This is one of those nonsense Freedom Friday posts I’m writing without forethought as to where it will go. It’s about appliances. Specifically, it’s about my family’s usage of our appliances and the lessons I’ve learned. Take a chair, this might prove either beneficial or a real snorer.
First thing’s first, I’m not going to name any brand names in this piece because a) I don’t want any trouble from appliance manufacturers hunting me down or my firstborn in an effort to convince me to retract my statements, and b) I don’t want to make it seem as if I’m promoting a product because I think it’s the next best thing to lemon and avocado.
Having said that, I’ll ask the question that’s been on my mind for a while. Has anyone had as much luck with appliances as my family and I have? And when I’m asking this, mind you, I’m asking it with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.
In the past ten years, my family has burned through three dishwashers, three food processors, two microwaves, a stove, a fridge, a water heater, a gas furnace, a couple of TVs and blenders, and a car—but that’s not really an appliance. I added it in anyway for completeness. The stove and fridge were lonely without a ride.
Let’s start with the dishwashers, since I figure it’s the one thing on the list that keeps us busy washing dishes after it says it’d completed its cycle. I’ll totally skip dishwasher #1 and simply go for the jugular—dishwasher #2. After a year, or you can read it as saying after the warranty ran out, it began making all sorts of churning noises. The noises were awful. They sounded like the machine had eaten a plate and swallowed it whole. By the end of its cycle, the dishes were clean and we thought nothing of it until a day later when my wife loaded the thing and pressed the Normal button. She waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. “Jaaack!” Came the call. I knew the tone. Something needed fixing. Well, the Normal setting didn’t work anymore. My solution? Press the Light button. That lasted for a year until I replaced the machine with one of those fancy-shmancy quiet models. Dishwasher #3. It was good for a while and it, too, then made that grinding noise. This time, I took the thing apart and found the machine had an actual grinder to grind food. Go figure. It broke. Well, if all it did was grind food, I didn’t think it important enough to buy a new model. I just removed the grinder. End of noise. But lately it’s been acting up, not wanting to wash dishes to washing them and leaving gunk on them. Gunk is my definition of crap that sticks to the plate and doesn’t let go. I’ll stop there.
Our food processors haven’t fared any better. One of them had a cup assembly we used to make smoothies. The teeth under the lid of the mixer had worn down and we now have a cabinet filled with useless plastic cups no one uses because the motor can’t latch on to the lid. Food processor #2’s motor burned out. Something about a leaky smoothy that short-circuited the electronics inside the motor’s casing—or something like that. Suffice it to say it’s DOA.
Then we had the water heater debacle that took place a few years ago. It was old, the water was sometimes brown and it took at least five minutes before any one of us could run a bath. Switching it for a new one was a grand process in and of itself. We replaced it, but it was the wrong model. They came back a week later and switched it with a newer one. Guess what. Yep, the wrong one again. Third time out, the heating company got it right. One thing though; a month later, the company not only billed us for the new unit, but they were so kind as to continue billing us for the old one as well. It took a few months of calls and haggling to get it right.
Our fridge is now leaking.
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RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.
Do you have a story to tell about an appliance running afoul in the middle of the night?
12 thoughts on “Appliances”
In our old house, I would wash the dishes, then put them into our dishwasher.
My mom says that appliances are not made like they used to be, that they are made to only last a few years so that you have to then buy a new one. She says that ten years ago everything was made to last a lifetime. Well, given we are largely a throwaway society, I guess the change makes sense…
I have a big name brand stainless steel refrigerator (built in). I paid a pretty buck for it so I wouldn’t have to worry. It is now seven years old and lost the icemaker and the control panel. It makes a bunch of noises and has a beep that goes off every thirty seconds. The old beat up private label one in the garage has been going twenty years not problem. Warranty (laugh laugh laugh) The service people charge seventy dollars just to come to the house, and none of it goes toward the repair. (Icemaker estimate $650.00) I bought an icemaker online for about one-third of the cost of the part from the sevice and then called the suckers out to replace it with my part. Total cost $300.00.
I suspect someone in the Flacco household is emitting higher than normal levels of electromagnetism. My solution: send each member of the family away, one at a time, for twelve months until you establish who is the statically charged culprit.
And for the record, laptops are my bete noir. The latest one, an obstinate Compaq, has a trackpad with all the sensitivity of an Accrington brick. I nearly broke my wrist punching it the other day.
Good idea, but not a practical one to implement. Besides, I’m pretty sure I know who’s emitting the higher than normal levels of electromagnetic waves. It’s fun to have the stories to tell, though.
This is fascinating! And a little funny, but only because this does not happen to me on a regular basis. At least not often enough to notice.
This kind of thing happens with my brother with watches, though. He simply cant wear them, at all. They just mysteriously stop working and never work again, no matter what you do to it.
All the other appliances you mentioned seem to last a while and have only ever been replaced once in the past ten years. We had a microwave that we bought back in the early nineties, that only just died a year ago. The stove, the fridge, and washing machine have only ever been replaced once each in ten-fifteen years. We still have the same dishwasher we’ve had for ten years but then we mostly wash dishes by hand in our house.
So, all of these breakages sound weird to me.
My wife’s the same way with wearing watches. She can’t. She has a whole drawer filled with watches that have met an untimely (‘scuse the pun) demise.
Computers and popcorn poppers seem to die around me. I have no idea what goes wrong with the first one. Best one to date is spending a year fighting a computer and having to rebuild it once a month. Apparently, the harddrive was physically cracked and it came that way. The laptop keeps running slow and threatening to crash because there is supposed to be a screw to keep the harddrive secured. There is no screw and the grooves in the hole that it’s supposed to go into are stripped. So I have to be careful with that. If it counts, my college printer set itself on fire during a week I had multiple papers due. The night before the big ones were due too.
Popcorn poppers just abruptly die. Never any warning or showy display.
If it’s any consolation, I once had a computer light up in smoke as I looked on praying for my life. It eventually resembled a molten hunk of metal, but that initial spark had me running under my desk. Popcorn poppers have behaved under my watch 😉
That happened to a friend of mine. We were setting it up for a summer session and started to smell smoke. Not sure what happened, but I think we found a small fire in the tower.
That’s exactly what happened. Smoke first, then fire. We didn’t have an extinguisher, so all we could do was watch it char to a cinder. It was quite the experience.
Not sure what we did. I remember we’d been setting things up for a while. I also remember despair.