LG Rep: Washers And Dryers Are Not Meant To Last

Morgan called up LG looking for a part for his dryer. He had learned that he wouldn’t be able to get the appliance repaired. That was disappointing, because he paid $1,000 for it only seven years ago. He was already frustrated enough when an LG customer service rep said the words that prompted him to write to Consumerist.

He writes:

So, back in 2005 or so, my wife and I bought a washer dryer combo from LG. At the time, it was their TROMM branded high end front loading set. I think the total was about $2000 for the pair.

A few years in, the washer started being erratic – turns out something is permanently off balance, so it makes a thumping /vibrating noise when it spins. Out of warranty, we just left it be. It works, but it sounds loud through the whole house (it is in the basement)

Now the dryer has just quit, and the part to repair it is no longer being made. So I called customer service at LG, to speak with someone to confirm if the part was in fact discontinued (a circuit board of some sort). I started explaining the situation, and that I was disappointed that a $1000 dryer only lasted 7 years, and combined with the washer issues I was really down on the company. When I paused to ask to see if they could confirm that they did in fact discontinue the part, I was told

“Well, that is pretty common for all washers and dryers made today – they are not meant to last.”

What? I explained my parents had whirlpool brand that were still running fine after 12+ years. And that I was really shocked to hear that LG thinks that a 7 year lifespan on their flagship line of appliances is good enough. At which point he said “what would you like me to say?”

I didn’t really see the point in continuing the conversation at this point. I just was curious – for a washer and dryer – am I crazy in thinking that a 7 year lifespan is too short?

No, although the plastic and electronic components used in today’s large appliances do seem to shorten their lifespans. My parents used the same Kenmore dryer from 1970 to 2007, and have an even older one that came with their current house. But new appliances? Give ‘em seven years, max.


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Comments

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  1. Chmeeee says:

    Good Lord, who are the 15% that are selecting yes?

    I understand that things break, but after seven years, it should certainly still be repairable!

    • AzCatz07 says:

      Must be trolls… or LG employees.

    • StarKillerX says:

      I didn’t vote because I wanted a “it depends” option since in this case I would expect LG to make/stock parts longer for their top end products, but not so much for their low cost crappy options.

  2. George4478 says:

    When my $700 LG dishwasher’s circuit board and leakage seal both failed after 4 years it was almost cheaper to replace it than it was to repair it.

    So I dumped LG and went to a GE Profile (but not one of the flaming ones from the recent recall)

    The LG had replaced a 15-year-old new-home cheapo model from GE.

  3. JohnDeere says:

    appliances should be lifetime purchases if properly maintained.

  4. TerpBE says:

    When my washing broke in 2009, I checked the ID plate and it had a phone number for the place where it was purchased. It was something like “PH5-3000″. How long ago did they use telephone exchanges like that? The 60s? The 50s? I’d say that washing machine was meant to last.

  5. Taleigh says:

    I have been Married for 29 Years Labor Day, I am on my second set of W/D. They are 5 years old so the first set lasted 24 years

  6. kanenas says:

    7 years? I hope this isn’t typical of all LG washers and dryers. I’d say 20-30 years, at least, based on the old analog ones I had growing up.

  7. oldwiz65 says:

    Typical of appliance mfgrs these days…TVs can’t get replacement parts either even if only a couple of years old.

  8. valkyrievf2x says:

    7 years is not too long for a washer/dryer. I think part of the issues are that the machines are getting more and more complex, thus requiring more doodads in them. The more doodads, the more likely things are gonna break down. Combine that with the extremely variable overseas manufacturing, and you have a recipe for disaster. While electronics seem to be good time/cost savers, they don’t strike me as resilient as old fashioned mechanical linkages and regular switches/knobs.

    That being said, my washer and dryer are almost 12 years old, and the only repair they have needed was the washer’s dogs finally broke off. $20 and 5 minutes later and it was good as new. Still uses all the old style knobs and everything. Roper (I think that is the off brand from Whirlpool) is their make.

    • Rogersda76 says:

      We have a GE upright freezer from 1970s and it is still going strong. We have not replaced the coolant in decades. It’s moved from Kansas to storage (military), to Pennsylvania, to Virginia, to South Carolina, and to Maryland.

      It’s not a frost-free version, but we don’t care. I works, and works well. There is no fancy-schmancy printed circuit board, displays, or touch-screen controls. . Big knob that turns. We set it 20 years ago and haven’t thought about it since.

    • jsibelius says:

      Ya know…that kinda makes sense. It justifies spending less money on the cheapo model with fewer “features.”

      • Suburban Idiot says:

        Before we were married, my wife bought a cheapo GE washer/dryer set when she first moved into her own place. They still work perfectly well (and the last five years have included washing for two small, messy children, too), and we use them quite a bit.

        If they only had a 7-year lifespan, we’d have had to replace them some time ago, but the only maintenance they’ve received is an occasional cleaning.

  9. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Average lifespan of a dryer should be 12-14 years, a washer a little less.

    Don’t bother calling the manufacturer for the part, it will be way too expensive even if they have it. The replacement parts were manufactured en masse and sold off to wholesalers long ago, many of whom sell them online through their own websites.

    I recently needed a replacement part for a 12 year old microwave. I could buy it from various online parts places for about $100. I found it on ebay for about $50 shipped. It came in a box with a stamp saying it was manufactured 9 years ago. No problem, it isn’t like it deteriorated – it’s just been sitting in a warehouse all these years.

  10. Geekybiker says:

    And this is why you don’t buy the fancy ones. The simpler the washer/dryer the more likely it made from parts that won’t be discontinued. Electronics change often. Mechanics dont.

