Thread Number: 75628  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
What do you think?
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Post# 994432   5/17/2018 at 10:14 by Charles (Charlotte N.C. )        

Do you consider older appliances to be more reliable than newer ones? why or why not?

Post# 994433 , Reply# 1   5/17/2018 at 10:41 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
By a thousand percent

For instance, On the street where my mother and later I grew up, our neighbor bought her first refrigerator in 1939, A Frigidaire, She used it until 1975 as her only refrigerator, her great neice has it now in her basement, still running, with nOT ONE SERVICE CALL in 79 years!,Things were just built heavier and much more reliable than today, Motors for instance, now they have all sorts of computer boards and other controls, years ago they were simple easily repairable, I don't want ANY new appliances around me, I think they are all just cheap junk.

Post# 994435 , Reply# 2   5/17/2018 at 11:00 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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There is not a definite no or yes in this matter. Among the older appliances there were some less reliable brands too, just like some modern appliances will last forever (but we can't prove that yet...). My mother's first washing machine was the one that lasted the shortest, the last one still lives on without a repair at my younger brother's house. It still gets a good work out there, it has reached an age now that is higher than any previous washing machine my mother owned.

Post# 994440 , Reply# 3   5/17/2018 at 11:42 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

They still made junk back in the day too... Ahem, WCI. 


I think things were made differently many years ago, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worst. One example is the Whirlpool 27 inch dryer. Good design, but the newer models are a little cheaper feeling. 


Appliances are HARD working machines. We ask them to do a lot for us. Think about how a dishwasher takes in hot hot water, uses detergents, and pumps around hot soiled water at some points during the cycle, filters it etc... Or how a Maytag washer is 160lbs heavier thanks to the water on a full load, and has to churn the water and the clothes, then spin it all out. While I wouldnt call it severe service, I would for sure say that its some very hard work were making them do, and if their designed to do it for decades as opposed to years, then thats a win. 

Post# 994442 , Reply# 4   5/17/2018 at 11:54 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Parents' (January) 1962 Whirlpool had many repairs in 14 years, including bearings replaced, pump, mercury lid switch rusted off, belt (more than once), wigwags, water valve, bakelite agitator cracked.  Bearings bad again, so retired.

(June) 1976 Whirlpool that followed had notably fewer repairs in 18 years -- belt (once), timer (low speed failure), maybe pump.  Bearings ultimately got it.

1994 KitchenAid -- agitator dogs once, lid switch, motor coupler twice and changed the pump once as proactive. The timer broke at 18 years and it was retired due to rusting around the porcelain top, and I had a refurbished Kenmore 90 ready to swap-in.

My (July) 1999 Fisher & Paykel has had only a pump replacement (2011).  It has been passed through from me to my grandmother (2004), to my sister (2013), and my nephew has now been using it for a few years.

Post# 994471 , Reply# 5   5/17/2018 at 17:59 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        
what do I think?

goatfarmer's profile picture
I quit thinking years ago............

Post# 994502 , Reply# 6   5/18/2018 at 03:45 by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

Yes, No and Maybe.

A washing machine is not "one" machine. It's a series of machines that together make it work.

Some components are much better nowadays than years go, other components are much worse nowadays.

There is an infinite number of reasons. Many people love to say "oh, the manufacturer did this to cut costs" or "the manufacturer did that intentionally to make it break sooner". It's not like that.

Programmed obsolescense is normal to many manufacturers, but it is slowly changing. People are not "dumb" as they were before Internet. Reviews are much more common nowadays and the consumer is more "educated". They know what they want better than decades ago. Abusing on programmed obsolescence is a time bomb nowadays that can damage a company reputation.

On the other hand, there are other factors like cost.  Not like "let's reduce the quality to have more profit" but "We MUST reduce 2 cents here otherwise our competitor will sell thousands of units and we will sell none, specially at Amazon and Walmart.

Unfortunately, the same customer that pushes us to make better applainces is the one that pushes us to make it LITERALLY 1 cent cheaper than the competitor.

1 cent, it's everything we need to have a product that sells nothing at Amazon or Walmart. If our competitor is 1 cent cheaper, he will sell thousands more.

Unfortunately nowadays peoploe don't want value, they want price. Here at AWO we know about appliances, we check the features, we check the performance, the components and, finally, we look for a decent price. We don't mind paying a little bit more for something that has a much superior performance or that is simply much better.

