ImperialEagle
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Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:54 pm

For the last twenty years or so there has been a concerted effort by the manufacturers of heavy appliances to "dumb down" Americans into thinking they will be lucky to get five years of service from their new appliances. Pi$$ poor quality and lack of reliability. Cheap parts and systems that cannot be repaired. Poorly trained or inept repair people who are themselves being phased-out but in the meantime those "factory service" companies are still reaping the harvest of "basic services charges" while spending no time on the job to simply advise you to "throw-out the old and buy new"!

Here's the rant:

I am STUNNED to look through Craigslist and see all the people who want to get rid of their old Maytag Washer because it needs a belt. Or they get rid of a perfectly good and fully functional old KitchenAid (by Hobart) dishwasher just because they are remodeling! DUH!

You can replace a belt, pump or timer on an old Maytag with a screwdriver and five minutes of your time and get another 30 years good service out of it. For NO amount of money can you get that level of performance or quality on today's market. All those "front-load" washers they are pushing on the American public nowadays can't even do a good job washing-out office dust. Just look at all the products they sell to "wash" your new front-load machine with! That is to rid it of the hidden bacterial black jelly that grows in the dark confines of the machine you can't see. Like washing your clothes in a cesspool. Who ever hear of our parents needing a product to "wash" the washing machine?

The don't even make Maytags anymore! The company went bust from mis-management six years ago and Whirlpool bought the name. They Just "re-badge" their Whirlpool crap with a Maytag label and jack the price. Same thing they did when they bought KitchenAid from Hobart.
Gone are the days your GE, Whirlpool, or just about any other make Washer will last more than about five years. Ridiculous! That goes for refrigerators, stoves, and clothes dryers as well. They are being manufactured in other countries using cheap plastic parts and cheap electronic "mother Boards" that are often delivered new from the factory defective.

Speed Queen ( a VERY old American manufacturer of Washers and Dryers) is the only decent brand left being sold here nowadays. They still use steel internal parts, they are Made In America, and they have the best "from the factory" warranty in the business. They control their quality so tightly you have to get them through small independent appliance stores.

KitchenAid by Hobart used to be the very best dishwasher you could get. Now you can spend three-thousand dollars for a dishwasher that will only give you so so results---and take two hours to do it!
The old KitchenAids were considered to be a "Hurricane in a Box". They used plenty of water and could wash a load of filthy dishes and (fan) dry them in about 35 minutes. Now the new machines just piss a quart or two of water around for a couple of hours in the hopes the enzymes in the detergent can knock the soil down some.

AND, you had better buy that extended Warranty! As much of it as you can get!
If you read the "fine print" of the manufacturer's one year warranty you will see that they can claim a "power-surge" beyond their control destroyed the "mother board" and "voids" the warranty. They charge you for the service call and walk out the door leaving you to have to purchase a new replacement---hopefully ANOTHER one of their brand.

Now, people on radio talk shows may advise against it, but, they get paid to give advice they don't have to follow.
Also, they will not be there to pay for your replacement refrigerator or washer when the two-week old unit that "fried" is put out on the curb for the re-cyclers.

Whats your experience? How long did your Mom and Dads appliances last?
Whats you're rant?
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ManuCH
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:31 pm

This is interesting. In this country we've always had front-loading washing machines, and I've never seen any of them being user-serviceable, unless you're some kind of hobby mechanic.

I was amused when I saw the top-loading washing machines when I first visited the US. They looked so heavy-duty and "not nice" to me. I know washing machines are supposed to be functional, not stylish, but they just seemed plain ugly to me. "Oh, these are like those you see in the movies", I thought.

Nevertheless, the front-loading machines we use in Switzerland have a quite long life. Definitely 10+ years. Maybe not 30, but not 5 either.

So are you saying that any end-user should be able to replace a belt on a US vintage top-loading washing machine, or dryer? That's pretty much unheard of over here.

I love those cultural differences  
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zanl188
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:35 pm

I own a ten year old house, still has the original appliances. GE fridge, dishwasher, and stove. Whirlpool washer/dryer.

Had to power off the fridge once to deice the water supply line to ice maker & water dispenser. I put a door switch in the dryer a year or so ago. Other than that no issues.

YouTube is a good resource for minor appliance repairs BTW.
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zanl188
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:39 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 1):
So are you saying that any end-user should be able to replace a belt on a US vintage top-loading washing machine, or dryer? That's pretty much unheard of over here.

Which is unheard of? Needing a belt or the owner doing the work?
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ManuCH
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:45 pm

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 3):
Which is unheard of? Needing a belt or the owner doing the work?

The owner doing the work. People here usually call some company to do it. Nobody would dare to open those things themselves.
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Superfly
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:21 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Thread starter):
Whats your experience? How long did your Mom and Dads appliances last?
Whats you're rant?

Most of our appliances lasted forever. Many of the places I've rented had older appliances (1980s & 1990s vintage) that worked just fine.
About 15 years ago, the washing machine in the house I was renting had broke. It was an old Sears brand. I forgot what part it was but it was only a 2-digit part number. The guy at the service center had laughed at me because he said that part went out of production in 1966. It most likely was old as the house which was built in 1957.
That machine lasted 40 years. It sure danced around a lot in the basement when it was working.
Me & my roommates pitched in an bought a new machine and it only lasted only 5 years. Then again, we bought the cheapest one. Not sure how reliable the new top quality units last.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 1):
I know washing machines are supposed to be functional, not stylish, but they just seemed plain ugly to me.

