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Emergency support when gadgets fail

Many people who attend Restart Parties tell us that they needed urgent and immediate help with their failed gadget. Some admit they had to buy a new smartphone, laptop or domestic gadget because they could not live without the uncertainty and without their device until a Restart Party. Understandable!

From now, we’d like to offer more immediate support, especially to people who have simple problems that seem fatal.

If you use Twitter and Facebook, you can get our instant support by using the hashtag #SOSRestart.

Used on a CC license by Flickr user Alessandra Cimatti
Used on a CC license by Flickr user Alessandra Cimatti

We are not a repair business, nor will we ever be. We have no vested interest except helping people learn and saving waste. Where possible, our volunteers will troubleshoot and explain to tech owners what costs might be involved in both commercial repair and self-repair. We hope well-meaning members of the general public and our online friends all of the world will pitch in, all they have to do is scan the hashtag and roll up their sleeves.

So next time you are desperate, about to give up, help is just a tweet or a Facebook post away!

Here’s how we advise you to phrase your call for help. Tell us about your sad gadget:

  • what make and model
  • what is malfunctioning – show us (photo if possible)
  • how/when it started

Over and out!

5 responses

  1. Mike Leibling

    Hi there!

    My Morphy Richards Intelliboil kettle is 3 years old and when it’s on, its 360 degree base only supplies electricity for about 260 degrees!

    I’ve tried abrading the visible contacts in the kettle [none visible in the base] and changing the fuse in the plug cured it for about a month, but the new fuse has nearly gone, and yet another fuse hasn’t cured it this time.

    Question: Are all 360 bases and kettles interchangeable, so if I bought a cheap kettle, might the base ‘fix’ it – assuming it’s the base at fault, that is!

    Thanks!

    Mike

  2. Mike,

    Not all bases are the same. It is possible that several brands use the same manufacturer and hence the same base, but that is something you would need to check. I’ve seen several different -incompatible- bases.

    Now about the problem you have with your current kettle. If it works fine when you orient your kettle within 260 degrees, then that’s not a major problem in itself as one always tend to put the kettle on the base with the handle forward.

    To clean electrical contacts, best is to use IPA alcohol. You can find sprays in electronic shops or in liquid form possibly at chemists. IPA is highly flammable so be sure not to have any flame nearby and disconnect the base from the wall first. However that is not likely to be the issue as contacts on kettles tend to be large and would b unlikely to fully corrode if in regular use.

    I don’t really understand your explanation of the ‘new fuse has nearly gone’. A fuse is basically a wire which will break if too much power goes through it, so either it is working or it is blown. It is binary. If the kettle is working some of the time, then the fuse is good.

    If the kettle is indeed working some of the time and the fuse occasionally blows, that sounds very much like there’s a short circuit somewhere when the kettle is in some position, i.e., placed in a certain way it works fine, placed in some other ways it doesn’t work and the fuse blows (if it is indeed a short, it is good that the fuse blows as otherwise there’s a risk of fire). If that’s the case, then there’s a short either in the base or in the kettle. I would expect it to be most likely in the base. You would need to check the wiring. As you mention it is dependent of how the kettle is placed on the base, I would suspect the wiring close to or in the base. You would need to take the base apart to inspect the wiring and fix it.

    Current in the base is 240V and it needs to be protected from any water possibly falling on the base, so please proceed only if you’re confident doing this. Otherwise why not popping at a Restart Party with your base and kettle. Find out when there’s one at https://therestartproject.org/events/

    And if you fix it, please let us know!

    1. Mike Leibling

      Many thanks David. The fuse surprised me too, but I surmised that the sparky contact between the base and the kettle had somehow deteriorated it, rather than out and out blown it. I’ll try and bring it along. Regards, Mike

      1. Mike,

        If there are sparks you shouldn’t use it until fixed. Another possibility if it’s temporary is that some water leaked in the base. If that’s the case the base should be disconnected, and then opened until completely dry and you should be careful that no water falls on the base. (The base should never be washed under the tap.)

        See you at a Restart Party.

        1. Mike Leibling

          Good common sense, thanks!! [I did know but considering I was going to unscrew the base having mistakenly unplugged the grinder instead of the kettle, reminders are worth their weight in gold!]

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