A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Dee in Nelson. The email was equal parts enquiring and venting. Like many, Dee was expressing her frustration at what appears to be a built in obsolescence to the appliances we buy for our homes. A few years ago friends of ours had their heater, toaster, jug, and washing machine break down within a few months of each other. The interesting thing was that they’d bought all of the appliances new at the same time when they were married seven years previously.
Dee explained that their washing machine seemed to break down fairly regularly and each time was costing between $500 – $600 to repair. Because of the nature of the design the washing machine, like many appliances in the home now, are beyond the scope of a handy person with the usual tools to repair. My suggestion was to either take out a second mortgage in order to buy the best machine recommended by Consumer.org in the hope it would last a long while, or try buying the same machine second hand which would be about the same price as a cheap new machine.
Dee found a third option – she bought an old wringer washing machine! After reassuring me that she wasn’t going crazy she explained that “…they wash well and if they break down any handy man can fix it”. So, Dee is now doing the washing for her family of six which includes teenage boys, and grows to seven when her grandaughter stays over. The granddaughter is in cloth nappies and so this wringer washing machine is going to be working pretty hard. Apart from being easy to fix, the machine only cost $100 and will save money on gym fees! Dee will be checking in with us once in a while to let us know how it is going and whether she’ll keep it up. All the best to Dee!
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