Country Living Series

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Modern appliances, grrrr

We live in a very musical house.

That's because every appliance that came with the house sings to us. The washing machine sings. The dryer sings. The microwave sings. The refrigerator sings. The dishwasher sings.

Modern appliances, grrrr.

Seriously, this is the first time we've lived in a place with modern appliances, and I tell ya, I can't wait to replace (nearly) all of them.

The washing machine works great ... until it doesn't. Loads of laundry can take up to two hours (!!) to wash. And I've never seen a washer that gives so many error messages. Whenever there's an error, it holds the laundry hostage (because the door locks), which then requires a frantic scrambling through the user's manual (which usually reveals nothing), then a massive pushing and shoving to get the washer far enough away from the wall to unplug it (to reset it), and then we have to jiggle the controls again until the washer deigns to unlock itself (usually by running it on spin cycle or something). I did a load of whites last week that, I kid you not, took a total of about twelve hours to get finished.

Give me an old-fashioned washing machine where you lift the lid, add the clothes and detergent, and push the button. No singing, no error messages, just clean clothes.

As for the dryer, I've literally never used it. After the first few wrestling matches with the washing machine when we first moved in, Don looked wearily at the dryer and said, "Go with the technology you know." So I did.

This is the dishwasher. It, too, sings. I've opened the door once or twice to peer inside, but I've never used it. I've managed to get through the last 40 years without a dishwasher and don't see a need to start now.

This is our refrigerator. It's a fancy dancy model with a pull-out freezer on the bottom, and a cold water and ice dispenser in the door. The interior actually has less room than our old el-cheapo model in our last house, and it sings to us if we don't properly close the door or commit some other misdemeanor.

You can probably guess where this is going. We woke up this morning and saw this:

Groan.

We pulled the fridge out and saw, no surprise, the water line was leaking. I tell ya, refrigerators shouldn't have water lines into them. End of sentence.

Until he has a chance to remove a side panel and crawl under the house to disconnect the water line, Don tapped into his Inner MacGyver and crimped the water line with wire.

He then found the switch to the ice maker, and shut it off.

I took the opportunity to clean the floor...

...and then we shoved the fridge back against the wall. Problem solved.

As Don put it, the ice maker was fun. It was a novelty. But the old ways (ice cube trays) work just fine, and we get nice cold water from the sink tap.

In every other respect this house is wonderful, but I could boot the appliances out the door tomorrow and be happy as a clam.

42 comments:

  1. Speed Queen Classic TC5 - heavy duty and can fill the washer all the way to the top.

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    1. Speed Queen absolutely is the best. We have the computerized model (Tc5 wasn't available and we needed a washer immediately) but we love it. (I wish the TC5 had been available three years ago, though)
      Jeff

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  2. I'm with you. The simpler something is the better it usually works.

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  3. Well, "Gone With The Wind" are the days when we had to think for ourselves. We've ever had a dishwasher, just moved into a house with a disposal and use a compost bucket i stead. The water line to the fridge spring a leak so I pulled the line and called the "T". I feel your pain .

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  4. We've been in our current home 11 years so..
    Dishwasher,came with the house, is top of the line and is perfect for storing kitchen paper goods & glass jars and plastic containers; refrigerator we had to replace,so chose with many recommendations, with a French door type with no exterior water or ice maker - not the same room as our old top freezer, bottom refrig and it too sings annoyingly; house had no washer and dryer, so bought Roper and have the least settings available, much to the dismay of the salesman - I use the washer about twice a week and the dryer 30min twice a month to get the wrinkles out of my shirts, otherwise it's 2 drying racks. Been married 53 years, had a number of appliances and can definitely say the fewer bells and whistles the better.

