Sunday, March 23, 2014

How to save time and money with effective zip-tie repairs

    When something comes apart and it looks like a replacement part is needed, its often useful to first ask: "can this be fixed with a zip-tie?" (AKA "tie wrap"). I recently had a clothes dryer lint screen handle break off and my first thought was to just replace it. But this seemingly little nothing  part commanded a pretty steep price. OEM from Whirlpool was $60. Even a generic replacement was $20-$30 and there were reports online that these didn't always fit the application well. I decided to try a zip tie repair.

                                                        Dryer lint screen repair

The problem: the handle broke off the lint screen

1) Drill two holes about 3 inches apart through the both the handle and the screen. Use a drill bit about the same size as the diameter of the zip tie being used. Avoid drilling through your finger as you hold the pieces.

Carefully drill two holes through both parts

2) Thread a zip tie through the holes from the back side, cinch it up and cut it off.

That was easy, it's good to go now.

3) Put it back in use. A nice savings of time and money over procuring a new one!

                                                    The broken control knob repair

   This type of plastic knob, with a half moon slot to fit into an on-off switch or speed or temperature control, frequently breaks apart. With a small zip tie we will make short and effective work of fixing this.

1) Get a small zip tie or two and wrap it around the broken part of the control knob. To better match the contour of the missing half-moon section, have the locking part of the tie opposite the broken section.
Cinch up tight by holding a pliers against the locking part and pulling the loose end tight. Cut off the excess end.
Here I used two ties to strengthen and fill in the missing part
2) Fit it on the switch and test.

                                                   The loose gas cap repair

                                            The cracked refrigerator shelf repair

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