When things break for me, I try to find a solution to make them work a little longer than typical.
I’ve blogged about fixing my lawnmower before, but what about other things in my house? Yes, I’ve done the same with many other things in my house!
Here are some of the techniques I’ve used to get a bit more life out of things:
Numerous flashlights: Usually the problems with these are the spring is cheap and needs bent so it makes contact with the battery. With a few flashlights, I had to take an eraser and rub the contacts for a better connection.
My AMD Desktop: A few years ago, my primary workstation at home was an AMD desktop. Unfortunately, the fan on the CPU wore out and the workstation would then go black after a half an hour. Luckily, I was able to figure out the problem, once I took it apart and tried to start it a few times.
Since I didn’t have a CPU fan on me, I unplugged the old CPU fan, and found a small house fan. I opened the case and aimed the house fan at the CPU, and surprise it worked! A few weeks later, I bought a CPU for a few bucks and it’s been great ever since. Surprisingly, the CPU wasn’t damaged…
Laptop Fan Problem: My daughter’s laptop wouldn’t work because of a fan error. Since she is only 6, I didn’t want to spend the money to get a new one, so instead I figured out a work around. What I do is blow at the fan when it boots up and everything is fine after that. It’s not that much of an inconvenience, especially considering it’s an older laptop and now worth the money to get a new fan.
TV: Our main family room TV has been on the fritz for the last year. The problem is sometimes it just goes black (after the screen wiggles for a little first). Other than those rare occasions, the TV works excellently! At first when it started breaking, I would switch the channel a few times and the screen refresh seemed to make a difference.
Sometimes the kids would leave the TV on and go play. When they would come back, the TV would be black. I then would have to turn the TV off for a while and try it again, that typically would it. Once it was so bad, I had to remove the AV cables from the VCR on the back of the TV and that did the trick (I put them right back on…).
Ottoman: This recently broke with a lethal drop knee provided by my son. Instead of just throwing it away, I took off the protective sheet from underneath it and determined that a support wooden block was broken! So I’m planning on fixing this myself saving a hundred or so dollars.
These are just a few things that I’ve been able to fix for free or with minimal cost to me. With electronics, it’s worth it to me to try and get them last as long as possible, because electronics get cheaper and better all the time. So the idea is make what I have last then buy something better for less later.
I’ve also had to fix other things like the washer and dryer, but I’ve already blogged about them.
Do you have any pearls of wisdom (or tricks) with respect to extending the life of things you have?