  11. Costner says:

    When I bought my first home, my brother gave me a Maytag washer and dryer set that were probably at least 10 years old at the time. About three or four years later I needed a part for the dryer… and it was available from the local parts supplier for about $35. An hour to replace the part, and it ran fine for another six or seven years until I finally passed the set on to other family members.

    That set is probably at least 20 years old now, and still works fine… but if something does break the parts are still available over the counter. There is something to be said about the old front loaders that just worked. No LCD screens, no fancy electronics, no computers… just a dial and a couple of push buttons.

    The funny this is, people buy the front loaders because they are more energy efficient, but do you really save money if you have to replace them after seven years of use? I’m not sure the payback period is short enough to make that worthwhile. We might all be better off using the proven technology of a 1980s era Maytag or Whirlpool.

    • Chmeeee says:

      You can still get a new, basic frontloader. You just have to buy the bottom of the line. Cheaper, efficient, lasts longer, just doesn’t look fancy and have 2,000 different settings for washing my undies.

      • scoosdad says:

        Yeah, how many different options do you need to wash clothes? Level of the water in the tub (low, medium, high), and water temps for wash and rinse. That’s all we’ve ever used or felt we needed. Our latest washer (a year ago, a top loader) has non-electronic controls. Couple of big knobs and a clock timer.

        And we’re still using the dryer that was sold with the house when it was new in 1987. Parts are still widely available.

    • AzCatz07 says:

      I’ve heard nothing but complaints about those front loaders.

      • jsibelius says:

        You won’t hear me complaining about mine. It works great. I bought the basic, bottom-of-the-line one like Chmeeee says. My undies are clean, I promise.

    • MaytagRepairman is stealing socks while fixing your dryer. says:

      I went through an open house at Maytag HQ in the late 1980′s. I was a mechanical engineering student at the time and the engineers at the open house were pleased to be able to talk to someone without dumbing things down. One of them told me that a washer/dryer was designed for the equivalent of a family of 4 for 13 years before they needed a single repair.

      Maytag went downhill in the 90′s. They pushed volume and cut back on the number of people doing quality control on the line. The initial Neptunes were a disaster of electronics problems. It was the only manufactured product I’ve ever heard of where an extended warranty actually paid for itself.

      Today the HQ is gone. Drowning in debt, they were bought by Whirlpool.

  12. mikedt says:

    All we have is crap anymore. There use to be a full line of a given product to choose from – cheap crap to the “cadillac of whaterver”. Now it seems that regardless of what you spend, you’re getting the same cheap crap, just with more bells and whistles.

    I just put $75 worth of DIY parts into a 10+ year old washing machine – the first it has needed anything. My wife and I seriously thought about going with a new low water use front loader until I started researching them. It seemed like no matter the brand or the cost, far too many people had machines that barely made it out or warranty without expensive repairs. Water is going to have to start costing more than beer for me to “upgrade” at this point.

    • jsibelius says:

      After I had my new AC unit installed five years ago, I was warned it has a 10-year life expectancy. For a product that cost almost $10,000, I was appalled at the idea. I’d rather save for retirement than for my next AC unit.

  13. nopirates says:

    washers of old were a small collection of mechanical part: some timers, a small motor, a few valves. washers today are computerized, have 43827429387 different wash cycles, and rely heavily on those electronics to last. it should come as no surprise that due to its complexity the current generation is less reliable. customers flock to these high tech washers and dryers and companies make a zillion $$$ on them, so things will stay this way.

    sorry, but i am not surprised by this at all.

    • JEDIDIAH says:

      There’s electronics from the 70s and 80s that’s still operational. The fact that the device is “computerized” is no excuse to tolerate poor quality and crap longevity.

  14. Howie411 says:

    Purchased a brand new Condo in 2005, it came with a low end GE Washer and Dryer. After 5 1/2 years the dryer broke, but oddly enough it broke by not turning off (had to keep the door open). Had GE come out to look at it, and they charged me $100, then wanted another $350+ to fix the issue. I ended up just buying a brand new high end one for $500 on Black Friday.

  15. Chuft-Captain says:

    Really LG? This is what you want to be your TROMM Legacy?

  16. kranky says:

    I know that’s how it is today, but it still amazes me. Our washer and dryer (Kenmore) are over 25 years old. If I had to replace them, I would be happy to buy high quality units that would last the same amount of time and I wouldn’t complain about the cost. But I don’t believe ANY company makes them that way today.

    When we replaced our refrigerator we talked to a salesguy about whether we could save on utilities by getting a new washer and dryer. He asked what we had now and then told us just stick with our current ones. The new ones don’t last and the new washers basically suck at washing clothes due to the Energy Star requirements they must meet.

    Realistically, the more electronics that are used, the less likely you will be able to find parts after a few years. The components (ICs, etc.) that were used become obsolete and there is no way to replace them. Perhaps we’ll see a return to more electromechanical type of units that could be repaired in many cases without the need for complex electronic components that were only used in a couple of models made for a couple of years.

  17. sgtsquid says:

    I remember the Goldstar brand back in the 80′s and how everyone warned about the pathetic quality. It looks like that is the norm now and LG is just going back to it’s roots. In case you didn’t know, LG used to be Goldstar.

  18. scoosdad says:

    I know why the washer was making a thumping /vibrating noise– it has a kitty in it.

    Seriously the way appliances and TVs are manufactured these days is that when there’s an assembly line set up somewhere to build them, they also build ‘x’ number of spare parts. Then they stop selling that particular model, and the assembly lines are converted to support a new model. No more manufacturing of spare parts takes place unless the parts are being used in the new model too.

