Handyman: The Modern Day Troubleshooter

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If you weren’t already aware the Alure Home Improvements team of Handyman Home Services technicians has successfully been at work making the short list of home handy projects even shorter. It does not have to be a full remodel to have Alure come to your home in New York for a free consultation and or to review your to do list regarding home improvement. To that end, the Alure Handyman Home Services team is a group of qualified specialists who also have a talent for troubleshooting. Finding what might have gone wrong and then being able to fix it is just one of the services provided by Alure for any Long Island home. The possibilities may include that you are only interested in having a kitchen counter or cabinet repaired or have several windows that may need replacing. Or it might be more serious and that you need to find the source to that roof leak or determine why the bathroom tiles are falling off. When you think about it, one can wonder where the term troubleshooter came from. There is one possible scenario that remains undocumented and is not much more than a tall tale. It came from a belief that gunslingers or what was known as a hired gun was an integral part of the history of the Old West. With a lack of civil behavior in earlier times of the American Manifest Destiny, common lawlessness was often met with use of deadly force or gun battle. Troubleshooters, in the days of the gold rush and new settlers, were private agents who hired out to help settlers and gold miners protect their rightful and hard-earned property, and their families. They earned room and board and in some cases small stipends for being there to do the “shooting” when and if it became necessary. Hence: trouble shooters.

A more recent and documented explanation of the term troubleshooter came from the early 1900’s. There was a proliferation of telegraph and telephone wires that had begun to cross the country providing service to, what was up until then, remote parts of the landscape. There was a group of men whose job it was to hunt down the trouble spots down the line and repair them. Known as Trouble Hunter the term Trouble Shooter was also used and ultimately stuck over time. Today’s troubleshooter is largely related to the electronics industry and more specifically computers. Even as youngsters, when we got the new Walkie Talkie Radio Set as a gift, the box boldly advertised, see inside for troubleshooting tips. Almost every operation manual whether it is for a car, computer or a hydraulic jack mentions a section usually located in the back of the book called Trouble Shooting. More ironic is when it is listed in the manual for a photographic camera. It is still a valid section of the book but should be edited and revised to read Trouble Shooting. Whether you are looking to correct some issues while actually shooting pictures with a digital camera, need help with your computer or some other mechanical device requires repair, many of us have discovered there is merit to making an attempt to go the extra mile and fix it ourselves. That is why the trouble shooting guide is included in the manual for whatever device or machine you may be hoping to revitalize and return to working order. Here is a somewhat universal consensus on how to be an effective troubleshooter. Be realistic about the goal in mind.

  • Sometimes the toaster isn’t worth the trouble vs. buying a new one.
  • Acknowledge your individual skill level and know when its time to call a professional.
  • Don’t discount the ownership of the achievement once having resolved the problem, even if it is only having bought the new toaster. Your family will still thank you.

Achieving the goal of having fixed the problem will require that you:

  • Gather patience and discard the ego.
  • Be observant — know the symptoms and expected behavior.
  • Develop a process of elimination to narrow the search for the problem.
  • Use as much documentation as may be available and employ the RTM Methodology. [(RTM) Read The Manual]

Above all remain calm

  • Excitement and frustration can lead to further and sometimes irreparable damage.
  • The excitement or anger of a situation can cloud your better judgment and the analysis needed isn’t effective until you are prepared to deal with the process of finding the solution.

A logical well ordered system is often provided in the Troubleshooting section of the Users Guide or Instruction Manual. If you are fortunate to have this kind of reference handy there is usually a diagnostic tree of yes or no questions. These questions will take you in one direction or another which then facilitates the process of elimination while trying to identify the source of the problem. The patience of understanding the problem through logical diagnosis and testing your theory of corrective actions, when successful, is a rewarding experience whether it is the toaster, lawn mower, computer, toilet or bathroom sink. The reward usually comes from the tenacity and determination invested resulting in a job completed. Whether the item, machine or product has been restored or ultimately replaced, resolution ends the frustration and gives us all back some control over what is our environment. I can be as happy about replacing the bulb in the night lite in my young daughter’s room as I would be about reformatting the hard drive on the computer, mainly because I did it myself. As the hired gun of my own castle, I am the trouble shooter the family turns to first. I am otherwise happiest when I engage the help I need from people I know and can trust. Recognizing there is a limit to my individual skill level there is no hesitation to reach out for professional help. That is why the Home Services crew at Alure Home Improvements stands ready to offer assistance whatever your level of need. There have, and will always continue to be some pretty fun and fantastic stories about the home remodeling we discover or have found amusing in the Long Island Area. Share yours with us on our blog.

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