5 Devices in Your Home That You Can Repair Yourself
When it comes to electronics, sometimes bad things happen to good devices. You might dive into a pool with your phone in your pocket. Maybe you dropped your PS Vita and cracked the display. Perhaps you set your backpack down too hard and broke the hinge on your laptop.
Devices can be difficult to fix. Manufacturers use things like proprietary screws or casings, which call for unique tools. They layout the internals in a confusing manner to ensure people have a difficult time putting said device(s) back together. For the average person, most of these factors equal a costly replacement.
But some mistakes can be remedied yourself with help from websites, such as iFixit, which is dedicated to educating folks on how to disassemble and reassemble devices. Their “free repair guide for everything” is a great resource.
The question remains, when is it a good idea to invest time and resources to repair a device over paying to replace it completely? Here, we respond to this question by looking at five gadgets that are relatively easy to repair.
If you bought a pair of cheap earbuds, then it may not be worth the hassle to repair them. However, if you purchased an expensive pair of headphones, don’t toss them out when something goes wrong. As long as the audio units are still in working order, you can fix most problems in a jiffy.
Fix stripped wires by covering them with Plasti Dip to protect the internals, according to Instructables. If an earbud or connector is torn off, you can easily replace those too, as Chris Metcalf explains.
2. Modern TVs
You would think a broken TV would be one of the most difficult things to repair, but that’s not quite true — depending on the make. Some online research on TV repair could save you hundreds of dollars.
Plasma TVs, for example, usually experience a failure after a capacitor dies. This can be fixed by purchasing a TV repair kit and a soldering iron. All you do is take the replacement capacitor and solder it to the correct position inside the TV. There are plenty of online tutorials to help you.
Rear-projection TVs often fail because of a blown bulb or lamp. Calling a repairman or replacing the TV can be costly. And most people don’t realize they can make a repair like this themselves.
Where do you start? Look up tutorials for your particular TV brand and model. If there’s nothing specific available, try to find a guide that covers a similar build. If you don’t know how to do the repair yourself — or you’re not comfortable — enlist help from a tech-savvy friend.
3. Smartphone Displays – Particularly iPhones
IPhones have a glass display with a thin layer to protect the screen. Unfortunately, both of these layers can shatter when you drop your phone. Most people purchase a new device, file an insurance claim, or buy a used device as a replacement.
However, this is actually a pretty easy repair. You can purchase a kit that includes the correct tools and screws for under $10. Or you can buy a new screen for your device for about $80 to $100. After about an hour or two of careful disassembly and reassembly, your phone will be back in working order. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, just take your time and follow the instructions and you should be fine.
There are plenty of online tutorials for this procedure, including iFixit’s guide for repairing screens on other smartphones too. When all is said and done, you’ve paid about $100 for a DIY repair that could have cost you well over $300 for a replacement. Not too shabby.
Dishwashers are relatively easy to fix — again, it depends on the problem, but most of the common issues you might experience can be fixed for cheap, and pretty quickly.
Is your dishwasher making a lot of noise or leaking? No problem, there are guides for that at PartSelect. Is the upper wash arm spinner not working? Here’s a tutorial that tells you how to replace it. There are similar guides for additional parts that might need replacing in a dishwasher.
When you consider the cost of a full replacement versus DIY repair, the latter may be worth a shot.
5. Power Cords and Connection Cords
Cords are almost always a necessary evil — even with some wireless devices. Laptop and game console power cords tend to be priced ridiculously high. Smartphone and tablet chargers can be expensive as well.
But cords are almost always easy to fix. You’ll just need some wire cutters and electrical or duct tape to cover the place where the cord was severed. Just be careful not to create a short circuit. Many online guides will walk you through the process. At the least, repairing a damaged cord can hold you over until you can find a suitable replacement.