So you’ve got that sinking feeling. The one that comes when you pre-heat your oven only to find when you go to put your food in it’s not hot. Or when you notice a puddle under your freezer and open the door to find it’s completely defrosted. Your appliance has broken down. That’s a few hundred pounds you’ll have to stump up for replacement, not great for your bank balance or your mood! But read on and we’ll reveal some alternatives to getting stung with new appliance costs.
We stumbled across an interesting idea recently to make sure you can always afford to buy a new appliance when it breaks down. Each time you use your washing machine, turn on your oven, plug in your vacuum cleaner and so on put a pound in a jar. That way when your appliance gives up the ghost you’ve already got the money to fix it.
It’s a good idea in principle, but we can see how this could have a few practical problems. The jar could easily get forgotten (or dipped into when someone in the household is in the need of a bus fare) and it also relies on you having change in your pocket whenever you’re cooking or cleaning. So when it comes time to replace your appliance there may not actually be enough in the fund to pay for it.
Our solution? Don’t replace your appliance at all! It’s very likely that when your household machines fail you you’ll be able to diagnose the problem and fix them yourself. If you feel daunted at the prospect, don’t worry, it’s easier than you think and if the appliance is destined for the scrap heap anyway you can’t do any harm. A can do attitude, a few basic tools and our how-to repair videos are all you need.
Once you’ve built up some general appliance knowledge and feel more confident with fixes you’ll never have to buy a new appliance again. Even when your appliance really can’t be fixed there are plenty of online sites selling second hand machines, which often have minor faults and will be sold at a pittance. If you know you can get the faulty part cheaply (and you can check the cost on our site first if necessary) then you can save yourself lots of money buying the second hand machine instead of a new one.
The only way to build up this extremely useful knowledge is to take the initiative next time one of your appliances develops a fault and see what can be done to fix it. If you’re first reaction when your oven stays cold and your freezer warms up is to look into fixing it yourself you’ll soon get to know your appliances better. Alternatively, if you want to get ahead of the game and learn about your appliances before they break down you can watch the diagnostic and repairs videos on our YouTube channel.