Do washing machines have built-in obsolescence?
A look at the common perception that washing machines are designed specifically not to last, and therefore have built in obsolescence
This perception is very similar to the one regarding are new washing machines only built to last 5 years?
My view is that they aren't intentionally built to be irreparable in the sense of that being the purpose of design, but they are built to be as cheap as possible to manufacture, and that commonly makes some parts hard or impossible to repair so ultimately the result is the same as if they were. Many modern washing machines are built to be sold as cheaply as possible because that's what they believe most customers demand. The result is washing machines that do not last long and are very expensive to repair. So is the cheapness an illusion? Aren't they actually more expensive in the long run? I believe that unless you are lucky, they are pretty likely to work out more expensive in the long run.
There is evidence that many washing machines are supplied by the factories guaranteed to last for x amount wash cycles. But if you do the math most families would use them up within 3 or 4 years, so in that sense you could say they do have built in obsolescence as many of the faults that develop will not be repaired due to the ridiculous costs involved.
The cheaper washing machines become, the smaller the gap between repair and replacement costs. Many cheap washing machines wont last longer than 3 to 5 years because the first time they break down out of guarantee, it can cost over half the purchasing costs (or more) to get it repaired. Cheap washing machine manufacturers (ironically) can have the most proportionately expensive replacement parts, which increases this gap even more than necessary.
Example : I attended an 18 month old Servis washing machine which had cost just £180 to buy. I diagnosed the fault to be the control module, which due to the silly price of the spare part would have cost £120 to replace. Maybe the customer should have bought an extended warranty? However, with the combined cost of the cheap washing machine and the (expensive) extended warranty she could have bought a much better quality washing machine. The washing machine was scrapped, at 18 months old. [ Washing machines are expensive to repair but are extended warranties the answer? ]
[ Related: Unlike many modern washing machines the ISE washing machine promises to have spare parts priced reasonably so that the washing machine has the prospect of being more repairable in the future ]
Summary: Buying cheap washing machines these days could well cost much more than investing in a quality washing machine when you look at the big picture. Over a period of say 20 years, you may have to buy several of the cheap washing machines whereas a quality one could still be going strong (even if it may have needed the odd repair) or may have only needed replacing once. Some people seem happy if they get just 3 or 4 years from a £250 washing machine but these days the environmental implications are also causing people to rethink this strategy.
Buy washing machines online
There are lots of places to buy a washing machine or washer dryer online and Washerhelp is a good place do it from.
Affiliate links help keep Washerhelp going without adding any cost to you the user. In fact there are often special offers only displayed by affiliates such as Washerhelp. If you are looking to buy, please help Washerhelp by using a Washerhelp link.
John Lewis are a great place to buy a washing machine from. They give at least 2 years guarantee on all washing machines and other appliances - and even 3 years on their own brand (plus 5 year guarantees on TV's).
Free standard delivery on all orders over £30
They've also been voted top of the customer satisfaction polls by Which? consumer association. John Lewis - the best? (external link to my Blog)
Buy Washing machines and white goods appliances online
- John Lewis (Minimum of 2 year guarantees on washing machines and white goods. Consistently voted best retailer for customer satisfaction)
- Co-operative Electricals washing machine deals - Ethical brand, strong on customer service and sharing profits with customers
- Appliance City
- Sainsburys Kitchen Appliances
- Currys Web offers on white goods
Alternatively you can try comparing prices and finding out much more about Washerhelp's affiliates using my Buy washing machines page (Full page of retailers and online stores)
Special offers and discounts on washing machines
As an affiliate, many retailers regularly notify me of special offers, discount codes and money off vouchers for washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, fridges, fridge freezers and cookers. This section is where I post these offers - Special offers on washing machines and other white goods (goes to my Whitegoodshelp Blog)
See lots of retailers all on one convenient page
Alternatively you can try comparing prices and finding out much more about Washerhelp's affiliates using my Buy washing machines page (Full page of retailers and online stores plus reviews and information about them)
Buy washing machines & other appliances
- Buy washing machines & other appliances (Full page of retailers to choose from)
- Compare washing machine prices
- Special Offers & Discount Voucher Codes on washing machines and white goods (My white goods Blog)
The main article on this page is part of the Research related to buying a new washing machine section within the Buying Washers tab.
More topics in this section -
- Are new washing machines made as well as they used to be?
- Are new washing machines only built to last 5 years?
- Which are the most reliable and the least reliable makes of washing machine?
- Which is the best washing machine to buy?
- If I buy a more expensive washing machine, do I get a better washing machine?
- Pros and cons: Quality washing machine verses cheap washing machine
Main Buying Section: Buying washing machines
Alternative washing machine reviews
Although my reviews are comprehensive and very detailed, they are limited in number and may not feature all the very latest models. Which? have the resources to review many of the latest washing machines and have a specially set up test laboratory. They also have a huge database of savvy members to gain reliability and satisfaction feedback from.