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  5. I'm with you on the newer appliances. Ugh...and more Ugh! We had the same thing happen with the fridge leaking. Water all over the beautiful wooden floor and of course by the time we found it the floor looked like the wood was going to buckle. A little luck and drying out properly helped. Same thing with the icemaker. I just bought the trays and put in the freezer and it works. The dishwasher I have rarely used over twelve years. I really dislike them honestly. They do not clean like hand washed. They use way too much electricity even though it's suppose to save energy. Honestly, I use the crazy thing for a dish drainer since it is right there by the sink. I run it through a cycle maybe monthly just to keep the lines clean of the drain. I totally agree with you. The washer has given us trouble and is a real pain. Even though all these appliances cost us a small fortune, they will never last like the old ones we had in our older house that we had lived in. What supposedly makes our lives easier seems to me to be more of an expense and a real pain in the back end!

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  6. The appliance guy we call for small needs told us to buy the most basic models with as few electronics as possible. Always top loading. That's what we do.

    We were very sad the day we had to give up our original Maytag washer and dryer from the 1980s. They were the last of the best. My FIL bought the pair (used) for us for $150 when he knew we needed a set and he "happened" upon them. He cleaned them up so they were like new and we used them for years after that.

    It's criminal the way things are made now to self-destruct within a few years.

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  7. We have the same fridge, and everytime the power just clicks...even just a hesitation of power, that thing pings. Took me a week to figure out that it wanted me to push ok, on the temp of the fridge and freezer! Smart technology indeed! What will I ever do when they start selling the flying cars? Haha!

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  8. I agree...Speed Queen all the way, they put them in Laundromats for a reason!

    We also won't buy a refrigerator with an ice maker or water dispenser, they always leak.

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  9. When we moved a few years ago we left our new wash machine with the house. We purchased a new one... nothing fancy... just lift the lid and push a button and it washes better. I definitely prefer the old wash machine to the fancy new ones.

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  10. Speed Queen is the best. Costs a little more, but is suppose to last 20 years.

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  11. I feel your pain!!! My washing machine died about the time those front loaders came on the scene. I jumped on the bandwagon and hated that thing from Day 1. It took forever as you said and didn't clean the clothes. I had always done my laundry in one day, maybe two so that became impossible. It lasted a long time, but nothing like the usual FOREVER of days past. When it finally died, I rejoiced. I was like bring back the old stuff, but I found it hard to find other than a resell store. I did manage to find a top loader with a wee bit of an agitator but it still takes longer. I am retired now, so I wash a little on several days, but yea...miss the old ones. The rest of my appliances I am hoping they last a very long time so I don't have to deal with what you are talking about. I know just enough to know I like my old better. I only use my dishwasher when I have a big family gathering.

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  12. Our last washer was a speed queen and it just works. There was a time last year that they came with a 10 year warranty. One thing that you may want to look at is a surge protector. We have all sorts of power interruptions from all the trees out in the country. we added several of these "[2 Pack] BESTTEN 900-Joule Wall Surge" and they seem to help. I have a stereo amp that would always reset its self and after adding one of these it no longer does that. Apparently Whirlpool is the only refrigerator that is still made in North America like the Speed Queen. I dread when our refridg dies.

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  13. I also prefer low tech appliances. I have a dishwasher, but it isn't super fancy. It is quite handy for canning. I can wash a load of jars and keep them hot until I am ready to fill them. I do have an ice maker, but no water in the door. I added a filter to the line because the water in my area tastes terrible. I have a filter pitcher in the fridge. I do know that fridge water lines need to replaced every 2-3 years as well.

    Since these newer high tech appliances are so popular, you could, as budget allows, replace them with lower tech options and then sell these. When we move, I am going to do this myself, I despise the stainless steal look, it is so hard to keep it looking clean. It also looks to industrial for my taste. Give me basic white please.

