new washer rant

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On Friday, April 15, 2016 at 9:13:16 AM UTC-5, philo wrote:

But if the timer is assembled in the States and the PCB is made in Chine...the latter would be cheaper.
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On 04/15/2016 09:28 AM, bob_villain wrote:

Cheaper to manufacture, but the markup for electronic control is sky high!
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On 04/14/2016 10:38 PM, Don Y wrote:

But they add considerably to the cost.
The electronic models are twice the price and to me a waste of money.
My Whirlpool washer is 32 years old and has had /zero/ problems. When I bought it, it was recommend because it was beltless and theoretically less prone to problems. I doubt that kind of quality exists anymore.

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On 4/15/2016 7:10 AM, philo wrote:

They add to the *perceived* value of the product. There's a difference. E.g., DTMF signalling used to "cost more" than dial-pulse signalling. But, was actually cheaper to deploy than "counting pulses".
As customers saw DTMF phones as sexier, they were willing to pay this premium.

You can do things with electronic controls that are just not possible with electromechanical controls. E.g., when door latch broke on washer, I was able to query the machine to document EXACTLY how many loads we had run through it (to strengthen my complaint with manufacturer)
Also, you can't repair EM controls (you can only REPLACE them). (you can replace the clockwork motor on SOME of them but can't do anything regarding the cams and switch blades/contacts)

Our old toploader had no problems when SWMBO decided she wanted to replace it. She got tired of having to lug her comforter across the street to wash in neighbor's equipment because our "high capacity" washer wasn't big enough to handle it (agitator). She's been tickled with how much cleaner the clothes are (I, of course, only care that my jeans remain "blue")
OTOH, I'd replaced the "clockworks" on both the washer and dryer at least once.
The only failure on the new washer has been the electromechanical door latch (unnecessary on a toploader). For most folks, getting a service man out is where the bulk of the cost arises (door latch mechanism would have set me back ~$30 had manufacturer not comped it)

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On 4/14/2016 9:28 PM, philo wrote:

Usenet, and Consumer Reports. Both helping people to make wise decisions. Based on the experiences of others.
One more NO vote for dry cleaning washing machine front loaders.
--
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Christopher A. Young
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emphasis should be on making durable long lasting appliances etc.....
the current build it as heap as possible so we can sell a new one.
should be make it very durable, so it will last a long time and be easily repairable.
this would cut the trash stream..........
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On Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 7:45:46 AM UTC-4, bob haller wrote:

Do most people want appliances that last a lifetime and are they willing to pay the increased cost for them? I don't. I have no complaints as to the longevity of any appliances that I've bought. Only exception would be a fairly expensive Sony LCD TV that I bought that only lasted about 5 years.
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On Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 9:05:13 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

there are 2 expenses to consider.
the cost to buy the whatever.....
the cost to build, ship, recucle the cheap model vs a long term long lived item
the lifetime costs of the cheap item may be far more than the long lived one
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On 4/16/2016 3:13 PM, bob haller wrote:

I assume you are talking about major appliances that do their job well. I expect the washer, refrigerator and the like to last a long time. Other stuff not so much.
New technology becomes affordable quickly and I don't always want it to last forever. I did add a hard drive to my 8088 computer but it still seems to lag the ones used today. When my 19" portable TV we bought in 1966 dies I'm going to get a color set. Meantime, I'm getting my money's worth from it.
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On 4/16/2016 1:29 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

How do you differentiate between those that "do their job well"? Price? Size? Weight?
You can easily spend more on a TV (or PC) than a "major appliance". Should the TV have a longer expected lifespan due to its higher cost? (it's not doing any *work* -- moving a mass through a distance -- so why should it "wear out"?) Ditto your poor, "overworked" cell phone?
Manufacturers design to what their markets will tolerate -- which is usually different from what they will EXPECT.

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On 4/16/2016 5:03 PM, Don Y wrote:

Balance is the key. You say a TV does no work by your definition, but it does a function. Anything mechanical or electrical will eventually wear out or break. I have expectations for the TV to last 8 to 10 years but I don't expect it to have the same quality of parts used in a space shuttle. Lives don't depend on it and it is relatively easy to repair or replace. A TV built to last a respectable time can be built for $500 and I'm happy with that. If it can be made to last 40 years and cost $2000, I'm not interested. The technology will be outdated. As you say, it is what the market will tolerate.
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On 4/16/2016 2:43 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Of course. My point was most "major appliances" have moving parts. You *expect* moving parts to wear -- and wear proportional to the amount of use (and abuse) they experience.