You've got to get one in avocado green.  




I looked a retro house or should I say a house that was never remodeled a few years ago in San Francisco.
It was owned by an elderly lady that eventually passed away. That house had so much history in it. This house was like a time capsule. Lots of old appliances and technology that still worked. The house was build in 1961 and for sale by the children of the original owner. They wanted $1.9 million dollars which is a steel in San Francisco.
It had the avocado green kitchen will original working appliances. Even the dishwasher and old style refrigerator worked. The only old 'appliance' that didn't work was the old Sentinal television set. It had the old style green tube.
The house had a remote intercom system to communicate between the garage, kitchen and master bedroom. It was a wide ranch style home.


http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/DreamHouse028_zps73b03979.jpg



http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/DreamHouse001.jpg


Something I don't see in new homes is an indoor, industrial grade grill. You can have a summertime barbeque even thought it's a rainstorm outside.

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/DreamHouse026.jpg


http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/DreamHouse027.jpg
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Dreadnought
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:41 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 1):
Nevertheless, the front-loading machines we use in Switzerland have a quite long life. Definitely 10+ years. Maybe not 30, but not 5 either.

The Miele washer and dryer in my parents' house in Switzerland were delivered in 1962, and worked flawlessly for over 40 years until they were replaced about 10 years ago. The "new" units are already falling apart and ready to be replaced.

Same story with the dishwasher and electric ovens in the house - the ovens lasted also 40 years, the dishwasher maybe 30 years, and their replacements are lucky to last 10.

Of course, such machines in Switzerland in the early 60s cost a small fortune and were built accordingly. The new machines are literally half the weight of the old units, or less. I remember almost injuring myself removing the two old ovens, and how shocked I was at how light the new ones were.

In the US, the last really sturdy line of refrigerators were the old GE units from the 70s and early 80s. I still have one in the garage for drinks, and it still works great.

It's called "built-in obsolescence", and it's where the manufacturer makes sure that you are back on the market for a new unit after a few years, rather than vanish for a generation or two.
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Superfly
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:53 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
In the US, the last really sturdy line of refrigerators were the old GE units from the 70s and early 80s. I still have one in the garage for drinks, and it still works great.

That's right. My parents bought a puke yellow General Electric refrigerator in 1977.
It was one of the first ones with the water fountain and ice dispenser.
We gave it to an uncle in 1984 when we moved and he still has it today.
However that refrigerator cost my parents $700 back in 1977. That was a LOT of money back then for a refrigerator. That was almost half the price of a brand new Ford Pinto or Toyota Corolla.


What ever happened to the brand Thermador?

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NoUFO
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:56 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
The Miele washer and dryer in my parents' house in Switzerland were delivered in 1962, and worked flawlessly for over 40 years

I have a Miele too which is now 13 years old but will certainly do another 10 years. Seems you can't go wrong with Kitchen Aid or Miele appliances.

Heavy appliances don't seem to be problem, but printers are and - most importantly! - espresso machines.   I am back to a stovetop espresso maker because I no longer wish to afford a 1,000 Euro / 15 kg machine that calls itself heavy duty but goes boink or plopp after only two years. GrrrrGGGGRRRRrrrrr!
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:08 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 4):
Quoting zanl188 (Reply 3):
Which is unheard of? Needing a belt or the owner doing the work?

The owner doing the work. People here usually call some company to do it. Nobody would dare to open those things themselves.

I bought a rather low end frontloader washing machine back in 2001 after I split with my ex and moved into a place of my own (I was quite broke at this time). It has been made by some obscure brand named "Siltal" and was sold by the now closed Walmart store in CGN. It had the advantage that it would fit into the back of my old Suzuki Samurai and, using a mover´s strap, I could even pack it on my back and carry it four flights of stairs into my flat (still quite heavy).
It has been in weekly use since then (usually three loads per week, sorted by colours and usually one load of dirty working clothes). I only had to fix it once some years ago after the drive belt jumped off it´s pulleys. I would always do some troubleshooting myself before calling the service, and if possible fix the fault myself. On the other hand I´m a qualified mechanic.

But I agree that with many appliances and equipment nowadays cheap or underdimensioned parts are built in to make sure that the appliance breaks down, preferably just after the warranty period is over.

Jan
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Aesma
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:11 pm

The European Union is drafting regulations to battle built-in obsolescence and non-repairability, we'll see how it goes. Nobody will want to pay as much as what our parents paid, though, but I'm sure wonders can be done without too much investment.
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:11 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 8):
Heavy appliances don't seem to be problem, but printers are and - most importantly! - espresso machines.   I am back to a stovetop espresso maker because I no longer wish to afford a 1,000 Euro / 15 kg machine that calls itself heavy duty but goes boink or plopp after only two years. GrrrrGGGGRRRRrrrrr!

I've had a couple of those. I learned the hard way that the key is either a) a rigorous maintenance cycle, where you de-calc the machine once a week whether you think you need it or not, or b) you run the machine with distilled water only. If you let the machine calc up, you've had it.
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:28 pm

An uncle of mine builds machines to purify water, there are several models, one of which is used to remove calcium from water, that could probably help the coffee machine. One machine is entirely mechanical with many gears, lots of R&D got into it, then he discovered the Chinese had made a copy with cheap electronics instead of the mechanics, now he has an agreement with them and sells both, the Chinese one is good for the trash when it breaks. The mechanical one is used by hospitals and such.

