Welcome to Frugal Repair

I want to inspire others to overcome fear, fix things, save money, and learn! I have a specialty with electronics but I like to do everything myself when possible. There are so many new things to learn and try!

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EcoFlow Power Kit for RV & Off-Grid

EcoFlow’s new modular power kit makes installing a battery system for your RV, home, or off-grid cabin simple.  With the plug and play design all you need to do is plug in a few components and you can have a fully functional AC and DC power system with LFP batteries.  EcoFlow power kits are especially great for people who don’t want to design a system for their RV or cabin and for those who don’t want to pay for someone else to design a system.

The modular system is very compact and super easy to setup. Here there are two 5kWh batteries, the power hub, and the touch display screen.
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PhotoCube: A Great Way to Backup Your iPhone

If you are an iPhone user you may have gotten frustrated with the message “iCloud full”.  You might also feel stuck backing your phone up to your laptop because there isn’t enough storage.  You could pay for monthly services to store photos and videos but even then, besides the expense, you are still not getting enough storage.  Or maybe your main problem isn’t any of those, maybe you simply never remember to start a backup of your phone’s videos and photos.

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How to Fix an Electric Heating Pad

My theratherm® electric heating pad quit working. Dashes would show up on the screen instead of the temperate when you plugged it in and heat wouldn’t be produced. If you twisted the pad the right way though, the temperature reading would show up and it would start heating.

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Can you Install Solar Panels Yourself?

Yes, you can install solar panels yourself! It could be a daunting project though. You need to make sure that your design and installation meets all of the criteria that your local jurisdiction stipulates. These requirements, of course, can vary wildly depending on where you live. If your jurisdiction requires a certified professional for solar, then you may have to work harder to find a someone with a license to help you with your project, or you can get yourself licensed. There are courses you can take for this, for example.

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How to fix a leaking dishwasher

I found this really nice LG dishwasher sitting out for trash pickup. We had been wanting a new stainless steel dishwasher but didn’t want to pay the high prices to replace our current working one.

When I first drove by and saw the dishwasher there among some other items being thrown away I was initially skeptical it would be worth my time to take it home and work on it. It must have

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Vizio M65-C1 Won’t Turn On – Repaired with $.47 of parts. Bargain 4k TV

Since I try to get things cheaper or free and repair them I wondered if I could get a cheaper big 4K TV. After posting a search for “broken 4K TV” on craigslist I eventually found someone selling theirs.

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Fix Your Loose Wobbly Macbook Screen

Has the screen on your Macbook pro or air started to wobble and you can tell something is loose?  Well, the issue is most likely 2 or 3 loose screws.  Some are easy to get to and tighten up.  Others take a little bit more effort to get to but it is still all they need is to be tightened.

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How to Change Razor e100 Scooter Batteries

If your Razor e100 scooter is no longer charging then you almost certainly need new batteries.  This is something you can replace on your own and you can save money by buying off the shelf batteries than any ones sold directly by the manufacturer.

The type of batteries that go into this scooter are called SLA batteries.  SLA is short for sealed lead-acid.  The scooter motor is made to run off of 24 volts.  In order to get to 24 volts the scooter housing is made to hold two 12 volt batteries wired in series.  When you wire in series you add up the voltages.

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How to Repair Instant Pot not Heating or Working

Is your Instant Pot not working?  I’ll show you how you may be able to repair it.  My wife picked up a broken unit that was not heating and thankfully, it is an easy fix.  If you have one with no power at all, it is also possibly an easy fix.

In some cases the reason why the Instant Pot fails to heat up is because of a single failed solder connection on the bottom side of the circuit board.   This failed connection just happens to be on the output terminal of the main electrical relay (think switch) that sends electricity to the heating element.  And when there is no electricity, there is no heat (though the brains of the unit doesn’t realize it!).

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How to Fix Your Macbook Trackpad that is Not Clicking

Is your trackpad having problems clicking?  Is it clicking but the laptop isn’t responding to the click?  Or that you have to push really hard to get it to click?