Lives don't depend on your dishwasher, washing machine or refrigerator, either! :> > A TV built to

Sadly, the difference in longevity amounts to almost peanuts!
I routinely rescue "defective" LCD monitors and TV's. The former usually "die" from capacitor failure (or, FETs in the inverter that runs the backlights).
Capacitors typically fail from prolonged exposure to heat.
Locating the capacitors in a cooler place on the circuit board can improve lifespan. Adding active (or passive) cooling can, as well.
But, a manufacturer can also specify a component that is rated at a higher lifespan AT that elevated temperature, if this is an expected failure mode! For example, IN SINGLE UNIT QUANTITIES (monitor manufacturers buy in HUGE quantities!), a "1000Hr" component may cost 51c -- while a "7000Hr" component costs 62c.
In a monitor, you may have half a dozen of these (not all of which are problematic based on their roles in the circuit). So, add 60c to the cost of the product (again, assuming you are making JUST ONE of them!).
Most electronic (consumer) kit has a 350% markup. So, the end user sees that product "price" go up a whopping $2 -- on a $100+ item
(again, assuming you're only building ONE of them!)
The 62c drops to 31c if you buy 100 (i.e., enough to make ~16 monitors). Then, to 20c if you buy 1000.
(by contrast, that 51c item is 15c at 1000. So, 5c premium per component for 6 components is a 30c adder to the product cost. Or, ~$1 to the consumer)
So, when I rescue a monitor, I look at the time its going to take me to disassemble it, troubleshoot, order replacement components, install those components and *test* the repaired device -- then consider whether I want to "invest" an extra 60c (the *cost* difference for the components to me) to double/triple/quadruple the time between when I might NEXT have to do this.
[The answer doesn't even merit the time to consider the question!]
The same sort of calculus applies to TV's. Our plasma was manufactured in 2003. It's *tried* to give up the ghost but I've not let it :>
As soon as I can clear some floor space, I'll set to work repairing the two LCD TV's (no doubt, their problem is caps in the power supply or LDO regulators) -- another "cheap" fix.
So, why don't manufacturers take those extra steps?
I suspect a lot of it is churn. But, also, a cut-throat marketplace. How do you justify an extra few dollars on your selling price for something that the purchaser won't be able to fathom? (And, surely, you don't want to state that your REGULAR product is only designed with a SHORT lifetime in mind!)
[A *smart* strategy is to offer a "slightly better" product to a resaler that intends to push "extended warranties". The resaler charges an extra $50 for the warranty *knowing* that the manufacturer has added $2 to his price to minimize the chances of those "typical" failures resulting in a warranty claim in that period!]
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On Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 5:27:37 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

...wasn't *that* his point?
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On Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 5:43:17 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

+1
And I guess we agree that from what I see today, the balance point is OK. 10 years for a TV is good, long before that technology has already improved and I wouldn't want to pay extra money up front for one that will last 15 or 20. If they had made those rear projection big screen TVs to last 20+ years, instead of 10+, charging more, would people really have been better off?
For major kitchen appliances, 20 years is good for me. Before that, it typically is looking old, outdated, etc. About the only thing that I see people reporting that I would be concerned about is maybe a furnace and central AC. Seems a lot of people are reporting new high eff furnaces failing at 10 to 15 years. There 20 min would be good and I'd probably pay more for one that would last. But IDK how many other people would, because today a lot of people aren't in the same house for 20 years.
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On 4/16/2016 4:45 AM, bob haller wrote:

Actually, it appears that the *market* is driving the rush to the bottom. How many folks "buy on time"? Isn't buying a cheap, (inferior) product an direct analogy? Pay a little -- and get a LITTLE use out of it?

Think of *all* the people that you know. How many *do* repairs? Change the oil in their vehicles? Rotate their own tires? Do their own plumbing? Maintain their own computers? etc.
Is their excuse for NOT doing these things that "it's too physically demanding"? Or, "too intellectually challenging"?
Or, "I'd rather watch the ballgame and pay someone to deal with that stuff"?
So, what incentive is there to make items that can be repaired WITHOUT special tools? (damn near everything is "easily repairable" -- once you have invested in the tools (and knowledge) to do so!

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