Another uncle is into really heavy duty washing machines, many meters long ones which wash by the ton, then dry, then iron, then fold and pack clothes or sheets. He doesn't build new ones, but rather modernize old ones and sell them for cheaper than the new ones you can buy from big manufacturers that are extremely expensive. He will replace analog controls by computer ones, etc. He also sells spare parts from salvaged machines, often parts that he doesn't use for his conversions. It's incredible how many clients he has all over the world, looking for such parts for decades old machines, because the manufacturer doesn't want to produce new parts.
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ArmitageShanks
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:05 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Thread starter):
Or they get rid of a perfectly good and fully functional old KitchenAid (by Hobart) dishwasher just because they are remodeling! DUH!
Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Even the dishwasher and old style refrigerator worked.

We just remodeled our kitchen and ditched all the old appliances. We had that exact same green dishwasher and trash compactor. They were built in 1970 I believe. They were absolute CRAP appliances. Sure, they were solid and lasted 40 years but they were ugly, noisy, and not really good at their job. They took forever, were loud, and used a ton of electricity. We replaced them with efficient stainless steel models and couldn't be happier.
 
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:09 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 12):
It's incredible how many clients he has all over the world, looking for such parts for decades old machines, because the manufacturer doesn't want to produce new parts.

It is the same with industrial machine tools. Often the mechanical parts e.g. of a CNC mill from the 1980s is still ok, but omething in the computers is damaged. There is still a market for oldstyle pre-VGA monitors and old microprocessors.

Jan
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Superfly
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:18 pm

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 13):
Sure, they were solid and lasted 40 years but they were ugly, noisy, and not really good at their job. They took forever, were loud, and used a ton of electricity. We replaced them with efficient stainless steel models and couldn't be happier.

That hasn't been my experience. The one appliance I prefer to be loud is the air conditioner. The air conditioner in my condo here in Bangkok is like having a Boeing 707 spooling up over my bed. It puts me to sleep faster and drowns out any outside noise.
I do like the looks of the new stainless steel kitchen appliances.
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:57 pm

If you want appliances that will last forever buy Gaggenau, if you have stupid amounts of money to spend buy AGA, Electrolux Grand Cuisine or Molteni. There are two reasons to dump old working appliances, first is they don't fit in with modern design and the second is they use huge amounts of electricity, significantly more than modern appliances.
 
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:02 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
That hasn't been my experience. The one appliance I prefer to be loud is the air conditioner. The air conditioner in my condo here in Bangkok is like having a Boeing 707 spooling up over my bed. It puts me to sleep faster and drowns out any outside noise.

The airconditioner I have in my bedroom (in a converted attic under a black slate roof, in summer it tends to heat up to 50 degrees centigrade and I can´t sleep there like this after nightshift) is quite noisy. I don´t mind the continous noise, but the compressor starting and stopping (and a big contactor inside) always give a start.

Jan
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:13 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 8):
but printers

Well I still use my old HP960c I bought in 2002. It still works well when I need it. While I'm at it, I still use my old Dell desk top computer that is almost 12 years old. Until a year and a half ago it worked almost perfectly. Since it has become a bit of a snail after it slightly overheated because of a very comfy layer of dust inside.
 
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:44 pm

It's not that hard to take to cover off of a Dell laptop and use a soft paintbrush and a can of air to clean it out. If it has a P4 processor inside it will slow down by 20% if the temp sensor detects an overheat condition.

In our last house we had that GE P7 stacked oven, in avocado too. Best oven we ever owned. It held temperatures rock solid. Nothing could beat it's self cleaning abilities. It came with the house which was built in 1969.

I am aware of the "don't fix it, just throw it away and buy a new one" mentality. Same thing happened with our washer. A small part broke and three different washer service companies told me it would be too expensive to fix just throw the machine away.
I found the part needed online for $25.00 and repaired it myself.

Also be aware of any contracts you may have concerning cell phones or cable/sat service. A friend of mine's wife got a phone call in March from Verizon telling her that her cell phone contract was going to expire very soon and if she didn't want her cell phone disconnected she would have to renew her contract IMMEDIATELY! So she renewed for another two years. When she told her husband, he checked their contract. They had another 6 months to go on the current contract. Let me tell you, if your contract expires they won't disconnect you. You'll just go month to month. These companies prey on people who don't have any idea how these things work.
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:49 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):

Now that's what I call a front-loader!  Wow!
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:20 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 1):
In this country we've always had front-loading washing machines

Yes and those manufacturers that provide your machines have gone down a learning curve and provide you with decent products-----at the moment---maybe. Trust me---greed and time will change that just like it did here in the US ------UNLESS the citizens of your country raise hell and refuse to buy crap! In our country people are like dumb sheep. Whatever the appliance manufacturers or the Government tells them---they believe!
"Oh the front-loaders save SOOOOO much money----use sooooo much less detergent and water, etc.
Well that may be so if you do six loads of laundry every day of the year. But if you are like most normal people you do two or three loads a week. At that rate it would take ten years or so to realize any significant cost savings and the damned thing will be dead before that anyway. We are still pretty lucky here in the US because water is still pretty cheap in the big picture. What the Government does NOT say is that it is the WATER that cleans the clothes or your dishes! What a concept! What are we supposed to do? Use buckets of dust to wash with?  
Quoting ManuCH (Reply 1):
the front-loading machines we use in Switzerland have a quite long life

Well, I wish all of ya'll well in the future because the new stuff sold here in the US is crap for the most part and Americans are dumb enough to just take it without protest. "Can I have another sir?". Get a year or two out of a new refrigerator and set it out on the curb when the mother-board fries. Go buy another.

