Fixing and Restoring Consumer Products

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Far too many products these days are either poorly designed, cheaply manufactured or both. When the product breaks, often the only option is to discard it and buy a new one.

Here's an example. A $300 dehumidifier stops working after 18 months, and investigation shows the refrigerant has leaked out because of corrosion on the evaporator core. A new core is not available, and even if there was there is no-one (including us) who is prepared or able to evacuate and refill the system, so a new unit (and a different brand) was the only option.

If you are prepared to pay our affordable labour rate, often there's something we can do. Of course, it's often the case that a new device is cheaper than the labour costs to repair it.

Here's another example. The owner of this 10'x10' patio umbrella reported that the fold/unfold operating cord was frayed and jammed in the winder handle. Also, the top arm pivot hinge was broken. They were unable to find anyone to fix this, but were very unwilling to throw the umbrella out.

Here's the broken pivot assembly. It's a die cast aluminium part, and was not possible to weld due to corrosion of the metal. The holes were drilled during the rebuild evaluation process.

Here's the remanufactured pivot with new operating cord installed.

Two new hinge pieces were fabricated, and installed with bolts and spacers, then painted to nearly match the rest of the product. New 4mm non-stretch cord was installed.

The owner was very pleased with the result. The job required 3 hours of labour: 2 hours to design and fabricate the new hinge pieces, and 1 hour of disassembly and reassembly and testing.


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