Two examples are our washer and waffle maker. Click on the sound files below of the actual sounds they make. Washing machines are supposed to make soothing, gurgly sounds to lull a baby to sleep. Our washing machine sounds like it's making the signal for lights-out in a prison. Likewise, waffle makers aren't supposed to be obtrusive. The kids make waffles on Sunday morning, after mom and dad have stayed up laaaaaate on Saturday night. Our waffle maker sounds like a fire is breaking out at iHop. After a couple cups of coffee, it's like a 220-volt wire attached to my gut.
So for GeekDad Day -- a.k.a Father's Day 2012 -- my daughter, 9, and son, 11, went around the house to perform a great service to their over-caffeinated dad. They performed open heart surgery to remove all the horrible beeps. It required a little research into the product schematics and a little soldering, but it was worth it. With a few minutes of work, the house was quiet again.
Step 1: Find the Source of the Noise
Step 2: Removing the Buzzer
We removed the little buzzer with a soldering iron. We were going to use special desoldering braid, but the component fell off once we touched the tip to the lead.
Step 3: Testing the Waffle Maker
Step 4: Next Up: the Washing Machine
Step 5: Finding and Disabling the Buzzer
He removed the buzzer by pulling off the electrical lead from the component. These devices are made to slip on and off.
Step 6: Testing the Washer
Lastly, we went to work on the buzzer in a power supply for the computer. The device is great in letting you save files just after the power goes out, but it has an alarm that goes off when that happens. Since power outages often happen after midnight in New England, often during peaceful snowstorms, AND OFTEN WHEN THE DREAMS OF WINGED HORSES COME, horrible alarm noises are never appropriate. Never EVER.