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Honored Contributor
Posts: 24,011
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive

I've been intrigued by the idea of a company making 'bullet-proof' appliances with modular components that would be user repairable when they broke. Simply undo a bolt, slide out the bad part, slide in the replacement, insert the bolt, plug it back in and you're good to go. I think washers and dryers would be fairly easy to design in such a manner if you kept them simple. You'd need to use lots of stainless steel, aluminum, plastic/composites to prevent corrosion issues, but I think it's doable.

 

You'd need to use the best possible bearings and probably more direct drive components as opposed to belt driven components, but I think it's doable for around $500 per device. That's a manufacturer's cost not retail. Sold direct to the public you'd probably be looking at a retail price of $750 or so. These wouldn't be fancy schmancy machines with a billion cycles and lots of extras, but good, rock solid, largely unbreakable devices that the average ten year old could service.

 

The question is, what kind of a market would there be for such devices? I would think laundromats would love them. Would the average homemaker be willing to pay extra to get a troublefree product or are they stuck in trying to outdo others with more features/cycles? I know a lot of home owners buy appliances as much to impress people as for their functionality. These wouldn't be impressive, just work forever and be largely troublefree.

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!
Super Contributor
Posts: 337
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive

All of my kitchen appliances are 15 years old. I really should have replaced the fridge a couple of years ago, but as someone mentioned earlier, it is impossible to find appliances in almond!

At this point, I am not sure what to do, just replace the fridge and know it won't match? One of these days, that poor fridge is just going to stop working altogether and then I am going to be in a real pickle!
Honored Contributor
Posts: 24,011
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive


@Allegedly wrote:
All of my kitchen appliances are 15 years old. I really should have replaced the fridge a couple of years ago, but as someone mentioned earlier, it is impossible to find appliances in almond!

At this point, I am not sure what to do, just replace the fridge and know it won't match? One of these days, that poor fridge is just going to stop working altogether and then I am going to be in a real pickle!

There is the option of buying a white fridge and then painting it to match your other appliances. You can buy do it yourself paint kits for appliances or a local auto body shop could even paint it for you to match your existing appliances. It's not much different from painting a car and for a relatively small sum any body shop that's not horribly backed up with work could do the job for you. With the equipment they have available (power sanders, paint booth, sprayers, etc.) it would be a pretty easy job for them. It would likely void your warranty, but warranties aren't generally worth all that much anyway.

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,420
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive


@Silverandgold wrote:

I agree with everything you mentioned. I"ve learned my lesson.  Bought a Maytag dryer which was not cheap. It didn't even last 4 yrs, couldn't be fixed (had repair person a couple of times) so I went out  & bought a Hotpoint (GE's low end).  It is very basic and is performing much better than my Maytag with all the bells & whistles.  I've had the same experience with a dishwasher.  It's people's perception of things, not necessarily what are the facts.

 


I've always believed the more bells & whistles, the more likley it'll have problems.   I recently bought a samsung galaxy refrigerator and I'm still annoyed I got one with the ice/water in the door!! I haven't had a water line installed yet- maybe I'll appreciate it more when that time comes. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,420
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive

[ Edited ]

@momtochloe wrote:

I can't even tell you how old my washer is.  I don't even want to think about it!  But when I do go to replace it, it will be with the most *ahem* cost effective one I can lay my hands on . . . Smiley Happy


The only thing that went on my washer from 1986 is the on/off knob - it broke off when I went to 'pull' it on. Rmemeber that;'s how washing machines went  'on' back then?! It worked perfectly otherwise. I went out and bought a front loading washer  that was highly recommended - I hated that thing!!!  Within 2 years I ended up donating it to Habitat for Humaity and bought a top loader- a real basic  model made jsut for Lowe's. It's been terrific!

 

And I still have the dryer from 1986 .... going on 30 years old!  I clear the lint out every so often, change the dryer duct as needed and it's been terrific.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,558
Registered: ‎06-25-2012

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive

Appliances from 1986??? Oh come on! Who cares how "good" it works my new appliance not only work great they save a heck of a lot more energy than yours ever will! I'd hate to see your electric bill. Yikes! Woman Surprised

"Pure Michigan"
Valued Contributor
Posts: 557
Registered: ‎08-15-2010

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive

This is a very timely conversation. I need to replace my four and half year old Maytag Bravos washer. I'm very disappointed. It works perfectly, cleans great, but the bearing is going out. So...I am looking at washers again. 4.5 years isn't very long for a major appliance. Any suggestions??

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,010
Registered: ‎08-29-2010

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive

[ Edited ]

Because our 3 yr. old GE dryer has needed servicing twice already, I have learned of a great website--appliancepartspro.  At this site you can type in a description of your appliance's problems, and someone will 'diagnose' the repair for you.  They sell manufacturer's parts more cheaply than I was able to find elsewhere, one part was as much as $60 less. Oh, and they provide installation how-to videos.  

 

I'm not exaggerating in that the last time I used this website, the part I needed was ordered, delivered and installed (by us) in less than 24 hours.  

 

Edited to correct a typo.

Strive for respect instead of attention. It lasts longer.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,532
Registered: ‎04-17-2013

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive

gtx, You may want to check out Speed Queen. 

 

gardenman, I would definitely be interested in the "bullet-proof" types of appliances you envision.  I think the problem is that when an appliance goes out, most of the time people are in urgent need of a replacement, and they end up having to totally rely on the sales person to guide them to the "right" appliance.  If more people had the forethought and time to research appliances before they need them, I think they would be better prepared to make wiser purchases.  Reading up on appliances is not fun, though, and it gets complicated for a lot of us, so it's not likely that many people will do this. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,420
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: My lesson from an appliance executive


@IamMrsG wrote:

Because our 3 yr. old GE dryer has needed servicing twice already, I have learned of a great website--appliancepartspro.  At this site you can type in a description of your appliance's problems, and someone will 'diagnose' the repair for you.  They sell manufacturer's parts more cheaply than I was able to find elsewhere, one part was as much as $60 less. Oh, and they provide installation how-to videos.  

 

I'm not exaggerating in that the last time I used this website, the part I needed was ordered, delivered and installed (by us) in less than 24 hours.  

 

Edited to correct a typo.


I used that website once-  the agitator broke off on my dishwasher so the problem was easy to diagnose since it was visible. I bought the part from them- maybe $40. All I needed to do was unscrew the broken agitator and replace it with the new one. I probably saved $100-200 using that website!