• Welcome to the Fix-It Club! Here's our latest FREE Repair Help:

    How to Recycle or Reuse It!

    How to Recycle or Reuse It!

    The Fix-It Club can help you repair hundreds of household things that break: appliances, bicycles, cell phones, computers, electric fans, hair dryers, iPhones, microwaves, plumbing, slow cookers, tvs, toasters, yard trimmers, and more. But there will be some things that you just can't fix—or don't want to pay to have[More...]
    Smart Warranty Repair

    Smart Warranty Repair

    The Fix-It Club is ready to help you troubleshoot and repair or replace household things that break. But before you disassemble an appliance, electronic device or other gadget, consider whether it's actually the manufacturer's problem or yours. Many consumer items carry a limited warranty that the item will function for[More...]
    Household Oils and Lubricants

    Household Oils and Lubricants

    The Fix-It Club can help you reduce repairs by explaining the how and why of household lubricants. Many things around your home are mechanical and are supposed to move. That's what they do. For example, a windup alarm clock is a mechanical thing. Other mechanical thing repairs you may undertake include[More...]
    How to Repair Anything!

    How to Repair Anything!

    The Fix-It Club knows how to repair anything! Besides more than 200 illustrated FREE Fix-It Guides, FixItClub.com offers the Fix-It Process, a simple and logical way to troubleshoot and repair anything. Fix-It Basics What's wrong with it? That's the first big question in fixing broken things. Any broken things! It doesn't matter[More...]
    Household Glues and Adhesives

    Household Glues and Adhesives

    Things come apart. Fortunately, the Fix-It Club knows how to put them back together with glues and other adhesives. Adhesives secure the surfaces of two materials together. There are many types of glues, most of them designed for use with specific materials and under specified conditions. Adhesives come in liquid, solid,[More...]
    Really Easy Electrical Tests

    Really Easy Electrical Tests

    The Fix-It Club goal is to make electrical repairs and other home repairs easier. With simple instructions and an inexpensive electrical tester, you can test a wide variety of electrical and electronic devices in your home. For example, you can perform electrical tests during blender repair, washer repair, dryer repair,[More...]
    Volunteer Your Fix-It Skills

    Volunteer Your Fix-It Skills

    The Fix-It Club offers free repair help with more than 200 Fix-It Guides including instructions on how to maintain and repair household things that break. If you've ever used one of our Fix-It Guides to make a repair, maintain something or to recycle or reuse broken stuff, you are automatically[More...]
    Simple Repair Tools

    Simple Repair Tools

    The Fix-It Club offers simple instructions on how to troubleshoot and repair or recycle household things that break. An important part of any repair is selecting the best repair tools for the job. Tool Basics A tool is any mechanical implement that cuts, turns, grabs, attaches, or provides some other useful function.[More...]
    10 Smart Reasons to Repair

    10 Smart Reasons to Repair

    Things break. Everything we own, from air conditioners to zippers, eventually wear out or stop working. We can toss them and get new stuff — or we can try to repair them. The Fix-It Club offers ten smart reasons to repair or recycle household things that break: You can be a smarter[More...]
    Emergency Heating Repairs

    Emergency Heating Repairs

    Winters can be cold in many parts of the country. Thankfully, most homes have a primary heating system that keeps indoor temperatures comfortable -- until there is a heating emergency. That's when the Fix-It Club can help with emergency heating repairs. Forced-Air Distribution Repairs If you have a furnace, a forced-air distribution system[More...]
    Home Repair Safety

    Home Repair Safety

    The Fix-It Club is dedicated to showing you how to easily and safely make hundreds of household repairs. Repair safety is a very important part of fixing anything, whether you are performing gas furnace repair, roof repair, yard trimmer repair, gas cooktop repair, electrical cord repair, or even jacket repair. [More...]
    How to Get Local Repair Help

    How to Get Local Repair Help

    The Fix-It Club offers hundreds of free Fix-It Guides for repairing broken things around the home and garage. Occasionally you won't be able to or won't want to fix it yourself. That's okay. There's someone else out there who can perform refrigerator repair, bicycle repair, plaster repair, jewelry repair, or[More...]
    Easy Ways to Take Things Apart

    Easy Ways to Take Things Apart

    The Fix-It Club helps thousands of people each day for more than a decade with free repair help. One challenge that keeps many people from repairing things is figuring out how to take things apart — and get them back together when done. Disassembling things is an important part of repair whether[More...]
    Emergency Plumbing Repairs

    Emergency Plumbing Repairs

    Life is good! Everything is going well...until you have a PLUMBING EMERGENCY! Then everything becomes frantic as you try to minimize water damage and restore plumbing services to your home. The Fix-It Club can help you face emergency plumbing repairs with guidance and confidence. Plumbing System Repairs Most plumbing problems occur at[More...]
    15 Forever Car Maintenance Tips

