Saturday, September 17, 2011

I really hate sensor based machines

My Electrolux Ergo Loader EWF1470 front loader finally gave way, well kind of after faithful service of 4 years. It has been a joy to have my buddy doing my washing at least twice a day. I dont know how the older model I had purchased in 2004 (which has less of these sensor gimmicks) is still running along happily despite lack of care by my tenants, but my newer model which is made in Italy ended up partially unusable now.

The problem with relocation, is that the appliances that you purchased risked having to be thrown away because of the lack of replacement parts. I dont give a shit if I have to pay for service, but in my case, even money will not solve my problem since Hong Kong do not carry the model nor the parts for this Electrolux model which I had purchased during my residency in Australia then.

I love Electrolux and have been buying stuff from them for ages. This is the first time something I had bought failed on me so quickly. From internet research though, this model seemed to fail faster than other front loaders, all citing similar problems where the sensor fail to proceed from wash cycle to rinse cycle and then it will revert back to the original starting cycle time. I should be considered lucky considering my washer has been relocated with me to 3 different locations in the last 4 years, and moved, shaken, titled in all possible ways. Others reported that they machine broke down after 2 years for this model.

The Electrolux technician came twice. They said it was a pity that it has to be replaced because the internal motor and gear worked beautifully still and very new. No funny mouldy smell, no yellowing and no DIRT or scratch on my washer. So it's a pain truly to say goodbye to my washer. The technician said since everything still work, maybe I can consider doing it the manual way. Meaning I just need to toggle it to the rinse mode myself and then the washer will hum along. It's like having it taking a lunch break or something and I am the "recess over" announcer.

Currently, while still mulling over the decision (actually more like for the cruel reality to set in), I am doing the manual way. It's always hard for me, saying goodbyes...though alittle on the melodramtic over a front loader....however...I cannot help it. Sigh.

The only thing I hated is how manufacturers are so ECO UNFRIENDLY, making different models across different countries thus rendering servicing and recycling of machines impossible. Hence in my case, because of a faulty sensor circuit board which prob only cost less than US$20 to make, I have to throw away a perfectly operational AU$1400 machine. The thought is really unbearable. Havent we generate enough waste in this world? A simple solution of less models variance, international availability of parts would really cut down alot of these unnecessary disposal.

Not ALL inventions and so call technology advancement are good. In the old days where our mothers have those knobs and buttons machines, the chances of wearing down a machine under 5 years are virtually unheard of. They tend to last at least 15years and some 20years. However with all these modern stupid sensors for LAZY users who apparently couldnt handle things such as load and detergent dispensing, companies launch all these sensory circuitry machines and have them last only 4years. If you think about it, its always the sensor that goes first. Unable to detect water load, unable to dispense water, unable to sense the buttons pushed's hardly every the motor or the gear or the real physical parts that wear down first.

Then again, if all machines last 20years, I guess these companies really will have a hard time surviving in this competitive society. Yet I find it all hypocritical with all their corporate social responsibility speech and declaration when their heart is not even into it - which is cutting down wastage by offering the possibility of repair internationally.

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