Example One: While eating with friends, they mentioned a water leak from their washing machine. After donning my red cape and a tool or two, we had the washer taken apart in 15 minutes. Leak discovered. Crack in plastic pump housing. Day two: with new pump in hand the arduous task of reassembly. 30 minutes later, and with only one leftover screw, washer repaired and operational. Estimated savings – $187.00 (less the cost of frosty beverages)

Example Two: This one took some troubleshooting. My lawn mower was randomly dying. Not good. First instinct was a very excited, “Yippie, I get a new lawnmower.” But who wants to drop $250 for a lawnmower. By happenstance, I discovered the primer bulb has a vacuum leak (my current theory of the problem.) Thanks to the fine folks at Sears Part Direct, I was able to order a new primer bulb in moments. Now if they could only get it here. Currently nine days late, but who is counting.
Estimated savings – TBD

Is our throwaway society realizing the errors of our ways? Will there be a rise in do-it-yourselfism?

Repairing broken washers and dryers doesn’t usually make for glamorous ad campaigns. And the go-go economy of the 1990’s and early 2000’s depressed demand for repair as consumers bought new appliances. After all, new products delivered the latest bells and whistles and often didn’t cost a lot more than a repair. Despite the fact that up to one-third of appliances required service after three years of operation, demand for repair dropped steadily – until recently.

Anecdotal evidence presented in a New York Times article and a Mr. Appliance press release indicates that the friendly Maytag repairman might not be so lonely these days. Consumers want to preserve cash and calling a repair person to fix a broken washing machine is more cost effective than buying a new one. This trend may explain why some appliance repair companies are doing so well. For example, Mr. Appliance was recently named to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List. (Thanks Adology)

Hopefully, as a society and as consumers, we will push back on overconsumption and excessive production of products that last a fraction of the time that their elder counterparts did. I am all for consumerism, but we need to be responsible, for the sake of our personal economies and our environment.