She sent the repairman home!

My Story: Repairing a Water Softener

contributed by Shaunna J.

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In my estimation, if you have access to a computer and time to research, you can fix just about anything. You don't need to be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon, you just need to have the sense to think "I don't want to spend money; I want to fix what I have and take care of it."

So my story begins with a water leak in the garage. Yes, all the cardboard boxes we still hadn't unpacked from our move were soaked.

Tracing the leak, I discovered it was a large plastic molded coupling on the water softener/filter. It was cracked. I turned off the water lines going to the softener and just bypassed it while exploring the repair.

I called a repairman, and he said the same thing I had already discovered. The repairman explained that the plastic part was cracked and they would have to order a replacement for $175, plus labor and tax. He further explained to me that this part could only be ordered through a certified plumbing business or a certified plumber. I was aghast. I thanked him very much, paid him the ridiculous fee of $75 (for nothing), and quickly hopped onto the world wide web.

I quickly tracked down the model of the unit I had and then looked for a schematic of the parts (a blow up schematic as it's sometimes called). I found the part and part number. From there, I quickly researched who would sell that part. I found a distributor and discovered that I could get the part for $40, plus shipping.

Based on the schematic, the repair didn't appear that difficult. I ordered the part and received it within three days.

After removing the cover and disconnecting the lines in and out of the part, I then installed the new part. It was a piece of cake. After completion, I turned the unit back on and it worked like a charm. It's now been about three years since I replaced that part and it's been perfect ever since.

While I don't look forward to future repairs, I know with access to the web, I can repair almost anything. Now, about repairing my Kindle, well, that's a whole other story in electronics.

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by email to

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