Repairing makes me a rebel

We repaired our coffee machine! (I didn’t realize til afterwards I should have documented it with pics.)

As much as I appreciate fancy brewing methods, for speed and quantity of hot coffee we rely on a Mr. Coffee-type coffeemaker.
The one we have now is a Black and Decker 12 cup from Target, and is probably 5 or 6 years old. It started making the gurgling noises that usually only happen at the end of the cycle during the whole cycle, and half the water was cooked away as steam. Not surprisingly, this happened right after someone didn’t place the basket properly and grounds went everywhere. The husband determined that he had the special tool needed to remove the bottom plate, and we removed the coffee grounds that were blocking the intake tube.
It works again! We didn’t have to throw it out and get a new one, it was a super-simple repair, and most people couldn’t do that, because you have to have a special expensive tool set to remove screws that were made deliberately to not be consumer-removable.

Consumers should be able to repair something they have bought. Every time we can repair something we bought, rather than turning it into garbage and having to buy new, I feel accomplished, and a little like a rebel for consuming thoughtfully, not indiscriminatingly.


Our humidifier started to make loud harsh noises two years ago, and there didn’t seem to be a way of getting at the fan motor. I finally found two screws hidden under plugs, with tamper-proof Torx heads. I was delighted to find a big assortment of tamper-proof bits on sale for $12.00 at the local big box store.

When I got the screws out, I was able to pry up one end of the top, just enough to get my hand in and put a few drops of oil on the end of the fan shaft. That was all it needed. The fan has been quiet since, and I have a set of tamper-proof bits! :joy:

Our Breville coffee grinder had an on-off toggle switch that failed (totally redundant since there is already a start/stop pushbutton). I managed to do some keyhole surgery through the hole where the switch was, and crimped the two leads from the switch together. It has now been working longer in this state than it did in the original. I notice that the more recent version of the same model no longer has the toggle switch.


Nice! I applaud your rebellions!


Two words: percussive maintenance.


If brute force isn’t working, you’re not using enough.


Percussive maintenance also works on 100 year old theatre pipe organs. Eyewitness.


Been working on the furnace… had trouble with the manual reset high limit switches popping. I blasted out the heat exchanger with 150 PSI air, and the problem went away. But I cleverly managed to break one of the air pressure switches while I was waving an air hose around.

Went to the pro store (which is only open 3 hours on Saturday) and they turned me away because I am not a licensed HVAC professional. “It’s dangerous for homeowners to work on furnaces” - yeah, it’s a lot more dangerous for me to run a gas appliance with a control hotwired out of the circuit than it is for you to make money from selling to me.

So I ordered one from an online supplier and it’ll be here Tuesday. Rebellion!


See how dangerous it is for non-pros to work on this stuff?

(Do you have a Grainger in your area? I usually find them non-curious as to my credentials when buying things like thus.)


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