This is another post from Tiffany, a newly single mom. I thought it would be good to follow up my do-it-yourself post today with this article from Tiffany which lists some nice resources for finding online tutorials.
My friend Allison has been unemployed for ten months. Like most job-seekers, she is navigating her way through challenges that she’s never faced before. Unlike most job-seekers, Allison owns her home outright, which is a blessing. But it doesn’t exempt her from the inevitable needed repairs to her home.
No Handyman in Sight
One of the aforementioned never-before-faced challenges is that of working through a “home crisis” alone, without a partner or the resources to hire a handyman. The unexpected WILL happen and repairs WILL have to be done. But for many of us, the day of calling the professional honey-do for every little problem is gone. Basically if there’s a way to do it ourselves, we are learning to do it.
Allison has recently had a couple of major plumbing issues. Like my home, hers only has one bathroom. So having the bathroom faucet or the inner toilet assembly break can quickly escalate into an urgent matter.
When both of these things happened to her in the same two week period, Allison felt overwhelmed.
A Quick Faucet Fix
The faucet went first. Because she lacked confidence in her ability to repair it, she went to Home Depot and bought the least expensive faucet that she could find. Following the instructions on the package carefully, Allison was, to her surprise and delight, able to install it quickly and easily and she felt utterly empowered by this accomplishment. She even expressed to me “I wish now that I had bought a nicer faucet!”.
“Is There a Plumber in the House?”
But when I called her a week later to tell her that I have a nice male colleague and I’m eager to play matchmaker for her and him, she literally growled into the phone and said “I’m not interested unless he’s a plumber”. She proceeded to tell me that her toilet had stopped working and that her research on AskAPlumber.com indicated that the fill valve and flapper needed to be replaced.
Her earlier confidence in her ability to make basic plumbing repairs had waned. As she talked, I could hear the panic in her voice begin to increase and I remembered suddenly that I had found a solution to a recent computer problem by watching a YouTube video.
Online Resources to the Rescue
While still on the phone with her, I did a quick YouTube search on “fix toilet”. The search netted me pages upon pages of videos on toilet repair. When I relayed this information to her, she growled (again…yikes), “OK, I’ll check it out….gotta go”.
She called me four hours later, and I could hear the elation in her voice. “I did it! I found two ladies in a video on YouTube and watching them, I was able to fix mine”.
She gave me the credit, but of course, I’ll give the credit to the wonderful world of resources that the internet offers us. With sites like YouTube and Video Jug, a person can learn to do nearly anything.
I researched the more popular tutorial sites to see exactly which sites offered the most results for my key phrase “fix toilet” (without quotation marks). I didn’t peruse many individual videos or articles. I’m posting here, for the purpose of illustration, the number of results my searches netted for “fix toilet”.
- How Stuff Works 57 articles and specifically a wonderful graphical drawing on the intricacies of the toilet’s ballcock assembly (I like a graphical visual)
- This Old House 11 videos and articles
- About.com 1,230 videos and articles
- Video Jug 349 videos
- WikiHow 117 Wiki articles (cool that users can edit the articles on this site)
- eHow 16,200 articles
- YouTube 1,640 videos
- DoItYourself 450 articles, videos, and forums
- DIY Network 17 videos
- 5Min Videopedia 18 videos (this site limits video length to 5 minutes)
- SuTree had more videos than I could count, but I noted that their search engine isn’t very refined and not all were how to actually “fix toilet”.
I want to point out that in addition to videos, tutorials, and articles on “fix toilet”, all of these sites have tutorials on everything imaginable.
If anyone is aware of more great “how to” sites on any topic, I’d love to have them to add to my list.
Photo by Andreia