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If you want your appliances to last longer, don't buy smart appliances. Here's why:
3 things have stuck in my head recently so I thought if I would write this all down, it would maybe get out of my head.
First, I just fixed my sister's portable generator. It was a freebie that hadn't run in several years. I knew immediately what was wrong. Bad gas gummed up the carburetor.
While it took a while to find the engine serial number, I did easily order a new carburetor for about $100, and slapped it on in short order. Except for the trip to find an odd Torx female socket (an E25, FYI) the new carb was on and the generator running in less than an hour. Always nice when an engine starts on the first pull. Very analog. (Always use gas treated with fuel stabilizer, more here.)
2nd was an article by Erik on Root Simple about his #FewerFeatures movement.
When the control panel on our dishwasher failed last month I found myself asking why our appliances and gadgets have so many useless features. Those features bring with them a greater chance that the device will break down and make them harder and more expensive to repair.
The third was a smart thermostat sent to my by an established furnace controls company. I was initially excited, but when it insisted on having my cell phone number and home address to function, I sent it back. Why does a thermostat need my cell phone number and home address? All the better to use that data for what purpose?
My reasoning behind the don't buy smart appliances mantra that has been swirling in my head for a while is this:
The smart parts of these appliances are going to mothball fairly quickly.
Think about the smartphone. Every time there's an operating system upgrade, your phone gets older. In a few short years, your phone can't handle the new software, and you have to buy a new phone.
If you fridge has software in it that is compatible with today's smart devices, it is already dated. How many software patches and upgrades will appliance companies issue before they say a 6 yr old fridge is beyond their upgrade policy? "This refrigerator is no longer supported" will be a recurring phrase in the future. When will bluetooth be discarded? Same for buying a replacement control panel or circuit board.
There's also the question of why do we need this? Granted, people asked that about the telephone, dismissing it as a novelty. But do I need to know how much ketchup I have on the door of the fridge? Not at the moment.
When we bought a new washer and dryer, I knew I wanted one of the new high efficiency front loading washers, and tried to get one with less buttons, but it is still full of buttons. I did better with the dryer, instead of buying the companion dryer with all sorts of buttons and choices, I got the super simple tin box with a knob and a start button.
The simpler appliance is a lot cheaper, and it will be a lot easier to fix if it breaks. For the time being, until I have some sort of alternate epiphany, I'm saying don't buy smart appliances. What do you say?
Our washer just went after 12 years - an LG. It had a bunch of electronic components and buttons. Ultimately, it was the temperature sensors - there are five. We called a repairman - he estimated about $300-325 for everything (travel, parts, and labor). We bought a new washer for $500. So it goes.
You can buy a solid washer from Speed Queen - used in all laundromats - for $1500. It will last forever. But wasn't in the right mindset to spend 3X at this time.
Good article. That how we feel about the new appliances. The simple is better and easier to fix.
The same goes with cars
More gadgets the chances something will break
My 2009 Toyota Sienna both motor cables broke
$4400 to fix. So I now don't have automatic doors
My Samsung dryer front load after a year had a error code
And it has all the fancy buttons. I looked up error code and found out the problem . Ordered the part 4 hours later replaced a little part that blew out. Would of cost me $300+
If I didn't fix myself . But I can see what you what your saying. Great article
I never figure out half the functions on these technology overloaded devices to begin with.
@Katmai Maybe the appliance companies feel compelled to offer lots of functions to warrant the price. I'd like one button: Start.
@Izzy good to hear you fixed the dryer yourself. Mine is pretty simple, its the washer i'm concerned about, lots of button on that one. thx!
@Chris, I'm all about simple. thx!
@Rich had not thought of buying a commercial washer, I imagine they are built to last. But yeah, the price. thx!
1. I feel sorry for anyone who buys a drier instead of a cloth line.
2. Instead of buying a new commercial washer, or what else, there may be used ones around.
3. If smart is wireless or otherwise connected to the Internet you may as well write to the CIA, NSA, etc. and invite them into your home. Reports have it that the English secret service was sniffing around a home having "entered" through a wireless coffee maker and past CIA chief Petraeus “We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher”, https://www.wired.com/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote
Need any more reason to stay basic?
All Smart appliances are designed to be universally shut off by remote control by the govt as part of the one world governance agenda. That is the real reason for Smart devices of all kinds....also monitoring your every move and habit.
Last year we "downsized". I decided to get a new washer and dryer. The problem? I had to buy one of the new type water savers. Apparently, no more agitators. The government is now telling me how to wash my clothes.
OK. Did my research and due dilegence. One year later, I still hate my new machines. Stupid useless features designed by tree huggers who walk around wrinkled with less than clean clothes.
Sell these machines in drought areas. I have plenty of water sources. Of course, the beeps and noises quit working after a year.
I sold my old large capacity machine on Craigslist. I'm so sorry I did that.
Agreed. Not smart phone users, so we have no use for all the other connected gadgetry. Friends look at us funny and their phones do come in handy once in awhile, but we like simple. Bought the big top-loading HE washer and have ended up using it doing King-sized down comforters, so that's a savings (in addition to the water savings, but not the electricity savings as the cycles take awhile), but typically we skip all the fancy options and thankfully it has a setting for "normal". That's us!
I'm with you, Of course computers led the way of get-em-in the pockets economy. My Macbook, now 10 years old. I purchased as I retired thinking it would last til senility prevails. I max the memory when I purchased it, I quit upgrading the system when doing so would make my graphics software incompatible. Now they offer rented software with strata storage all for a cost not calculated by Social Security.
I also bought a new gas stove with electric ignition which lasted a week. I called to exercise my warranty. The repairman replaced the control panel and told me to keep the old one because most of it is fine and if ever the new one failed, the old one might be the better one. The cost of the new control panel was over $300, just $65 less than the new stove's price.
Where can I buy dumb appliances???