Kenmore Compliment - Old Washing Machines Were Built To Last
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- After 30 years and 3 kids, my wife wants a new Washer and Drier; after all our old Kenmores are looking a little ragged. I bought them new in 1979, and except for a new $35 pump, that I installed myself; they’ve worked flawlessly the entire time.
Before I start shopping I thought I checked out consumer reports and boy am I shocked; even the repair people I talk to seem to agree, the new machines are not designed last.
The plastic parts like gears tend to wear out after a few years, the electronic controls and touch pads break easily and cost a fortune to repair, and everyone suggests that only fools let the very expensive extended service contracts lapse. I suppose the high cost of those contracts should tell me something, if they were half as reliable as my old ones they wouldn’t cost so much. I’m sure they charge a lot because the new machines break a lot. Even worse, after a few years they won’t sell you a service contract at all. I guess even $1,600 washers and $1,200 dryers are designed to be replaced about every 7 years.
What’s wrong with the heavy old machines that had no electronics, or plastic gears? Was it really worse for the environment than manufacturing 3 replacement machines, and filling up landfills up with the old ones, and all the service calls and parts that also had to be discarded? New ones claim they can save up to $20 a year in water and energy costs. Five years of that savings won’t even pay for one service call.
I know my wife won’t like it but I think my old ones are probably worth keeping even if I do have to have them repaired one day.