Poll: Do you fix or replace broken things?

Broken VCR

A few months ago the water dispenser on my KitchenAid refrigerator stopped working. The fridge is not that old and I really didn’t want to spend money on a new one (one of the reasons we bought this particular model was for the water/ice dispenser). I researched the issue and it turned out to be a simple part in the back that I could order from Sears for about $100 and replace on my own. It took a couple of hours and was not the easiest thing to do, but when the job was done I felt great about my accomplishment and I now smile every time I get myself a glass of water.

Between then and now I’ve tackled many busted up items. Just this past weekend I fixed both the powerhead for my central vacuum system (turned out the motor needed a good cleaning with a can of compressed air to get it running again) and my Nintendo Wii (which needed the power brick reset via a GFCI outlet). A few years ago I would have just gone out and replaced these items without thinking twice. Older, wiser, cheaper, and more environmentally conscious, I now try to fix everything first instead of throwing it to the curb.

In this disposable era, what do you do when something breaks? Do you try to fix it or have it fixed or do you toss it out and buy new? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments.

Broken VCR image at top courtesy of flickr user ClintJCK and used under a Creative Commons license. Check out ClintJCK’s WordPress.com blog here

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