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balthazar

Ahh yes, "progress"

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Contrary to the firm-held belief from the New=powned! Club that 'everything is getting better because we've been told so'.... the National Association of Home Builders has released another survey showing the life expectancy of major home appliances. The last time this survey was compiled was 1993.

As competition and the cost of doing business continually creeps upwards with no end in sight, undoubtedly all avenues of 'bringing home the bacon' are being discussed, including that old bugaboo; planned obsolescence. Whether that alone, or some combination of that, corner-cutting and substandard quality control from 3rd world assemblers is involved (and I supposed increased complexity must be acknowledged here, too, but that smacks loudly of an excuse)- most major appliances have notably shorter lifespan expectations than they did a short dozen years ago:

Product life : 1993 / 2006

trash compactor : 10 / 6

refridgerator : 17 / 13

gas range : 19 / 15

microwave : 11 / 9

dishwasher : 10 / 9

washer : 13 / 10

dryer : 14 / 13

electric water heater : 14 / 11

gas water heater : 13 / 10

My '92 gas water heater took a dump at year 11.... washer & dryer both kicked at year 13. I suppose I should start shopping for a fridge (coming up on 15) and the 15-yr old dishwasher is already peeing on the floor with every cycle, plus it makes noises like those old haunted house records. On our 3rd TV since '92.

I thought 'technology' was supposed to make things "better" ?? I think about this occasionally when I'm standing for a short eternity at the bank or the cashier in the supermarket and the terminals are down.... and remembering when they weren't computerized and I never had to stand there feeling like an idiot wasting his life trapped in the mundane.

Do you think someday this Pavlovian consumerism will become unfashionable and we'll ever be able to think for ourselves again?

Edited by balthazar
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That's nothing, try the life expectancy of a computer! As soon as you buy it it's obsolete. Of course if you build a good enough one it still is a powerhouse for a while :AH-HA_wink:

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Does this factor in that appliances are often cheaper or that daily usage has increased?

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Not sure major appliances are cheaper overall. Sure there are more '3rd-world' units, but the average price must be notably higher- you can spend near $6K for a fridge now! There are far more 'hi-tech = hi-tag' units, and with that hi-tag should come increased longevity... but it sure doesn't look that way.

I also have no reason to suspect that appliances have 'increased daily usage'- if anything, claimed 'improvements' in energy efficiency would reduce the run time for refridgerators, water heaters & washing machines, if anything.

Edited by balthazar
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I will speak for dishwashers...the one we had before the current was liek 15 years old and was a piece of junk...a few years ago we bought a Maytag...what a difference. Same with the clothes washer...much better than the one it replaced

Edited by Dodgefan
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yea- but was it a 'piece of junk' at year 1... and what will the new one be like at year 15? Remember: apples-to-apples...

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I can attest to quite a few older things being built much more solid. I remember an old fridge we had in our basement. It was from the 60's, had Freon, had a lightish-green colour, and was built like a rock.

We gave that refridgerator to some friends who use it in their basement bar... and the damn thing STILL runs with no problem. Nice and cold too.

Our main refridgerator which is a massive, stainless steel, Sub Zero... is barely eight years old, and it's had a few problems, albeit relatively small. But something about it doesn't feel as 'solid' as the old one from the 60's.

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My mother got a Eureka vacuum for a wedding present in 1960. I used to push my sister around on it when we were kids and throw it down the stairs in sporadic, typical 9 year old tantrums. Ironically, I inherited this vacuum in 1984. Other than replacing the power cord a couple years after I got it, I used this vacuum until 1991. I replaced it with a $500 Kenmore, which needed a new hose after 4 or 5 years and completely died by 2003. That Kenmore was replaced with two new ones since. In fact, the latest (and last!) Kenmore is already chewing its own retractable power cord and it is only 14 months old!

Obsolesence? What obsolesence? Did I mention the Eureka had to vacuum a house for 5 people, yet the Kenmores have only needed to suffer me and my (ahem) various live-in partners?

How about the ancient GE washer/dryer that we inherited in 1971 when we got a house; the dryer lasted until the early '80s - again a family of 5. I have had 3 Kenmore washers in the past 10 years; the dryer (so far) has lasted 10 years, although the timer is acting up these days.

Appliances are incredibly cheaper now than even 5 years ago! I am currently shopping for an a/c unit and they have them for $100, with digital timers and everything. My Carrier that I bought 4 years ago was $400 - on sale. What about $75 microwaves? As a consumer, I am thrilled at the price drop, but my conscience is asking me - how is this even possible? How can a/c units drop to a quarter of their price in only a few years? Is it possible to buy any of these appliances that are actually built here any more?

Frankly, it worries me a little..................

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Fly: I would say use has DECREASED. People are lazier & order out MORE do they not?

As far as crappy appliances it's indicative of EVERYTHING in the 21st century.

