn't I think of this?


So here's a recent contribution, and the washer has been fine for 3 months now, I need to set a reminder to update each year!

Crazy to try to fix a 27 YO wash machine?

The quick version - This 27 YO Maytag washer has served our family of as many as five, w/o a single repair up until this one. A very simple/cheap belt replacement was all it took.

I'm always fixing things, for a number of reasons. For one, it is often cost-effective. I also hate shopping, and often the replacement is worse than the old unit (sometimes it's the opposite though). It's 'green' to keep something out of a land fill. And I like the challenge.

I had a recent failure though. A two year old toaster would not latch consistently. Man, these things have gotten complex! The latch is an electromagnet, controlled by a bunch of circuitry. It was tough to get apart, and tough to troubleshoot, so I gave up after a few tries and bought a new one for $15. It was more the learning experience, but I'm not sure the new one will hold up any better. I think the electromagnet is a safety thing? Looks like any fault condition causes it to unlatch and shut down?

-ERD50
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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Several years ago the old water heater started leaking and needed to be replaced. So I set the old unit to drain and went to buy a replacement. When I got it home I asked one of my roommates for some help in moving it into position. He expressed amazement that I knew how to do the replacement, saying a plumber would charge several hundred dollars for the job.

One thing I always remembered was reading a number of years ago was the ability to fix stuff was nothing more than the willingness to take stuff apart carefully, to see how it works.
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Replacing Ceran cooktop heating element
Old 10-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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Replacing Ceran cooktop heating element

Recently, one of the heating elements of our cooktop burned out while I was using it. With the old exposed coil heater, one can just unplug it and put in the new one, but this was a radiant heater.

I had not replaced a heating element in a smooth cooktop, where the radiant heater was below the ceramic flat surface, but after 15 years, it was time for this to happen. It was a front burner position, which of course had been used the most.

As it turned out, it was super easy as only 2 screws needed to be removed to allow the cooktop to be flipped up from the stove, much like opening the lid of a top-loading washing machine. After a few more screws, the broken heater assembly could be swapped out. For expediency, I swapped into its place a back burner that of course was hardly used.

All that is needed is a Phillips screwdriver. And this reminds me that I still need to buy a new coil to put in that back burner position. Cost will be about $85.

PS. Most of the time, if one searches youtube, there will be someone doing a community service to show exactly where the screws are that you need to remove to open up something.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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I recently replaced the CMOS battery in my Asus eee netbook (the one that I typically use only while traveling). This battery provides the juice to keep the internal clock powered even when the unit is turned off.

It got to be such a pain to both remember to and then actually reset the clock every darn time I booted up the netbook (which was rather often when traveling).

I found a new battery on eBay for less than $10 (including shipping). And YouTube had a couple of useful videos that walked through all the steps of disassembling the netbook and accessing the battery.

And now I feel rather happy every time I turn on that computer and don't have to mess with the BIOS settings.

omni
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Replacing refrigerator condenser fan
Old 10-12-2013, 01:15 PM   #7
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Replacing refrigerator condenser fan

A few years ago, while we were on an RV trip, my son who was living at home told us that our refrigerator was not working right, and that its internal temperature was getting high.

However, as he was technically inclined (he'd better be, as he was studying mechanical engineering), he also determined that the compressor was running, but the fan that blew air across the condenser coil had quit.

As you might have noticed, the fridge of the old style had a black gridded coil in the back. That's the condenser coil that uses passive convection air cooling to liquefy the compressed Freon, before it gets pumped up to the evaporator in the freezer.

New fridges have a smooth back, and the condenser coil is now made smaller and hidden at the bottom. That smaller coil cannot work by passive convection, and needs a small fan to blow air across it.

So, my smart son (I was proud of him) pulled the fridge forward, and put a small 5" desk fan back there to circulate the air in place of the broken fan (they are about the same size). He told us that it seemed to work fine as the freezer worked again, and I should not worry about it.

When I came home after the RV trip, I took the broken fan to an appliance supply store to get a replacement. Cost was something like $30-$40.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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I have a repair that makes me smile and another that does not. We were recently hit with a power surge that knocked out our oven,cooktop, a ceiling fan, our water purifying system, and a few surge protectors. Our insurance co asked me to get reports from repairmen. I called the guy we bought the appliances from 20 yrs ago and he came over. He explained that he just looked at an oven just like ours that was blown out during the same storm as ours, and that it was repaired by replacing an electrical board in the oven. Since we are starting a kitchen remodel, I told him that I would buy new appliances from him if his report came back with our oven being irreparable. He didn't get the hint - he got it fixed with a new board for around 400 (under our deductible). So I spent 400 fixing an oven that I'll replace within a couple of years.

But our $1500 water system- fixed it with a 25 cent fuse
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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The great thing these days is that many folks put out repair videos on you tube and other sites. Rather that just reading instructions or viewing illustrations, you can actually watch someone take something apart step by step and fix it.

I used this to remove my riding mower deck and replace various parts on it - easily saving me $500+ in repair costs. DW accidentally knocked off car size view mirror, the auto shop was going to charge $170 until I found a video showing how to replace it for the same make/model - cost was $15 for the part and about 30 minutes. Those video has also helped me with replacing headlights.

I enjoy putting together and repairing computers as a hobby (I have an insane amount of systems in our house), and I've been able to help friends and family members. When I retire and have more time I may start also contributing videos showing some basic computer repair/maintenance actions.
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Replacing laptop LCD screen and CPU fan
Old 10-12-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Replacing laptop LCD screen and CPU fan

My daughter and I used to have the same Toshiba laptop.