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  14. You might want to put in a power strip with a power button so you can have the strip easily accessible to shut it off and back on. Until you get a simpler model of course. Then you don’t have to keep pullng it out

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  15. You might want to put in a power strip with a power button so you can have the strip easily accessible to shut it off and back on. Until you get a simpler model of course. Then you don’t have to keep pullng it out

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    Replies
    1. Refrigerators, washers, and driers used to be "bricks." The power could be dirty as hell, and they'd hum right along. Not so, these days. Everything's got a motherboard of some kind. If your appliances "burp," try plugging them into a surge suppressor outlet strip. This will smooth the power out some, and may cure some of your machines' ills...

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  16. I'm with you on the new appliances! The ice maker on our Samsung refrigerator started giving us issues on day one. Our Samsung dishwasher is giving us issues AGAIN. The touchpad on the Samsung microwave is going bad. All of these appliances were purchased at the same time, six years ago. After three attempts at fixing the ice maker, Samsung bought the refrigerator back. If you're looking for a TV or cell phone, Samsung is EXCELLENT. If you're looking for appliances, Samsung goes into the "HORRIBLE" category! On the other hand, we have an LG washer/drier pair that has been working FLAWLESSLY since we bought them a couple of years back. LG, I would recommend.

    For those of you who don't use the dishwasher, the DO make excellent drainboards to dry your dishes in!

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  17. ...A water fridge water line without a shutoff at the wall? ...Someone skimped there...

    Looks like MacGyver was in the military or fire department! What he did to the water line is what's called a Z-fold. When a fire hose bursts, that's how you stop the water flow until you can shut off the water.

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  18. When we needed a new refrigerator, I wanted one without the icemaker/water dispenser and we had trouble finding one at Home Depot. Seems our request was weird.

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  19. We left our old Roper washing machine when we moved to Idaho. Big mistake! Our new Whirlpool top loader takes 2 hours to wash a load and barely agitates the clothes. It is literally Wash Day here now. I, too, feel your pain.

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  20. I am not ashamed to say that I love my basic model dishwasher and my basic as possible GE washer and dryer. I never use icemakers because I don't trust the lines. At 70 something I need my energy for the yard and garden.

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  21. I absolutely hate my HE washer and dryer. Any light weight load, such as a load of my compression socks/pants/shirts I wear for fibromyalgia pain relief, is only spit on, not washed. We figured this out when my clothes began to reek.
    I want to use the set as target practice and from what I read on the net, I am not alone.
    I want a "turn the dial and push it in, fill it up with clothes and detergent" washer and that is what I am currently shopping for. A Sears associate informed me that there is no such thing. Laughing, I told her, yes there is, it's called buying used.
    We have large maple drying racks, so generally avoid the disappointment of opening up the dryer and finding the clothes are still wet.
    I like my fancy refrigerator, but only because it actually has a 28.5 cu.ft capacity. It also has a valve behind it that enables us to shut the water off if we are going to be gone for any length of time. When it dies, we will replace it with a large, no frills, model. We like the filtered water, but the filters are $49.00 twice a year. Yikes! I liked my old Brita pitcher far more and will get another one.
    Trying to get away from electronic circuit boards is nigh impossible.
    My dishwasher, which is most often used to sterilize canning jars, has an issue with the water heater, most likely due to a defective cold solder, according to the information my husband read. The old DW in our "cabin" has died and I told husband I want to not replace it, but just build a cabinet in that spot, using an extra door that isn't quite large enough. I will find something to frame it in, rather than have another electronically controlled appliance.
    THAT.I.HATE.

    STS

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  22. I can't stand new appliances. Our range has a digital face - have to stand and push the stupid beeping button a dozen times to slow roast something rather than just turning a knob to the correct temp. I finally found a silent coffee pot that doesn't produce that ear-piercing sound when it's finished brewing. And the washer and dryer that came in the house are in the basement so we could bring our old Kenmore's & use them. Okay, I'll stop.

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  23. I know you've got experience, but you can improve the hanging clothes drying by adding a dehumidifier to the room. I've also found that using one has improved my summer comfort. I keep the temp in the high 70s and the humidity around 40%. Modern ACs are made to cool quickly for "efficiency, but that means they don't dehumidify. Also, apparently as we get older, older people find more comfort with higher temps, but low humidity.

