You couldn't make this up...

Thread Starter

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
2,189
So my washer-dryer broke down - the dryer heater stopped heating and, having a service contract, I booked in a repair. 10 days later an 'engineer' turns up at the appointed time.

Now, me being clinically vulnerable, my wife asks him to wear a mask, which he refuses to do. Needing my machine repaired I reluctantly agree he can look at it, and I stay away from him (fortunately my property is big enough). Incidentally his company's website says all their staff are covid-safe and always wear masks on client premises unless they interfere with the repair (how?).

5min later, he reappears, saying he's found the fault, but he can't fix it because he doesn't have the part and its showing as obsolete in his manufacturer's parts catalog.

So what is this esoteric part, you ask..

IMAG1199.jpg

Yep, 6 inches of wire (should be a couple of inches longer) with a 1/4" female spade on one end, and a missing similar
connector on the other...

Now, the history of this wire is that connects the system board to the dryer heating element. It broke once before, was repaired, but was a little short so, with the drum vibration, it later pulled off the element. So the second repair I was told they'd put a new wire in... well clearly not. So it had broken again...

So this being the third call-out for the same fault I asked the guy why he couldn't just make a new cable up; hell, I could have made him one in 10 minutes! No, he says, I'm not allowed to repair this or fit non-standard parts due to health and safety. The irony of him standing there mask-less quoting health & safety was completely lost on him...

So I'm now faced with another wait to see if the manufacturer of this less than 6-year old machine can magic up a replacement 'part' or I'll be offered a replacement machine (which is bound to be the lowest-spec product they think they can get away with, despite this being a top-of-the-range AEG)...

A potential 600+GBP replacement instead of less than 1GBP for a bit of wire and two spade connectors... ????

As I said, you couldn't make this up...
 

Thread Starter

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
2,189
I would have been inclined to tell him to leave the part with you, after all it is your property, I would be tempted to repair it myself and fit it, regardless.
In days past I would have, but I am physically unable to do so now, and don't have easy access to like-minded individuals who can assist.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
13,320
Now, me being clinically vulnerable, my wife asks him to wear a mask, which he refuses to do. Needing my machine repaired I reluctantly agree he can look at it, and I stay away from him (fortunately my property is big enough). Incidentally his company's website says all their staff are covid-safe and always wear masks on client premises unless they interfere with the repair (how?).
I'd contact the company and complain.

I had to have my oil furnace repaired last heating season and I was willing to put up with the repairman not wearing a mask. I was pleasantly surprised to see him wearing a mask.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
13,320
Already did... their response was that he can't work with a mask on (why?), but why he can't wear it while moving through the house they refused to comment on...
Sounds like another case of adults acting like children.

When I went to my Mother-In-Laws house to repair her dryer last December, I wore a mask because I didn't want to risk her catching COVID-19 from me, even though I was pretty certain that I didn't have it. One of her sons from another state was visiting at the time with his 2 kids and they're anti-maskers. I kept asking my Wife what they would do if they gave her COVID-19 and she had serious complications or died (she's 80). She said they probably wouldn't care. My other brother in law is going to visit her next month. Last I heard, he hadn't been vaccinated. His excuse was they were giving shots at work on his day off. At least my MIL is vaccinated. We all got our shots as soon as we could.
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
3,517
The other side of the story. . .
I have an EBAC washing machine (British made!) which developed a faulty pump. I dismantled the pump and found that the impeller was damaged, probably due to impact with a "foreign object" when a certain other member of the household was using it to wash the doormats.
I photographed the damaged impeller and contacted customer service, who replied promptly, wasn't patronising, agreed with me about the problem and sent a technician, who came two days later, thanked me for getting the washing machine out and removing the relevant covers, wore his mask and fitted a new pump in five minutes. The machine is even designed so that the relevant parts are easily accessible.
 