    So when LG manages to sell ‘x’ number of control boards, they’re gone, and essentially that appliance can’t be repaired anymore. In ‘olden days’ a lot of the parts in a washer or dryer were made by third party manufacturers and used in a lot of different brands appliances. It was a Maytag washer, but the control might have been made by GE and sold everywhere. That’s why you remember that you had a washer that lasted 20 years and you could get parts for it. Nowadays, not so much.

    Samsung for example is notorious for not having enough spare boards to fix their TVs (even still under warranty). I have a friend who received two new replacement TVs from Samsung during his warranty because Samsung couldn’t produce the parts to fix the first two that broke.

  19. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Our washer and dryer came with the house and they’re from the 90s. They’re not remotely quiet, but they still work and appliances are so expensive to begin with that we’re not going to replace them until they quit and we can’t repair them.

    This leads me to ask.. is there any way to figure out the cost difference between older appliances and the newer energy star appliances? You know, without buying the appliance to compare?

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      If they’re electric, you could put a meter in between them and the wall socket to figure out how much electricity they use.

      • Costner says:

        That works great for 110V models as you can just put a $15 Kill-A-Watt meter in there… but for the 220V dryer, I’m not aware of any residential solution to measure the power used. They would need some type of a meter at the panel or at the plug, and I’m guessing that would be very expensive.

        I was once in a house built by an electrical supplier where they spoke about all the new innovations. The house had a total of 10 electrical meters – one primary, one for the electric water heater, one for the heat pump, one for the fridge, one for the electric range, one for the electric dryer, one for some electrical panels that were installed under the basement concrete slab, and a few others I can’t recall. Their plan was to monitor usage for the family that bought the house so they could track where they were using power.

        I’m sure some people would hate that because of the “big brother” concept, but I would have loved it. Imagine knowing right down to the fraction of a kilowatt how much power you used for your dryer this month or how much it cost you to heat the water. That would rock.

        • Costner says:

          I should clarify… I’m not aware of an “affordable” solution to measure 220V usage. I do know of a system that installs in the electrical panel and clips on to the hot leads which will measure how much electricity is being used by each device… but the system costs hundreds and hundreds of dollars so it isn’t exactly feasible since the chances of the device ever paying for itself are extremely slim.

  20. klobbersaurus685 says:

    When I bought my house, my parents gave me their washer and dryer that were already 9 years old. 6 years later and they are both running great.

  21. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    If you were buying the ~$300 plain-Jane washers and dryers, like they used to be in the Good Old Days, they probably do last a couple decades…because there’s not much to go wrong.

    If you buy $2,000 washers and dryers that are infested with all sorts of extra electronics, widgets and doo-dads, your opportunity for something to go wrong just shot through the roof.

    Which do you think is going to last longer…a screwdriver, or an electronic screwdriver?

  22. zz9 says:

    Miele. Washers built to last twenty years in typical family use. Mine is 18 years old and has never had a problem. They look boring but they are very high tech inside. One downside is that they haven’t (yet) followed people like LG into the bigger load sizes since they don’t want to do so until they can be sure they will still last twenty years on average.

  23. keepher says:

    Buying anything from LG is like putting your money in the garbage disposal while its running.

    I haven’t quite figured out why others haven’t figured this out yet.

  24. cyberpenguin says:

    We have a Sears & Roebuck chest freezer from the early 50′s happily running in our garage until I cursed it with this post.

    • Rogersda76 says:

      That’s what I felt when I posted about our freezer. I will be so upset if our freezer fails in the next few days…

  25. Extended-Warranty says:

    I guess I could swallow that it could break within 7 years. Washing machines/dryers are much different than they used to be. All the new features and sensors make everything more complex. Of course, consumers only see the bad. Never mind the 7 years of water and electric that you saved on that made this one better than your resource hog that lasted 25 years.

    What I do find unacceptable is not even being able to get it fixed. If it breaks, ok. Leave me with options!

  26. ancientone567 says:

    LG sucks ass. After buying a few item made by LG and having them fail I learned never to buy LG ever again. PERIOD!

  27. dush says:

    Even $150 dryers are front load. Why buy one for $1000?

  28. Outrun1986 says:

    I am not sure how many options you need to wash clothes, my washer is a maytag and all I do is put clothes in, put soap in, turn on water and turn the knobs to the proper settings. Its super easy and I can’t imagine wanting anything different. Also the washer is only like 2 years old, so they still make them.

  29. evilpete says:

    I bought a “Speed Queen” washer / drier pair in ’93, the wash lasted though 2010 when we replaced the out of balance watcher and till functioning drier.

  30. ReverendTed says:

    We’ve got a GE Professional Care set that we inherited when we bought our house several years ago. The last appliance repairman that came out (to replace a worn out bearing and gasket) told us never to sell it because it would last forever with minor maintenance, whereas the newer ones are not designed to last. (Ceramic-coated metal tub vs plastic tub, etc.) Or maybe he just wants us to keep calling him to fix our decade-old washer.

  31. SerenityDan says:

    Lived in my house for 9 years, still have the same dryer that was here when I moved in. No clue how old it was at that point but still works fine today.

    • Not Given says:

      My son put a rebuilt timer in my washer something like 21-22 years ago and it still works. I am really not looking forward to the day I have to replace any of my major appliances. Every one I have is decades old and were used when we got them.

    • Astrid says:

      Yup, our washer/dryer set are at least 16 years old and we seen no reason to replace them any time soon. We have had to take apart and fix both units in the last year but the parts are still being made and the repairs were easy enough for us to do ourselves.

      Take that newfangled appliances!

