If you are looking for some simple ways to save money on home maintenance, then you have come to the right place. I too continue to search for ways to take care of our home in an economical way. Sometimes that requires making purchases of reasonably priced products and other times it may mean simply finding ways to continue to use items past the time that most people would.
Even the novice handy person can save money on small repairs around the home; albeit your approach may need to be different than your neighbor. Take for instance electrical switches, over the years I have applied several strategies for keeping an electrical item running at minimal expense. Below are the 4 options.
Replace the Switch
A couple of years ago, my leaf blower quit working. I looked at buying another, but really did not need to spend $50 or $60. Since I have no electrical training, I did have some hesitancy in trying to discern the source of the problem. But knowing that if I could not get the blower to working it would be thrown away, I mustered the courage to tear into it. There were probably 8 or 10 long screws holding the plastic housing together, but with my cordless drill/driver I was able to fairly quickly remove all the screws and open up the plastic housing. I soon discovered that the switch had burned. There were a couple of screws holding the switch in place and it was easy to remove. Then I searched for a manual to the leaf blower. I either found the manual in one of our files, or I may have found it online. In any case I found documentation that assigned a number to that particular part. I then ordered the switch from the manufacturer for a nominal fee ($5 to $10). After the switch arrived, I installed it, reassembled the plastic housing and all worked well. It did require a little work, but the leaf blower still serves me well about 3 years after replacing the switch. This strategy saved us $40 to $55.
Leave the Switch On
The switch on our vacuum became increasingly more difficult to switch on and off. Rather than replacing the switch, we began turning the vacuum on by plugging it in and turning it off by unplugging it. By not using the switch, but leaving it in the on position, it does the job. Most people would probably simply replace the whole vacuum, but by applying this money saving strategy, we saved $100 or more.
Use a Power Strip
A few years ago we had a TV that had an on/off switch that was becoming problematic. It was become increasingly difficult to turn on or off. So we got the TV in the on position and then connected the TV’s power cord to a power strip with the power strip having an on/off switch. The cord was laid next to the TV and was easily accessible to turn on and off. We no longer used the TV’s switch but just the switch on the power strip. By applying this strategy the money saved was probably $100 or more as I know a local TV repair shop that charges $45 just to check out the potential problems, then more for parts and installation.
Replace the Product
Finally there comes a time to do what the average person would do and that is replace the product. But typically I’d suggest trying one of the previous three options first. By doing so, money saving can be switched on.
Note: I mention using a cordless drill/driver. I highly recommend having one for home maintenance. Of all my tools, the ones I use most frequently are a tape measure and a cordless drill/driver. The one I use and recommend is the Dewalt 20 volt drill/driver with 2 lithium ion batteries, a charger and bag.
photo credit: JD Hancock, Here’s The Thing … amagoop, via Flickr cc License – 12/7/15 with no changes