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 2):
I own a ten year old house, still has the original appliances. GE fridge, dishwasher, and stove. Whirlpool washer/dryer.

For heavens sake hang on to them until they die! Find an old repairman who knows how to work on them and they will last forever. Nowadays the young repair-droids have never even seen an old machine before. They are taught to tell you the parts are now NLA and you just need to throw it out and buy new. Of course, they don't mention that the new trash cannot be repaired at all if it craps-out!

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 4):
Nobody would dare to open those things themselves.

Well, there are a lot of the old designs that were fairly complicated---at least you needed some mechanical experience to work on them. The old Maytags were very simple which is why they lasted forever. All you had to do to change the belts was lean the machine back against the wall behind it and reach under the bottom of the machine. You could change them by hand. Don't even need a screw-driver.  
Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Most of our appliances lasted forever

Yes, those were the days   

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
It was an old Sears

Likely an old belt-drive built for Sears by Whirlpool (back when Whirlpool's were great machines!).

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Even the dishwasher

THAT is an old Hobart-built Kitchen Aid! Those are the best dishwashers EVER and anyone who says their's needs replacing either has a repair issue or their machine needs refurbishment.
NOTHING new on the market cleans and dries like that at any price---bar none!
Those were the "Hurricane in a Box" machines. They were loud because they used WATER! What a concept!     
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
The Miele washer and dryer in my parents' house in Switzerland were delivered in 1962, and worked flawlessly for over 40 years until they were replaced about 10 years ago. The "new" units are already falling apart and ready to be replaced.

It's a shame. Miele is no different these days. I think they make the best imported dishwashers for the American market. They just take take forever to do a cycle because our Government is forcing the manufacturers to use less and less water at the expense of sacrificing performance. Duh! I bought an expensive as hell Miele upright vacuum cleaner a few years ago and really like it. It is a bit cumbersome and heavy to use yet does a good job. We'll see how long it lasts.
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
It's called "built-in obsolescence", and it's where the manufacturer makes sure that you are back on the market for a new unit after a few years, rather than vanish for a generation or two.

Yes, and it is damned annoying.   The thing that has really changed with time is that the large companies who now manufacture most brands under the GE or Whirlpool label depend on Americans who remember how their parents machines lasted forever. They are counting on people to buy their NEW crap based on previous experience with the brand. What the customer is now discovering is that there is no point in buying a more expensive unit because the added price no longer buys a higher level of quality. The name Whirlpool and GE no longer stand for quality.
It's a real shame.
And now we have a big Asian firm called LG that is selling their poorly built plastic crap. They don't even have a service network built-up here yet. I see people at the "big box" appliance stores buying LG crap and I cringe just knowing whats in store for them. Good luck! They will need it!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
What ever happened to the brand Thermador?

They are still around. I have a friend who just bought about 75K worth of their new stuff for his estate kitchen. Half of it was either defective or damaged---new out of the box! Ridiculous!

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 8):
Seems you can't go wrong with Kitchen Aid or Miele appliances.

Sorry to say it but Hobart sold-off their "home" division of Kitchen Aid appliances back in the late eighties to Whirlpool. For the first five years or so Whirlpool did not fool around with them. Then by the mid-ninties they began to cheapen the products just like they did with all the other labels they built for. Now a Kitchen Aid dishwasher is just a Whirlpool with a different label. Plastic crap.
Miele too---ain't what they used to be and never will be again.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 10):
drafting regulations to battle built-in obsolescence and non-repairability,

OMG! Good for them! I don't usually care much for Government interference in the free market yet that sounds like a good thing for consumers--------at least until the manufacturers find a way around it.   

Quoting Aesma (Reply 12):
Another uncle is into really heavy duty washing machines, many meters long ones which wash by the ton, then dry, then iron, then fold and pack clothes or sheets. He doesn't build new ones, but rather modernize old ones and sell them for cheaper than the new ones you can buy from big manufacturers that are extremely expensive. He will replace analog controls by computer ones, etc. He also sells spare parts from salvaged machines, often parts that he doesn't use for his conversions. It's incredible how many clients he has all over the world, looking for such parts for decades old machines, because the manufacturer doesn't want to produce new parts.

I would LOVE to meet him! I also tinker with old appliance restoration in my spare time however not on the level of your uncle.

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 13):
and couldn't be happier.

O.K. Mazel! You will need it!

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 13):
ditched all the old appliances.

Remember who gave you the bad news! You will rue the day you got rid of the old stuff. You will see. Sorry.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 16):
There are two reasons to dump old working appliances, first is they don't fit in with modern design and the second is they use huge amounts of electricity, significantly more than modern appliances.

It cannot be denied that the old stuff LOOKS old. I have a pair of 1962 Maytags in Turquoise. Yeah, they look dated but they are gorgeous! (They are still going strong and perform beautifully!)

