Personal Finance

How To Fix A Broken Refrigerator

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 6 minute read

Suppose you decide to have a smoothie for morning. You put some fruit and yogurt in the blender, hit the mix button, and…nothing happens. Older homes are notoriously prone to having broken equipment, which can be a major inconvenience.

After this, what should you do?

You could try to get it fixed, but you have no idea where a reliable repair service can be found in the modern world. They can be hard to come by, and even if you do, they usually don’t come cheap. It’s possible that the repair is still less expensive than buying a new blender, which may cost roughly $100. However, how can you know the blender won’t stop working again?

Avoid putting yourself in this jam. There are a few easy guidelines that might help you decide whether to fix or replace a damaged blender (or broken anything else).

The Benefits of Repairing

When possible, it is always preferable to repair broken items rather than replace them. Most importantly, fixing something instead of replacing it frequently saves money. It would be wasteful to spend $100 on a new faucet if all that was wrong with the old one was a washer that could be replaced for a buck.

Fixing something instead of replacing it saves resources. In the context of minimizing environmental impact, this is of paramount significance.

If you decide to replace the whole thing, you’ll be out an additional $99 and have to find a place to put the old one. You might want to think again before throwing that heavy metal in the garbage. Even if you don’t have to pay for garbage collection, the old faucet will still take up valuable landfill space and should be replaced before being thrown away.

A new faucet also has negative effects on the environment. Consider the resources required to bring it from the mine to the shop, as well as the cost of the metal itself. When just the washer needs to be replaced, far less time and resources are expended.

The Benefits of Replacing

It’s not all bad to get a new one when anything breaks. A brand-new product is probably in better condition than the one you’ve been using. A new faucet will be more aesthetically pleasing than your old one if it has dents or filth that you haven’t been able to remove.

Potentially, it would be more effective. Even if you replace the washer on your leaky faucet, the leak may return in a few months if the faucet is broken on the inside. A new faucet could be the only option to solve the dripping problem permanently. It’s also possible that the new faucet, especially if it’s a low-flow model, can help you save money on your water bill.

Changing out the faucet provides further options. Traditional and contemporary, chrome and brass, single and double handle options should all be available at your neighborhood home improvement store. If the previous faucet’s design was never very appealing to you, changing it will allow you to select a new one that does.

Finally, replacing something is usually easier than fixing it. It takes only a few minutes to replace a faucet washer, but if it doesn’t stop the drip, you may spend hours trying other things. When you’ve made it to the hardware shop three times in a row without success, replacing the faucet and calling it a day may seem like the best option.

Concerns to Ask

Both fixing and replacing have their benefits. The challenge is deciding which one is optimal. There are many moving parts, making this a difficult issue to answer. There is no universally applicable guideline like, “Replace it if it’s over eight years old.”

Instead, you should take into account everything that applies to your own situation. Purchasing a brand-new replacement is one factor, but you also need to think about the item’s age, how difficult it is to fix, and so on.

Getting the Best Price

It is important to save money whether you are making repairs or replacing something. No amount of money should be spent on a temporary fix or a replacement that won’t endure. How to get the best price is discussed below.

The Best Repair Offer

Fixing anything yourself, assuming you know how, will almost always save you money. You might make things worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. Take the hypothetical situation of reassembling a non-functioning clock only to realize you have no idea how to set the time. 

Having it repaired might end up costing more than a brand new clock at that time. However, that doesn’t imply you should automatically get help whenever you do something novel. Try searching for solutions online before shelling out cash, for example, “fix leaky toilets.” In most cases, all it takes is a fast search to get detailed guides that will help you get the job done.

You may often discover videos that show you exactly what to do. Professionals and amateurs alike have uploaded many how-to films to the video sharing website YouTube. RepairClinic is another helpful resource, with more than 1,400 videos covering a wide range of household and commercial appliances, lawn and garden tools, and HVAC systems.
See a repair professional if you feel unable to handle the problem on your own. 

Independent repair businesses were rated higher in satisfaction than factory service in a 2013 poll by Consumer Reports. Buying heavy appliances or yard tools from a local store may save you a ton of money.

However, there is a catch: if your equipment is still under warranty, you may only take it to a repair facility that is officially recognized by the manufacturer. If you don’t, the warranty can be nullified. All you can do in this situation is make sure the person fixing it knows how to work on your goods.

The Best Replacement Price

Do your homework before making a replacement purchase if you need to. To discover a replacement that meets your needs and lasts, read up on its performance and durability on ConsumerSearch or The Wirecutter. Either subscribe to the digital version of Consumer Reports or check out a copy from your local library.

You should prepare in advance while looking for a successor. Since it is certain that something will fail, it is preferable to invest in a product that can be easily fixed if it does. For instance, when purchasing a new appliance, ensure replacement parts are readily available. Before purchasing a vehicle, do some research to identify local service centers that are familiar with its make and model.

Preparation may help you save money on any purchase, even something as seemingly trivial as a new pair of shoes. You should be able to re-sole a pair of robust shoes three to ten times before the uppers wear out if you buy shoes with replaceable soles. As a whole, one pair of shoes can serve you well for twenty years. That’s a lot less expensive than buying a cheap pair of shoes every year.

A warranty is one example of an unnecessary added cost. Most product failures, according to Consumer Reports, occur after the warranty has expired. When they do, though, the cost reductions are minimal at best. Consumers who opted to purchase a warranty or service contract spent an average of $136, while those who paid cash for repairs spent only $16 extra.

It gets worse: even customers whose repairs were covered by warranties were unhappy with the results. More often than not, they had to wait two weeks or longer for service. They also had a higher risk of receiving a subpar repair.

Take good care of your new purchase when you have it. Before attempting any sort of repair, make sure you consult the handbook. Care guidelines should be followed as stated on the label of the item of clothes or footwear. Proper care of an object extends its life and ensures that you receive your money’s worth.

Bottom Line

Getting problems resolved is much more difficult today than it was in the past. Due to the decreasing prices of textiles and technological goods, numerous repair businesses have closed their doors.

Nevertheless, there have been improvements in the convenience of DIY repair in recent years. The Internet has made it easy to research DIY solutions to a wide range of household problems. There are a plethora of how-to tutorials for fixing various household items and electronics that can be accessed online.

Therefore, when anything fails, you should at least consider fixing it. By avoiding waste and spending less money, repairing something that is broken may be extremely beneficial. If not, you may be assured that your decision to replace it was the best option.

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