    15 Forever Car Maintenance Tips

    The Fix-It Club is built on the premise that consumer items will last longer if you perform basic maintenance and simple repairs. We purchased our current car new and have followed these car maintenance tips. It now has 200,000 230,000 miles on its odometer and still runs strong! Here are[More...]
    Nails, Bolts, Screws, and Fasteners

    Nails, Bolts, Screws, and Fasteners

    The Fix-It Club offers basic information on a variety of household repairs. Most repairs require mechanical fasteners. In the photo are (left to right) nails, screws, bolt with washer and nut, and wall anchors. Your home has hundreds of fasteners in it, holding walls together, binding appliance components, keeping the floor from[More...]
  • Easy Ways to Take Things Apart

    disassembling things Easy Ways to Take Things Apart

    Some appliances specifically state “No Serviceable Parts Inside.” That typically means that even if you get it open there won’t be anything in there to replace, so reconsider fixing it.

    The Fix-It Club helps thousands of people each day for more than a decade with free repair help. One challenge that keeps many people from repairing things is figuring out how to take things apart — and get them back together when done.

    Disassembling things is an important part of repair whether you are performing toaster repair, motor repair, riding lawn mower repair, washer repair, iPhone repair, computer repair, car repair, and many other consumer repairs. You’ll want to be able to reassemble an item properly whether it’s done today, tomorrow, or once you’ve found some parts a month from now. Here’s how to take things apart:

    • Find a place where you can take things apart and leave everything out for an hour or a day, if you need to stop and get additional parts.
    • Make notes on disassembly and needed parts numbers.
    • For tougher repairs or when you know it will be awhile before you can get replacement parts, use a film or digital camera to take photos of the disassembly process.
    • If you know you will be reassembling everything within the next couple of hours, lay the parts in a line as they come off, left to right, and reassemble right to left.
    • Use old muffin pans, empty frozen dinner dishes, clean coffee cans, clean plastic containers, or other containers to collect parts as they are removed.
    disassembling things2 Easy Ways to Take Things Apart

    When disassembling, put parts in a small tray or container in the order of their removal. It makes reassembly much easier. (The mini-muffin pan pictured here costs less than $1 at a garage sale.)

    Steps to Take Things Apart

    Intimidated by what you see when you open up something to fix it? Don’t be. Most things are made of components, more than one part. And each of these components is replaceable. It’s just a matter if figuring how the thing works, which parts or components don’t work, and replacing the problem part(s). Many Fix-It Guides include photos or drawings that let you see what’s inside the device or object — you’ll know what you’re getting in to.

    Most parts either twist on or plug in. For example, disassembling an appliance requires twisting (unscrewing) fasteners that hold the outside body together. Once inside, you may need to unscrew or unplug other parts. Many components are plugged together, especially electrical parts. For example, a couple of wires enter one side of a plastic plug and other wires run out the other side. To disconnect the part, find a tab on the connector and lift it or apply pressure to it and carefully pull the connector apart. Install the replacement component by plugging the two halves of the connector together. Most connectors go together only one way, so it’s relatively easy.

    disassembling things3 Easy Ways to Take Things Apart

    Some fasteners are hidden behind trim.

    You’ll find that many consumer items are assembled using screws, clips, or other fasteners. In fact, if you don’t find a screw or clip, the manufacturer is probably telling you there’s nothing inside that the consumer can fix. You may be able to replace the entire component, however.

    Some parts may be hard to remove because they are friction-fit (fit snugly) to a shaft. Don’t force friction-fit parts; they may break. Instead, use a wide-bladed screwdriver under the coupling to carefully twist and lift the coupling upward. If that doesn’t work, try heating the coupling slightly (try a hair dryer) to expand the part enough to pull it from the shaft. Or slip a pair of thin wood wedges under the coupling. Then push the wedges toward each other and lift. If none of these succeeds in separating the friction-fit part from the shaft, you may have to take the appliance to a professional.

    Fix-It Tip:

    If you want to teach yourself more about how to take things apart, find something that is obviously unrepairable and disassemble it for practice. You can sometimes find unrepairable items cheap at garage sales. Invest in your education and have some fun!

    disassembling things4 Easy Ways to Take Things Apart

    Some friction-fit fasteners are not intended to be removed without damaging them. Fortunately, once removed you can find a replacement at larger hardware stores.

    Some manufacturers use a pressure clip to hold a product’s case together. This is the preferred assembly method for many consumer electronics such as iPhones, tablet computers and laptop computers. If you plan to do many electronic repairs, consider an electronics toolkit available at Radio Shack and various electronic supply stores.

    To disassemble, look for a notch along the seam and insert the tip of a straight screwdriver to push and turn the clip, opening the case. Make sure you unclip all of the notches and remove all screws before disassembling the body or you could break one of the small clips.

    disassembling things5 Easy Ways to Take Things Apart

    Many smaller consumer components can be disassembled by carefully prying the case apart. Special electronic tools may be required.

    You can take things apart and reassemble them after repair if you plan out the job and take it a step at a time, as outlined in the Fix-It Club’s free Fix-It Guides.