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  24. You are correct. All appliances sing now. Because somehow, that means "progress"...

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  25. Agree with everyone. My 40 year old waster/dryer in cabin work perfectly, but home appliances have been through 4-5 iterations. Have come to conclusion that all appliances are to be viewed as disposable, so no extended warranty, no repairman to charge for the inevitable inspection, no need to keep the owner's manual in case we need parts. Just throw it away and replace with another used one from private party--no sales tax and no warranty card to put you on someone's mailing list.

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  26. It is not common for a group of people who have never met, to come together and sing a song in perfect harmony, on-pitch, and in tempo on the first sing-through. The response thus far is a rare exception. I am in full agreement with the rest of you, so if you'll point to the tenor section, I'll join the chorus.

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  27. Just got rid of our 10-year-old Maytag front loader after more than a year of codes appearing for problems. Learned about 20 years ago that appliances are now made to be obsolete in 10 years or less - a shame! Blame it on the younger generations that need change . . . Fortunately, our son found a gentleman who gets appliances from two large stores, most of which are still in the boxes and have warranties. We got a new washer and dryer and dishwasher in the last few months for much less than from a store. I don't expect them to last over 10 years, if that long. I remember the days of appliances lasting a LONG time and miss them!

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  28. When our old washer finally broke we got a new one and it lasted 3 weeks. So we went out and got a Speed Queen. It's the best!

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  29. When I needed a new washer, I went to the local dealer and asked his opinion. He recommended Speed Queen. I asked why. He said all the farmers’ wives were bringing back the fancy machines to get a Speed Queen because the front loaders couldn’t get the farm dirt out. I was sold.

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  30. Yup. Speed Queen. Frank and Fern had a washer saga and I learned from them. At the dealer, I asked for the no frills mechanical washer, no electronics. They told me (quietly) that it was the only one that had metal gears...What?! Apparently all new washers have nylon gears. Our 1980’s fridge is still humming along. It’s ugly, but there it is. It works well. Perhaps you can still buy one on Craig’s List or something?

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  31. Hmmm ... I guess I'm in the minority. I love having the convenience of what we have available to us now days. My grandmother told me what it was like when she had to launder clothes for 11 children on a washboard, hang everything up to dry in the freezing weather, etc. NO FUN. She loved her very first washer and dryer and was in heaven with any appliance that made her life a little easier. Dishwashers now days use LESS water than washing by hand. So do the new washing machines. I'm all for using less of our very precious natural resources. Sounds as though you got a house full of many lemons and I'm sorry you have had that experience. Personally, I love convenience but I have to admit they don't make things like they used to. That's a fact. I hope you grow to enjoy your new home and life and be grateful you don't have 11 children to launder for (including babies ... and diapers by the 100's to hang up to dry). Life was not easy for my grandmother who was born in the 1800's and she taught me to enjoy what I have and be grateful for it.

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  32. Front loader washers are a nightmare. They leak, take way longer to wash and the computer boards go out quickly. I also hate refrigerators with a bottom drawer freezer; you can't hardly get anything in or out of them. We do have a newer model washer and dryer, but the washer is top-loading and dryer is nothing too fancy. They work fine. Basically what I have noticed is that any appliance that is "high efficiency" or "super quite" will never work right and break within a year.

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  33. We just bought a new house that came with the latest (and cheapest) type stove top. It is ceramic. It takes FOREVER to heat up and cook things. Then, once you remove the pot and turn off the burner, it stays very hot for a LONG time. Next, try to keep it clean. It seems ceramic picks up every possible stain, including just doing nothing stain. You have to buy special cleaner to keep it clean. Cooking eggs for breakfast takes way longer than the lovely gas stove I had in my last home. We bought that one and sold it with the house. I also have "all stainless steel" appliances - each the cheapest of the line. Try keeping them finger print and spot free - impossible!! So far the washer and dryer we bought are good and I did buy minimal bells and whistles, but I wish I knew about SpeedQueen 3 months ago when we moved here - I'd have bought those in a heartbeat. I do miss hanging clothes out to dry, but here in Florida, the rainy season pretty much guarantees you must use racks in the house or a dryer. This is just another example of the dumbing down and lack of quality in anything - because everything is made in China, which is our enemy. Before I burst a gasket, I'm signing off. I hope you find other ways of circumventing the "technology" singing to you every day.