But other people, they just browse at amazon and sort "low to high" and choose the virst item that appears. It's a washing amchine, it will wash clothes, that's what i need, period!

Every day I have a constant headache challed Chinese washers. (Panda, Danby, Sonya, Whatever crappy name they want to give to those craps. Pure junk, with a 90-day warranty. They never last 1 year. Oh but... the chinese junk costs $29.99 and the The Laundry Alternative version costs $79.99.

I feel really pissed off when we receive emails from "potential" customers saying "oh, but your products are too expensive, you're trying to steal us, you're greedy". Yes, they do that. It's ridiculous!

They simply don't care if OUR product is much better, if OUR product was designed and engineered here in the USA, if OUR product comes with a 3-year warranty as standard and shipping included. The only thing that matters is the tag price.

For those people, i just say "Go ahead, buy one of those Chinese crap". You'll pay 29.99 for the washer, plus $45 shipping. and you will have a 90-day warranty, the washer will break in 7 months, you'll go an buy other... again the same cost. In three years you'll spend 3x more than our product.

We offer a 3-year warranty because we trust our products. We don't make them to last only 3 years. If they break, we will replace it immediately and we will loose a lot of money, more than you paid originally. We will have the cost of a new unit plus the shipping cost, on us!

People don't even know yet , we're planning to extend our warranty for all the products, including the ones sold until dec 31st 2016. Why only 3 years if we can surprise our old customers with an automatic extention to 5 years? And the two full size models that will be released later this year will come with a 10 year full warranty as standard. And it will be like it always was... Even if something silly like a fill valve fails, we won't fix the product, we will replace the WHOLE product at no cost for the customer.

Other factor is the standards. I would love to make our products last much longer. The company CEO says exactly the same, but unfortunately, we can not use certain materials anymore. The products must be at least 98% recyclable otherwise we can't sell them. They must be lightwaight otherwise FedEx will destroy them before they arrive at the customer's house. Then there is the safety standards and on top of that there is the "court lottery" customers.

The Mega Spin Dryer, for example It was designed to have 3200 RPM originally. It can easily resist that. BUT... we need only one "jackass" causing a use accident and suing the company to loose millions of dollars. We can't afford that. So let's limit the spin speed, use a weaker motor. let's spend almost 100k dollars buying a dummy and destroying over 50 units making crash tests because we must be ready for that stupid idiot that will intentionally put his hand in the drum while it's spinning only waiting for the paycheck in court.

There is also labor, that affects applaince durability.  Decades ago, washing machines were expensive and labor (to fix them) was cheap. When they broke, it was much cheaper and convenient to fix. People were proud to say "my washign machine is 40 years old".

Nowadays, people charge fortunes to do something simple. (I never blame them, they need to survive and they have high costs to keep their repair shops) and there is the cultural factor ... "What, your washing machine is 5 years old and you didn't replace it yet?" It's obsolete, it's ugly, it's not "fashion" anymore, what will your friends and neighbors think? They will say you're not a successful person if you don't show off your brand new appliances every year". So, why bother fixing? Why botter making them more expensive and reliable if people don't want that? they want price and the chance to replace them ASAP.

I've designed appliances my whole life. I love what i do, I love to make good appliances and I wish I could make them even better, BUT i must "listen" to the market and do what people want. Unfortunately people wants cheap crap. I do better than mere "cheap crap" but i must follow the limitations imposed by the market, otherwise the company will not survive and then what I'm going to do? Loiter in front of home depot with a sign "contractor"?

Post# 994503 , Reply# 7   5/18/2018 at 03:50 by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

For you to have an idea, I've already received an email from a customer "demanding" we release a mini coutertop semi-automatic washing machine with Wi-Fi... and it "MUST" cost less than $49 "if we want to keep her business", otherwise she's not interested in our products.

Now the question is: Why Wi-Fi in a washing machine that has nothing more than a 15 minute "kitchen" timer? She'll have to open the tap to fill it and close the tap when it reaches the desired level, then lower the hose to drain, then repeat the operation to rinse and finally squeeze the clothes manually or use a spin dryer.

But she wants an app to operate the washer... Oi?

Post# 994504 , Reply# 8   5/18/2018 at 04:43 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 994506 , Reply# 9   5/18/2018 at 04:48 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
By no means the sole authority

launderess's profile picture
But if you go back and look at Consumer Reports rankings and reviews of appliances starting in the 1950's well through 1970's you'll find quite a range in terms of quality and reliability.

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