As far as the amount of energy the old stuff uses, there are plenty of times that the difference is slight. A single person or two to three people in a household does not consume a significant amount of water/electricity compared to a family of ten! Things have to be put into prospective. I heard a sales-pitch from an Electrolux/White-Westinghouse rep once who went on and on about how much water and detergent their new front-loaders could save. What he didn't mention was that it would take TWO loads to wash the same amount of clothing a top-loader could do in ONE load. There isn't a bit of savings.

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 13):
noisy

It's noisy because it uses water to clean with!
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:34 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 21):
It's noisy because it uses water to clean with!

That's the thing... it sucked at cleaning dishes. Don't even get me started on that crappy trash compactor.
 
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:41 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 21):
Those were the "Hurricane in a Box" machines. They were loud because they used WATER! What a concept!

Over here we have been told since the 1970s to save water. Water consumption has gone down big time since then, partially also because water (and sewage, which is calculated from the amount of fresh water used) have become quite expensive.
Now some countries have a problem with water shortages, but Germany is definitely not onr of them (watching the rain outside while I type this post).
The decrease of water consumption lead to various problems, e.g. that dirt in the sewage lines doesnt get flushed downstreams to the sewage processing plants anymore and cloggs up the pipes, causing expensive maintenance, which drives sewage costs up. Or potable water pipes which will have to be flushed by simply opening fire hydrants to let the water run out (flushing the sewage system at the same time), to prevent the water from becoming stagnant and contaminated with bacteria in the water pipes.

Jan
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:28 pm

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 22):
it sucked at cleaning dishes

If a Hobart built Kitchen Aid appliance does not perform it needs a repair of some sort. Period.
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sccutler
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:28 pm

Singin' my song.

When wifie and I got married (30 years ago!!!), mother in law gave us her "old" Maytag washer and dryer (probably vintage 1971 or so), and those traveled with us to California and back, serving well with the following repairs: 1. New drain hose on washer; 2. New timing motor; 3. New heating element on dryer. I did those repairs myself, very easily.

We finally replaced these both with new Maytags, which were apparently new enough that they were not nearly as good; very disappointing. Still, they lasted us ten years or so, and the dryer was still working just fine, but the washer was in severe distress (transmission was failing), so we replaced both, giving the dryer to a family in need, where it soldiers on still.

We still have a Kitchen Aid by Hobart dishwasher, pretty much identical to the one shown above (and it was olive green when new, too!), and it soldiers on without issue. It is noisy, but I could not care less, as we are typically in bed when it's running. It is 46 years old now.

The Sears Kenmore range we bought when we bough the house (1992 - my how time, she flies) stopped holding temp, and Sears told me the controller was no longer available (think it was OEMed from Whirlpool, not sure). I would have gladly replaced it with a manual controller for $30.00, but found a guy in Oklahoma who reworked it and sent it back perfect, less than a C-note. Rest of the range is fine (what's to wear out? It's wire and heating elements!).

I salute any effort to discourage the "throwaway" mentality - very rarely do we achieve any meaningful improvement in function when appliances are replaced, and the old units so often end up in landfills. As a true fiscal conservative, I hate waste, so here's a place where a conservative is "green" and promoting conservation.
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:14 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 25):
We finally replaced these both with new Maytags, which were apparently new enough that they were not nearly as good; very disappointing. Still, they lasted us ten years or so, and the dryer was still working just fine, but the washer was in severe distress (transmission was failing), so we replaced both, giving the dryer to a family in need, where it soldiers on still.

Maytag began as a company that built superior farm-implements. Then they added gas stoves and wringer-washers. Many a farm-wife was delighted to have a washing machine and in the 1920's most farms had no electricity. Maytag made gasoline-powered wringer-washers with very dependable little engines. There was a little start-pedal that was easy to push. They also had an "agitator" that really worked. During WWII Maytag supplied a million gasoline wringer-washers to the soldiers in the field so they could have clean clothes. After WWII they began their long-line of dependable Automatic Washers and all those soldiers remembered what had washed their clothes during the war! Best "PR" Maytag ever had! Word of mouth did the rest. Maytag provided a superior machine.
When the last of the Maytag family members passed-on (Bud Maytag of National Airlines fame) the company was taken over by a bunch of corporate miss-fits. They began to cheapen the products right away. They switched the tried and true washer transmissions to a "short-stroke" "Orbital" design which did not prove as reliable as the old "Newton" units. They designed (at GREAT expense) a new front-load washer and dryer set called the "Neptune". These debuted in about 1997. Then the company went on a buying spree. Since they had no experience with refrigeration they bought Amana. They then cherry-picked that design and still managed to ruin it. The early (and expensive) Maytag refrigerators were a nightmare for both consumer and that (not so lonely by then) Maytag repairman. They had already purchased Jenn-Aire for some TOL products so they then bought Magic Chef to be sure they had a large established factory down in Tennessee to manufacture POS appliances. In the meantime the public was discovering that the Maytag name no longer stood for quality in many of their product line. By 2004 they were broke.
Whirlpool bought them out and immediately layed-off all those wonderful employees who had built the "Cadillac" of American washers for years. They then finally shut-down the old Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa.
Anything built since then with a Maytag label is REALLY a Whirlpool in disguise. Plastic crap.