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Actually, I can attest to this...our microwave is ancient...more than 20 years old...still runs like new.

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My parents still have the NEC Television my dad bought in 1983 when he came to the USA.

It works 100% and I swear, call me crazy the colors on it are better than many new TVs.

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There is an entire school of thought in Sociology that supports this... Concluding that we are "told the myth that technology is the future, and will make our lives easier" when in reality the "technology" is actually designed, as is the rhetoric, to pad the pockets of capitalists and big business. Less appliance life = More $$$ for businesses.... More technology and 'gadgets' = More $$$ for businesses.

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Of course technology has made appliances better. It's managed to convince 90% of Americans that the new stuff is better and will last longer, while in fact it's probably about the same, will not last as long, and cost less on an adjusted basis to produce. So.. yeah definitely better.

Oh.... wait.... You're not CEO of General Electric?

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I suppose the same thing can apply to music. How much of the stuff from 'today' is going to stick around 50 years from now? 8)

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I suppose the same thing can apply to music. How much of the stuff from 'today' is going to stick around 50 years from now? 8)

Absolutely... The school of thought maintains that capitalism can corrupt anything. Music is marketable, so the "art" part of the equation is swaped in favor of 'happy violence' (Which means avenged, justice style) and sexuality because it sells. ENTER: 50 cent, Britney Spears, etc. It's a product that's watered down and not particularly good at one thing, yet it's universal so it appeals to and can sell to A LOT of people.

Same principle with appliances and technology. Not all of them are that good, but they're all universally appealing.

I can also apply this principle to the car market, but we all know how that is.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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i would think less life spans could be contributed to less matenience performed on them.... you clean out the dust behind a frig every year? clean out the "exhaust" pipe from the dryer? (we had some smoke come back because of that a few months ago).... some people don't think matenience is needed.... ever

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My old washer from 82 finally died in 2004 since then I have went through 2 more washing machines. They don't clean for crap and are prone to "walking" and self destruct. I have a 1970's green fridge in my garage i fire up for summer parties and it has never caused me issues while i torn apart the fridge in my kitchen from 99 seven times already. I believe the only thing new appliances have done is they are more efficient and they added a turntable to the microwave. however if you calculate it how much energy they save and that you need to buy a new one every 4 years it doesn't save you much.

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We have a GE refrigerator with a date on the back of 1953. Works perfectly. It was passed down from my grandparents to my parents when they bought new appliances in about 1982. I think the fact it works perfectly is due to the fact it was made well and it was ALWAYS defrosted when it was supposed to be. It cools just like brand new. You cant even hear it run. We have a Maytag heavy-duty washer from 1986 that still works perfectly. My 1981 Hotpoint microwave is finally dying. The fan motor is growling in it. before that it was perfect.

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On appliances, my oldest is my big screen tv...52" since 96'. Since then, $500 in repairs but well worth it. All our other appliances are under 4 years old.

On computers, in 03 I paid $3000 for an HP Media Center...It was still ahead of everything else 2 years ago...now its about equal to a $399 computer.

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The difference between computers and appliances is that computer are constantly improving. Generation after generation, they are exponentially faster, smaller, and less expensive. Although basic applications are the same as before, processor-intensive operations take much less time, and we are able to do more, thanks to increasingly powerful PCs.

Appliances are pretty much the same as they've always been, with the occasional neat doohickey that might entice you to by a new one.

And as for music, so long as there is such a thing as nostalgia, many songs will live at least as long as the youngest person to have heard it and liked it. As for the immortality of music... Composition is what makes music memorable. No one will categorize Elvis with the likes of Bach and Beethoven. And 50 Cent is absolutely out of the question. Additionally, I'd wager that there was more popular music than what was written by the now-immortal artists of of the pre-1900s. Think tavern and street musicians. That's basically the equivalent of what we hear on the radio now.

Edited by aaaantoine
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Are you saying 100 years from now people won't be listening to the Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't $h!?" : :confused0071::lol:

I have a very bad feeling that, 'My Humps' will never go away. I'll wager that it will actually be the end of humankind.

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My Humps is right up there with the Macarena. :P

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*whispers* Sadly, I am an in-the-closet fan of "My Humps"/ WHAT'S THAT?!?! OH, YEAH, YEAH.... SLIPKNOT RULES MAN!!! I didn't say anything about my humps, you must be imagining things.

(Don't tell anyone)

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A scary thought - I've read that the average bike sold in Wal Mart/Target/Toys-R-Us or any other department store is typically ridden 75 miles before it is junked. Manufacturers know this and build them accordingly. This past Saturday alone I put 82 miles on my 80s vintage Schwinn, and I'll be riding it 100 miles on this Saturday. So, if you're planning to train for a century on a Wal Mart bike, buy at least three of them.

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WAL*MART is tied with Toyota as the WORST company in the History of the Universe.

They're bad for business, bad for our economy and worst of all BAD FOR THE USA.

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