From the recent run of Made by Monkeys posts, one comes to the inescapable conclusion that appliances of yore, sans electronics, were more robust than their computationally enhanced descendants. With cars, it's not necessarily the same deal. One can probably say that today's cars are as a rule more reliable and last longer than cars of 40 years ago. Of course, they now cost as much as a house used to, but I digress. Too bad no appliance manufacturer has found a niche making really retro appliances. Probably the parts no longer exist, even if someone wanted to.
Yes, I did arrive at the posting about Maytag appliances, but I had clicked on the one about shape-shifting materials. Eventually I did find it, but the first time was rather puzzeling as where I wanted to go was not where I arrived.
It does seem that current theme around appliance-related Made By Monkeys posts is that less is more, and older models have a longer life span than the newer models. That said, I gave up a duo of old, barebones Maytag appliances for a new-fangled Electrolux washer/dryer a couple of years ago and I have to say it's been the best household purchase I've ever made. Runs great, has all the high-tech bells and whistles yet it's simple enough to operate without having to consult with a manual at all. My kind of product! Now let's hope I didn't jinx it.
i am convinced that Management is the problem with modern appliances, not Engineering. i can't believe that any engineer would want to design a poor product; either the engineer is out of his depth (that's human, and happens to everybody sooner or later - often when put in that position by Management), or he is *directed* to do things poorly. engineers, if anything, tend to OVER-engineer, going over-budget with time and/or cost. When cheap plastic is used inappropriately, or electronic modules are exposed to dampness, or just about any other kind of foolish engineering decision has been made, it usually means that somebody OK'ed that poor design because it's cheaper-to-manufacture/quicker-to-market/.
I still have a Maytag washer and dryer about 10 years old. Had the same problem with the squirrel cage fan, the flat land part of the shaft hole was completely worn off due to heavy starts (best guess). Wound up ordering a new blower fan from a parts place on the NET. Only took about 1/2 hour to replace it including moving the dryere around to get access. An extra $0.20 metal sleeve and this would nerer have happened.
I agree that older seems to be better. However, I have escaped the problems with new appliances so far. I have a GE washer and dryer set purchased in 1977. So far, the only repairs were the inlet manifold cracked on the washer about 15 years ago and I replaced it. The dryer has had a new belt, new tub bearing and a high limit thermostat replaced. I did all this myself. I purchased and Amana refrigerator in 1987 and it has suffered three moves, and 9 years in a garage that froze in the winter and was 98 in the summer and it still works with no repairs. I also have a low end Hotpoint dishwasher that came new with the house, eleven years ago which has had no problems. I had a new 1969 Chevrolet that had factory recalls for defective water pump and motor mounts early on, but subsequently lasted for 15 years and 125,000 miles with no further problems. It was still in good condition when I sold it. I have had several small appliances that bit the dust early because of irrepairable defects, too numerous to remember. I have always taken care of my possessions and expect them to last forever.
It seems there are only 3 or 4 appliance makers in the Western world, marketed under maybe 20 brand names. Most in the U.S. are from either a Maytag or Whirlpool factory. Re dryers, I have had both types and prefer the Whirlpool design, which is recognized by the long lint filter which pulls up the top, rather than Maytag's in-door filter. The problem I had with the Maytag is that the front of the drum slides on plastic "glides". Mine started tearing up soon after each replacement. Don't know if the surface of the drum had changed, replacement parts were substandard, or it needed a lubricant like silicone spray.
The Whirlpool design supports the front drum on ball bearing rollers. It makes more noise, but rugged and less turning torque. I wish they sold Russian appliances in the U.S. Perhaps ugly and klunky, but probably as reliable as an AK-47.
For parts, I use ebay sellers that charge 1/4 the price of local appliance parts stores. For bearings, I found most are common standard sizes. If you read the numbers or measure dimensions, you can often find them quick and cheaper than a manufacturer's channel. A vacuum cleaner bearing failed and I couldn't find a way to get one via "replacement parts" except a whole assembly costing more than a new vacuum. I read the numbers, checked the internet, and found the same bearing was used in skateboard and scooter wheels. I had a replacement set of the later hanging in the garage and fixed the vacuum quick. Another time, I found a worn bearing when rebuilding a transmission. A dealer might have charged $50, plus a week to get it. A little browsing found it is used in trailer wheels, and got one that day for $5.
WHat fun...I had a VERY old (circa 1984) Washer dryer pair in my garage until a year and ahalf ago. I loved them. I rebuilt the washer once when the morot would not turn the drum. It cot me maybe 15 bucks for a new bearing. Later I replaced a leaky hose. That was it for 24 years. It finallrusted through. The dryer went the same time when I could not get a new igniter and I was tired of trying to make one froma junkyard fit.
I replaced them with a stacked unit I bought from a bank from a repossed home. It is a basic unit.
I also finlly caved into pressure from the GF that the HIDEOUS yellow referdgerator that dates from the neolithic should go. I got an energy efficent side by side with an icemaker.
Nice unitl saves me 10 a month in juice,, has an icemaker that is PROLIFIC in making ice. spilling ice on the floor. etc. also the 3 y/o grand daughter already figured out how to defeat the child lock, leading to numerous puddles until we tossed in a white flag at put a step stool infront.
WHile the intsallers also said . the new ones will not last as long as the old onse...if I get 8 to 10 years I will be fine with it. You have to change with the times .....lest yu become a grey haired frumpy dude with reading glases driving boring cars.....what a minute!
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