Have you ever wondered why modern appliances simply do not last? Remember that old harvest gold or green refrigerator and stove your grandma had that lasted 20 years? Well there is a reason granny’s appliance lasted and modern ones fail to do the same.
Everything simply is not what it used to be. This is the same for a washer and dryer, a stove or refrigerator or even a microwave oven or coffee maker. These items are costing us more and more and lasting half of the time frame or worse than they used to.
What the odds are of needing a repairman today?
Whether you buy a large appliance like a freezer or a small one, like a toaster, they break down more often than they used to. Even something you purchased only five or ten years ago will last a lot longer than something you bought six months ago. Logic says as technology advances so should the life span of what we create using it. Logic simply doesn’t apply in these situations.
Consumer Reports has stats around this which are disturbing. They show in a mere three or four years the odds of one of these breaking down are greatly increased over a decade ago. For instance, one in three side by side refrigerator freezers stop working in three years and one in four front load washers will do the same.
This means your odds of needing a repairman today are three to four times greater than your mom or ten times greater than grandma.
Why does this happen?
Technology has actually hurt us when it comes to these things. Older models of the same appliance with less lights and buttons work better because there are fewer things which can go wrong. More moving parts (or lights and buttons) means more technology. You get more choices which retailers advertise as great. Is it really?
Having newer merchandise with more options actually increases the odds of needing a new one sooner than an older one with fewer options. Do you really need to adjust the actual temperature of the water to a specific degree or simply know whether it is hot or cold? The difference could mean a washing machine lasting another three years more than expected. Think about it when buying something new and advertised as improved or better simply because you have more choices. If you have the basics to get it done, keep it simple and add more time to how long you can use it.
Things are not made with the same precision and work integrity and ethics as they once were. This is true no matter what the brand name. One report from the Huffington Post showed many of the manufacturers of the same products your parents and grandparents used have since moved their manufacturing overseas. Trying to keep costs down has actually kept more down than the cost, such as quality. Even costs have not actually gone down, they simply did not rise as fast.
Is it worth fixing?
Repairmen are the only persons seeing a benefit from the situation. In fact, to fix the average appliance that breaks will cost you between $250 and $275. If you are so inclined, find out how to repair an item yourself. In many cases the cost of the appliance will call for whether or not the DIY route is a better bet than calling in a repairmen.
Other options than repairmen
Purchasing an extended warranty for many things is worth the cost. Although lots of manufacturers have an average one year warranty, you can buy other ones on top of that. Spending the extra $20 or $25 for the added three years of insurance against breaking is worth it for an expensive item like a dishwasher.
Consumer Reports has revealed another study which suggests many appliances will last close to the extended warranty. Though, read the small print and understand what they cover and not cover before deciding to buy one. If only parts are covered and the labor will run you several hundred dollars, it probably isnt worth your effort.
When you thought appliances were not lasting as long as they used too, you were right for many reasons. Things are certainly not what they used to be. Be smart about what you buy and what you do not buy as well as knowing when to let something go.