Friday, February 29, 2008

Frugal Friday - Fix It Yourself

Your clothes dryer won't dry. Your washing machine won't wash. Your furnace won't turn on. What should you do? Call a repairman or just buy a new one?

You're frugal so you decide to call a repairman to come out and fix it...maybe he'll charge you $150 to fix said appliance or only charge you $75 to come out and tell you it can't be fixed, and now that $75 can be added to the cost of a new whatever machine.

My Frugal Friday Tip this week is to try and fix it yourself. Or if you are like my family, have your husband try and fix it first.

Most women are probably not married to a major appliance repairmen (if you are - consider yourself blessed!) - but if it means saving $100 or hundreds of dollars, isn't it worth a try?

With the internet, there isn't a whole lot you CAN'T find out about. Let's take the dryer not working. Just Google "How to fix your dryer" or "Dryer won't work" and tons of hits come up. In less than 5 min I came up with a website for the "Virtual Repairman" - a website that details how to fix various household appliances along with illustrations. I think they sell the parts also - but before you buy a part from him or someone else - check the prices on eBay first, you'll probably find it for pretty cheap.

I know when a machine breaks down - it's one you use regularly and can't wait a month to fix (usually). But it might be worth waiting a week, to see if you can fix it yourself. Like my dryer. It had stopped spinning one day last month. By using the internet (free) my dh was able to diagnose the problem, order a part and figure out how to replace the part. It was fixed within a week - the down time mostly from waiting for the part to arrive.

Total cost to fix the dryer ourself - $16.55 (Whirlpool Dryer Belt Idler Maintenance Kit (NEW).

Go here to check out some more Frugal Friday Tips.


Melonie said...

THIS IS PERFECT! My washer started leaking this week and we thought it was fixed (by tightening a clamp on a hose, which worked its way loose 2 years ago and made big leak problems), but apparently it's underneath. My hubby called Sears and they want $60 just to come look at it. He's going to try it first - this is SO helpful! THANKS!!!! :-)

Edi said...

Glad this was of some help to someone...good luck on your washer!

Every good and perfect gift said...

You are spot on! I can't tell you how much money we save by fixing things ourselves. Sure it helps to have a husband who is mechanically inclined, but a lot of things don't take "skill" just common sense and the proper tools. With the internet as a guide it's easy to learn how to fix something. I rarely have a problem with my husband buying a quality tool to fix something, because I know we are saving money by having him do the work.
Great post!

Kelly said...

We used this web site last week. My husband was able to see how to unclamp the back of the washer and take it apart. Common problems , like a leaking washer were described. It was the water pump. Some of it had melted. He found the part locally for $35 plus a $4 lifetime warranty and the cost of gas to get there. Washer fixed in half a day and for less than $50. Plus a lifetime warranty on a part that often fails. The part shop told us that.