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Appliance repair
How to diagnose and fix everything electronic
Michael Jay Geier.
New York : McGraw-Hill, c2011.
Master the Art of Electronics Repair In this hands-on guide, a lifelong electronics repair guru shares his tested techniques and invaluable insights. How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic shows you how to repair and extend the life of all kinds of solid-state devices, from modern digital gadgetry to cherished analog products of yesteryear. You'll start by selecting the tools and test equipment you'll need and setting up your workbench. Then, you'll get familiar with components and how they form circuits, stages, and sections of a device. Next, you'll learn how to take a product apart, figure out what's wrong with it, replace components, and reassemble it. Real-world case studies help clarify the topics covered. Tips and tricks for specific devices, such as optical disc players, computers, and video recorders, are also included in this practical resource. Set up a workbench and equip it with tools and test instruments Ensure personal safety and avoid electrical and physical damage to devices Understand electrical units, circuits, and signals Use test equipment, including a digital multimeter, signal generator, frequency counter, and an oscilloscope Repair circuit boards and replace parts Work with components, from capacitors and ICs to transistors and zeners Learn to read block, schematic, and pictorial diagrams Disassemble devices and identify sections and stages Troubleshoot and diagnose to the component level Perform reverse-order reassembly
     
Teardowns : learn how electronics work by taking them apart
Bryan Bergeron.
New York : McGraw-Hill, c2010.
Learn practical electronics from a skilled mentor!“The text is written as if Dr. Bergeron, who is a highly experienced electronics practitioner, is speaking directly to the reader with a point-by-point commentary about each teardown, complete with clear explanations of the operation and function of every component. By the time the product is completely disassembled, the reader understands the design tricks, component selection, and packaging choices that enabled the product to reach the market.” —From the Foreword by Forrest M. Mims IIIAmp up your knowledge of electronics by deconstructing common devices and analyzing the revealed components and circuitry.Teardowns: Learn How Electronics Work by Taking Them Apartcontains 14 projects that expose the inner workings of household appliances, workbench measuring instruments, and musical equipment. Discover how resistors, capacitors, sensors, transducers, and transistors function in real circuitry. You’ll even get details on custom modifications to electric guitar pickups, an effects pedal, and a tube amp. Essential instructions for safely launching your own teardowns are also included in this hands-on guide. Learn about sensors and ICs from smoke detectors and motion-activated lights Work with the LCD and strain gauge transducers in a digital scale Discover how surge protectors, power conditioners, and UPS units function Study thermal design techniques in compact fluorescent bulbs Analyze the control systems in ultrasonic humidifiers and digital thermometers Understand how op amps and power ICs work in a hi-fi stereo amplifier Figure out how ultrasonic transducers work in a laser-guided measuring device Explore electric guitar pickups, effects pedals, and tube amplifiers
     
The real man's guide to fixin' stuff : how to repair anything you need (or just want) to know how to fix
Nick Harper.
Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks, c2010.
<p><strong>Amaze Your Family. Astound the Neighbors. Fix Some Stuff.</strong></p><p>Real men know how to fix stuff...or at least, when something around the house breaks, it gets handed to the nearest guy to fix it. So if you don't know a light socket from a socket wrench, this book will have you looking like Mr. Fix It in no time.<br>No longer will you think that something isn't worth fixing or that it would be cheaper to replace.<br>You'll be able to fix: Dead remote controls, leaking showers, car scratches, weak vacuum cleaners, your lady's busted heel or purse, and much more </p>
     
When duct tape just isn't enough : quick fixes for everyday disasters
by C.J. Petersen.
New York : Hearst Books, c2007.
There are many little things, both annoying and serious, that can go wrong around the house. But before you call in a professional, try this Popular Mechanics manual. It's filled with simple, ingenious quick fixes that any homeowner can handle. Many of these ideas use ordinary repair materials in creative ways, or else unusual materials to make conventional repairs. A number of the fixes are designed as down-and-dirty shortcuts to get you through an emergency until you can make a permanent repair. You'll also learn when to go with a pro and how to prevent disasters from occurring in the first place. Learn how to handle: Clogged gutters, A flooded basement, Sticky doors, Broken windows, A ripped window screen, Frozen door locks, Hairline cracks in a wall, Mysterious leaks, Flickering fluorescent lights, Knocking radiators, A dishwasher that won't drain, And so much more. Book jacket.
     

The cost of having appliances repaired keeps getting higher and higher.  While some repairs do require a repairperson, many items that go wrong can be replaced or repaired by anyone.  The investment in tools is minimal, and the savings will more than cover their cost. 

The basic tool kit will include regular and Phillips head screwdrivers, an assortment of pliers, combination wrenches, nut drivers, a socket set, hammers, a good flashlight, an Allen wrench set, and a VOM meter.  More advanced repairs will require a drill, punches, hacksaw, files, and a pry bar.

One thing that needs to be said about tools is this; getting cheap tools at a discount store may cause a person to regret the decision later.  It can be wise to pay the extra cost and get good quality tools. 

If your appliance is not working properly check to make sure:

It is unplugged before you begin to repair it

Vents are clear and do not block air flow

The appliance is not overloaded

Controls are set properly

more tips

Appliance manuals will assist in making a diagnosis of the problem.  Most of these manuals also provide general step-by-step instructions for repairs. Electrical repairs are more difficult, hence the need for the VOM meter.  The changing of the heating element in a dryer is simpler than trying to diagnose the electronics found in many washing machines and dryers.

The savings that can be obtained from doing your own repairs, plus the satisfaction of completing a task usually performed by a “specialist”,  will more than compensate for the effort that is involved in doing your own repairs.

More about troubleshooting

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff