My wife was vacuuming the house. She notices that the vacuum isn’t picking up as well as it should (this has happened before and we had discovered that the hose was backed up). No big deal. Then we smell a real nasty smell of rubber burning. And the vacuum stopped picking up dirt. Oh no. “Great, we have to buy a new vacuum,” I say to my wife. “What did this one cost us? Around $150-$200? Maybe we can get a good deal with it being the holidays and stores are trying to get rid of their inventory,” I say, trying to find the silver lining. Just what we need though, another expense.
What to do now? Head out to the store? Check prices online? Heck no! Grab the toolbox and take the sucker apart!
I unscrewed the plate at the bottom of the vacuum. I quickly scan and I noticed that the rubber belt that turns the brush wheel was broken. Ah-ha! We found our culprit. “Maybe I can fix this,” I think to myself. I grab the broken belt and the vacuum cleaner model number and head to the computer. I look up the Hoover site to see how much a new belt will cost. Maybe I’m too cynical but I’m expecting this to be a part that’s expensive. You know, one of those parts where it pays to just buy a new appliance rather than the part. To my surprise, a new belt from the manufacturer costs a whopping $2.79! With shipping and tax it would cost about $6. Ok, I know it’s not expensive but can I get it cheaper? I flip over to Amazon and look it up. I find one seller selling it for $3.85. For two. With free shipping. Guess what I ordered? I’m thinking now I might actually get this vacuum cleaner fixed! And if I can’t what have I lost? Less than four dollars? Well worth the shot.
The belts came within a few days. With belt in hand I jumped back on the computer. I knew where the belt needed to go but I wanted to check with the manufacturer to see if there was something I might be missing. I tried looking up my vacuum cleaner model on the manufacturer’s site and couldn’t find it. Seems they don’t make the model anymore but they had the next model up which was basically the same. I downloaded the manual and looked up the belt. Lo and behold it had step by step instructions. I grabbed my screwdrivers, the vacuum, a new belt and found an empty spot to go to work. Can I tell you, it took me all of five minutes to put the new belt in! I went and plugged the vacuum in and tried it out. It picked up some loose sparkles on my daughter’s rug perfectly.
Spending money to buy something new isn’t always the answer. We could have easily gone out and bought a new vacuum cleaner. What a waste that would have been. For less than four dollars in parts we saved over $150!!
So I don’t make any other mistakes buying something when I can do a simple repair: What appliances have you fixed for a relatively low cost?