BTW, The Maytag farm is all that is left that is really "Maytag". If you live here in the US and enjoy Blue Cheese and White Cheddar, the Maytag Farm sells some award winning stuff! Just go online.   

Quoting sccutler (Reply 25):
It is 46 years old now.

Mine is a '72 and it soldiers on cleaning my dishes perfectly and the fan-forced drying system ( and Institutional Cascade detergent) gives me spotlessly dry dishes every time!
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:24 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Thread starter):
Whats you're rant?

You get what you pay for at the end of the day.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 1):
I was amused when I saw the top-loading washing machines when I first visited the US.

We have them here in Australia too. They are what the majority of people have in their homes.

I made the change over to a front loader 20+ years ago, and am now on my second machine. Its an Asko, made in Sweden, cost approx AUS$1,800 dollars.

Many people hesitate at the cost, and decide to buy cheaper top loading models, but its false economy, as within years they are back having to buy another one.

I would never go back to a top loader after owning a front. They are so much more efficient to use, from water consumption to being gentler on the clothes, and they wash much better generally.
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fr8mech
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:36 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 1):
So are you saying that any end-user should be able to replace a belt on a US vintage top-loading washing machine, or dryer? That's pretty much unheard of over here.

I've changed the transmission coupler on a 12 year old washing machine...the thing lasted another 5 years until the tub finally rusted out. I've changed a circuit board on an oven and replaced some packings and a door gasket on a dishwasher. I've replaced the ice-maker on an old beer fridge and just recently repaired the door latch on a microwave. Never had to open up a dryer though.

The internet has just made it easier. Service manuals, pictures, exploded views, videos, repair forums...if it's broke, chances are it broke for someone before and there is information out there. Appliance repair is no longer the exclusive province of the appliance repairman.

I will add to the front-load rant. My gosh, the thing was junk. It made noise, the seal kept getting slimy and if you didn't leave the door open for a couple of hours after the last load, you would get a lovely aroma the next time you opened the door. I've had to replace the door gasket...that sucked. I finally gave up when the door latch started to fail...locked. That machine lasted 6 years. I'm sure I could have kept it going, but decided it wasn't worth the hassle anymore.

[Edited 2013-09-08 16:39:34]
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Aesma
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:04 am

Here front loaders are common too, although top loaders have a place in condos where space is limited, stacked between other things. I must say I have never heard of products destined to wash the washing machine.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 23):
The decrease of water consumption lead to various problems, e.g. that dirt in the sewage lines doesnt get flushed downstreams to the sewage processing plants anymore and cloggs up the pipes, causing expensive maintenance, which drives sewage costs up. Or potable water pipes which will have to be flushed by simply opening fire hydrants to let the water run out (flushing the sewage system at the same time), to prevent the water from becoming stagnant and contaminated with bacteria in the water pipes.

Such problems are expected when you change usage patterns (like with the low flow urinals in a building in the US that caused urine to destroy copper pipes), but the cost of water is not really related to the availability of it, but with the cost of cleaning it up. If you use lots of water, cleaning it up is more expensive, you need larger facilities, etc.

My parents have a vacation home in Brittany and there water is very expensive because it has to be treated BEFORE you get it to the tap, thanks to mass production of pork in the region.
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:08 am

As a mechanic for me throwing something repairable away is like surrendering. The problem though is that I have my barn full of old machines, where I eventually hope to find the time to repair them. In fact I can make most metal and plastic parts myself, but I still hope that I can find a good secondhand lathe and milling machine.
I´m always tinkering with something or building something, usually from metal. I have a forge (selfbuilt) and welding equipemt reaching from oxygen-acetylen to TIG. I also have a small electrics / electronics shop at home.

Btw., there is trend now to repair defective equipment intead of throwing it away.

Jan
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fr8mech
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:31 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 29):
I must say I have never heard of products destined to wash the washing machine.

My opinion: the reason there is an increase in the 'need' for these types of products is the new, low water usage technology being used in modern washers (clothes and dish). I suspect that the reduced amount of water results in more residue remaining in the machine, contributing to lower efficiency and odor.

This product seems to be the front runner. I recieved a sample of this product when I bought my new washer a couple of months ago. It was the first thing I ran through the machine in order to ensure that the manufacturing oils and swarf were gone. I haven't found the need to run another through there...though I have noticed, if I leave the lid down on the machine, it does emit a slight odor, that didn't exist in the top loader I got rid of 6 years ago.
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:33 am

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 27):
We have them here in Australia too. They are what the majority of people have in their homes.

I made the change over to a front loader 20+ years ago

  

Living in the UK for 16 years is probably part of it, but I wouldn't go back to a top-loader.

One that hasn't been mentioned yet: COMPUTERS. When I was at school in the early 2000s we had 20 year old Archimedes computers, which were going strong after decades of daily use. My last Toshiba laptop lasted less than 3 years...

Part of it, though, is cost. Many people these days would rather spend $500 every 3 years than $1500 and have it go for more than a decade. The manufacturers are definitely to blame for "built in obsolescence" but there is also an element of caveat emptor
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:35 am

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 28):
My gosh, the thing was junk
Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 28):
That machine lasted 6 years.

Yes they are junk and you were lucky to get six years out of it.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 29):
I must say I have never heard of products destined to wash the washing machine.

