Next time your cooker, fridge, lawnmower or washing machine breaks, don’t buy a new one. Buy a spare part, and fit it yourself.
We did this a while back, when our fan-assisted oven became a fan-unassisted oven. We couldn’t get the oven hot enough for cooking; this is what happens, when you buy a house with a kitchen straight out of a DIY shop bargain bin. We thought we’d have to pay someone to come and replace the fan element, or buy a new cooker and have someone come and fit that. Both options were disgustingly expensive.
Here in our cushioned First World, we are accustomed to a disposable culture: buying up cheap things, then buying up another batch of cheap things when the first lot fall to pieces. To some extent, however, the recession has put paid to this mindset. Our next door neighbour Colin, a TV repairman, is a good barometer for this. Two years ago he was complaining, bitterly, that people were binning their sturdy old goggle boxes for junky flatscreen jobs; these days, he is once again rushed off his feet with TV repair work.
As for the Thrifty Towers oven: we bought a new fan element from eSpares, turned off the electricity – and my husband fitted it in less than a hour. Bingo! It cost £60; £100 less than a new model.
If you haven’t come across this site before, have a peek as it is very handy. It sells parts for just about everything! White goods, vacuum cleaners, garden machinery, greenhouses, Philips shavers, video gaming stuff – it’s a long list.
There are also eSpares videos to show you how to replace the various bits and bobs, step by step. Here’s the oven fan one.
Image credit: p0piscle.