What’s wrong with it? That’s the first big question in fixing broken things. Any broken things! It doesn’t matter whether you need door chime repair, gas grill repair, toy repair, or computer printer repair. You can repair stationary things, mechanical things, electrical things, and hybrid things.
Figuring out what’s wrong with it is the most important task. Once you know what’s wrong with it, you’re well on the way to fixing it–or making an informed decision not to. Figuring out what’s wrong with something may sound obvious, but it’s often the step that keeps folks from fixing things easily.
Troubleshooting is a problem-solving process with the goal of returning an item to its as-designed state. The item doesn’t work at all, doesn’t work correctly, doesn’t work efficiently, or doesn’t stop working. You can fix anything if you know how to troubleshoot it. And you can troubleshoot if you understand how an item works and how to figure out why it doesn’t work. Here’s the process:
- What does this thing do?
- How is it supposed to work?
- What isn’t this thing doing that it should do?
- What’s the possible cause(s) of the problem?
- What parts and tools will I need to fix it?
- What are the steps to fixing it?
- Once fixed, does it now work?
For example, a coffee maker, obviously, is an apparatus for brewing coffee. There are two types of coffee makers: drip and percolator. A drip coffee maker is designed to heat water then pump it to drip through the coffee basket and into a carafe. Most drip coffee makers also keep the carafe of coffee warm. That’s a drip coffee maker’s as-designed state; that’s what it’s supposed to do.
What does it not do? In our example, the drip coffee maker doesn’t keep the coffee hot, though everything else works. Knowing how a coffee maker is supposed to work, you will identify the problem to be within the warming element or controls. To check it you need a multimeter for testing these components. Then, following the specific steps in the Coffee Maker Fix-It Guide, you disassemble, test, and, if needed, replace the part. Finally, you can brew yourself some coffee and know that it will stay warm.
So, that’s the fix-it process . You can apply it to every thing that’s broken. That’s because the fix-it process works for every thing. It’s a simplified version of a time-tested problem-solving system. If it’s fixable, you can do it!
Let’s take a look at some of the things that you can restore to working condition using the fix-it process. They include stationary, mechanical, electrical, and hybrid things. Every thing in your household falls into these categories.