When you think about DIY, it’s not very likely that the video site, Youtube comes to mind right away. If you’re thinking anything video related, you’re probably thinking about television stations like HGTV or the aptly named DIY Network. Youtube, however, can be the best friend you’ve got when it comes to DIY.
This new age we’re entering where information is super duper easy to disseminate means that we can hop on the internet and find just about whatever information we need. And that includes how-to videos on just about any DIY project you can imagine.
When I was working at a computer repair shop last winter and spring, one of the things that I did on a regular basis is search on Youtube for the steps to replace a part on a computer. Each computer manufacturer makes their machines a little bit differently. It’s very evident in their laptop models, so often, what will take one apart will break another. Faced with a new model, the easiest way to figure out what you’re doing before you end up replacing it for a customer is to do a quick search for a repair video. Just about every time, you’ll find a video of a technician doing the exact same repair that you’re about to do.
Armed with that knowledge and experience, one of the first things that popped into my head when our clothes dryer stopped heating up two weeks ago was to see just how hard it would be to replace the heating element. A couple of videos later, I was reasonably confident that I had the skills necessary to make the repair myself. I ordered a new heating element and a new non-resettable fuse (just in case that was the problem and not the element) from Amazon. The parts totaled less than $40.
Once the parts arrived, I was able to make the repair to the dryer in about 45 minutes. Probably a bit longer than a technician that repairs appliances all the time, but for me, a pretty reasonable amount of time. Once the new parts were in place, and the dryer was put back together, I hooked it back up to the vent and the electrical and gave it a test spin. And it heated up! I win! 😉 For less than $40, and about an hour of my time (if you include the time spent watching the repair video), I was able to successfully make the repair.
I don’t know how much it would have cost to have the local technician come and repair the dryer, but I can guess that the part alone would have cost almost twice what it did for me to order it. Even if I guess conservatively, the labor would probably cost me about $50. All told, it could have cost me about $100-$150 to repair the thing. We bought it used, for about $200, so that wouldn’t have been a very smart thing to do. And, if it had come down to having someone repair it, you can bet I would have looked at the cost of a new, to-us, used dryer first.
It’s not the first time that I’ve used a Youtube video to learn how to repair something. Remember when I repaired my iPad myself? Guess how I learned how to do that!
Have you ever used a Youtube video to learn how to DIY something?