"In early December, by Mom and Dad's White-Westinghouse dishwasher stopped being able to adequately clean the dishes placed in it. Upon having a service technician from a local appliance repair company (White Rock, British Columbia, CANADA) come and have a look at it, it was his opinion that it was something in the wash pump/motor circuit which was not functioning properly. He also said that, while it said White-Westinghouse on the unit, it was actually built by Frigidaire. He then said that it would cost about $230, in addition to the $60 for the diagnostic service call, to affect the repairs. Given that high price, he suggested that maybe they should consider buying a new dishwasher. However, to his credit, he did not offer to sell her a new one and take the old one away (a potential scam). Upon speaking to my Mom about it, I told her that I would have a look at it the next time I was able to make the 4-hour trip to visit them. In the meantime, I committed to doing some research on the Internet to better understand the problem, its remedies and decision factors. After gathering this information, I suspected that it was either the pump motor or the wash pump impeller which had failed. Therefore, I investigated local sources for these two parts and found that, while the impeller was available as a separate piece, the motor had to be purchased as part of a complete assembly - thinking this very strange, I hoped that it was the impeller which had failed. Upon disassembling the wash pump/motor assembly, I quickly isolated the problem. A small plastic fitting into which the metal shaft of the motor fit, and which subsequently fit inside the impeller (with a small screw in the end to keep the impeller on) had been worn smooth inside (it used to have a series of 'ribs) allowing the motor shift to spin without turning the impeller - ergo, no wash water was being pumped. No problem, I thought, being as the impeller costs only about $8, this can't possibly cost more than $5! On once again calling the local parts supplier (Reliable Parts), I found that, as part of the wash pump/motor assembly, this small, plastic part was only available with the whole unit, at a cost of $139. Ridiculous! Not prepared to pay that kind of money for such a simple fix, I tried solving the problem by putting a vinyl 'shim' inside the plastic fitting but found that, over a few wash cycles, the rapid acceleration of the motor on starting essentially vapourized the 'shim'. Therefore, we were now placed in a position of having to buy the complete assembly (or a new dishwasher). I was definitely not pleased but my Mom needed a working dishwasher! When I went to pick up the complete unit (P/N 154473001), the counter representative came back with a large box and, upon opening it up, we found a different-looking wash pump/motor assembly, along with two sumps and a wiring harness. Turns out that you have, for some reason, changed the motor design and its mounting to the sump and, in order to have a 'universal' kit (for single and dual wash arm dishwashers), you needed to include both sumps. What started out being the replacement of a small, plastic part had quickly escalated to a whole 'room full of parts'. After completing the replacement, we now had a used but functioning wash motor, a pump whose only problem is the worn plastic fitting, one used but still good sump and a completely new sump. While your approach to providing replacement parts may be good for your shareholders, I hardly think it is good for the consumer or the environment. What would you have us do with all of these extra parts that we had to buy but didn't need - throw them into the landfill? I find this to not only be expensive for the consumer but a very poor use of our limited resources. Certainly, if we had decided to replace the dishwasher (which would have been outrageous - replacing the whole dishwasher for the want of a $5 part), you can be assured that we would not have considered any of the Frigidaire line. While practices such as this are apparently 'normal' for the industry, I would be looking for a company which takes their environmental responsibilty seriously and actively seeks to stem this tide of 'disposability' sweeping North America."
How does everyone else feel about this increasingly pervasive situation? How do we get the manufacturers to change their 'wasteful' policies? Balls