Saturday, February 11, 2012

And then the microwave broke too....

So as I mentioned, the tenant was also having issues with the microwave this week.  He heard something snap when he opened the door, and it wouldn't shut properly since.  Consequently, the light also wouldn't turn off.


I stopped in to the condo early in the week to check it out, and apart from the non-latching door, everything about the microwave seemed to be in great shape.  It's about 7 years old now, but for the first 5 years of its life, was barely EVER run.  In the time I lived in the condo, I might have occasionally melted some butter, but I'm an air-popper girl, so even my popcorn wasn't made in the microwave.  I just don't love microwave-quality anything, and so we don't even have a microwave in our own home.  

Anyway, it's a microwave hood fan, so the replacement cost is at least a few hundred dollars.  So I decided to go the repair route instead of the replacement route.  I called a parts company with a local warehouse, and they were able to suggest 3 different parts that it might be.  They also indicated it might be tricky to repair though, as the whole door would have to come off.  And with their no-returns policy on parts, I might end up buying the wrong one of the 3 possibilities.  So they suggested I find a repairman.  

I put feelers out on LinkedIn, Facebook, and verbally, trying to find an appliance repairman.  They are not to be found!  Every place I called, said their repairman had "retired".  Weird common theme!

I finally had luck through Frigidaire, who referred me to a local repair company, Quality Assured. The repair would cost $129.95 + parts.  They were willing to bring all three possible parts though, so they they could hopefully repair the microwave in one visit.  (If they had to come out a second time, I'd be billed an additional $89 just for the first useless visit).  

So I met the repairman at the condo today.  Right away, I learned that he'd only been told by administrator to bring one part.  So I was stressed about whether it would be the right one or not.

Then he started playing around with the door of the microwave, and it was obvious to me that he wasn't familiar with this particular microwave, and that he knew as much as I do about it.  He pulled a few pieces apart, and noticed a spring had come disconnected.  And we realized that was all there was too it!   The snapping noise that the tenant heard must have just been the spring unhooking.

It was so frustrating seeing how simple the fix was, because I could have definitely done that myself.  I would have been reluctant to take the door apart the way he had (there are no screws, so it was a matter of forcing the plastic frame off - I would have been afraid of breaking it).  But once he got it open, it was so easy to fix.

But wen he plugged it back in, the microwave started up  right away, even though we hadn't programmed it to, and nothing would get it to stop.  So he realized he hadn't lined the door up quite right.  I don't know if I would have figured that much out, so I was glad to have him there to adjust that.

All in all, I definitely don't think it was worth $130 + tax.  But I was glad to not have to mess around with it myself.  In my own house, I wouldn't mind doing that.  But with the tenant, I want a quick and painless repair.

And on the upside, I didn't have to pay for any parts...

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