There are a few reasons why your click may not be working any longer.  It is possible it could be something like a swelled battery, loose screw, or debris but most likely is that your trackpad is failing due to wear and tear.

Many videos and instructions advise you to make an adjustment to the screw under the trackpad to deal with this non-clicking problem.  This tends to work because it puts more pressure on a certain part of the trackpad that makes the “click”.

But I recommend that you do something even better than that!  I recommend that you make an adjustment to the trackpad itself (not the adjustment screw) so that you will be (effectively) giving your trackpad click a new life.  And this repair is free!

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60″ LCD TV Fixed for Less Than a $1

My wife was on a local Facebook group and heard of someone getting rid of a broken 60″ led tv.  She asked me if I wanted it.  Because I like to fix everything or at least figure out how it works, I immediately said, “Yes!”  So in not too short of time I had a Vizio E601i-A3 opened up for inspection.

The common problem on these models is that the T-con (timing control) board goes bad which results in a blank screen (no picture) but yet there is sound.  The backlight is on but since the Timing Control board has a problem it can not send the proper signal to the pixels on the lcd panel.

Since I know this is a common failure on the E601i-A3, I took it out to take a closer look.  The internet tells me to test one particular transistor on that board and guess what, that transistor is fried.  So I ordered a new one, it cost $.54.  After soldering in the new part the TV fired up great and has been working great since.

If you want to watch the video and see exactly how I did all of this for under a $1 check it out here:

Upgrade Macbook Air Hard Drive 2014

Did you purchase a 128gb or 256gb hard drive for your macbook air or macbook pro and now you want to get more storage?  Pretty much the only way to reliably upgrade is to buy a used hard drive on the secondary market.  You can buy new generic drives but I don’t know how reliable they are.  You would have to do your research first, of course.

Changing your hard drive (solid state drive) on a newer macbook air or pro is pretty easy.    My instructions are for a 2014 macbook air but the others that have this same kind of hard drive will be similar (or even identical).  You need a #5 pentalobe (P5) (to open the bottom case) and a T5 torx (to remove the screw holding down the hard drive.

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How to Fix Electric Lawnmower (Rectifier) – Trips Circuit Breaker Short Circuit (Task Force)

So one day I was looking through the free section on craigslist and saw someone giving away a broken electric lawn mower.  Oddly enough, I noticed the address as the neighbor to one of my friends.  So I texted him and he walked over and snagged it for me.

I actually first wanted it so I could harvest the motor for another project but then I realized that I could fix it!  I had never worked on one before but I did some research and realized there aren’t many parts in these things and typically what breaks is the bridge rectifier.

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Repair Broken GE Freezer – Replace Defrost Heater GSH25JSXNSS

One night we went to get some ice cream and instead of getting the normal cold solid cream there was a liquid mess.  Something was wrong with our fridge/freezer (Model GSH25JSXNSS) !

So I ripped open the back on the freezer (take shelves off, remove light cover, take off two screws, take off the grounding clip and remove the white cover)  to find this:

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How to Fix a TV Hit By Lightning or Power Surge

If your tv has stopped working because of a power surge or lightning and you want to diagnose it to try to repair it yourself there are a few things you can do. In most cases, you will want to diagnose if either your power supply board or your main board is bad.  Watch my video as I explain the process and let me know if you have any questions.




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Repair Panasonic TC-P65S1 (8 Blinks) Plasma TV

Has your plasma stopped turning on and the red light is flashing on you (8 Blinks)?  It may be the SS board with a bad set of capacitors.   At least it was for me.  I ordered similarly rated capacitors from China.  Here is a link to similar ones that I ordered. (Available on Ebay*: “Film capacitors CBB22 305J 3uF ±5% 250V P=27mm“)  After they arrive I soldered out the old ones and got the new ones in and the TV works great!

If you are up for repairing it yourself you’ll need to solder the old capacitors out and solder the new ones in.  So to begin (use extreme caution when working with plasma tv’s!):

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