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Appliance Life Cycles?

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Our Maytag dishwasher of four plus years is going to the recycling center next week and replaced by one of a different brand. We've had numerous problems with it and there's a time when you cut your losses. The guy at the home center told my wife that the average life cycle of appliances these days - all of them - is about five years and we'll probably need to replace our oven and refridgerator soon too! He said its too expensive to make appliances like they used to these days. This is a reputable family place too with locations all over the state but I think he's full of it.

Anyone have any thoughts on how long appliances should last? I mean, we're thinking about replacing our six year old washer and dryer set too because of various problems. I hate to pay to patch something together that's going to need to be replaced next year. Anyway, just interested in people's thoughts. Maybe the years of appliances lasting 10-15 years our over.

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I don't have a lot of experience with appliances but I would say to a point he is correct. He may be cutting it a little short though. Would you expect anything less from a guy selling appliances?

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It's a shame the way the make appliances these days. I repair them for a living and can't believe the stuff they put on the market. I would say closer to 10 years as far as life span, but at the same time, many are junk by 5 years old. One thing that I don't think holds true as much for appliances as other things, is the fact that you get what you pay for. The more you spend, the better the product you get. Not necessarily true. Most of the time, the cheap ones will last just as long as the expensive and will actually break less, not as much to go wrong with them. And the repairs are usually cheaper. Personally, I would by the cheaper Whirlpool appliances, they are as good as anything out there. One thing I would consider though, after the 1 year warranty runs out, get on some type of service plan. No matter how careful you are, today's appliances will break and service calls have gotten expensive.

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Spend some time on the Google. I was doing something a while back and some place had a whole list of life cycle info. I agree with bearslayer to an extent. If you avoid all the bells and whistles you're probably better off. I have old whirlpool washer and dryer and there aren't that many parts in them, they are fairly easily found and not all that hard to figure out what needs to be done.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I did subscribe to Consumer Reports Web site and they have a chart telling you what they think you should do in terms of fixing or replacing appliances. The threshold is a little longer than 5 years in most cases but not that much longer.

Our Maytag dishwasher has been a disaster. After four years it has pretty much stopped working. Much of the work has been under warranty but a leak from the basin has caused our wood floor next to the kitchen to warp. Working through a damage claim with the company right now to see if they would pay for anything, though their customer service line always seems to have some unwritten policy for denying you what they owe you. For instance, when the basin started leaking, they took the dishwasher away to the shop, disassembled it all, put in a new tub and brought it back. Then, the heated dry and sanitizing wouldnt work any longer and neither Maytag nor the home center would do anything. They said it was all in our head!I read the warranty a little closer afterward and it said they were supposed to replace the whole thing. When I called Maytag, they said you accepted the new basin so the warranty is void. A big mess. Anyway, just thought I'd vent on that matter.

Our Kenmore washer and dryer are pretty simple models but they've been a disappointment too. I've had to replace the clutch on the washer twice with the help of a neighbor so it would spin right and wring the clothes out. The dryer leaves brown marks all over our whites. I read online that's a problem with the seal. But if I replace it, who's to say it wont start up again. Just disappointed in what I thought were two good brands is all.

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One more question. Anyone have the front loaders and raise them up any other way than the pedestals you can buy? We've got a lot of storage in our laundry room so I don't really need them to put stuff in. I just want to get them off the floor a little and was thinking about building some heavy duty shelves.

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I too do appliance repair and have seen a lot of people build a platform under them. They actualy are better than the peds. more solid etc.

As far as life cycles. I usualy see the broken ones but am noticing they do not last because they are too complicated. Thanks to ecofriendly they have computers and such to make everything work and that is what seems to fail alot of times. My wife and i bought new apliances 15 yrs ago and all going strong no probs yet but also bought the simplest ones we could find. No touch pads all dials.