I broke the LCD screen on mine by pinching it with my thumb when I stupidly picked it up by the screen.

My daughter's CPU fan quit because she did not know to program her laptop to go into sleep mode when inactive, and she just liked to leave it running 24 hours.

Taking the laptop apart and peeling off layers of parts to get to the CPU fan took some work! Replacing the LCD screen was a bit easier.

I would not know the steps if it weren't for the info that I found on the Web. The work required some dexterity, and a bit of a feminine touch else you would break the delicate tiny connectors and flat-ribbon cables inside. These things are truly technical marvels. And I am saying this as an electronic engineer working in aerospace.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
... Since we are starting a kitchen remodel, I told him that I would buy new appliances from him if his report came back with our oven being irreparable. He didn't get the hint - he got it fixed with a new board for around 400 (under our deductible). So I spent 400 fixing an oven that I'll replace within a couple of years...
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.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
The great thing these days is that many folks put out repair videos on you tube and other sites. Rather that just reading instructions or viewing illustrations, you can actually watch someone take something apart step by step and fix it. ....
I used YouTube videos to repair the water pump in my boat motor and dismantle and clean the radiator in my car. Next up - I'm going to remove a computer board that controls traction/ abs systems and send it to a guy that solders bad contacts. Overall savings could be 2k coated to the dealer fix
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:51 PM   #13
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...Next up - I'm going to remove a computer board that controls traction/ abs systems and send it to a guy that solders bad contacts. Overall savings could be 2k coated to the dealer fix
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
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Replacing electrolytic caps in a big-screen TV
Old 10-12-2013, 04:27 PM   #14
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Replacing electrolytic caps in a big-screen TV

A more complicated electronic repair job I did recently was to disassemble a 55" Mitsubishi DLP TV to replace a dozen electrolytic caps.

This TV was discarded by my nephew, and though it was 5-6 years old, still had very good picture (to me), and had some fancy features for its time. I think it cost my nephew $4K, and it was much better than my first 42" HD TV that I paid only $2K a few years even before that. Yes, I still have that TV too. Mine had longevity because it was manufactured before the "capacitor plague" that caused billions of damage to the electronic industry.

What happened was that a Taiwanese component maker tried to mimic the proprietary manufacturing process invented by a Japanese capacitor maker. Its components had a short life because some key ingredients were missing. Electronics makers who bought the cheaper parts suffered horrendously when these 20-50 cent parts failed in their TVs and computers worth thousands of dollar.

See: Capacitor plague - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Anyway, to locate, unsolder and replace the dozen capacitors were easy. Getting to these caps was not!

The capacitors already failed looked like this.



When having the whole thing taken apart, one would replace all the big caps that were in the power supply section. It's just too time consuming to replace the hundreds of caps that were in less critical places.

Taking the guts of this TV apart, and to put it back took me 3 days. It is not as simple as opening up a desktop PC and swapping out a board. I think a TV technician who has done this before would still take a day or more. Hence, most of these nice TVs got trashed.

Being a frugal guy and having some time on hand, I just had to spend the time to repair it, rather than seeing it going to the landfill. My nephew already bought a new one, else I would give it back to him.

So, I took my older and not-as-good TV to my 2nd home, and put this better TV in my main home. Neither has been turned on for some time now.
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:35 PM   #15
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A few years after purchase our Maytag gas dryer would heat intermittently. I hate that word "intermittent" when trying to diagnose things - sometimes it checks out fine and sometimes not.

Looked up the symptoms and found the fix, a $20 gas valve actuator bought locally, and that took care of it. The only tools needed were a screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, and an ohmmeter.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:03 PM   #16
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A more complicated electronic repair job I did recently was to disassemble a 55" Mitsubishi DLP TV to replace a dozen electrolytic caps. ...
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.

I replaced it with a cheap e-machines laptop that I've loaded Ubuntu (Xubuntu now) on. That one developed some funky, intermittent display noise a few months past the warranty period. I figured that was going to be it. But I kept narrowing in on the place I could tap it, and the picture would clear up. Found out how to take that area apart (simply pry the cover up - but I wouldn't have figured that out w/o on-line help), and then just pushed the ground clips around and it was fine for a year or two. Then I just repeated it, cleared again.

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Old 10-12-2013, 06:20 PM   #17
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I replaced the broken handle on my over-the-range microwave. Sounds simple but it wasn't. I had to undo several layers of the door assembly in order to find the screws that held it in. Luckily, I found a Youtube video tutorial, and a replacement handle on ebay. I'm sure a service call and full-price handle would have been very expensive. Proud of myself!
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:28 PM   #18
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Did the oven igniter on our Maytag, it needs me to do the cooktop igniters now!
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:36 PM   #19
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I have a small flat roof, 2' x 15' with a roof pitch of 0.5 (1/2 inch drop per foot) that's been a problem for the last few years. It was a torch down roof that was cut a little short along some of the edges and had peeled up a couple years ago and started leaking into the ceiling since it ponds water. I caulked the edges and the leaking stopped. This year I noticed I had a rotting fascia board in a small area where the water had come in so I repaired that last month. I decided to add a 4/12 pitch to the roof and installed shingles over the area. Built in 1963, not sure why someone thought it was cool to built a roof with this low a pitch. I now have to consider the bigger 17' x 50' that also has a 0.5 roof pitch.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:39 PM   #20
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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.
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