You don’t always need a professional to repair a malfunctioning appliance or product. These internet experts will teach you DIY fixes for any common problems in the household.
You are stuck at home and isolating yourself. But what do you do if your refrigerator breaks down, or your car won’t start, or there’s a big plumbing problem at home? Even though such services are available, relying on repairmen seems like it should be the last resort.
Experts on the internet can help you fix many small issues. You’ll find simple DIY guides with tools you already have at home, detailed YouTube videos, and appliance manuals that you may have misplaced. If you still can’t figure it out, there are safe communities to ask questions.
1. ManualsLib and Manual Agent (Web): Find Digital Copy of Lost Manuals
Not every problem requires you to break out the toolkit and get some grease on your hands. Before you dive in, first check the manual. Much like the famed “turn it off and on again” solution, the appliance manual often has ways to troubleshoot common malfunctions.
If you lost your manual, check two websites to find it. ManualsLib has been around for a long time and is one of the most useful websites you don’t know about
. It hosts a catalog of 2.8 million product manuals. Manual Agent is comparatively new, with 700,000 manuals. But in both places, you will find it easy to search or browse to find a manual for your product.
The difficult part is when you don’t know your appliance’s model name or number. These manual libraries can’t help then.
If you purchased it online, there’s a chance you might have the receipt in your inbox archives. You could also try going to the manufacturer’s website, as some manufacturers let you search for products based on the year of purchase. It’s a long shot, but it might just work out.
2. Family Handyman (Web): Repair Appliances and Fix Common Problems
Part of the Reader’s Digest family, Family Handyman boasts of an extensive catalog of guides. Mainly, you need to check the How To & Repair section, which breaks down issues into appliance repair, automotive, household, pest control, plumbing, woodworking, and so on. You can also browse based on rooms, making it easier to find correlated projects that you can perhaps accomplish together.
The step-by-step guides feature simple language that’s easy to understand for a complete novice. In most cases, you don’t need any background knowledge of DIY tools.
The clearly labeled photos make a big difference in ensuring you won’t make mistakes. Usually, the guides include both text as well as a short video, depending on what you prefer.
If you’ve got some extra time, try out the Family Handyman DIY University. Professionals teach online classes on a variety of projects and skills. It even has a few limited-time free classes for things like wood finishing or adding kitchen storage.
3. Repair Clinic (Web): Best for Beginners to Diagnose and Fix Appliance Problems
Let’s say your refrigerator or washing machine isn’t working. But “not working” is such a generic term that a Google search doesn’t help you get any closer to solving the problem.
Repair Clinic is an excellent place for the layperson to figure out what the actual issue is, and how to fix it.
Start at “Repair Help” and key in the malfunctioning appliance’s model number or choose from a list of products. You will see a list of several common problems with that type of product, in plain English, so you can figure out what is and isn’t your problem. This is where Repair Clinic is better than a random Google search.
Once you’ve found your problem, go through the recommended solutions one by one. Repair Clinic lists them by severity, so make sure you have ruled out the first cause before moving on the next one.
The website claims it has over 4,500 videos by technicians, over 7,000 diagrams and manuals, and over 700 articles to solve common problems.
Apart from suggesting fixes, Repair Clinic also sells parts and shows you how to remove, replace, or install items. If they still ship to you, you might save money with a DIY repair job.
4. Remove and Replace (Web): Super Simple Repairs and Household Hacks
Is the washing machine not filling with water? Is the hose leaking? Is the stove oven knob broken or missing? Is the refrigerator not cold enough? Remove and Replace will solve all of these everyday problems in a house, often offering ingenious tips and hacks.
The articles follow a simple pattern. It talks about the possible causes of the problem from least to most difficult to fix. These will include commonsense solutions as well as some advanced ideas, and even videos from experts.
The website often adds photos and illustrations that make it much easier for non-engineers to visualize the issue. After all, understanding the problem is a key step to solving it.
The only gripe with Remove and Replace is how difficult it is to browse the website. You’ll have to use the search bar to find your issue, or scroll through the giant list of articles in the right sidebar.
5. DIY Chatroom (Web): Active Community to Ask Questions
While all of the above websites make it their mission to simplify DIY repairs, you might still be stuck. That’s okay. It can still be confusing, it can feel like too much information, or you might simply need a human to explain it to you.
If that’s you, go to DIY Chatroom, one of the best online forums for DIY repairs and fixes.
The community is extremely active always. Find the right section (home improvement, appliances, windows and doors, automotive, PC repair, etc.) and search for your issue.
If no one has had a similar issue in the past, create a new thread to ask your query. Be as clear as you can be about your problem, and provide photos if you can. The folks at DIY Chatroom are generally quite helpful, but being civil and detailed will get answers more quickly.
The website also has general articles worth checking out. You’ll find advice on home repair, home improvement, painting, remodeling, landscaping, and interior decorating. If you’re new to using tools, do check the Equipment and Safety section before you start.
Repair Your Own Gadgets
Much like home improvement and appliances, you can fix your own laptop, smartphone, speakers, or other gadgets. While the websites in this article focus on DIY repairs and fixes for the household, there are specialist portals where you can learn to fix your own gadgets
. Try it out, it’s easier than you think.