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Do Repairs Come In Threes?

repairs come in threes

My guess is that the only proof repairs come in threes depends on when you start and stop counting. My wife feels otherwise.

My wife always remarks the repairs come in threes. Whenever something breaks, she starts counting. And, I think she might be right again.

First, it was the lawn mower. You might remember my previous article about lawnmower maintenance almost five years ago. You might remember that I had never done any maintenance, which actually is typical of most folks. At that time, the mower was around ten years old when it died. So, I cleaned the air filter, changed the oil and replaced the spark plug. I added some Mechanic in a Bottle, and away we went. Working again.

But this spring, dead ago. New spark plug did not help. So, I figured fifteen years was good lifetime. I ordered a new lawnmower from Canadian Tire and waited for curbside pickup. And waited. In the meantime, I told my neighbor. He said fifteen years is nothing, his is more than twenty years old. Richard is more mechanically inclined than I am, so he started poking around. I watched him lengthen the pull cord slightly and then, lo and behold it started.

Whether actually due to maintenance or just jiggling things around, I was able to cancel my Canadian Tire order.

Second, my basement fridge started making loud, grinding noises. Could be dirt in the fan or a dying compressor. I found the compressor was making the noise and replacement are just too expensive. Third, my microwave oven went dead. I tried replacing the fuse but it died again.

Repairs Come In Threes is a Myth

So, now I have a working old mower, a dead beer fridge and a new microwave oven.

Is it really true that repairs come in threes? All I can say for sure is that they do for my wife. But, searching the literature and Internet, there is no evidence to support the “things come in threes” theory. Just another example of humans looking for patterns and finding them, even if they aren’t real. Or is it?

As I wrote this article, the washing machine died. Seventeen years old, so I guess it was time. So the mower got repaired and Hilda was left with three broken appliances: basement fridge, microwave and washing machine. Looks like she was right about the threes.

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