  32. macemoneta says:

    We can’t blame the companies; this is something we do to ourselves. If you take two similar looking appliances that perform the same and have the same functionality, we will simply choose the one that costs less. It doesn’t matter that the long-life metal parts have been replaced with plastic; we can’t see that so it’s not part of the decision. As a result, manufacturers are continually looking to lower costs by replacing expensive components with cheaper shorter-lived components. You save half the price, but get one fifth the usable life.

    • samonela says:

      So you’re saying that his purchasing a $2000 flagship washer/dryer set 25 years ago would have cost $4000?

      Seems to me that the old saying “you get what you pay for” is what has him most disappointed.

      • rugman11 says:

        According to this 1953 GE ad, a new washer cost $300, or about $2,500 in today’s dollars.

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Print-Ad-General-Electric-Automatic-Washer-Dryer-/230842524770?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35bf496462

        • dks64 says:

          The quality in the 70′s when the price was less (in relation to today’s dollar) was much better than today. Someone else posted on here: “Sears catalog from 1970 lists a Kenmore Washer for $189.00 would be $1116.00 which is about what the person in the story paid for their washer that is only supposed to last 7 years.”

          • blivet says:

            Honestly, I think American products from the 70s get a bad rap. The styling and finish was bad, but functionally I think they were pretty good. My parents’ Kenmore washer lasted them from 1977, supposedly during the absolute nadir of American manufacturing, until 2011. That’s almost 35 years. And you still see a lot of American cars from the 70s and 80s on the road, compared to the number of Japanese cars from the same period. (Lots of German cars though.)

    • ninabi says:

      But- if a company advertised that they used high quality parts for a machine that will last as long as your parents’ washer did, I would pay the extra money.

      It’s difficult for the consumer to know what parts are inside. When we needed a washer/dryer and fridge a few years ago, we knew to stay away from the low end products because the parts never last. But how do we know if the high end ones are any better? We don’t. The fridge recently had to be repaired because a part that used to be metal is now made of brittle plastic that fractures quickly.

      But I know there is a market out there for truly durable goods.

      • highfructosepornsyrup says:

        Maybe if they stood behind their durable goods? Gimme a 20 yr warranty and I’ll believe it’s well made.

      • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

        Isn’t this what Consumer Reports is for? :p

    • Milquetoast says:

      Have to agree with this. I worked for a high-profile appliance manufacturer for a few years after college, and had the pleasure of discussing whether or not the industry engaged in “planned obsolescence” with an exec at a lunch party. In short, it’s there, but it’s not as nefarious as some would make it out to be. With consumers being so easily distracted by shiny new things, there’s very little incentive for manufacturers to build appliances that are guaranteed to last 20 years. You can get a bottom-of-the-line gas dryer today for not too much more than you could 10-15 years ago, and it will have more features. And it’s all because, like you said, we will almost always choose the cheapest option available. Manufacturers will go (and have gone) broke spending the money on R&D and materials for appliances that might last longer, but cost twice as much.

    • human_shield says:

      But the expensive ones aren’t better. Why should we bother to buy the expensive one when it lasts just as long as the cheap one? The problem is that nothing of quality is even AVAILABLE anymore.

      They just throw fake stainless paneling, and add a useless fancy electronic display that will surely break, and charge twice the price.

    • ThatCatGuy says:

      Yeah, and with the race to the bottom using Chinese manufacturing, every ounce saved counts when shipped halfway across the world.

    • cspirou says:

      Actually it’s not entirely the fault of the consumer buying cheap. A lot of it is because these products are engineered to fail after a given period of time. This is so we still have a reason to buy these products over and over to sustain the business. While i don’t like it I can’t really argue with their logic. If everything they made worked perfectly fine then then wouldn’t be able to sell as much and their business could go under.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Actually, I often times will buy a higher priced item that comes with a longer or lifetime warranty. (Not an add on extended one, but one directly from the manufacturer.) I haven’t had to buy any major appliances so far, but when I do that will be one of the major deciding factors when I go shopping.

      A longer warranty means that things are built to last, and if not, they’ll be the ones fixing it instead of me.

  33. Sian says:

    Well maybe your dryer would keep running if you stopped putting cats in it.

  34. Polish Engineer says:

    I think this simply applies to everything these days. My mom has a food processor from the 80s. I followed suit and bought a higher end Cuisinart thinking the same would happen for me. POS fell apart within a year.

    • ReverendTed says:

      This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this exact story. Grandma has a 30-year-old Cuisinart, while an expensive new one quickly goes to pieces with moderate usage.

    • FigNinja says:

      Yep. I moved into my house in 2006. The kitchen had been completely redone in 2005. Within a year, the compressor on the stainless steel Jenn Air fridge blew. Luckily it was replaced under warranty, but the repair guy said this happens so often he always keeps a couple of that model on the truck. $2000 fridge. He told me if it blows again after we’re out of warranty that we’d be better off replacing it because the repair is too expensive.

      All the labeling on the GE Profile range installed the same year is gone. It’s not like I used harsh cleaners or scrubbed on it. They just wiped off. You just kinda have to know where to turn the knob for a given burner setting. At least it works ok, but it’s not like they don’t know how to make durable lettering. My parents’ stove is over 20 years old and you can still see the lettering clearly.

      My $1000 washer that I bought in 2004 has already needed three repairs. Luckily I’m handy enough to do it myself and was able to buy the parts online.

      I’ve always gone by the rule that you should buy the best quality you can reasonably afford. Basically I look at the high end but not so high that it’s just luxury and the law of diminishing returns has started to apply. I’m wondering at this point if the super high end is any better or if I should just buy much cheaper appliances with the idea that I will be lucky to get 10 years out of them.

      • Not Given says:

        According to my sister, when she was looking for a dishwasher, 2 years was about all any of the reviews made it look like she could expect. All the reviews were saying they couldn’t get parts for their 2 yr old dishwasher.

      • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

        “…if I should just buy much cheaper appliances with the idea that I will be lucky to get 5 years out of them.”

        FTFY

    • missminimonster says:

      I have a Sunbeam Mixmaster from the mid-60′s that still works perfectly. It was my mother’s. I also had a Hamilton Beach that lasted about five years.

      • Heyref says:

        I have my mother’s Mixmaster from the early 50s. It’s built like a truck and runs like a watch. It is also much quieter than a KithenAid.

      • dks64 says:

        My Mom gave me her 1976 blender when I moved out. The darn thing works better than the new one I bought. I replaced the blade and it works fantastic. It’s even “1976 yellow,” very retro looking.

  35. drewg says:

    Older appliances are built to last and have little or no electronics to fail and are far better than the junk they sell today.

    When I got my first apartment in the mid 90s with a washer/dryer hookup, I bought a used kenmore washer/drier set from the mid 70s. They always worked fine, never any problems.

    When I got married around 2000, my wife had recently bought her washer/drier set, so we sold mine and kept hers. Mistake … hers died after a few years. We’re actually on our 3rd set right now. I’ll bet my old 70s models are still going strong.

  36. Cheezeburgerzicanhaz says:

    We moved into a place that has a washer and dryer from the 80′s. The eatons viking line. Anyone in Canada older than 30 would know what this means. Eatons hasn’t been around for a very long time and their washer and dryer are lasting longer than ones bought very recently.

    • phsiii says:

      13 years isn’t “a very long time”. Oh, unless we’re talking appliance half-lives, apparently! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

      The really sad part is that even the older ones don’t last forever, and you wind up throwing them away because they’ve discontinued some of those parts, too.

  37. FigNinja says:

    My local wash & fold charges $0.75/lb. At that rate, they may have been able to just pay other people to do their laundry for them for the same price.

  38. HogwartsProfessor says:

    The fridge that came with my house in 2002 was an Admiral. I haven’t seen that brand in years. I have no idea how old it was, but it finally gave up the ghost recently. My mother got me a new fridge from Lowe’s. It’s the simplest, cheapest model but it works, and is probably more energy-efficient than the old one. I hate that appliances today aren’t built to last. In this economy, even the basic model is out of some people’s reach, and then it doesn’t even work very long.

    • phsiii says:

      You went to the wrong big-box hardware store: Admiral appliances are currently sold only at Home Depot.

  39. ECA says:

    OK..
    Something STUPID..

    A few thoughts about this..
    COMPUTER CONTROL PROBLEM??

    Who wants to make a new interface??
    HOW about getting an old style tech JUST to bypass the computer.. REALLY..
    if it IS the control board…chips only have a few uses.

    PROBLEM with most of the Computer controlled CRAP out there?? CUSTOM CHIPS..programmed BADLY or specifically..to FAIL…
    Anyone wish to start a business??

    • Dr.Rocker says:

      Just took apart my Dryer, checked all the wiring. Checked the fuses, Replaced the (broken wire) element. I looked at this 5 year old dryer for about 2 hours, opening it up and then, closing it up when I had replaced the part. No computer chips in the circuit, none in the dryer. Did the same thing when the Washer quit last year, replaced plastic finger clutch, no computer chips.
      I would love to hear where the majority of these computer control chips are…’Cause I haven’t seen ‘em…

  40. ninabi says:

    I wonder what the they-lasted-forever-harvest-gold washers cost when new, and when adjusted for inflation, what they would cost today?

    In other words, what is the true cost of truly durable goods?

  41. Snowblind says:

    Vibration is the death of soldered parts. In other words, you should have fixed the vibration problem when it happened.

    Some things are still made to be repairable. My espresso machine recently broke and I fixed it with $60 of parts.

    All the parts are pretty much off the shelf items, the heating element that failed is a generic part, standard mechanical switches and valves, pump and group are the same as every other Italian espresso maker out there… I should be able to repair it forever.

    Unless the boiler were to explode… then I might have bigger issues than the espresso machine…

  42. dirtleg says:

    We bought new washer/dryer set (Westinghouse) and fridge (Whirlpool) with our first house in 1982. The washer gave out about 8 years ago and we replaced it with a low end priced GE. The dryer lasted another 4 years and when it gave out we replaced the set with a new Whirlpool front loader set (about $1800 for the set). No problems so far with either of them. The fridge gave out a couple of years ago and we replaced it with a mid level priced LG (about $1200). So far no problems with that either. I do not expect them to last as long as our old models though. If we get 10 years or more from them I will feel like we did OK.
    My mom still has the refridgerator that they bought in the seventies some time. Makes some strange noises but still keeps things cold. My mother in law has a small refridgerator that is a 60′s vintage and is still humming along.

  43. glich says:

    Thats insane. i just did some napkin math i dry 3-4 loads of laundry every 2 weeks that’s about $500 bucks in quarters over 7 years. If i pay $1000 bucks for a dryer + the power to run it it better last a whole hell of a lot longer then then 7 years. more like 20..

    • acw123 says:

      Yes – but the time involved is the big issue with going to the laundromat. Have to drive there, wait there, drive back. I’ll gladly pay an extra $500 to free up 7 years worth of sunday afternoons.

  44. MBZ321 says:

    My advice is to buy the simplest of every appliance model possible. No front-load Washers, no fridges with TV’s built in, no dishwashers with a control panel that looks like a car’s dashboard. The simpler it looks, the easier and cheaper it will be to repair. Sadly, this may not be possible forever as companies cram more and more ‘technology’ into things that do not really need it.

