Friday, November 1, 2013

"It doesn't power on"

Before we left for California I returned a call to a woman who had left a message on my phone.

"It doesn't power on"  she said about her Kenmore sewing machine.

"Oh.  Well I will be happy to look at it."

"I hardly ever sew anymore.  A friend of mine told me to just buy a new machine.  But for as much as I sew I thought I should at least try to fix this one. "

"Oh, absolutely.  Those vintage Kenmores are fine machines.  You can do what you want but you will not be happy at all with a new machine.  You just won't find the quality in the new machines that you have in that Kenmore."

She dropped it off Tuesday at the clinic.  We live in the country and a bit out of the way.  I don't do it often, but I meet customers at the clinic on lunch hour just to make it a bit more convenient.

"Do they let you do that?" K.  asked when we were making the arrangement.

"Well, I can't imagine it's a problem.  If they ask me to stop, I will."

Wednesday afternoon I set it up on the bench.  A very nice 158.1802.  Sure enough.  No power. No light, no motor. NADA.   Wondering if it was her foot controller I tried one of mine.  Bingo. Motor noise but no light.  Most Kenmores of this era will not work if the light is not switched on.  I wondered if I had switched it on when I had used her power cord.  Switched her back and BINGO motor noise.  OK, light bulb burned out.  Switched out to a new light and everything was good to go.   I called her and left a message.

"Your machine powers on.  The light bulb was out.  If you want me to service it I will."

I hope that I can.  I love those 1802s.  Very, very nice machines.


  1. How many Americans would "just buy a NEW" ___(fill in anything here) ....rather than screwing in a new light bulb?

    Q. How many sewing machine repairers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A. One

    1. I am so sure that she didn't know the light bulb was burned out. She also didn't realize that the machine would not work unless there was power to the bulb. There was no way to know that there was no power to the bulb because she didn't know the bulb was out. Just one of those crazy situations. I am just glad that I was able to help figure it out. The 1802 is an outstanding machine.

  2. Bet she is glad she didn't listen to her friend!!!