My dad owned a hardware store when I was growing up and he could fix a lot of things. So I learned early on to repair broken things, or at least try. Fast forward to 2014 and it just seems that “things are not made like they used to be.” Meaning, appliances and such are not made to be repaired, just replaced. This was a difficult concept for me to learn.
When we got married and started buying things for our home, we bought good ones that were made to last. I remember when we bought our first washer and dryer. We were in the appliance store and the salesman asked what brand we were interested in. Tim asked me what brand of washer my mother had, “Maytag” I replied. I asked him the same question, and the answer was the same, so we told the salesman, Maytag. And we bought a Maytag! That set served us well for almost 20 years, with a couple of repairs along the way.
Contrast that to the dishwasher. When we moved into our TN house, the dishwasher was functional, so we left it, as there were more pressing needs- no range and a refrigerator on it’s last legs. When I did replace the dishwasher, it worked pretty well for a while, but then had a couple of electrical issues and was recalled. The new dishwasher was more expensive that the last one, due to the recall requirements, but looked great. However, it had several problems, all just outside the warranty period. In the end, I replaced the control panel 3 times before just calling it quits. We bought a new one last week, after a week of dishes not coming clean. When we were shopping for this dishwasher the salesman was quite shocked when I told him I may run the dishwasher 3 times a day. I guess that is a lot. We decided to buy a rather plain model at a relatively low price and just replace again in a couple of years.
The same thing with the microwave. It stopped working on 12/24, just in time for the largest cooking day of the year. I temporarily solved the problem by sending Aaron to the barn where we had one of the college girl’s microwaves stored, as they did not need it this year. But the small dorm size model was not what we were used to. On Monday I stopped at Sam’s and picked up a new one, $159.00 for a rather large and powerful microwave. What a deal. We have learned that for these type of things there is no repairing, just replace. And if I could find a repairman, it was likely cost almost as much as buying a new one.
While it is nice to get a new appliance occasionally, I do not like the new replace rather than repair mentality. Thankfully, this has not carried over to the farm. Most things we use on the farm can still be repaired, sharpened or reworked until functional again. How do you handle the disposable way many items are now manufactured? Do you attempt a repair or just toss and buy new? Which items do you repair and which do you simply replace?