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My 7 year old frig needed a compressor last year. Since it was under warranty, service guy put a new one in and said I was good for another 7 years confused I said, only 7 years frown Yup, he said, they don't make 'em like they used to. 7 years was pretty good, he said. shocked

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we bought all neww appliances 3 years ago fridgidaire and kitchenaid. and we have had problems with all but the microwave. stove, fridg. washer, dryer, dishwasher have all had problems in just 3 years . Im thinking it dont much matter what brand we buy, they are just not made like they once were. Like the fridg we have up at the cabin, I can remember it when i was very young,4or5 Iam 45 now and that thing still works,yea the door seal is falling off and the handle is broke but it still works, now that was built to last

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One more question. Anyone have the front loaders and raise them up any other way than the pedestals you can buy? We've got a lot of storage in our laundry room so I don't really need them to put stuff in. I just want to get them off the floor a little and was thinking about building some heavy duty shelves.

I have mine stacked, it make a lot more room in my laundry room

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Thanks for the additional tips guys. Platform and stacking both make sense. I think we may try to get a few more years out of our old top loader and dryer. We'll see. I see the cycle times on these new washers are ridiculously longer too. Given that, I wonder how much energy they really do save. We have a well so water isn't a problem.

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I'm in charge of a bunch of Group Homes and as far as appliances go the only product I would stand behind are Bosch Dishwashers. We gone through many appliances in the homes and the washers and dryers get used every day 2 to 3 times and the dishwashers get used at least 2 times a day. Have yet to find a washer and dryer that last longer then 5 years. But those Bosch dishwashers seem to really hold up strong.

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One thing about dishwasher and washing machines that will shorten their lifespan is hard water.

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It seems a little ridiculous that all your appliances takes a dump every 5 to 10 years. Are we gonna see flat screen TVs go bad after 5 years. It doesn't seem reasonable but I guess it makes since from the prospective of the corporate world.

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But if you buy a product and have numerous issues with it and it doesn't last as long as you think it should, are you likely to buy that brand of product again? I know I would definitely look at other brands before purchasing the next item. How can a manufacturer expect you but to continue to purchase their product if it's inferior and doesn't live up to it's expectations?

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I don't know where it comes from that manufacturers intentionally design their products to fail after X years. Anyone that says this must not work on a design team for a manufacturer. I know I wouldn't want the challenge of designing a product to fail in X number of years. I probably wouldn't get it right.

When we design our products we design them to be the best that we can. If that means that something fails in five years then I guess that's as good as it's going to get at this time. However, considering our products are industrial products and we still service some of the original machines built by our company in 1965, I guess we're doing okay.

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I don't believe any manufacturer is purposely desigining poor products. I do believe however that the machines are getting so much more complicated - because consumers want more bells and whistles - that they'll inevitably break down more frequently. Just look at how complicated cars are becoming for the average guy to with little mechanical experience to fix. In any case, I will not be buying another Maytag again, not because of their product (maybe the next one would last 15 years!) but because they failed to stand behind it.

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When we built our place, all the appliances were sitting there and we had a guy come in and install all of them. He was freelancing for us, but his day job was with a very large national store, specializing in appliance installs and repairs.

We had many conversations while he was there and he told us that the average life-span of a modern, large appliance (dishwasher, oven/stove, fridge) is 6 years. I was pretty blown away, but he swore by what he said.

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Quote:
I do believe however that the machines are getting so much more complicated - because consumers want more bells and whistles - that they'll inevitably break down more frequently. Just look at how complicated cars are becoming for the average guy to with little mechanical experience to fix.

Actually, I beg to differ. Solid state electronics have proven time and time again to be far more reliable than relays and mechanical switches. If they weren't we'd still be using relay logic to control our equipment. Consider your car since you brought it up. They are definitely more reliable vehicles today than they were in the past.

I think the biggest difference is in your statement that the average guy can't fix it without specialized schooling and I agree with that. I don't think that translates into less reliable though, just more high tech. We Joe homeowners just havn't kept up with the technology. We can't see the moving parts anymore because there aren't any and so we can't fix them very well.

