24 December, 2009

They made them good, back in them days

Well, not that good really, but okay. I'm talking specifically about a little hand mixer with two beaters, I'm not sure if it was a little Kenwood or a Sunbeam. However, back in those days (I'm talking about the 1980s here) they didn't bother putting on stupid secure screws so Joe So Lame Lewser couldn't get in and try to fix it herself. They just put on two Phillips screws, and left it at that. The reason I mention this is: I've just saved myself what could have been a very costly repair bill by repairing the mixer myself. Thankfully the fix was simple. If the mixer had those "other" screws in, the ones with the heads that only professional repair places should be able to undo, then I probably wouldn't have been able to repair what ended up to be a dead simple fault.

The symptoms: one of the two mixer blades would lock in, but the other one would no longer lock in, and kept falling out. I got a little sick of trying to use it with just one working blade, so I undid the two screws, hoping like anything I could get it back together again even if I couldn't fix what was originally wrong. Luckily I found what was wrong. Inside the mixer, a clip-washer had come off one of the rotor-gears, stopping it from working properly. After a good ten minutes which included removing the entire motor from the housing just to replace the clip washer, I finally got the clip washer back on, put everything back together again, making sure I put both springs back where they belonged (one had fallen off) replaced the washer I'd forgotten to put back on the first time, and shrugged my shoulders at the other missing washer, as there wasn't much I could do about it. As far as I could tell, the old mixer still worked in every other regard, so I had no reason to spend any more money getting a new one, so needless to say, I'm pretty pleased with myself. The only problem being, I still haven't finished the job, the other beater still flaps around like anybody's business, but hey, I did it myself. Chalk that one up to home repairs everywhere.

As long as you're extremely careful, and don't do anything stupid, a lot of simple faults can actually be repaired without having to cart the item off to a professional service centre. In saying this, don't bother with the repair if the item's still under warranty. And if the dead/missing/broken/faulty part involves items with more legs than you've got eyes, then forget it too. You'll only break the warranty, and you may end up with an item you can't repair (because you lack the tools/expertise/parts) and have to pay the full cost of the repair instead.

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