Category Archives: Repair


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SBW#48 – Herman Miller Aeron Armrest Repair

My Herman Miller Aeron Chair looks like this! How did this happen? No, I did not take my armrest off, it broke! The bolt in the arm bolt assembly sheared the head off and the arm fell to the floor.

Notice the missing right armrest

I went to push up on my armrests, after all, who does do that to get up and bang. There was a loud bang and the armrest dropped to the floor. Looking at it I only see the bolt stud sticking out with obviously something broken off. What was it? After taking the assembly apart it was the head of the bolt. However, this bolt is unlike most bolts, it is only a pan head torque bolt. There’s not much metal there and with 20+ years of fatigue, the metal gave in and broke.

So, how much is a new one? $90 is a little steep for me but was to be expected given how much this chair cost in the first place. There has to be a cheaper way to fix it right? Maybe a standard bolt or something. Yes, you guessed it, that’s the route we’re going.

Complete Arm Assembly

The first thing is to remove the old bolt stud from the armrest. I did this by using my channel lock pliers to get a grip and spin the bolt out. Hold the thumbwheel while turning the stud and it will come out. Just be careful to pay attention to the parts in the thumbwheel as there is a bearing assembly and washer on it and you’ll want to get those back in the same orientation when reassembling your armrest. If you don’t, turning the thumbwheel is nearly impossible.

Now, you might need to make a trip to the local hardware store and get a 1/4″-28 x 2.5″ grade 5 bolt. I took the stud and thumbwheel down to the home centers. However, all they had were 2″ and 3″ lengths. I ended up finding one at my local hardware store and matched up the threads to their thread insert to tell me which bolt size I needed. Then I chose one with the correct length and grade 5 because this bolt takes a lot of stress from pushing down on the armrest and I didn’t want it to break again.

Then you need to remove is the chair back. This can be done by removing the 4 torque screws holding it in place. I accomplished this using my Craftsman magnetic screwdriver and a torque bit. When you get the four screws out just lift the back straight up and out. Broken hardware from the armrest is likely to shower out on the floor so I recommend doing it in a place where you can see what falls.

I used a T30 torque bit for screw removal

I inserted all the components back together (see image below) and put the bolt into the chair. I then spent some time getting the bearing assembly, thumb wheel, and washer to alight just right so I could get the bold back through and into the armrest threads. I tightened it down and spent some time readjusting so it was not wobbly but loose enough to adjust while using the thumbwheel.

Correct hardware orientation. The chair armrest support goes between the end of the bolt and the 3rd component. Old broken bolt below for reference.

Then, I reinserted to back into the chair and hand tightened all four torque screws before tightening them down with my Craftsman magnetic screwdriver and torque bit.

hand tighten screws back in before tightening them down

My chair is back to normal and good to go again. I’m glad I spent a few dollars rather than $90 because you really cannot tell the difference other than if you look closely you can see a shiny bolt rather than a flat black bolt. I could of course painted it but in this case, functionality over aesthetics will win. I’ve included a link to the original part on Amazon below if you want to check it out.

Ironically while writing this article the left armrest bolt broke for me nearly a year later. Yeah, I’m backlogged on articles and videos. So, I get to repeat the same process with the other armrest.

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


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SBW#44 – Washer inlet valve teardown

What does a washing machine inlet valve look like from the inside out? Well, let us tear down this old valve I just replaced on my washing machine. We’ll take a look at how simple this device is and how it works.

First, let me explain what the washing machine inlet valve is. A washing machine inlet valve is a valve or pair of valves that control the water flow from your water taps to the inside of the washer. Older style valves were single meaning that one valve, one water inlet (cold or hot). Newer models however are a dual valve body meaning two separate valves on one assembly (cold and hot). The valve I’m tearing down is a dual model.

The pictures below show where and what this valve looks like. This valve is located internally near the top side of the washer and if in use, has the cold and hot water hose lines connected to it. These hoses could be rubber, reinforced rubber, or stainless steel braided. I created a different article where I talk about the importance of replacing these hoses. It can be found here.

In this image, we see the protective screens that help filter out larger sediment that can come in from your water lines. Finer stuff can make it through the screens larger will not. You can see here my hot water side (right) is really bad from all the mineral build-up.

Unfortunately, I have this problem with anything that uses hot water from sink faucets, washing machines to dishwashers. I wish I could find something that I could attach to the outlet on my hot water heater that would allow filtering and a central location to clean it out. My cold water is not like this so I’m not worried about an entire house system, just the hot water supply. I even regularly flush out my hot water tank and mineral fragments come out each time. There’s just something about the heating process with our public water that seems to do this for me.

Let us start the disassembly by removing the metal bracket’s retaining screws with a socket bit. I use my Kobalt drill with my DeWalt extension. I know I mix match brands but at the time I couldn’t beat the price of the Kobalt drill when I needed a new one as my old 12v DeWalt battery pack was giving out.

Once I get all the screws out I was able to separate the metal sub-assembly from the plastic body. This exposed the solenoid actuators that control the water flow.

Inside of the plastic body, underneath the actuators is where all the action happens. In the image below A is the water inlet from the supply hoses. When the solenoid activates, it lefts a little rubber plunger up inside the actuator body that allows water to flow from A to B. B is the water exit from this valve which flows into a single channel on the backside of this image. The water at this point flows towards C which a little rubber flap, seen in the above image on the metal assembly, mixes the hot and cold water. From there it flows out the little nozzle where my finger is above.

Here is what the underside of the actuator looks like where you can see the rubber seal that is attached to a metal rod via the little blue connector. The metal rod slides up and down in the plastic actuator shaft as the solenoid turns on or off.

The metal assembly holds two 120v solenoids. When power is applied to the solenoid, it causes the metal shaft in the actuator to slide upward allowing the rubber seal to move away from the water inlet hole thus allowing water to flow to the exit hole.

Below are several images of what the complete valve looks like after disassembly with all the parts.

One thing I thought about after taking this apart is what if you run the water in the opposite direction? Could use clamp a water hose to the water exit on the valve and connect garden hoses to the water supply line connections. Then supply 120v to the solenoids in a timed fashion in such a way that you end up with a timed irrigation system? This is just a thought of mine and I have not tried it. A word of caution though, if you do attempt such a thing, remember electricity and water DO NOT mix. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re taking all precautions to isolate the power to the solenoids and the water in such a way they will not come in contact with each other. I’d also recommend ensuring the power source is connected to a GFCI circuit too!

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few links to the equipment I used and Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


Looking for a Gift Idea? Visit the Amazon Gift Hub
Or Check out our Deal of the Day page in the Top Right of the Menu