Two summers ago while my husband was deployed our washing machine broke. Without thinking I tried using my super powers to find a solution. No, I am not a technopath. My super power is my ability to find my husband, who is a technopath, anywhere in the world in 3 phone calls or less (it was much more impressive 25 years ago before the internet and iridium phones). The below conversation took place once I found him (I should warn you that I am not a sweet, Proverbs 31 woman).
DH: How’d you find me? Oh, never mind, what’s wrong? Are you alright? Are the kids okay?
Me: We’re fine. The washing machine is broken.
DH: You did not just call me out of the woods to tell me the washing machine is broken. Tell me what’s wrong.
Me: (feeling kind of stupid) Actually I did. It won’t empty water at all.
DH: Buy a new one.
Me: Do you know how expensive that would be? What if it could be fixed with a $30.00 part?
DH: I am in a foreign country, training allies who are deploying soon; there is nothing I can do from here.
Are you sure nothing is really wrong? I can’t believe you tracked me down over a…
Me: (I forgot to tell you, my evil super power is making anything my husband’s fault in 3 statements or less) If you don’t want to be found, you should do a better job of hiding, because if I can find you…
DH: Just buy a new washing machine.
Me: I’m not going to do that; I’m going to figure out how to fix it on my own.
DH: That’s fine, or buy a new one, or leave it until I get home in 2 weeks. Are you sure everything is okay?
Me: Were fine. I love you.
DH: I love you too. You’re sure that there’s nothing seriously wrong.
Me: Just go back to playing war.
I forgot to mention my husband’s evil super power: inflaming my natural rebellious streak. Most people would think it was nice if their husband told them to buy a new washing machine, but my husband knew that I would not do as I was told. That was his covert way of making me figure out how to fix the problem on my own.
After I hung up the phone, and while still under my husband’s evil spell, I googled “Whirlpool washing machine water won’t drain” and found a site that had a plausible explanation. Someone else had asked the same question and the servicetech suggested that the switch was broken and had a link to the picture of the part. I needed to find out the part number for my machine, but I couldn’t find the owners manual, so I googled “Whirlpool (and my model number) owner’s manual”. I downloaded a copy to my desktop because it is less likely to get lost there. Once I had the part number I ordered the switch online where I was able to get it for less than $30.00. When the part arrived, I looked at the owner’s manual trying to figure out how to install it. I knew I needed to take the front of the washing machine off, but couldn’t figure out how to do it from the manual, so I googled “remove top of whirlpool washer” and found a site with a picture of how to do it. With the help of google, I fixed my washing machine!
When my husband returned, I proudly told him how I fixed the washing machine and he said, “I knew you could do it”. See, I told you he had evil super powers!
Since that summer, when anything breaks I search online for a solution. Even when my husband is home. Now instead of telling my husband the food processor is making a weird noise or the power steering failed, our conversations go like this:
Me: Today the power steering went out on the F-350, I searched online and found a site that has step by step instructions for how we can fix it.
DH: Okay. Did the site have instructions for bleeding the lines?
Me: No, but I searched and found another site that has that information.
Doing repairs yourself saves so much money. It costs between $90 – $150 just to have a repairman make a house visit or have a mechanic look at your car. That is usually a flat charge, does not include parts, and does not ensure your appliance or vehicle will be repaired. Next time, before picking up the phone to call your repairman or MIA Technopath, try searching online. Google your brand, your model number, and the problem. If you don’t find an answer, try rephrasing the problem and searching again. Occasionally the internet has helped us decide that a repairman is the best way to go. Our dishwasher broke last month and we identified the problem by searching online. But after looking into how to fix the problem, we realized that we did not have the necessary tools to do the repairs. A quick search revealed that it would cost more to buy tools, that would probably only be used once, than it would to have a repairman out. However, if we had lived closer to my husband’s dad, we could have used that same information to borrow the correct tools for the job.
Have you used the internet to help you repair something?