    And if you really want a good washer, go with Speed Queen (yes, they make home laundry units, but you can’t find them at Lowe’s/Sears or any big chain store). Going on 6 years now and not a single repair. (Just avoid their dryers..they are no different than any other. The one I have is a Whirlpool-clone and has already needed many repairs).

    (And google around the model # and the issue…sometimes things are as simple as cleaning a filter (like I had to do this week while housesitting and using a horribly designed GE Adora washer, and you still may be able to find “discontinued” parts from another soruce..

  45. missminimonster says:

    It seems to be that way for a lot of things these days, not just appliances. When my mother died, I ended up with a lot of older appliances and furniture that was as old as she was (so it’s about 60 now, give or take) and they are still going strong. My boyfriend is pressuring me to throw it all out, but I’m hanging on. It seems to just be built better than the things we saw while looking around. I plano on holding on to these things until they break. It also seems like they don’t build cars quite like they used to.

    When I bought my house, I admit that I did replace the AC unit once I discovered it was put in back in 1979.

  46. cspschofield says:

    When buying appliances, Consumer Reports is only the starting point (though it is a good one). After going through about a toaster a year for a short period, I read up on toasters. I checked the reviews on Amazon and many of them mentioned the British company Dualit as the ultimate in durability. I wasn’t thrilled at the price, but I happened on a sale at Williams-Sonoma, of a enameled blue model that just hadn’t moved for them.

    That was some years ago, and it shows no signs of breaking.

    I’ve had good luck with KitchenAid too; they are both more durable than Cuisinart , and tend to be easier to clean. For a food processor, I went to the trouble to order the model with a metal body (as opposed to plastic).

    Large Appliances are a case of; whatever you do, DON’T buy them from a big chain. Find a local appliance store with a good rep among your neighbors, and flat out ask him what the best value for money is. I’ve done that twice (moves) and been happy with the results both times. Neither salesman tried to steer me to the top of the line; instead they sold me something with far fewer bells-and-whistles, but with which they had had less trouble.

  47. Bender6829 says:

    The set I just replaced was over 25 years old… Kenmore. I only replaced them because they were in a house that I rent out and I did not want a phone call from the tenants if they did happen to break down.

  48. dandadan says:

    I used to manage rental property we had in the family. I had to buy and repair a lot of appliances. We had one rule, Whirlpool appliances. We would get the ones with the fewest electronic controls.

    Whirlpool were the cheapest to fix and generally the most reliable. They are the Chevrolet of appliances. We would go to the Sears outlet store and purchase Whirlpool made Kenmore branded appliances (you can tell by looking at the manufacturer code) all the time. They are the best overall appliances you can buy.

    GE-Generally Expensive. Not as good as Whirlpool, parts prices exorbitant
    Maytag – Quality went way down after the Maytag repairman died of boredom. Now they are the hardest working guys around keeping the crap going.
    Jenn Aire – Overpriced not that good lots of engineering issues
    Roper – made by Whirlpool a good budget choice. They have Whirlpool guts in them

    I don’t know anything about LG but you’d have to be a fool to buy a major appliance from a manufacturer who doesn’t have a decent parts/service network. Besides, they make electronics, stick with the guys that know what they do, Whirlpool.

    Just my thoughts.

    • Not Given says:

      My ancient washer and dryer are Maytags, and DH used to be the Maytag man.

    • wellfleet says:

      Ummm.
      Maytag, Jenn-Air and Roper are all Whirlpool companies. Ditto Kenmore.

      Also, hardly any appliance company manufactures it own appliances anymore. For example, Samsung manufactures a lot of the GE fridge line.

      Whirlpool is generally reliable, but the problem with high-end machines is that they have circuitry and motherboards that were not present 20-30 years ago. Older appliances lasted because they were purely mechanical: belts, timers, etc. My washer has an on-board computer that rivals my BlackBerry.

    • mikefunk says:

      Maytag is now owned by Whirlpool, as of 5 or six years ago, and serviced by Whirlpool techs on service calls. This should bring up the reliability, as you say…?

  49. mikec041 says:

    I have a 3 year old LG dishwasher. replaced 3 pumps in 3 years. Real high quality,

  50. cspirou says:

    It depends on the price. You can sort of think of ownership like rent. $1000 for a dryer is like paying $143/year to rent it for 7 years. If the dryer cost $200 then you are paying $28 per year for the right to use a dryer. A pretty fair price to me. However in the end it does generate waste by having to dispose of it.

    Then again this is like the American automotive industry that made pretty inferior cars for the same reason until Asian car manufacturers started to make reliable vehicles for a good price. If things play out the same way we will see another company make reliable washer and dryers again and force companies like LG to do the same.

  51. luxosaucer13 says:

    Too bad the Amish don’t believe in modern technology. An Amish-built electric washer or dryer would be built to last!

  52. nickmoss says:

    I give you a great website run by an appliance repairman. He explains why the mid-range washers and dryers far outlast the high end German and Japanese brands.

    http://fixitnow.com/

  53. robby_d1 says:

    Have you tried calling local appliance shops? They may have the part off another dryer or a new part still in stock.

  54. akronharry says:

    We gor rid of our 1985 Maytag electric dryer last year and our 1986 refrigerator two years ago. Both were still working. Meanwhile we bought a WHirlpool dishwasher a year ago and it is getting
    harder each day getting the door latch to catch to run it.
    The point is some products today are poorly made.

  55. akronharry says:

    Luxosaucer states:”Too bad the Amish don’t believe in modern technology. An Amish-built electric washer or dryer would be built to last!”

    Ah yes, the Amish Myth. They live around a 1/2 hour from me. A couple of houses were built
    by the Amish around me over the past several years. Quality was no different then anyone else. In fact, if the owner of one house had not shown up a couple of times to see the progress, he would not have caught the mistakes they had made and then tried to cover up.
    The costs were higher and while they don’t drive and the van driver they hire is paid for the whole day and not just for the drive back and forth.

