Get Your Man Card Stamped With DIY Appliance Repairs

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I never was much of a handy guy. Still, when I got married in my 20’s I felt it was my job to take care of all the minor breakdowns around the house – or at least take a stab at them. Sure I could re-nail baseboards and paint rooms but my biggest concern was more along the lines of that which could kill (or severely injure) me. Electricity and I were not the best of friends ever since a ceiling fan install numbed up my arm for an hour.  I’ll be honest, the thought of performing my own appliance repairs scared me – just a little.

Our neighbor was a maintenance foreman so I swallowed my pride and asked him to teach me the ropes. All I can say is it’s nice to have good neighbors (and the Internet). With his instruction on the basics – turn off the electricity, have a system for remembering where pieces that you take off go and always give yourself twice as long as you think it should take (three times as long if you are working from experts timed instructions) and a good handle on how to search the web for how-to’s, I became a virtual master of the home repair.

My last major appliance repair was the drive belt on my washing machine. I overloaded the washing machine (something my wife was forever complaining about) and this time the belt just couldn’t take it.

Sure it had slipped in the past and left the laundry room smelling like a drag race, but this time it snapped. The washer just quit spinning. I had to remove the clothes and then turn the machine to access the back where the diver belt was located. I unplugged it first (the cord was so short it wouldn’t have let me turn it without doing so – brilliant design feature, I must say) and then removed the base cover with my trusty multi-head electric driver. I made sure to have a piece of masking tape with me to stick the screws to (tip courtesy of my neighbor).

Replacing the belt was as simple as removing the broken one and sliding the new belt over the transmission pulley (the larger one) and then the drive unit pulley (the smaller one). Make sure to tighten the motor pulley with the adjustable screw. I forgot to the first time and had to give the entire process a do over. Re-secure the base cover and set the machine back up. Voila, you’ve just saved at least $75 and you get your man card re-punched, at least for a few days. But hey, if you’re still stuck after all the help from your neighbor, it’s worth getting an appliance repairs company out to help save your sanity and sometimes your life – or at least the feeling in your arm.

How-To Video: Replace Washing Machine Drive Belt

Photo by RLHyde via Flickr


  1. says

    Luckily I tend not to have to face this problem as my hubby is pretty good with all the repair jobs. Still its good to know how I can quickly get up to speed in the event he’s away on business for an extended period as no parent wants to look clueless in front of their kids.

    And yes washing machine electric leads are always tiny. I guess they don’t want them touching the floor in case the machine leaks and the wire ends up sitting in a pool of water. Just a theory.


  2. says

    It certainly is understandable that in order to feel like a man in today’s society, you have to be able to fix things around the house. But there’s no shame in calling a handyman when you really don’t know what to do. It will help you save face rather than just bumbling around not knowing what you’re doing. It certainly does help immensely if you’ve got a neighbor to show you the ropes!

  3. says

    I’m also not a handy guy, even more likely careless in working. But i keep trying to learn from my friends. Although I had often ridiculed as useless in doing anything, but now I’ve been able to do what used to be very difficult for me. That’s my story

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