In this throw-away economy, it’s always tempting to buy something new as soon as something breaks. Do not! Repairing electrical appliances yourself saves a lot of money, and you also learn something from it. In this article we help you on your way with some tips.

If a device no longer works properly (or does not work at all) and if you cannot quickly find out what the problem is, Google is your best friend. A search with ‘brand name + type number + problem / error code’ in most cases quickly leads to messages from others who have encountered this before.

Almost all appliances sold in the Netherlands are also for sale in Germany with the same type designations. And because the market there is larger, more devices break and there is a greater chance that a user has reported something about this and may have devised or found a solution by now. You can also search for yourself on sites such as , or the forum .

Also, don’t forget YouTube. There are now also thousands of videos on YouTube of people showing solutions for common malfunctions of household appliances. Especially with regard to washing machines, dishwashers, dryers and other white goods, problems and solutions are often generic and not tied to a particular brand.

Specialized sites and forums

Highly recommended is iFixit . On this site you will find manuals for repairing thousands of – mainly electronic – devices, including supplies and how difficult the repair is. Separate disassembly descriptions can even be found for devices that are difficult to disassemble. As a user, you are encouraged to describe and share your own repair. And yes, even a guide has been made for how you can do that best.

Certainly with older devices or devices that have been produced in small series, you may not immediately find a description of your problem or solution. In such cases, we recommend that you look for more specialized online places where the real enthusiasts hang out, such as a forum. And if there is no ready-made answer, you can also ask your question here, such as at Question & Answer on our site. A few other recommendations are (hardware and software), (audio equipment), (cars), / (devices in and around the house), gathering. (electronics + computers) (cameras).

Find manuals

There is a manual with almost all devices, but this often only helps you with solving small and easy-to-solve malfunctions and problems. Fortunately, there are many sites on the internet where you can also find extensive (technical) manuals, search with the terms ‘service manual’ and ‘repair manual’. This often contains diagrams and describes how to carry out the most common repairs and – perhaps more importantly – what the type numbers are of the parts that you may have to order for this.

Good sites for finding these types of manuals include user , , , , , and . Keep in mind that at some of these sites (service) manuals can only be downloaded for a fee. Incidentally, they are also exchanged via the various forums that have already been discussed. You will probably lose a little more time in that case.

A few additional tips. Have you not been able to find a service manual with parts list and/or part numbers? In most cases, you can also find the number on the part that needs to be replaced, especially for white goods and brown goods. Do you have the correct number but the part is not available? Please contact the correct parts supplier. They often know if there is another part that you can also use.

Parts & Tools

If you know what is wrong with a device, you will in certain cases need new parts and sometimes special tools. The trade in parts is growing enormously and many suppliers now also offer all kinds of how-tos as a service. In some cases, you will receive a credit or discount when the performance of your own repair films or photographs and offers that registration on that particular site.

For inspiration, we list a number of interesting ones: (electronics and tools), (iPhone and iPad), (including computer, household, tools) , (including kitchen, household, garden) , (including white goods and brown goods) and (eg computer, household, bicycle).

Order parts from abroad

In addition to the many sites where you can buy new, it is especially interesting for computer and notebook parts to see what is offered in terms of ‘refurbished’, ‘replacement parts’, and ‘pre-owned’. Sometimes you simply have no other choice or new is much too expensive.

Ebay is a great place to start looking for used parts. If that doesn’t work, and often offer a solution. Especially in China there is a lively trade in used computer, tablet and smartphone parts. Sellers go to great lengths – albeit in poor English – to help you if you can’t find the right part or alternative yourself. If you have it sent by regular mail, it can take a few weeks from China before you receive a part.

Also pay attention to the shipping costs and any other surcharges. For purchases outside the EU and above 22 euros you pay VAT (21%). If the value is above 150 euros, you will have to pay customs duties to the delivery person. The amount depends on various factors. Before you order something, take a look at the sites of the tax authorities and customs.

With a little daring and a manual or instructions from the internet you can go far, even if you have two left hands. In certain cases, however, it stops because you cannot figure out the problem yourself or because you do not know, for example, which tools or which parts you need.