Appliances: The right to repair.

Thread Starter

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
22,866
Just published.


BERLIN - Companies that sell refrigerators, washers, hairdryers or TVs in the European Union will need to ensure those appliances can be repaired for up to 10 years, to help reduce the vast mountain of electrical waste that piles up each year on the continent.

The "right to repair," as it is sometimes called, comes into force across the 27-nation bloc Monday. It is part of a broader effort to cut the environmental footprint of manufactured goods by making them more durable and energy efficient.

“This is a really big step in the right direction” said Daniel Affelt of the environmental group BUND-Berlin, which runs several "repair cafes" where people can bring in their broken appliances and get help fixing them up again.

Modern appliances are often glued or riveted together, he said. “If you need specialist tools or have to break open the device, then you can’t repair it.”

Lack of spare parts is another problem, campaigners say. Sometimes a single broken tooth on a tiny plastic sprocket can throw a proverbial wrench in the works.

“People want to repair their appliances,” Affelt said. “When you tell them that there are no spare parts for a device that’s only a couple of years old then they are obviously really frustrated by that.”

Under the new EU rules, manufacturers will have to ensure parts are available for up to a decade, though some will only be provided to professional repair companies to ensure they are installed correctly.

New devices will also have to come with repair manuals and be made in such a way that they can be dismantled using conventional tools when they really can't be fixed anymore, to improve recycling.

Each year, Europeans produce more than 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of electrical waste per person. About half of that junk is due to broken household appliances, and the EU recycles only about 40% of it, leaving behind huge amounts of potentially hazardous material.

German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said that in a next step, manufacturers should have to state how long a product is expected to work for and repair it if it breaks down earlier. This would encourage companies to build more durable products, she said.

“In the repair cafes we see a lot of devices that broke shortly after the warranty expired,” said Affelt — a phenomenon that has prompted some environmentalists to accuse manufacturers of designing their devices with planned obsolescence.

Knowing an appliance will really last for a decade might prompt consumers to choose products that are more durable or can be easily fixed, he said
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,802
Didn't realize they had that problem. I just repaired my Mother In Laws 25 year old Wards clothes dryer. Wards went belly up 20+ years ago, but dryers seem to all be made by a few manufacturers and I could find a compatible bearing cup and drum belt on Amazon. Only needed a trim tool and a couple nut drivers to get to the defective parts.
 
Hi Max, I got my oven because the manufacturer said that the parts to repair it were unavailable and that was only after 2 years. The people who had it before me had an insurance that paid for a new one if it couldn't be repaired so they were not really bothered. I bought it for £60 and was expecting to pay £35 for a repair and then after doing some research found that the same board was used in 14 different brand. The board was called OVC 1000 and it was that that I googled to find a replacement.
I agree that spares should be available for 10 years after purchase but I my case I think it was more clerical errors that showed there were no available replacements as obviously there were. Either that or sharp practice.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,258
Our clothes washer and dryer are both over 30 years old. Yes, I have had to replace parts, water pump and solenoid in the washer, heater coil in the dryer. You can guess the brand name of both appliances.

I am known as the Mr Fix-It in the family. Over the years I have repaired many household appliances. Just this past week I had to repair a Saeco Vienna expresso machine.
 
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