I’m pretty sure it’s Earth Day today, but that and this post are a complete coincidence. I don’t spend much time on a Save The Earth soapbox, because you’d think it would be common sense to realize that it’s a good idea to take care of your home, the source of your food, and the air and water that you require to stay alive. Or maybe that’s just me; common sense doesn’t seem to be very popular lately.
And we can’t blame it all on big business. We as the consumer feed the madness with the “upgrade” mentality, and the manufacturers are more than happy to oblige. They’ve been obliging us for so long, in fact, that they know it would be a waste of effort to make anything that can last more than a few years (and perhaps their gizmo life spans are getting shorter and shorter to *encourage* our rate of upgrading – the vicious cycle).
This is nothing new to you. We all know that a lot of money is flying around while a lot of junk is being bought and sold and retired to the landfills at record pace. And as much as I don’t like to throw things away, sometimes I feel like I don’t have a choice because we also live in a time when most of us know absolutely nothing about how our machines were made or how they work. So when the stick in the middle of my washing machine starts making squeaking/scratching noises and not spinning so much, leaving the clothes to languish in some soapy water instead of getting the dirt swished out, I can either call a repair man (which will likely cost more than the washer is worth), or push it down the stairs and start scouring sales and Craigslist for a replacement. But let me tell you, I helped wrestle that machine up the stairs when we moved in and I am in no way interested in seeing it from that angle again, let alone tossing some of our budget at a new or used washer.
But wait, there’s another option: I could fix it! Just maybe, I can fix it, and even if I can’t, it’s already broken so why not try?
My mom is the queen of this mentality, incidentally; she will attempt to fix anything, regardless of her level of knowledge of said thing at the start, and she very often succeeds (and even if she doesn’t, she most definitely learned something new). In her fix-it wisdom, she directed me to RepairClinic.
Armed with my washer’s model number, I quickly found that I needed to replace the cam because the dogs (short for directional cogs) had worn down and were no longer spinning the top half of the agitator (the stick that spins the clothes around). I ordered the part, got the correct one on the first try thanks to the search that limits the results to parts for my make/model, and with the help of the video on RepairClinic that even told me what size socket to grab from the tool box, my washer is running like new!
Now, as I said, I grew up in a house where my mom would fearlessly attempt to fix anything and my dad probably can fix anything, so I’m not a complete stranger to tools, but I have to admit that I don’t put them to good use very often (shhh – don’t tell my dad). And obviously, not everything can be fixed, and not everything that can be fixed, can be fixed by an amateur. But with the help of RepairClinic, only $26 and 15 minutes on a Saturday afternoon (with my 8-month-old “helping”) saved my washer from the dump.
I think that is an Earth Day success.
[Side Note: I have no affiliation with RepairClinic; I just used their site to help fix my washer and thought that was nifty.]
[Important Side Note: Please use common sense and do not, encouraged by this post, go electrocute yourself attempting to fix something.]