the throwaway society gets up my nose

  lofty29 16:58 11 Nov 2008

It realy upsets me the amount of perfectly good products people are forced to discard, If something of mine breaks down I will go out of my way to repair it, but so many times things have to be dumped for very simple faults.. What started this rant was when my wife told me that her sister's ,quite expensive but 8 year old washing machine was having to be replaced, the reason, the brushes in the motor had worn out, and they no longer made them, throwing away a perfectly good piece of kit for a pair of carbon brushes!!!, I am dam sure that if the repairer had used a bit of sense they could have found an equivalent, but no just sell the customer a new machine, if they lived nearer to us I would have got a set even if it meant fileing a pair down slightly, I have done that before now. This when we are told all the time to conserve things.

  peter99co 17:15 11 Nov 2008

Could we be told which Model you refer to. Someone may know better about parts availability.

Our Hotpoint Aquarius is older and had new brushes fitted for £20 recently. I had thought it was a goner and felt it did not owe us anything as it was old and I would have replaced it. It had a set of roller bearings fitted by the same Engineer about two years ago.

It may be I have a good engineer to call on as he does not charge for call out. He keeps fixing it so we leave it to him to make the decision, fix or no fix.

  Chris the Ancient 17:18 11 Nov 2008

I can relate with your feelings.

Back when I was married, we bought a washing machine (no pressure can be brought to bear that would drag the name Whirlpool from my lips) that ran OK for about 18 months. Then it packed in.

Eventually (and I mean eventually) we got the warranty repair man to come to fix it. He replaced the controller board. It worked for about three weeks and then went again. So we called out the engineer and he took the machine out, looked at it and it worked. For about three months. This went on until the warranty ran out. Several call-outs all labelled as no fault found.

Not long after the warranty ran out, it went wrong again. This time, I tried a local, and reputable, company and asked them to fix it. This they did - while I was there. They reckoned it was a fairly common fault in that the motor brushes could stick a little. They reckoned the warranty repair man shifting the machine around was just enough to vibrate the brushes loose in their holders - for a while. The 'local' engineers dropped the motor out, took the brushes out, wiggled them about a bit and stuck them back in. However, and fortunately, the cost wasn't horrendous and with no 'minimum call out fee'. This repair lasted about six months.

Not being a dum-dum with electrical appliances, the next time it went wrong again, I decided to attack it.

Seeing as my labour time was free, I took the motor out, took the brushes out and then cleaned about three years of accumulated gunge and carbon dust out, cleaned everything properly and re-assembled it. Three years later it still seems, apparently, to be working properly.

I think warranty repairs are done in the quickest time possible - so that more calls can be got in during the day, and repair companies repair it enough to last for a reasonable while so that one uses the same company again.

I don't particularly lay all the blame on all of the engineers; I just think that some try to do the best they can in the extremely limited time that they have available - knowing that doing the job 'properly' would send the costs spiralling upwards.

Then again, there are some cowboys out there!


  lofty29 17:27 11 Nov 2008

Unfortunatley it is being replaced today, as it happens it is an AEG, I have looked on the internet, and there are loads of brushes available and just for the brushes without holders about 6 quid a pair, I would not mind betting that the machine gets back to the shop is repaired and sold on. The biggest problem that I have ever had with a washing machine has been the programme unit, the rest I have repaired myself except when it had really given up the ghost, likewise hoovers etc.

  tullie 17:58 11 Nov 2008

I couldent repair a toothbrush,never mind a washing machine.

  Chegs ®™ 17:58 11 Nov 2008

I have had a similar themed discussion over the present throwaway society.When I was growing up,I (being the youngest)was given my brother/sister hand-me-downs (bicycles,etc) and had to maintain them.I was annoyed to see so many old bicycles dumped in the beck around the corner and one day saw a bicycle I recognised.As with the others,I brought it home & repaired it and gave it to my daughter.When I next saw the original owner I asked why she had dumped it(in the beck)and was presented with a look of puzzlement "because it was broken" she said.It had a puncture was all and she then went on to say her mother had bought her a new bicycle.My daughter used the bike for quite some time,and then it was sold on.It returned to the beck twice more and has provided me with a tidy sum as I keep recovering it,repairing it(1 puncture & once the brakes)

It isnt just basic items like bicycles,the council are now demolishing several of the local "old folks homes" one of which was only built in 1976.The residents of the home have said they're content with its present internal arrangement,but the government have said all these homes must be brought up to modern standards.The home built in 1976 has 2 choices of development...knock it down & rebuild or keep the shell & rearrange the internal walls.The council are using the knock it down option despite many objections from both the residents that lived there and the residents who live nearby.

  oresome 18:06 11 Nov 2008

The school my daughter attended was built in the 1980's and has since been demolished and rebuilt.

The school I attended was built in the Victorian era and still stands.

  peter99co 18:08 11 Nov 2008

Being AEG speaks for itself. Mine ran for 20 years.

  peter99co 18:13 11 Nov 2008

Leave a sign near the beck asking for bikes to be parked carefully to await collection. Could be a nice sideline.

  peter99co 18:17 11 Nov 2008

Toothbrush Holesmanship requires an apprenticship of about five years. You can learn Washing machine repairs with a library book. (Haynes Guide) for basics. You need to unplug it first as you would a PC.

  lofty29 19:11 11 Nov 2008

Its nice to see that some people think the same way that I do, but so many youngsters have been brought up with the "chuck-it" and get a new one mentality, and that also applies to many so called tradesmen. My friend and his wife are just the same, don't bother to look after stuff or if there is the slightest fault go out and buy a new one, a while ago she said that her tumble drier needed replacing, I went around and had a look, all it was it needed a new drive belt, a few quid and half an hours work, but she said it probably would have to be replaced soon anway since it was four years old and she had never had one any longer, still going strong.

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