The REAL reason they sell a detergent to clean the washing machine is that there has been a further "dumbing-down" of Americans. The Government working with the detergent manufacturers reccomends you wash with cold water whenever possible. The detergent manufacturers also market special "Cold Water" Detergents.

To save tons of money the ads go, use cold wash and cold water detergent and you will save hundreds of dollars a year in laundry costs.

That is the WORST possible advice they could give you and they don't care.

ALWAYS wash fabrics in as hot a water as they can stand. Use chlorine bleach such as Clorox on all whites. This is the best way to eliminate the dreaded black jelly and all the associated odors. The bonus is that your clothes will be MUCH cleaner. Use a cold rinse if you like, but only in the summer. You should use a warm rinse in the winter when the water coming from the cold water pipe is too cold to do a good job of rinsing---especially towels, jeans and heavy fabrics. I have a friend in appliance repair that refers to the cold wash/cold rinse setting as the "trailer" setting. The inference is that only trashy people would ever use that setting.

The European machines automatically heat their own water and many people choose to use boiling hot water on their whites rather than chlorine bleach. American machines are at the mercy of whatever temperature the water heater is set at. Personally I have a machine dedicated to just my white underwear and heavy towels. I have it set-up to use only hot water for both wash and rinse. Those clothes are always spotless and the towels fluffy and clean. Not one of my machines EVER stinks.
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solarflyer22
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:39 am

I'm going to have jump in on the side that newer is better. I like to purchase products made in the USA wherever possible though its true that Miele and LG are great brands. In general the quality trend is definitely downward.

I like the new stainless steel styles. I like a contemporary look and feel with LED lights and digital readouts and programmable clothes washers. None of those things are available from 1960. lol. Though I acknowledge the build quality in the past is very high. I just accept that I replace things with the advent of new technologies (much like a PC) so I never get anything top of the line. I am sure the next gen will have internet connectivity and remote start options.
 
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:06 am

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 33):
To save tons of money the ads go, use cold wash and cold water detergent and you will save hundreds of dollars a year in laundry costs.

That is the WORST possible advice they could give you and they don't care.

So basically, you want to say "GET OFF MY LAWN". To hell with trying to do the right thing environmentally. Quite frankly, I prefer the front loaders. They make things so much easier, IMO.

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StuckInCA
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:10 am

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 2):
I own a ten year old house, still has the original appliances. GE fridge, dishwasher, and stove. Whirlpool washer/dryer.

I'd start planning a replacement budget. From what I understand, these things are now designed with a 10 year lifespan under "normal" use. Of course, that may not be accurate, but it's what I've heard.

My house got just a bit over 10 years and my high end Whirlpool refrigerator suffered a major failure not worth fixing. I have also replaced my garbage disposal and repaired my dishwasher, washer and dryer.

I expect the water heater is next.
 
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:18 am

We are on our fourth cloths washer in 46 years. We just replaced the third. Our last one lasted 7 years, and literally exploded during the high spin cycle. Front loader, Sears best. I will be amazed if this new one lasts 5 years, a weird one, no agitator. Sears again. In 46 years here, we have had 2 dryers, both lasting over 20 years each. Four dishwashers so far.
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kl838
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:50 am

The average person doesn't bother with replacing or fixing any of their appliances, my dad's business is to sell and provide parts and service for Electrolux-Frigidaire. I am not sure why no one has really mentioned Frigidaire, they are very reasonably priced and I think provide quite quality products. Sure they are no Maytag or whatever but most the time it works, these new features on LG won't ever last and are just for the initial wow factor.

Because of my dad those are all the appliances we use at home, and I can tell you we only have had 2 stoves and 2 fridges in my entire lifetime so about 21 years and are still going. Sure there are slight hiccups here and there, but like my dad always says, with Frigidaire once you changed the trouble part it would continue without any problems. I am sure that is the same for others as well.
 
daviation
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:07 am

I don't agree with this premise at all. I've had American-made appliances of all kinds - oven, range, front-loading washer, refrigerator - and they have all lasted at least 10 - 15 years with no problems of any kind.

My front-load washer gets the clothes absolutely clean with a minimum of water, and there has never been any odor or sludge. My dishwasher quietly washes the most dreadfully soiled dishes (I refuse to rinse them; that's why I have a dishwasher!). The side-by-side refrigerator still makes lovely ice and cold water on the door!

I'm not sure I understand the problem. I think the appliances I bought in the last 5 - 10 - 15 years are much better than their predecessors.
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:04 am

I also agree that newer is better; you just have to not buy the absolute cheapest rubbish available. The newer appliances just do a better job, period- especially dishwashers.

I can't be bothered to do the research but I'd wager back in the 50s the cheapest appliances were significantly more expensive as a percentage of monthly income than they are now. But that doesn't mean you can't get a quality product; you just have to pay a bit more. And of course do your research.
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:29 am

Quoting daviation (Reply 39):
My dishwasher quietly washes the most dreadfully soiled dishes (I refuse to rinse them; that's why I have a dishwasher!)

That's what you are supposed to do. Just get rid of the large chunks of food and put the dishes, unrinsed in the dishwasher. Why? Because today's dishwasher detergents have enzymes built into them. These are designed to dissolve any left over food waste in the wash cycle. If you put your dishes in the dishwasher pre-rinsed then the enzymes don't have anything to dissolve and eventually will start dissolving the finish on your plates. So no pre-rinsing, just put them in as they come off the table.
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StuckInCA
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:35 am

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 40):
I can't be bothered to do the research
Quoting zckls04 (Reply 40):
And of course do your research.

