Home & Garden

August 31, 2012 5:00 AM

The Grapevine (Sept. 1)

When the time comes to decide whether to repair or replace a household item, use Consumer Reports’ 50 percent rule: Replace a broken item if the repair will cost more than half the price of the new product. In some cases, you can avoid paying for a service call to make that decision. First, explain to a repair person on the phone or in an e-mail what you think is wrong with the item. He or she may be able to diagnose the problem, give you a ballpark price to repair it or suggest a DIY solution.

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