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  34. Just a thought about the dishwasher... if you think you might ever want to use it, then run it once in awhile now. If it just sits, the
    (rubber?) seals will dry out, crack, leak...

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  35. We bought a side by side 28 cu ft refrigerator from Wards for $525.00 out the door over 30 years ago. Then tried to find another when it died. We did not want an ice maker at all. And wanted a big refrigerator again. ..if at all possible. The only place we could get one was Sears. Can't buy there again. No other store, and we tried many, and on line, had any to order or in stock without an ice maker and side by side. Used to be the day your fridge went out you could go to Sears or whatever and buy a fridge from their warehouse and take it home that day. Now you have to order them and be without one till they get one and then set up a delivery date. :( Don't ask about the Maytag washer we got 9 years ago. It is a top loader but sings as you say, and yes it uses less water but also does not clean. I have had some loads come out of the 'washer' with dry areas on the garments !! And when the clothes are done soap is still in them. I do se very little soap but still every load has to be rerinsed. And yes errors and notices of unbalanced loads etc. The manual says little to nothing to help. You usually have to just push the cancel button and lose the detergent and all the water you just put in cause it automatically empties. So when you restart again do you need to ad detergent again. Never sure. I want my old models back !!!! And why oh why do you have to wash a washer" Why, oh why would I have to buy another product or use a special clorax added wash load to clean a washer??? I always use vinegar instead of softer and still a washer gets dirty? That cleaning cycle adds water to the top and so uses a ton of water...so much for water saving!! This all makes no sense. Used to be you could read the instruction book at the store before buying too but now you have to learn about the machines you pay so much for blind. :(((( Sarah

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  36. Post Alley CrackpotApril 8, 2021 at 6:32 PM

    I had a Kyocera washer/dryer combo in the UK, and its settings complexity, long cycle time, and other factors meant it was something to avoid rather than to use.

    It took two hours to finish "deep washing" cycles and could hold at most 8 kg of laundry, although it really didn't like that and preferred even less.

    Its main selling feature appeared to be that it could do laundry very quietly, and on that basis it was a success.

    Then I moved to the States and bought a washer from Maytag labelled "Made In America" which presumably lost its "By Morons" label next to it.

    Despite being a high capacity top loader, you can't load more than about 6 kg in it without getting to listen to the song of its people.

    BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG
    BANG BANG WHAM THUD BANG
    THUNKA THUNKA THUNKA

    It can move across the laundry room several inches while playing the song of its people.

    I was hoping the movers would damage it so we could collect on the damage claim and buy something not made by morons, but sadly it's durable enough to survive a move.

    So perhaps the label next to "Made In America" that was lost actually said "By Sadistic Morons".

    The dryer's decent enough, it has all of the reserve that any sibling would have when dealing with a hyperactive brother. :-)

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  37. Had young? Plumbers in N.Y. who maintained a 30 year old dishwasher to run like a hot rod, steaming clean, it sold with the house. Seemed much simpler..!

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  38. I'm with you on the new appliances. I hate my washer for several reason not least of which it takes an hour to do a load and the locking lid. Thankfully I didn't replace my 1979 dryer so at least I'm happy with that. Five dishwashers in 10 years and I now have shelves where it used to live. Much more practical.

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  39. Here's a neat stove. https://www.reddit.com/r/Damnthatsinteresting/comments/mpo2ld/stove_from_1904/

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