The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, January 7, 2013

SECRET to DIY Small Project Success

If you are new to the do it yourself (DIY) world or just uncertain around tools and parts, this information will open the DIY world to you.

Just before Thanksgiving, our cabinet mounted Whirlpool oven's bake element (the heating element at the bottom of the oven that handles all the routine, non-broiler baking) burned through in its old age. Going away to family with a functional oven for Turkey Day, we did not see to its repair right away ... you might be surprised what all can be made in your microwave. But closing in on Christmas we had to attend to the matter of the dead baking element. First, we did what good little consumers do ... we checked out prices for a new cabinet mounted oven ... and gasped. Those things don't come cheap. So, we turned to the DIY world to see what we might be able to do. A quick Google search for the product proved we could still get the necessary part (hint: for this have both the product name and serial number to save yourself trips back and forth between the computer and the device). Then we discovered that a local hardware store actually had the piece in stock for the same price as Sears online ... and without the shipping charge as we would pick it up directly.

Now for the secret: you can find instructional videos for just about anything on YouTube. A friend of mine in seminary who was cash strapped (and what student isn't) told me this was the secret of his success with car repair and had saved him huge amounts. This was a revelation to me. So off to YouTube we went to apply my friends wisdom. Sure enough, there was a 4 minute video on how to install this very bake element. In about 10-20 minutes of careful removal and installation, we had a fully functional old oven again. That very day, two Monkey Breads and a casserole were forthcoming from the restored oven and we were all very happy.

Good luck with your small DIY projects. However, as a cautionary note, some jobs should only be handled by a professional. If your electrical system is arcing blue bolts of electricity or your water tank explodes, call in an expert. If the project involves turning a few screws and no deep knowledge about engineering, go for it.

I have to say though, it gives you a really warm feeling when I repair some household item all by yourself (our yourselves in our case as we did tag team repair work). (Yeah, I know, bad pun ... but I grew up on Rocky and Bullwinkle and got hooked on puns with Fractured Fairy Tales and Aesop and Son so I can't help myself.)

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