Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Call Me a Luddite

"The more they over-think the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." ~ Montgomery Scott, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

My beloved Whirlpool Duet washing machine has been dying for about a year or so. It's 10 years old, so instead of repairing it we plant to replace it. When it was bought front loading washing machines were an innovation in washing machine technology. I was charmed by the uniqueness of them, and was curious to see if they performed better than the traditional top load. Our machine lived up to all of the hype of a front loading machine. The clothes came out super clean and almost dry. I declared that a front loading machine was worth the higher price.

My ideal washing machine
When I could no longer deny that it was time to think about replacing our stalwart machine I reluctantly began the research process. Buying an appliance has become a major ordeal because there's so many features to consider against cost, and reliability is very important factor--or so I thought. We found out that our brand and model had a high failure rate--most people had theirs die within the first 5 years. Ours lasting 10 years is either a testament to our treatment of the machine or we got lucky.

As I began to look at new machines my brain was immediately confused. What's the difference between 3.5 and 3.6 cubic ft capacity? Is 1200 rpm spin cycle significantly different than 1100? (My current one is 1000 rpm). Do I need steam? What is the difference between 9 wash cycles and 12? The extensive control panels with all sorts of buttons and lights was too overwhelming. I decided I just want a machine that has one button labeled "WASH"!

Before my  brain exploded from information overload I announced to Pooky we should pop in to Home Depot so I could look at the machines. The sales lady was very nice as I explained to her my confusion and need for clarity. I quickly learned that there are basic models that will do what I need. The extensive control panels are on the pricier models only. For some reason she decided to show us the fanciest refrigerators--there is one that cost $3500 and it has all sorts of nifty things that it does. It was too much! I decided that the old-fashioned ice box will be my next fridge.

I usually embrace new technology and love innovation, but I'm thinking it's time to go old school, or at least simplify.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I live in fear of my 11-year-old front loader dying. I apparently also have one that a lot of people had bad experiences with, though luckily I've had no problems with it (knock wood) except that I think I need to pull the front cover and pull out the wad of cat/dog hair that's almost certainly making the pump less efficient because lately clothes are coming out with almost as much cat hair as they went in with, albeit clean, fresh cat hair.