The campaign to bring back No Bullshit appliances
No, they "don't make 'em like they used to" and that's largely our fault.
We've stopped demanding appliance endurance, in exchange for something we don't actually need. Like voice-activated dishwashers.
My grandmother's washing machine was a metal Titan that cleaned several generations of baby clothes and lived longer than she did.
You had to stretch out your shoulder socket and exert super human force to get the clunky metal knobs to turn. And there were three not eleven cycle options.
Her lime green oven lasted well into her 80's and I can't recall a single time that her standard, no frills, no ice maker-in-door fridge ever (EVER) quit in the decades of family dinners she hosted.
Built to last.
When I saw the first refrigerator I ever bought it was as exciting as any new relationship. He was so shiny, so sleek, so - mine.
French doors that could hold all the ketchup packets I steal from restaurants and leftover soy sauce (since they give you 80 pouches per 3 ounces of rice you order). An alarm to notify me of temperature drops and yes...YES...a pull-out freezer bottom drawer.
Never again would I have to look my frozen vegetables in the eye and riffle all.the.way to the back to find the I-Had-A-Shitty-Day chocolate stash I hide in the back.
My life, would be different. Better.
And yet somehow, after only a few years of honorable service, in the short hours between an 11 pm Coke Zero and 5:30 am lunch packing that LG same refrigerator shit the bed.
He left without notice. Only some nondescript digital goodbye that read "Er FF" which, when translated, means "ErMahGah this FUCKING FRIDGE."
I know because that's exactly what I screamed into the now-warm recesses of the vegetable drawer.
Today, it was the fridge. In years past, having been through this with several "modern" appliances, I would like to give them all back in exchange for something straight out of 1960.
My shitty morning is not unique to me, or any homeowner, because consumer products are intentionally designed with something called "planned obsolescence."
The ingenious policy of producing goods that quickly become obsolete and need frequent replacing. Achieved by rapid changes in design, elimination of spare parts and the use of cheap materials.
It's simply not profitable to sell you appliances that are going to last.
Yes, fridges used to last decades but that means you may only buy one or two in your lifetime. Who can make a buck off that?
Designed to fail, today's appliances give most of us 2 to 3 years of stress-free living before requiring a service call. After that the future isn't looking bright.
The estimates (according to the National Association of Home Builders) for appliance lifetimes are:
1. Refrigerators: 13 years
2. Dishwashers: 9 years
3. Washers: 10 years