Q:

When you have a problem with an item that is not working, what can you do?

A:

Quick Answer

Follow a calm and logical plan for evaluating the problem, try to solve it yourself, then look for help in additional places. When evaluating and developing ideas for fixing the item, remember basic safety tips, and never try to assemble, disassemble or tamper with an item that can injure you. Know your limits, and always be careful.

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Full Answer

According to the problem solving guide by Cuesta College, the five steps to general problem solving are as follows: Specify the problem, analyze the problem, formulate possible solutions, evaluate possible solutions and finally, choose a solution. When an item ceases to function properly, follow these general steps.

Begin by trying to narrow down exactly what is wrong with the item. Does it function at all? Is it damaged? When did it stop working, and what was happening at the time? Specify what the item is, who makes it and its age as well.

Second, analyze the problem. Ask all of the "why" and "how" questions. If the problem is that the item stopped working altogether, consider how it could have happened. Use the information gathered in step one, and think through the problem in more detail.

Third, formulate possible solutions. If the item stopped working, and it runs on battery power, is it possible it needs new batteries? Write these solutions down as they come up.

Finally, read through the information that has been gathered, and choose the solution that seems best. Sometimes, the item may need repairs that are beyond your abilities,, so the final step may be to contact a professional repair person the item's manufacturer.

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