Repair - the 4th leg of the chair

While repair isn't as easy these days due to the prevalence of electronics, it isn't impossible. With an exploded parts diagram and an interest in repair, you can extend the life on many household items.

Exploded parts diagram example
Exploded parts diagram example

It isn't easy to repair many products today. The expansion of electronics into nearly everything we use, save undergarments, is to blame there. Circuit-level repairs are possible if you have the skills and equipment. I have most of the latter but little of the former.

Still, repairs are not impossible. I've diagnosed many a problem via the internet and managed to keep things running. Also, since I have a lot of arcane knowledge gained over the years, I often know or suspect what is wrong.

Let me give an example involving our wine and beer fridge. The beer side started acting up and would not maintain a temperature below 65o F. That suggested to me that the temperature sensor had failed. My retailer did not have any parts and did not service that appliance. The parts supplier they referred me to could not help either.

So, I did what I typically do in these situations; I searched the internet for an exploded parts diagram (ExPD) of the refrigerator. Never heard of an ExPD? Well, it is a drawing that shows a product broken down into its component parts. The parts are scattered about the drawing as if an explosion took place. Typically, an ExPD will have part names and numbers. See an example for my wet tile saw in the opening image.

My internet search was a success! I located the temperature sensor and contacted the manufacturer. They had the sensors, so I ordered three. Why three? One for the failed sensor, another if the wine side failed and a spare.

Now came the fun part, replacing the sensor. The ExPD comes in handy here as I needed to remove some panels to access the sensor. By looking over the drawing, I figured out what I had to do. The fridge is working properly now!

The moral of the repair story? I saved an expensive appliance, skipped a repair bill, learned how to fix it in the future and had the immense satisfaction of doing it myself. By the way, I purchased extra sensors in case the problem reoccurred.