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I wasn't saying that manufacturers are intentionally making their products to fail, I just don't think they are taking the time to test them long enough to see how they will hold up, I'm speaking strictly in the sense of appliances. I work on machines that are 20-30 years old all the time and would rather keep those going for the customer, if it's cost effective, than see them buy something new and be disappointed when it doesn't last very long. Appliances used to last a lot longer, why don't they incorporate some of the new technology and add it to the appliances of the past that were proven to last. They keep coming out with major changes to the lines of appliances nowadays, instead of just refining a proven product.

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Its not that they design them to fail, but to specs. Say a dishwasher is expected last a minimum of 5-7 years, then they would design the product as good and economically as they could to run say 2500 cycles. This would be enough to run once a day for about seven years. The difference in machines today and the ones built in the past is they aren't over designed. Once you hit the threshold of what they are designed to do you can fix it, but something else seems to fail. The commecial units are designed to run more cycles and look at the price tag on them. In the last year between our house and lake home I have had a bad year for appliances (Microwave, hotwater heater, fridge, two Cloth wasing machines, dryer, water softener, 2 televisions, 2 DVD players, coffe maker, and both stoves have one of the big burners burned out on top that I need to fix. All these things were between 4 and 9 years old. Maybe its bad luck but I dont think they make them as well as they used to.

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Quote:
The commecial units are designed to run more cycles and look at the price tag on them.

That's a good point. There's a lot more competition today than the past and that forces manufacturers to cut costs in order to compete and sometimes that can mean cutting quality especially in terms of components like bearings, motors, pumps, etc. We consumers are typically more interested in our out-of-pocket at the moment than how long the appliance will last. If we get a few years we're usually satisfied.

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Quote:
The commecial units are designed to run more cycles and look at the price tag on them.

That's a good point. There's a lot more competition today than the past and that forces manufacturers to cut costs in order to compete and sometimes that can mean cutting quality especially in terms of components like bearings, motors, pumps, etc. We consumers are typically more interested in our out-of-pocket at the moment than how long the appliance will last. If we get a few years we're usually satisfied.

Exactly, a disposable society. Buy stuff as cheap as possible, and then buy a new one in a few years when it fails/goes bad. It is really makes me sick. Ever tried to have a tv repaired? Good luck, cheaper to buy a new one.

I had an old refrigerator (the old one with a metal inside, and a latch on it) that I turned into a smoker, I should have moved that one in the kitchen and used something else for the smoker. It had to be at least 30 years old.

We (consumers) are responsible, ever one wants new stuff, never to fix any thing. The manufactures give us what we want, something that need to be replaced every 5 years. Made of thin metal, cheap plastic, cheap electronics. I was amazed that I could get parts for my kenmore washer and dishwasher. I believe, in the near future, we will not even be able to get parts for these things, just have to buy new.

Ok, my rant is over.

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I fix all my stuff and this washer and dryer bought new in 99' keeps coming to life grin, no matter what my wife throws at it "in-hopes" of getting some new ones wink

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Most of my appliances are 5-6 years old and I have had to do one thing or another to them (expect my stove). I think I have an impeller/motor going out on the dishwasher that makes a noise once and while (ever since the kid used Dawn dish soap in the dishwasher smirk ). I will be digging into this very soon. About a year ago I replaced a circuit board in my microwave. For that I had to go to an auth repair facility in Brooklyn Park for the part, but for everthing else it is bought at Dey Distributing in Coon Rapids by Red Lobster and North Town. They also have a warehouse over in Vadnais Heights. They have everything on the shelf for appliances when I have called and the guys on the phone know what they are doing. Just have the model number, model name and maybe a serial number. If you call around to repair dealers, most times you will find out they are booked up solid and are more than happy to give you an idea of what is wrong and sell "you" the part.

I have yet to find something I can not do. It may take a day or two and your significant other might doubt your abilities, but in the end it gets done wink.

I know I repair my own appliances, but I am doing what my grandfather did with all his appliances, but the only difference is he called in a "repair-man" most of the time to fix it. Appliances would have never lasted as long as they did from the 50's-60's-70's and even the 80's, if it was not for people calling the repair-man. This has become a dying art, because of life styles of people like mentioned earlier in this thread.

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