Appliance repair

Categories Commerce and products

In-home appliance repair doesn’t break the bank


I’ve taken apart this beast several times, most recently to replace the belt, but when it ceased producing heat recently I felt a bit out of my league, and called the appliance repair people, for whom I had several phone numbers. But now one: I guess it’s now the appliance repair guy.

Whatever, from his high-speed mumbling on the phone Friday I got the idea he would be here Saturday afternoon. A bit after 5 PM Saturday, I called again. I can’t say for sure why, but this time the high-speed mumbling left a warm fuzzy feeling.

And a few minutes later, a 30 year-old car pulled into the driveway. Repairman, maybe older than the car, maybe not, with MSC (company name) jacket and toolbox comes through the front door (“Con permiso”). Removes top of clothes drier, starts extracting burned plastic bits, explains in high-speed mumbling that iit’s a burned connector. He’ll replace, but it happens again we’ll have to replace the heating element. Which I had assumed was the problem to begin with.

OK, it wasn’t quite that direct. In addition to having to ask him to repeat everything (something which, I’m happy to report, rarely happens to me by now), I was puzzled by “la resistencia.” Perhaps a bit of cognitive dissonance trying to conflate Latin American political history with appliance repair, then the shoulda-been obvious chimed in. “La resistencia” means the resistence heating element (think wire that, instead of conducting electricity, resists it, turning the electrical energy into heat).

Delighted at my own slightly-delayed ascertainment of the relatively obvious, I shared with him that English term is “element.” Of course, it’s not exactly: it would be “heating element,” or better, “resistance heating element,” Fortunately, my attempt to excuse my ignorance proved uninteresting and irrelevant, and with a brief feint of interest from him, that was done.

The clothes drier works again. Maybe not for long. But the appliance guy came to our house, and fixed the clothes drier, and it cost US$10 total.

So, thinking back to when I called Sears repair in the late 1990s, gave them the model number of my mother’s clothes drier, and said the belt was broken, and they showed (with no parts) to determine the model number and diagnose broken belt—for $49—so, just curious, what would this episode cost now in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa?

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