  56. Eifnor says:

    Looks like LG cuts it close, at least where California is concerned.

    From: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1792-1795.8

    1793.03. (a) Every manufacturer making an express warranty with
    respect to an electronic or appliance product described in
    subdivision (h), (i), (j), or (k) of Section 9801 of the Business and
    Professions Code, with a wholesale price to the retailer of not less
    than fifty dollars ($50) and not more than ninety-nine dollars and
    ninety-nine cents ($99.99), shall make available to service and
    repair facilities sufficient service literature and functional parts
    to effect the repair of a product for at least three years after the
    date a product model or type was manufactured, regardless of whether
    the three-year period exceeds the warranty period for the product.
    (b) Every manufacturer making an express warranty with respect to
    an electronic or appliance product described in subdivision (h), (i),
    (j), or (k) of Section 9801 of the Business and Professions Code,
    with a wholesale price to the retailer of one hundred dollars ($100)
    or more, shall make available to service and repair facilities
    sufficient service literature and functional parts to effect the
    repair of a product for at least seven years after the date a product
    model or type was manufactured, regardless of whether the seven-year
    period exceeds the warranty period for the product

  57. Alan says:

    I think a washer and dryer should if possible have replacement parts for longer than 7 years. However, in some cases this may not be reasonable, especially when it comes to electronic boards. It is very possible after 7 years that an electronics component required is no longer available, and the replacement part would require redesigning the circuit board. This is not really a reasonable thing to do on all washer and dryers the company makes for years after the model is no longer being sold.

    If there are parts that are reasonably replaceable.. for example a belt or something, then they should be able to acquire them from LG. If the part is an electronics part or something specialized that is obsolete and the manufacturer cannot help the customer find a replacement, then perhaps they should offer a discount towards a replacement machine.

  58. quail20 says:

    My mom’s Maytag washer & dryer were bought the year I was born. When I turned 39 the only repairs needed was some washers and a belt for the washing machine. The dryer was gas and worked like a champ. By the time she died the washing machine had needed a repairman only 4 (maybe 5?) times.

    Side note: I was disheartened to discover that Apple designed the iPod Nano to have only a 2 year lifespan. Love the 2010 Nano and I pray the battery will last me a few more years. Can’t stand the new version. And no, I don’t want the Touch.

  59. uncoveror says:

    Any company that uses planned obsolescence as an engineering goal deserves to be out of business, like all of the big three automakers nearly were in the 1970s.

  60. Cerealmom says:

    That is ridiculous and says plenty about their reliability. I am still using a Sears(pre-Kenmore tag) washer that is 30 yrs old if it is a day.My dryer is a Kenmore,8 yrs old.Those newer machines may look pretty and modern but do not have a long lifespan.

  61. LtSiver says:

    http://www.appliantology.org is a good website to learn and ask repair people about problems like this one. It is also possible there are other vendors who sell parts – check out http://www.repairclinic.com to see if you can get the needed parts for your washer and dryer.

    Sorry to hear your stuff has failed. :(

  62. BillyeT says:

    Why does this not surpise me?? As a young mother, I bought a used Norge dryer from my neighbor in 1963 that she had for 2 years before she sold it to me. It was still working great in 1986 after doing loads of laundry for a husband and three boys when I “traded up” (or so I thought). That GE dryer lasted 5 years before a repair was needed and the repair was going to cost more than it was worth. I bought a no frills Kenmore that worked fine until I “traded up” again for a Samsung washer and dryer. I don’t usually buy the extended warranty but after reading Consumer Reports I thought the price of the warranty would cover one repair, if needed. Sigh.

  63. JohnCarter says:

    My personal association with the Whirlpool Corporation dates from 1967.
    DRYER: On the advice of Dr. Jim Day, head of their R&D section, I purchased a Whirlpool dryer with only the features he recommended: a moisture sensor (to determine when the load was dry) and a cool-down cycle (to prevent permanent wrinkles in permanent press items). With two small children, the dryer was in relative constant use. At age 15, one of the wheels that supported the drum as it rotated came apart. For less than $10.00 I purchased a new one and installed it. I also put a new drive belt (also called an automotive alternator belt) on the machine. At machine age 27, we moved and I let the dryer go with the house.
    WASHER: Our Maytag washer dated from 1964 (it was then 29 years old) and it also was working well when we sold the house, so we left it as well.
    Round Two: 1995. Everything new and all Whirlpool. Results: WASHER #2: There was some untraceable electrical problem. Whirlpool sent a completely new wiring harness and a repairman with 30 years of experience. He installed it and all was well.
    WASHER #3: It lasted until 2010 when we decided to get a front loader. Consumer Reports directed us to Frigidaire which is doing fine (but we also had to buy a small platform to raise it up to a comfortable level). So far so good.
    DRYER #2: The electronics of the dryer developed “machine AF”, so we sought CU’s advice and put in a GE Profile dryer. Still working fine.
    STOVE #3: In 2009, after replacing stove top elements five (5) times, we bought a new Whirlpool Glass Top stove for $700.00–the last year they put actual knobs that one turns on them. In 2011, a burner “died”. New burner and repair call totaled $224.00. Now, one year later, the burner that was replaced has died as well and I have not received an answer to the letter asking Whirlpool for advice–so we went out and purchased an electric tea kettle–very nice, but only lasted about 10 months. It was replaced by the manufacturer for approximately 1/2 of what it originally cost.
    (AND, as they say on TV: “But wait, there’s more!”)
    FREEZERS #1 AND #2: The Whirlpool freezer we bought lasted seven months and “died” It turned out that it was not made in Benton Harbor, Michigan, but somewhere in Brazil! We went back to Sears and plunked down an extra $250 and got a freezer guaranteed to have been made in the USA. The USA freezer continues to work well.
    DISHWASHER #2 & #3: In 20010, the Whirlpool dishwasher “gave up the ghost” and we bought the replacement model with the same model name but a “II”, not a “I”. After a three visits by the Maytag Repairman (who now worked for the Whirlpool vendor), it was made to function correctly and it continues well.
    REFRIGERATOR #2: The last item is the refrigerator. It continued to work correctly, but due to personal preference changes, we purchased a “bottom freezer” unit (one of the three approved by Consumer Reports), and donated the Whirlpool 18 Cubic foot “top freezer” to a family that needed it instead of turning it in to “Efficiency Maine” for their $50.00 payment, so it is still running along smoothly.
    What have we learned in this fifty year period? Buy “almost basic” machines (see dryer limitations above). Buy a Consumer Reports recommended unit locally from a vendor that offers a five year total parts and labor repair contract, and start saving for a new one in the next 5-7 years. TWICE I went with Whirlpool, still prefer their equipment, but am going to follow Consumer Reports recommendations in the future.

