Recording repair data - FAQs

For the full guide on recording repair data, see this topic.

Recording repair data FAQs

Product categories

Other information


Product categories

Sometimes when logging data it might not be clear exactly which category an item should belong to. Here are some frequently asked questions on categorisation.

Electric bikes and bike accessories

“We’ve just fixed our first electric bike, which I think will give us a categorisation problem…”

Bikes are an interesting item in that people bringing in bikes aren’t usually looking for a welding job, it’s normally a component or accessory repair, e.g. tire or lights, and they are unlikely to throw the whole bike away if the lights can’t be fixed. Bike accessories can be powered or unpowered and should therefore be categorised appropriately. For example:

Bike light :bulb:

  • Powered
  • Category = “Decorative or safety lights”
  • What is it? = “Bicycle light”

Bike battery :battery:

  • Powered
  • Category = “Misc” (“None of the above”)
  • Weight estimate = 3 kg (or whatever)
  • What is it? = “eBike battery”

Bike tire :wheel:

  • Unpowered
  • Category = “Bicycle“
  • Weight estimate = 0.5 kg (or whatever)
  • What is it? = “Bicycle tire”

Flat screens

“The sizes in the flat screen categories don’t go high enough… e.g we’re seeing screens 40” and above”

We’re looking at updating our flat screen categories, and also looking at alternative ways of recording sizes. For now, please choose the category closest to the size of the screen you have, and if possible record the actual size of the screen in the notes.

Why is there a mix of specific categories and general categories?

“Why are there e.g. specific categories for Kettles and Toasters, but also a general category for Small Kitchen Items?”

When adding new categories to the Fixometer there are a few things to be considered.

Firstly, the Fixometer is used to calculate environmental impacts, for which we need something called a life cycle assessment (LCA) for each specific category of product. LCAs are hard to find for all categories, so for some items we have generic categories with an estimate for that category.

Secondly, too many categories could result in a long list of categories to choose from - this could get unwieldy, especially on smaller devices, and the number of choices can cause confusion resulting in wrong selections and people being put off entering their data when it becomes too much of a chore.

Over time we wish to improve the data collection interface such that you simply need to type in a value for the ‘What is it?’ and the Fixometer will do the rest in auto-suggesting an appropriate category. Until that time, use the ‘What is it?’ field to record the actual item, and if/when we do introduce new categories we can use that field to re-assign the category behind the scenes.

Other information

What are the weight estimates for? How do they work?

Weight estimates help to calculate the environmental impact of the items that have been fixed. We know it is not possible to log the weight for all items, and where possible we use an average value for a product category.

Here’s how it works:

  • For both powered and unpowered items categorised as “Misc” (“None of the above”), impact calculations require a weight estimate.
  • For powered items with a known category, calculations will ignore any estimate entered, and the weight of the category is always used.
  • For unpowered with a known category, calculations will look for an estimate first and fall back to the weight of the category if there is no estimate.

How do we log ‘repairable’ items that are seen at more than one event?

For the time being, we recommend logging items every time they are brought to an event. Here’s why…

Only items that are marked as ‘repaired’ count towards a group/event’s environmental impact stats. So if a toaster (or something) isn’t fixed at a first event, but is at a second, it will only count to the amount of waste and CO2e saved once.

For the number of items seen at events, it’s best to think about the overall stats as the ‘number of repairs attempted’ - i.e. the number of times volunteers helped someone with a repair, rather than the number of items they attempted to fix.

That said, the number of items that were deemed ‘repaired’ or ‘end of life’ should still be pretty accurate, as this assessment tends to be made just once per item.