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Monday, August 12, 2013

D I Y Repair by Google

There really is no question about the influence of the internet upon most facets of our daily lives.  I remember living in Arizona around 1993 and a a roommate introduced me to Prodigy, an early use of the internet with games and news provided thru a  dial up service.

Fast forward to today with the proliferation of mobile devices and an infinity staggering number web based apps and pages.  Industries, trades and services have been impacted, some in positive ways with increased revenue and another tool to reach customers and others in negative ways.  My post relates to an industry which has probably seen a negative impact due to the web: the appliance repair business.

About two years ago, the area I live in was going to experience a severe storm.  In the run up to the storm, my wife washed a significant amount of laundry.  While drying the clothing, the dryer just stopped working.  As a result of the storm, we lost power for a few days but when  it returned we needed to decide what to do about the dryer.  I wasn't prepared to purchase a new one since it was working well up until that point.  However, this was an appliance we had here when we moved into the home and I wasn't sure how old it was.  I also was not in a hurry to bring someone in to repair it and spend money on something until I was certain I knew what was wrong with it.

I ran a Google search and came across a website run by a guy called British James.  He had a series of videos on YouTube which diagnosed and fixed just about any problem with a dryer that was similar to my own.  This was great,  I had an opportunity to take apart my machine, clean it and work through what was wrong with it.  I pinpointed it to one of two electrical issues.  I purchased the replacement parts online and once I received them, I completed the job and the Dryer has been fine ever since. 

Last week, my wife was again doing the laundry and the washing machine was making a lot of noise and shaking.  Once again, I Googled the symptoms and found an amazing amount of information about washing machines.  Once again, I was directed to British James' website and in his video series on washing machines, I was able to determine that I had an issue with the agitator.  Specifically, the upper agitator was not working as it should.  This explained how my clothes, trousers and jeans, have worn and been damaged from using the machine. 

I watched the videos several times and ordered online the agit dogs that kept the upper agitator moving in the correct direction.  The replacements came to my home in 4 days and cost $3.95 with no cost for shipping.

 (I got the top and side off, plastic ring clean and drying off, very dirty)

 (the ugly view from upper agitator)

 (Worn out agit dog next to new ones)

It was an easy repair and after I finished I did a load of laundry.  I knew it worked when I saw no clothes tangled around the lower agitator. 

My hats off to British James and his helpful website.

He even promotes the repair and sale of reconditioned machines as way for those unemployed to earn some income.  Well done, Sir.

I came away happy with my DIY skills and also an appreciation with the depth and breadth of relevant information out there on the World Wide Web. Why have someone else do these things when you can do it yourself. 

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