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RANT: Why can't things be repaired anymore!?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Badfish740, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Electric savings over what? My 200? Kenmore was an energy star rated model. Our electric bill dropped a little bit after we replaced the Kenmore with it. And I doubt it needed a bank loan any more than the 3-5K fridges I see now (Norge was a high end model so I'm going with the more expensive amounts I see on fridges). We bought it from the original owner's daughter, and it had been a backup basement fridge since the 80's at that point. Even if so, it was meant to last a lot longer than the new ones, so it paid for itself by not needing replacement in a few years. As a bonus (aside from looking WAY cooler than the Kenmore) it is QUIETER. A LOT quieter.

    The myth that all old fridges are vampires and all new ones will use so much less that it will pay for itself is a lot like the Don't Burn Pine myth. An urban legend.

    Let me tell ya...we have a 1961 Wheel horse Suburban tractor. Runs like a top. Have had it two years and only changed the oil and put belts on it. The PO took it out of storage and replaced the gas and plug (s? I can't remember). Our MUCH newer Craftsman has all sorts of weird problems...sometimes it won't shut off, sometimes it won't start, it pops out of gear, the deck is tweaked because the materials used to build it are shoddy. And getting parts? Good luck. I'm trying to figure out how to get a Gravely to replace it with. Probably a 812 like my grandpa had. That thing was a TANK. Mowed 4-5 acres a few times a week, snow blowed the driveway, rototilled the garden (which was about 1/2 an acre), hauled wood, and whatever else he did with it. It got maintained, and repaired, but it was still running when he passed in 2005 (and someone in the family sold it, or I'd have it). TRY that with a new "garden tractor" and see how long it lasts you.
    jharkin likes this.

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  2. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    I respectfully disagree. Stuff made today doesn't last nearly as long as it used to.

    We have the original stove and dryer in the house (30 years old this year) The original washer, hot water heater and fridge lasted approx 14-15 years. The new fridge has been replaced twice in the last 15 years, the hot water heater 3 times and washer twice in 15 years.

    Don't get me started on new tvs and such. Our old tube TV is going on 10 years old, the previous one lasted 30 years. I have had friends with newer LCD and Plasma Tvs struggle to get 4-6 years from them.

    We are changing from buying quality stuff that with a little repair would last virtually forever to a society where we just replace everything ever 5 years and think that is normal.
    jharkin likes this.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    This is more true than most people realize. It is pretty much fact that you will never pay off replacing an operational fridge with a new one with the electrical cost savings. The new fridge won't live long enough to recoup the purchase price in electrical savings in most cases. (yes, there are exceptions).
    jharkin and eclecticcottage like this.
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Not disagreeing or agreeing just thought I'd provide this reference to a cost calculator at the EPA.
    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=refrig.calculator
  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Lead paint was a safety issue, not exactly the same thing. If you knowingly sell a product is unsafe you should be sued and made to pay damages.
  6. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I think it started as a way to get people to buy new stuff...like Cash for Clunkers. My old 1970's pickup gets nearly the same gas mileage as a brand new one. I'd NEVER get enough out of a new one for it to pay for itself. And it wouldn't be anywhere near as easy to work on as the old one, nor as cool (I love my truck). i think after a while it was a convienient excuse to spent too much money on something you didn't need to buy ("but honey, we'll save money on electric if we buy the new one with all the gadgets" that we'll never use anyway).

    And I won't even go there on the replacing good, solid original windows with junky replacements.
  7. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    What that doesn't account for is the lifespan of the new appliance vs the cost. When I was researching fridges, I found so many people complaining about replacing their fridge after only a few years (same for stoves).

    Also, this was a photo I took to compare the two (1950's Norge and 200? Kenmore), size wise-you can see they weren't too different in size although the Norge is a little smaller inside:

    [​IMG]

    Our electric usage dropped a few KWH per month with the Norge but we didn't use a killawatt to actually measure usage.
  8. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    That depends on the original windows. I had really bad aluminum frame windows in my house that I replaced with new Vinyl ones about 4 years ago that made a big difference in comfort in our house. Granted if they had been wood frame windows we would have kept them, but they weren't.
  9. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Luck is a factor. We've had the same Whirlpool side by side for 10 years now and it still works fine. What is really annoying is that manufacturers now discontinue parts after about 10 years for newer models.
  10. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Like formaldahyde in OSB and plywood that isn't in hard wood (used in construction of homes, furniture, etc)? Same problems now, just different products.

    Lead based paint wasn't a problem until it wasn't maintained and started flaking. I am pretty sure I have lead paint on some VERY old doors in our house. And I just coated them to keep it from flaking. Then again, I don't plan to lick them anytime soon either...
  11. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I guess I should qualify that remark. Usually it applies to what I would consider old, which isn't what most people do. I do mean wood frame windows.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    And R12 was an environmental issue. Same same.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    A killawatt and measuring the use of a 1954 refrig and then comparing it to my energy star side by side came out to be a 17 year payback. I am not debunking the EPA calc or arguing either, just real world numbers.