I'm not sure what to add.
 
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:10 am

Superfly that is the epitome of cool !
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mham001
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:08 am

I was ecstatic to buy an early front loading Maytag Neptune about 15 years ago. Running off a small solar power system and well water pumped by solar, I was looking for the best electrical efficiency and least water use. I got it for $600 at the time. A matching gas dryer was $300. I have had zero problems with the washer, although it did not get heavy use until kids came along 6 years ago. I have noticed some slime in the door seal but no mold like some had. No problems whatsoever. We rarely use the dryer, sunshine works best there.

I have no problems with 5+ year old refrigerators. GE or the Whirlpool brands, in fact I bought 3 of them, 5-8 years old, just last month for rental units. I think all were made or assembled in the US. They replaced 6 year old Haiers, a cheap Chinese model sold in Fry's Electronics. Supposedly surprisingly efficient, they were pretty much junk.
 
MIAspotter
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:36 am

I remember back in 1986 my mom bought a Panasonic VHS, that thing was rock solid and lasted until 2002, I watched endless movies, my mom recorded her soap operas, concerts, etc. I took it to my friend´s houses (obviously to watch porn  ) and for maintenance all it wanted was a tape head cleaner run every so often.

It even survived a lightning strike in our building!

She also had an Oyster blender, she bought it in 1974 and even in 1995 it looked spanking new, she would clean it thoroughly and when it break down she would take it to a repair shop to get it fixed, the only thing was that if you break the glass vase you would be screwed since they didn´t make them anymore, you could only find the cheaper plastic version. (it never happenned anyways)

It looked kind of like this:
http://bimg1.mlstatic.com/licuadora-oster-cromada-4655-3-vel-vaso-de-vidriolibro_MCO-F-4535231641_062013.jpg

MIAspotter.

[Edited 2013-09-09 02:36:50]
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:47 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 29):
Such problems are expected when you change usage patterns (like with the low flow urinals in a building in the US that caused urine to destroy copper pipes), but the cost of water is not really related to the availability of it, but with the cost of cleaning it up. If you use lots of water, cleaning it up is more expensive, you need larger facilities, etc.

Actually in Germany, and especially in the former GDR, water vand sewage treatment facilities are often overdimensioned due to an expected development of the population and shadowy practices while handing out the orders after the re-unification. So a smaller amount of users has to pay for facilities which are designed for a much bigger population and water consumption.

Jan
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:29 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 35):
To hell with trying to do the right thing

Not sure what you mean by that but I prefer to remain on-topic with this.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 37):
a weird one, no agitator.

Yes, unfortunately it is a POS. IF you still have time return them! Then go on Speed Queen's website add your zipcode and it will tell you which store near you have their laundry equipment. It is the best laundry equipment you can buy in the US today hands-down and has the warranty to back that up.

Quoting daviation (Reply 39):
I think the appliances I bought in the last 5 - 10 - 15 years are much better than their predecessors. OK, Mazel! You will need it! BTW is that washing machine washing heavy grease and lots of ground in dirt because you are a mechanic, or you play football, baseball on the weekends, or run a dairy farm? Or is it washing "office dust"? Just curious.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 41):
If you put your dishes in the dishwasher pre-rinsed then the enzymes don't have anything to dissolve and eventually will start dissolving the finish on your plates. So no pre-rinsing, just put them in as they come off the table.

Yes. It really is a problem for pre-rinsers because it will etch glasses and dishes if there is nothing there to go after.
The old phosphated detergents were MUCH better and safer. Remember when glasses and flatware came out sparkling clean? Can't say that now especially if you have hard-water.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 44):
an early front loading Maytag Neptune about 15 years ago

Yes. The first two years they really did put out a quality Neptune pair. They did do a free modification to the door boot on the washer to eliminate the black jelly build-up problem. I have friends down in Mobile, AL with a first year set and they have NEVER needed a repair!
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
offloaded
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:23 pm

Probably a rather unusual purchase for a house in rural Gloucestershire, England back then, but in the 50s, my aunt and uncle bought an American GE cooker. I seem to remember my uncle needed to replace one of the rings in the 80s, but it still works perfectly to this very day.

My oldest appliance is my AEG washing machine which is around 12 years old. Although I am absolutely on the side of repairing rather than replacing, I can't ignore just now much more energy efficient new appliances are. My in-laws recent replaced their central heating boiler (from the 70s) and they have more than halfed their gas bill. The fact is that our energy bills (here in Portugal anyway) are probably 3x what you guys in the US are paying.
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Revelation
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RE: Crappy New Heavy Appliances In The US

Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:49 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 4):

The owner doing the work. People here usually call some company to do it. Nobody would dare to open those things themselves.

That's surprising. Aren't you Swiss the ones with rifles in the closets ready to go off to war at a moment's notice? Seems you'd be better at dealing with a washing machine fault.

As for me, I bought simple/basic Maytag washer and dryer in 2001 and both are going strong. If I replace them, it'll be because I moved in 2010 and now they are on the main floor as opposed to the basement in my old place, and they are rather loud. OTOH, the odds of me spending $$$ to replace them just because of the noise are not high.
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