Homestead fixes, or why I never call the repairman

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by TnAndy, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I'm for getting use out of something until it just flat isn't fixable anymore. My wife laughs the Maytag repairman would starve to death if everybody in the world was like me.

    For example, pair of decent, well broken in, Carolina boots...the lug sole on them starts peeling off from the toe. Repair with one of my favorite products, Shoe Goo. Peel the toe part back, squirt a generous portion between sole and shoe, then use some #6x1/2" sheet metal screws in the outside edges to secure the lug sole to the they should have done to start with !


    Shoe Goo is great stuff....not just for shoes, but lots of things. Get a small tear in a goose down coat, or sleeping bag, and start "molting".....little dab of SG will stop that !


    Got a GE fridge with ice/water in the door. Little plastic panel on the outside covers the switches on a circuit board behind it. Fool plastic has worn thru on the ice/water button ! Replacement cover is a 158 bucks, cheapest I could way. Took a postage stamp sized piece of aluminum duct tape, right over the worn out like a charm....and 158 bucks cheaper.


    GE (noticing a theme here ?) washing machine. You turn the dial to select the load type, then push this "Start" button to get the thing going. Well, the start button started not working couple years back...or she would have to push it a bunch of times, and maybe it would work, and maybe come back later and try. Even got to the point I was at Lowe's about a year ago, and bought the last Hotpoint washer they had, or were ever gonna get again, with all manual controls, no circuit board nothing. Of course, THEN the fool GE never missed a lick again until the last week or so.

    The start button is tiny micro switch built onto the board....the board, of course, is $200. Confirmed it was the switch by removing the board, jumping across the soldered contacts, and the machine runs. The switch itself is tiny...about 5/16" square, two pins that stick thru the board and soldered. Probably no way I'd find a replacement, or be successful at removing the old one and getting a new one on the board., nor do they want you to repair it instead of buying the whole I'm gonna simply solder two wires to the contacts, and run them to a REAL switch, like this one from Home Depot for 5 bucks, and drill out a mounting hole in the face panel, and use it instead.

  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Yup, found an old tv (before lcd and led were common) that had been dropped. Circuit board was shattered, but was able to wire in push button switches for channel entry. 3 bags of switches and a bit of solder...voila!
    Why ditch it when you can fix it?
  3. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    At one point I was buying clothes dryers from the scrap yard, repairing then and reselling them. About 90% of them have a burned out heating element or broken door switch. The other 10% I don't know I just used them for parts.
    Appliance repair calls are very expensive. WhenI was living in Virginia renting a house like a dumbass the repair man had to come out a few times. I asked how much he was charging the land lord. $80 for the surcharge, $40 an hour plus what ever he felt like marking the parts up to. Apparently I'm in the wrong line of work.
    I think the fastest way to get rich is to be a plumber who does appliance repair.
  4. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Or you could just ask the Monkey Tree how to find that switch, it's not hard to find something similar, that switch will work as you have described, but it also could be used as the starter switch on my MF tractor...

    Here's where I have been buying for the past 50 years...

    Here's a switch that will probably work:


  5. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

  6. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Tactile switches - quite common, and cheap. When I used to do two way radio repair in the mines replaced these by the dozens in microphones and radios. But they're used in lots of other things too and come in several pin configurations.
    techsar, chelloveck and sec_monkey like this.
  7. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    I too am a prolific DIY-er and seldom call anyone for anything.

    But at the other end of the scale...some things are not worth doing yourself, or not worth doing, period.

    Example 1: My truck needs major suspension work. If I do it myself, it will cost me $800 just for the parts. Then I'll spend at least a full weekend doing the work. The Ford dealer quoted me $1000 for the entire job and they can have my truck back in half a day. Like hell if I'm going to burn a whole weekend slaving & cursing (and possibly screw it up) just to save $200. I bought that truck new 12 years ago and its service record & reliability has been stellar, so I this time don't mind splurging a little. It's going to the dealer soon.

    Example 2: Last year my 15 year old washing machine crapped out. It did not take a trained service tech to figure out that the computer/control board went to be with God, as it was obvious by the black charcoal burn marks on it. A new control board was about $500. Maybe I could have putzed around and parted one out for cheap from somewhere, but to hell with that, too. The washing machine went to the junkyard and I spent the $500 on a new unit.

    The things we learn....
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  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Yeah, that's the problem....I'd have to unsolder and remove the old one....measure the size and pin layout, then order one to match, waiting several days or more on that......or I can go pick up a local momentary switch and rig it like I said today and have it working within 30 minutes of getting home. Don't really care what the machine looks like with the modified switch, as when it finally does leave here, no doubt after several more repairs of various ills, it will be scrap metal.

    In that particular case, I'd agree with you. But I would have to question how the dealer is doing it for $1,000 if the parts cost 800. Realize they mark up parts, but shopping around for parts, the ought to be a lot cheaper than dealer price.

    Yep, again 500 spent on parts for a 15yo machine doesn't make sense. But one things I've found is parts prices vary quite a bit. That fridge cover thing I varied from $158 to $220 depending on the website.

    And the reason I bought that hotpoint washer is because it was the last one they were selling with all mechanical circuit boards on it. Just a plain jane top loader.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2017
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  9. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
    techsar and Tully Mars like this.
  10. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    I'm in the middle of turning a cement mixer into a brass tumbler-does that count?
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  11. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Don't want to compete with shoe gooo , so your douin goood Tully
    Sloth .
    I got the man lift figured after being stuck up in the rain !!
    Tully Mars likes this.
  12. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Download and read all the stuff so I got an Idea of the thinking as of how & why they do things. Genie even has a tech tip area

    Read all that & printed out the schematics and a few tests. this is like pre OBD era.

    Seeing that they have sensors & timers for what is allowed to move & when (Only If is met & secure) .

    The power up is limited , but the down & turn works,I was in a spot that Up was needed to get over the plate / wall..

    I normally make sure Im MT , so once up , im good for a few hrs.. I gets cold because you don't really move & your up in the wind.

    So after figuring out the way to prove a intermittent failure , I figured Id make a few sensors fail to report .

    I found out if the riggers micro switch was out of the picture the auto level was dead & the Boom function was only down !Checking the wiring schematic and the way they wire the unit (all in series but two pairs of three micro per switch ) they monitor the outriggers for touching the ground & then time a 1.5 second lift to get the tires off the ground for no spring . Then the auto level cuts in . If you loose any one switch in the series gang of four micros the yellow down only works .. I pulled the senors off & checked each one , they can be opened up & I cleaned each one & put xxxxxxx on each micro pin (6 pins) and reinstalled the outriggers lower sensors . I did find one that the release of the sensor to the wire was not 100% locked in. After all cleaned & installed another few hrs & not a bug.

    full WD is a nightmare since the machine colours don't match the sheet .
    But all is well so far .. I now have a new understanding

    Pix are optional of the lift in
    Tully Mars likes this.
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I look at repairs as learning opportunities .
    Paid off big through out the years .
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