At one company I worked at we had a senior engineer who liked to see what was inside everything. So, once we put a trackball on his desk. This was when trackballs were new. These were used in submarines. We took all the do not dissassemble stickers off. Of course, he took it apart. It was interesting to see what was inside, but it never got back together. Another time we had a touch screen (again, when the technology was new). We put it on his desk and he took it apart. We did manage to get that back together (after some intense hours). It helps to have someone like that around, just so you can see what is inside (without getting the blame). I wouldn't try that at home with an essential appliance, though.
I think there's also something to be said for the fact that engineers generally just like to take stuff apart just to understand how it works, or goes back together, or find out how many trash bags it takes to through it away.
I once dropped an oil cap in the engine compartment on my VW Jetta which I could not see or find without a significant amout of tear down. It required the removal of a heat panel on the botom of the engine where the cap had lodged itself. It was well past dark thirty when the 30 minute job was finally done.
A few years ago I was going to a "Big Box" home supply store a lot. I would always see the same smart washers all lined up as I walked by. I had read about some "secret" keypad code combos you could press to do "special" things. One of them was to blink all of the LEDs & displays randomly in some sort of demo or test mode. So I set the code to see if it worked & it did--making a nice pattern of dancing lights
The only way to stop the blinking was to unplug the washer....since it was up against the wall, I didn't feel like moving it, so went about my business. Two days later I went back to get some more items & noticed that that particular washer was gone and was just an empy hole in the lineup. Later on it hit me; someone may have thought it was a defective unit & cleared it out. Maybe someone got a deal.
@Curt- Should have checked the trash bag for the missing wrench.
@Rob- Dropped parts and tools always roll to the geometric center of the car. That's why motorcycles are more fun to work on than cars. If the part wasn't on the floor, you should have looked for it in the house where the light was better :-)
When something breaks down, my mantra has always been, "How Hard Can it BE-?",,,of course, I've gotten that thrown back in my face more than a few times, but ....
I had essentially the same scenario with our washer/dryer when I came across a scratch/dent sale on a new LG dryer -- one of those cherry red models you see in the appliance section touting the $999 price tag.Home Depot had it clearance marked at $325, so I had to have it. My wife balked at the purchase, reasoning that our 15 year old Kenmore W/D set was still perfectly fine.I counter-reasoned that the electricity savings alone should justify the new dryer.
The electronic display offers way too many alternative settings, but the new dryer is much quicker and quieter than the old Kenmore. Now, you can hear the TV over the new dryer, so, to my family, it was clearly superior. The old white Kenmore Washer, on the other hand, is what broke-down first, only 2 weeks after the new Red LG Dryer was standing proudly next to it.
The washer stopped spinning.Seemed like a simple repair, to fix the open-lid safety shut-off switch, but it turned into a bit more than anticipated when the entire side panel had to be removed just to gain access to the worn-out switch. This panel removal further mandated that two hose lines and a wire harness (with a dozen connections) be removal as well. But, I have to say that you never know how easy (or difficult) a repair will be until you attack it. Just keep track of the parts you remove, in the order you remove them, and then work in reverse to re-assemble it.
As for the broken bracket of our Washer's safety switch, my daughter now thinks I can fix anything with 2-part epoxy – (Natures potting element). Old Washer and new dryer have been happily running at least 5 loads/week for over a year now. Meanwhile, still watching the scratch/dent floor models for a new matching Red Washer. . . .
We have a 15 year old washer that would not pump out the water after rinsing, so we had a repairman come to fix it. After checking all the mechanical and electrical components (including the timer) he could not find anything amiss. So, he offered to let us try out a new motor for a few days, and if this solved the problem, we could then buy it. When he pulled the power wire connection off the old motor terminal, he found the problem: corrosion on the male and female contacts. He told me if I cleaned it well, the washer should work. I thanked him and asked him how much I owed him for the two hours he spent on this problem. The answer was $35, and I quickly wrote him a check. Man, I really like living in the south. I cleaned the contacts with Scotchbrite and a thin file, smeared on anticorosion grease made for aluminum wiring, and the washer has worked fine for the last five years.
My ancient Kenmore stopped doing stuff, so I decided I'd give fixing it a whirl. A few hours later, the laundry room was wall-to-wall with parts, I'd skinned the knuckles on both hands and my favorite wrench was missing. So I just put the whole lot in a trash bag and headed to a local appliance store to buy a new one.
Damned shame, but it still makes me laugh. Never did find the wrench.
Oh, I've been there on the car repairs in the middle of the night, Bill. There with a light bulb running from an extension cord to the garage or house. It's the worst time to drop a critical oily part and have it not hit the ground. Then you're looking all over the engine for that little part that makes all the difference.
The old washer was about 20 years old, and is probably still working for someone else. Hope this new High Efficiency model saves me some money, but for as long as a cycle takes, it may save on water, but I'm wondering about electic.
Some people are born to tinker and fix things. When I was in grade school my dad was attempting to rebuild the carburetor on his 1970 Dodge Polara. He woke me up at about 10:00 at night and needed me to help him put it back together so he could get the car going and go to work the next day.
In many engineering workplaces, there’s a generational conflict between recent engineering graduates and older, more experienced engineers. However, a recent study published in the psychology journal Cognition suggests that both may have something to learn from another group: 4 year olds.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
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