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Do-it-yourselfers get appliance parts, repair advice online

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Many consumers are choosing to fix their own appliances instead of paying a repairman or buying new models, according to RepairClinic.com, an online resource for appliance parts and do-it-yourself appliance repair help and information.

“The weak economy has caused sales of new appliances to drop sharply,” said Chris Hall, president of RepairClinic.com. “However, even though people can get by without some conveniences, appliances rank near the top of things they can’t do without.”

Consumers can save as little as $100 and, in some cases, as much as $1,000 or more by ordering parts and installing them without the help of a professional, which is particularly important in this economy, the company said.

RepairClinic.com offers not only parts but tips on what to do if the dishwasher doesn’t get the dishes clean, or the dryer takes too long to dry your clothes, or the icemaker makes smelly ice. A feature on the site — “RepairHelp” — offers more customized advice for fixing appliances.

Examples of tips are as follows: “As a proactive measure against potentially major leaks, replace the rubber inlet hoses on your washing machines every five years, and for even more peace of mind, use stainless steel hoses.” And, “Clean your microwave and filters frequently. Food particles and splatters absorb some of the microwave energy while the unit is operating and may cause burns and other damage to the microwave.”

RepairClinic.com, which was founded in Canton, Mich., in 1999, features more than 80 appliance brands, including Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, GE, Frigidaire and LG, across 16 appliance types (e.g., washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, ovens and dishwashers). Appliance parts are stocked in a 72,000 sq. ft. facility and shipped the same business day.

“We’ve seen significant growth in the past 15 months as more and more people turn to the Internet to repair their old appliances and get more life from them,” Hall said. “Because we also offer free repair help, our service is helping to meet the needs of tens of thousands of customers per month.”

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West Fraser curtails U.S. lumber production

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Vancouver, B.C.-based West Fraser has announced it is curtailing additional U.S. lumber production for two weeks starting April 6 at mills located in Leola, Ark., and Whitehouse, Fla. A mill in Maplesville, Ala., will also be curtailed for two weeks beginning April 20.

These temporary reductions are in addition to indefinite curtailments at the company’s facilities located in McDavid, Fla.; Citronelle, Ala.; and Folkston, Ga.

West Fraser’s decision to curtail production is due to continued weak lumber markets in the United States.

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Deere announces layoffs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Deere & Co., manufacturer of John Deere lawn maintenance products, has announced that 40 employees of the John Deere Ottumwa Works, in Ottumwa, Iowa, will be indefinitely laid off, effective April 20. The layoff affects workers with the least seniority.

The layoffs are in response to reduced market conditions for the factory’s products.

The John Deere Ottumwa Works manufactures balers, mower conditioners, windrowers and pull-type forage harvesters used by hay and livestock producers.

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