My year of repair adventures


I’ve been in my place about 7 years now and things are starting to wear out (including me), this was my last 12 months or so.

  • Dishwasher in the suite wasn’t draining, dismantled the pump entirely, weirdly it was full of rubber chunks (how did they get through the sieve?), cleaned and re-assembled, works fine.
  • Washing machine wasn’t draining, pump was full of lint, again cleaned and re-assembled, works fine.
  • Main dishwasher had the control knob broken off years ago, was using a screwdriver to change settings but it wasn’t reliable. Turns out the contacts on the knob were damaged in the process, traced out the circuit (resistor tree) and soldered in a bridge to fix it into “normal”. I worked out which was pots and pans from the hi-temp light and counted back.
  • Cord on hand mixer was worn through, is a sealed unit, nearly chucked it out but opted for 5 layers of heatshrink to re-inforce it.
  • Hot water unit pilot keeps going out. Cleaned, no difference. Replaced the thermopile, a little better. Still not fixed, might just replace it (is only 7 years old).
  • Smashed the screen on my tablet, new screen is coming from Europe - managed to remove the old screen with little damage (the front camera lens gasket is a little worse for wear).
  • Fridge in the suite is dripping. Ignored it for 6 months, finally took a look, seems like ice buildup in the insulation, defrosted it last weekend, results tbd.
  • Main kitchen microwave became possessed and was starting by itself, ended with an EE error. This indicates the membrane keypad has a short in it, ordered the new keypad and replaced it, works well.
  • Dishwasher in the suite (see above) is leaking, turns out someone mucked with the door gasket, part of it had melted off and ended up in the pump. New gasket and new door seal ordered, install pending.



Homeownership sounds exhausting, as much as I complain about the Vancouver
housing market.

But hey, at least your roof isn’t leaking! :smiley:


That’s a lot of money saved (as well as stuff saved from the landfill). Nice job @tomkeddie. Now…to get you a Roomba so you can constantly repair that as well. :stuck_out_tongue:


Don’t mention the war. Insurance company forced me to rip off a perfectly good 17yr old roof and replace it IN WINTER. They excluded it from the policy on renewal, the roofers were very surprised.

This is just I what I did, I paid also some losers $11k to replace the sewer line. They didn’t shore up the trench properly and the garden slid into it. Once they were done I put a camera into the new pipe and found it had low points that weren’t draining. They smashed up all the concrete again and re-leveled it under warranty.


Heheh bet they weren’t expecting that.


Also did a dishwasher repair this year - make was an LG, input valve leaking, $50 part and a quick fix.
At the family cabin we replaced a low volume (6 litre) flush toilet with an older 13 litre flush as with only 6 litres there wasn’t enough flow for everything to reach the septic tank. Required a new tank kit - quite easy to do.
New back splash in the kitchen too!


Tom, don’t be shy, name the companies!


I’ve seen a lot of microwaves with shorted keypads, and it’s usually the zero. That’s because the zero gets used more than any other key: 1:00, 2:00, 0:30… You can make your microwave trouble-free for a lot longer if you make a habit of typing times without zeros. Try :33, :99, 1:11, etc. Easier to type too, because it’s all the same button.

Another tip for fixing microwaves: the problem is most often the door switch. Sometimes they have 3 or 4 switches to prevent operation when the door is open, and their little brain can get quite confused when some of these switches are reporting Open and others Closed. Behaviour like light on and turntable turning, without actually heating the food. The nice thing is, you don’t have to know how a microwave works to fix a door switch. Take the cover off and it’s pretty obvious which switches are connected to the door latch. And you don’t have to work on it with it plugged in. Clean the contacts, or tweak the position of the switch, and it’s up and running.


One thing with Microwaves is the magnetron degrades of time from use. So your 1000 watt micro slowly becomes a 900 watt. and so on. Si the point things start to wear out its time to ask yourself is this costing me more to fix then getting a new one.

Yeah if you buy $500 microwaves but a $100 microwave at my place gets recycled soon as it dies. FYI my current one is 9 years old. But I might use it once a week.

Also some simplified math to calculate your electricity cost.

The cost of using 1 watt 24/7 for a year will cost you 60 cents. So a 100 watt light bulb on 24/365 costs $60

I did the math with the light bulbs at the condo complex where I used to live. Convinced the council to spend $2500 on compact florescent bulbs and saved us almost $10,000 a year. And that was 2002.

If you (most likely) use it less then 24 hrs a day then divide by 24, times by # hours. This is also how I calculate what my computer is using to decide if bitcoin mining will pay for itself.