  64. consumerd says:

    Check ebay- seriously! I needed a new whirlpool cabrio electronic panel for mine. Purchased the whole top panel and instructions on how to replace it for $90 including shipping on ebay. Took about 2 hours but needless to say it was easy to fix.

  65. BeelzeBob says:

    Whoo boy!

    Here’s my (happily ending) appliance repair story: My GE electric range, $1200 in 1996, started throwing error codes on its display panel, and kept shutting off. Using information from an appliance repair forum, I determined that it was the electronic control– they call it the clock, because it’s the thing with the clock on it! GE no longer made the part, my dealer said I was out of luck. I found an appliance clock repair web site. I took the clock out of the range, shipped it to O Canada, and they repaired the thing! Oven works again, cost with round-trip shipping about $160.

  66. oceanbear says:

    Boy, do I know that story. Mine turned out a little bit happier. I had a five year warranty. When mine crapped out it was the same problem, a circuit board. The repair man even contacted the factory. No part was available. Guess what – brand-new washer. Same trouble with the dishwasher. The pump had crapped out after four years. Brand-new dishwasher thanks to a warranty. I took the warranty money and bought a GE.

    The moral of the story is:if you’re gonna buy LG get a warranty. I still have an LG refrigerator and it’s now out of warranty, oh my God.

    I will say though that LG looks really flashy but so does lipstick on a pig.

  67. kbheaton says:

    The first (and last) LG appliance I bought was a room air conditioner, on May 15, 2012. It quit working yesterday, August 31, 2012. The store refunded my money and I purchased a different brand.

  68. nopreypal says:

    HMMMM. Appliances are now built for a seven year lifespan, intentionally. Better news: Remember Goldstar? The inexpensive electronics company from the early 1980′s? Well… they found they had a good following but profits weren’t that strong.
    Revamp the name!
    Larry Goldstar (LG), former ceo of goldstar is now head of LG.
    What does LG stand for?
    You guessed it! LARRY GOLDSTAR.

  69. acitykid says:

    I had the same experience with Amana/Maytag 2 months ago. My 7 year old, 25Cu.F., French door model, List $2600.00, purchased from an Independent appliance dealer, (Koval) sold to me at $2100.
    Also, 2 months earlier I paid $450 dollars for repairs on 2 GE appliances of the same age.
    GE Profile built-in microwave and built in oven (Tru Temp)
    I was offered service contracts of around $350 but they would have expired within 5 years.
    I year warranties in these appliances should be seen as a warning to buyers. “The new normal replacement is 7 years”. Hard to believe service person would be so candid.
    I think consumers have to show disagreement with LG,Maytag, GE et al, by refusing to purchase new appliances until 7 year+ warranties are included. BTW that will result in appliance lifespans beyond 7 years. The appliance mfgr. should be required to submit annual/bi-annual data to the CPSB containing malfunctioning appliance repair/complaint reports from consumers. Consumer Products Safety Commission?
    This new normal is just another way we, the 99%, is being “taxed” by the 1% (corporate titans) to finance their senseless pursuit of excess and their corrupt power over us.

  70. Caddyshack says:

    “Well, that is pretty common for all washers and dryers made today – they are not meant to last.”

    And this is why I do not buy expensive items anymore. No fault on the OPs part. I would have expected them to last 30+ years also. This is also why I could give a flying “f” for companies like LG that literally steal money from customers and refuse to honor their word. Saying that “they are not meant to last” is a lie and an excuse. Modern day management only cares about profit.

    In 2008 I bought a new Frigidare dishwasher. Cost me about $268.00 including a four-year warranty thru Lowes. As time went on the motor became loud. In 2011 I set up an appt to have the motor changed out but Lowes wouldn’t do it because the cost of the motor was more than the warranty cost. So they gave me my money back minus the warranty. Worked out. I still use the dishwasher because it works just find but the motor is a bit loud. No biggie because I live alone.

    My mom owned a Whirlpool washer and dryer from 1970 to well into the 80s. Never broke down. Kenmore? I have never luck with that brand but I had bought a Kenmore washer in ’95 so maybe their quality was poor by then also.

  71. iesika says:

    My parents bought a washer and dryer set (I wish I could remember the brand) when they moved into their first house, two years before I was born. I’m 28 now, and both units still work fine. My mom upgraded to higher capacity units after her third kid, but the units are in a small rental house she owns and leases out, and still work fine, despite their terrible off-yellow color and peeling finish.