    In all fairness, the old fridge was smaller than the side by side. Gave it to a brewing buddy.
  14. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    iirc lead was replaced with titanium dioxide which, in the end is much easier to use, and has a huge number of applications that lead would not be useful for. It did take an advancement in tech to use Ti, similar to aluminum...it only became economically viable after newer smelting techniques were developed for bauxite. Sometimes science can be soooo cool. lead is also heavy, so not so much fun to carry around.
  15. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    As I understand it, Ti is used as a base color white, lead was a preservative.
  16. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Actually the way the ban was enacted it wasn't. Additionally there is still some dispute even today at the magnitude of the problem caused by R12. Another question is how much more power is used now (and thus pollution) because we are forced into using inferior refrigerants.
    MasterMech likes this.
  17. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    We have lead paint all over the exterior trim and under 10 layers on some inside detail. I keep the paint maintained . my toddlers blood lead test came back at zero.

    The rules we have today are to protect us from our own laziness.
  18. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Not exactly. White lead was the original white pigment for paints... Other than Lyme whitewash. It was so popular because its extremely durable and long lasting, much more so than any pigments used today. An old lead exterior paint job could literally last 50 years. Nothing made today will.


    BTW I thought ive read someplace that lead paint is still used for street markings and in industry.
    Dune likes this.
  19. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Yes lead is still used in some industrial coatings for longevity but it's usually covered is something else to keep it from flaking. We had to use some at one point and it had to applied under very controlled conditions very similar to asbestos abatement.
  20. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    I think in many cases it's just not worthwhile getting something repaired. Last year our fridge broke (15 years old), calling someone out to look at it would probably have been at least $100, then they'd have to order the part, then come back another day to fix it, and charge for that visit too, so perhaps $250 plus the cost of taking time off work twice for the "8am to 6pm window", and you still have a 15 year old fridge. That might have been ok in the 60's when the wife was at home all day anyway, but hardly worthwhile now. I bought the part for $20 online, and put in in myself in about 10 minutes, everything was very well designed to allow repair. Similarly a few years ago for the washing machine, $15 in parts, easy to replace, but if either had needed a professional we'd have new fridge and washing machine now.

    TE
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    As an "expert" in the field and a big fan of the old iron..... I disagree. There are garden tractors available today that dramatically out-perform their ancestors. They turn sharper, vibrate less, run cooler, use a LOT less fuel, and are quieter to boot. Much more comfortable than the oldies too. Mowing decks are far superior to what was available 30-40 years ago and attachments have gotten much easier, if not more plentiful (can't remember seeing a sickle bar mower for a modern GT, ;lol).

    So there are companies building machines that are still designed to last longer than the warranty and IMO are even better than the classic iron they built 50 years ago. Nope, sorry, Sears/Craftsman isn't one of them. Hint. They're green. And expensive. ;)
  22. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    And not the ones at HD or Lowes (for the green ones). I'm more of a red tractor fan myself.

    Does Craftsman even sell a garden tractor? I thought they maxed out at maybe a lawn tractor, but basically riding lawn mowers. We'd NEVER in a million years have bought one-it came with the Cottage. I have a low opinion of craftsman and kenmore products anymore, having had both in their newer versions and found them to be a lot different than in the "old days". Junk. I'd have found a good older Cub Cadet, Gravely (my first choice, lol), maybe a Ford or Wheel Horse (pre Toro). Actually, I'd really have liked an 8 or 9N with a belly mower, or even one of the older International Cub Lo Boys with a belly mower. Then we could have gotten a PTO driven splitter. My facination with the older tractors is why we bought the Wheel Horse Suburban-although DH does love to drive that one even if it is a nut roaster and loud as heck (ear muffs with a good NRR rating are important when using that mower).
  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You will be disappointed with either of those choices. S L O W. The 8 and 9n were rated at 24 hp which was about as honest as the tonnage rating of splitters. Some of the old cubs were rated as low as 14hp.

    A Case vac or vc was also rated at 24hp and would FAR outwork either of those. Just a heads up.
  24. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Maybe...but they look so darn cool. I always wanted to do a ratrod version of a 8/9n, with flat black paint and old school flames and red rims...do they sell wide whites for tractors? lol.

    We'd never get one anyway, no room to put them. Gotta stick to a garden tractor or smaller to fit in the shed.
  25. onion

    onion Burning Hunk

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    There's actually 2 down the street from my office but they are only open like 10 hours a week. I think Red Wing will still resole some of their boots.

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