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Workshop What is the strangest repair you have done?

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Reading through a thread on Microwave ovens on the other forum reminded me of a repair I did one one donkey's years ago and then on to some of the stranger things I was asked to do... 

Most Microwave ovens had the usual faults from Oven lamp to Magnetron. This particular one had no turntable rotation which was a fault I had not seen before. On investigation I found a dead mouse in a right angled part of an air duct, the poor little thing had chewed through the turntable motor wires and then got stuck in the duct.

The problem was that he was like a lump of coal and solidly stuck. I had to cut him in half to remove him, taking half out the front of the duct and removing the other half from the bottom of the duct after it had dropped down. How he had got in I just don't know ! Having repaired the wiring and given the machine a good clean I decided not to tell the owner why the motor supply had failed as I was concerned they wouldn't want the oven back! Ignorance as they say is bliss...

I often fitted kettle elements, repaired toasters and irons even the occasional shaver and vacuum cleaner. at Christmas it was fairy lights . After a few years those sort of repairs slowly disappeared and my shop became more TV, video, audio and left the domestics to others.

The strangest 'appliance' I was asked to repair and I swear I am not making this up was well - lets say a 'massager' of the personal type, bright pink! The shop assistant booked it in for a laugh!  I managed to get it going by cleaning the battery contacts and fitting some new batteries. Once working I tested it by standing it on the bench upright and watching it dance around in circles! 

What was your 'Oddest' repair?

Posted : 24/07/2023 9:22 pm
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Certainly the most unpleasant repair I had to do was a Sharp VCR (VC482H) belonging to the landlord of my late Godfather's "local" - the landlord owned a small dog and it rather liked lying on top of the machine for a nap until one day the machine started up and scared little doggy, which promptly emptied its bladder into the machine.

The main issue - apart from my mother objecting to me washing the PCB in the bath! - was desoldering the 64-pin "ShrinkDIP" microcontroller from the PCB as it had several legs rotted through. It did however provide a fix and I think I got £50 for that job.

Not dissimilar to your mouse story was one closer to home: several years ago and not long after she'd had some electrical work done and some new fuseboxes fitted, I had a call on my mobile from my mother who told me that "all the electric's gone off" at her house and could I come and sort it out, please? She was worried the food in the freezer would spoil. I then had to explain to her that as we were about to go on air with "Football Focus" in five minutes, that was not going to happen but if she'd like to get my brother over, I'll talk him through the fault-finding process. Long story short, the problem was traced to the garage and it was the freezer causing it.

Next day off I went over to her house and armed with tools, set about finding out what was up. I should add that it's autumn and it has been foggy and damp for a few days. As I went into the garage and moved the freezer, an unmistakeable odour hit me - mouse. I took the inspection grille at the side off the freezer and saw the problem.

There was a control panel that carried some indicator lights, a switch for fast freezing and the thermostat... and caught between the top of the "power on" neon and the base of the freezer chest was an electrocuted mouse, who was now decomposing and getting a bit soggy and conductive. Once extracted and the area cleaned with methylated spirits, all was well and we put the freezer back on duty.

Posted : 24/07/2023 10:42 pm