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An appliance PCB fails out of warranty

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t.alex
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re: An appliance PCB fails out of warranty
t.alex   8/1/2010 6:41:34 AM
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The more complex the product is, the higher chance it will fail early :)

Dale Shpak
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re: An appliance PCB fails out of warranty
Dale Shpak   7/17/2010 4:34:37 PM
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Our cheapness-oriented or "throw-away" society is incredibly irresponsible, both environmentally and economically. As much as I am not a fan of government intervention in the markets, all appliances should carry a minimum five-year warranty. Sure, the price might rise by 10%, but everyone would be better off in the long run. As EE's, we know that there is no technological barrier to meeting a five-year lifespan. Also, appliance warranty registration should be compulsory at the time of purchase so that registration actually occurs. The current mail-in system is intentionally designed to register as few products as possible.

RamRod
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re: An appliance PCB fails out of warranty
RamRod   7/17/2010 3:14:39 PM
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Not to soapbox, but this "throw-away society" trend has bothered me for years, and reminds me of discussions suggesting that back-end disposal and recycling costs be bundled up-front into the cost of all consumer goods (thus making it become the "true" cost). That would be a market-compatible way to incentivize manufacturers to improve servicability, recyclability and reliability, once recognized and driven by competition. A personal experience is with rechargeable hand- vacs by a certain power-tool company. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly either the non-replacable batteries die or the unit stops working. Fixing them "merely" requires one to: apply solder to the press-fitted (!) electrical connections between various metal conductors; rewire a basic toggle-switch (drill-mounted somewhere near the handle) to bypass the fatigued/worn sliding switch; and replacing the cells with good ones recycled from old laptop batteries. I can only wonder how many millions of these instead end up in landfills after only a year (or slightly past warranty) of use. I could go on about simple/functional/reliable versus fluffy-marketing/pointless/fragile styles of user-interfaces/controls on basic appliances and such, but I'll stop here.

Polyspace
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re: An appliance PCB fails out of warranty
Polyspace   7/16/2010 8:19:10 PM
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My waffel iron is older than I am and makes better waffels than the new one I bought and eventually discarded. It only needed new feet and a new cord after 25+ years of service. I may eventually get around to adjusting the temperature control one of these days. New appliances seem to have fancy add-on capabilities that die quickly. While I like the light weight of new devices, I would rather they work well forever.

GowardJ
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re: An appliance PCB fails out of warranty
GowardJ   7/15/2010 10:50:50 AM
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Does not bode well for the coffee pot recently bought with an integral timer function! This is one household item we need to replace every 2 or so years. The stove top expresso maker is better all round and not a trace of copper wire or a semiconductor in it. Problem is I now see they make electrical versions of these also!!!!! Its not just the electronic functions that wear out quickly these days either. The plastic parts of a well known vacuum cleaner that should not loose suction have not been hardwearing. Sometimes the Victorian principles of engineering appeal to me as when I purchase a product I want not to have to replace it again next year. My children think I can fix anything from toys to household appliances based on the number of items I´ve hade to ressurect in the past, but should I have to if they were made well in the first place?

UdaraW
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re: An appliance PCB fails out of warranty
UdaraW   7/11/2010 8:14:48 AM
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From the basic theory of reliability we all know that for a given product, more complex the functionality, greater the number of modes of failure it has. The greater number of modes of failure results in reduced reliability of the product. This is true unless ofcourse superior QC methodology is adopted for more complex products; which is highly unlikely in the present consumer-electronics landscape. Therefore, my usual strategy is to go for a brand name known for its reliability over the years. Then, given the functionality is catered to, I buy the most basic piece of equipment under that brand....less glamor...yet gets the job done. However, this strategy may not be exercisable with wrist-watches, PDAs, mobile phones and stuff where the style matters a great deal. Yet, to put my two cents in, I have repeatedly kept on fine-tuning this strategy in purchasing household stuff for improved results. [Note of caution: this would not always be a desirable strategy with your wife and in-laws chipping in!]

KB3001
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re: An appliance PCB fails out of warranty
KB3001   7/8/2010 4:50:48 AM
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I had a similar experience years ago with a fancy microwave I bought. Since then, I decided to buy run-off-the-mill products when it comes to electric appliances. I usually find them easy to repair too when something goes wrong as they are mostly made of off-the-shelf parts. Any other experiences out there. It can be therapeutic to share such experiences you know :-)

phoenixdave
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re: An appliance PCB fails out of warranty
phoenixdave   7/8/2010 4:31:17 AM
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As one who has encountered the same lifetime variance in multiple electronic/mechanical products including ceiling fans, stereo receivers, and televisions to name just a few I personally agree with your dismay and frustration. And as a past Analysis Laboratory Manager I enjoyed your disassembly and quick failure analysis. The analyst in me is flooded with follow-up questions that I would normally pursue to better understand what, where, and why; such as what's the difference in manufacturers, where was each product made, and why is there ANY corrosion around the IC. But the realist in me knows that additional features and a brand name provide an incentive for companies to charge more even if the lower reliability does not justify the expense. Alas we are in a "throw-away" society where it's easier to just buy a newer one than fix the still relatively new one, and the quick phase out of newly-introduced products makes this pretty much a necessity. At the very least we can look at it as contributing to the economic recovery!

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