Monday, September 19, 2011


I am not a master repairman, nor am I educated in any way about fixing electrical junk. That being said, here's my advice regarding appliances: opt for the cheapest, simplest machine possible.

Our dishwasher, about six months after the warranty expired, quit working. It shut off mid-cycle. I am very lucky to have a super husband and father-in-law who can fix just about anything. Unfortunately, the mother board went out on our dishwasher and it was going to be more expensive to replace the part than to buy a new machine. My husband bought the cheapest, simplest dishwasher and it works like a charm. There are no digital displays, no special soil sensors and no other fancy gadgets that will soon fall apart. The dishwasher sounds like a tank driving through my kitchen, but it gets the job done and fits in with the noise level in the rest of the house.

We had a similar experience with washing machines. I jumped on the front loader bandwagon and bought one with a sanitary cycle. I thought the sanitary cycle would be awesome for cloth diapers and with as much hype as was surrounding the stupid machines, I was certain I was spending my money wisely. Wrong. Our front loader worked beautifully for three whole years. Then the plastic case cracked inside the machine and we were told that front loaders weren't meant to wash big loads of blankets. Or towels. Or jeans. Or anything, really. We fixed the part and a couple of months later, the washer broke again. My husband fix it, but we continued having issues and finally sold it on Craigslist for $50. Our new machine is simple. No fancy washing cycles. No digital displays. I love it.

I have since heard advice from two repair men and they have said the same thing. The simpler, the better. One repair man even went so far as to say that he believes front loaders are meant to last until the warranty is up and then go to shit. He said that the first time he's in a household fixing the front loader, the owner praises the machine. When he comes back a month later to fix another expensive part, the owner asks if he knows anyone who wants it.

I am not going to mention my other appliances by name for fear of jinxing myself. One appliance is newer, one is eight years old and going strong and two are as old as the hills and work great. Here's to a future of cheap-ass appliances and I hope easy fixes.

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