William Ketel

Joined Jan 23, 2018
16
Well you could make it up! ;)

I would have been inclined to tell him to leave the part with you, after all it is your property, I would be tempted to repair it myself and fit it, regardless.
I have repaired exactly that problem for the sister of friend. The challenge is that the design of the heater is such that the terminal gets hot. The repair guy, certainly not an engineer! is a poor excuse.
The parts should be available at an auto parts store or an electrical parts distributor. You need two high current quarter inch blade terminals for #10 wire, AND 12 inches of #10 wire to go between them. The challenge is getting the crimp connection correct. The rpair that I did I soldered the wire as well as crimping it. That probably helped.
 

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,184
My favorite washer story is the time our washer would not drain. So... asked the Google repair man who said it was the drain pump. Older machine so that is possible. Ordered one for something reasonable.

The first Saturday after it came I scooped out all the water I could, got the machine on it's side and began to remove the drain pump. Pulling, wiggling, pulling, cursing, wiggling, FINALLY the drain line came free in my hand.

Instantly a couple of gallons of week old dirty washer water hit me in the face, along with one single soggy sock!

I left the sock on the floor, along with the new pump and reassembled. Got another five years out of it until the boss decided we needed a new one despite it still functioning.
 

metermannd

Joined Oct 25, 2020
219
Just to throw a different perspective on the mask debate (sorry for the tangent, but I had a bit of a frustrating time this afternoon)... how about those of us hard of hearing people, like me, who depend on lipreading to communicate? I wanted to get some carryout from a restaurant so I wouldn't need to cook, and I had a dickens of a time trying to understand the cashier through her mask in spite of my repeated statements that I read lips, before she finally lowered her mask for a few seconds (keep in mind there was a plastic barrier between us the whole time), and then the transaction was completed a few seconds later. Granted, I have lost a couple colleagues to this 'human malware' thing, and had a couple close relatives and a friend that, if still alive now, would have been extremely vulnerable (and it is for their memory that I got my shots as soon as I had the chance). /rant
 

Thread Starter

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
2,189
I have repaired exactly that problem for the sister of friend. The challenge is that the design of the heater is such that the terminal gets hot. The repair guy, certainly not an engineer! is a poor excuse.
The parts should be available at an auto parts store or an electrical parts distributor. You need two high current quarter inch blade terminals for #10 wire, AND 12 inches of #10 wire to go between them. The challenge is getting the crimp connection correct. The rpair that I did I soldered the wire as well as crimping it. That probably helped.
The annoying and frustrating thing is I have all that to hand and the correct hydraulic crimp tool with some 200C #16 silicone insulated wire - #10 is a bit overkill, the original looks to be #18 or #20. The heater is only 1.5kW @ 240v or about 6A rms.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,603
@Irving, how maddening. I feel your frustration. Were I in your position I would feel both angry and sad. Not being able to do something because of physical limitations that you always did and know full well how to do must be like a form of claustrophobia.

I don't have any advice but I certainly have a lot of sympathy, in the sense of the Greek "sympatheia", not pity but resonance, shared feeling.
 

Thread Starter

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
2,189
@Irving, how maddening. I feel your frustration. Were I in your position I would feel both angry and sad. Not being able to do something because of physical limitations that you always did and know full well how to do must be like a form of claustrophobia.

I don't have any advice but I certainly have a lot of sympathy, in the sense of the Greek "sympatheia", not pity but resonance, shared feeling.
Thanks. It is very frustrating, but I'm past the anger/sad bit. I find ways to do stuff, it just sometimes takes a bit longer (well, sometimes days rather than hours). I 3D-print various 'tetra-grips' that allow me to 'hold' things like my TS100 soldering iron or scope and meter probes. Squeezing things like ez-grips or croc clips is a problem I've not found a good solution for yet, as is pushing/pulling things in/out of breadboards.

Hi Irving,
I would ask a 'younger' relative to dismantle/reassemble the machine, under your supervision, fit your own replacement wire.
I have a nephew just started year 2 of a Mech Eng degree, so when he comes home from Uni next time I'll rope him in.. assuming its not been fixed or replaced by then.... There's no one else available who'll go within a mile of the innards of the beast!
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,603
Thanks. It is very frustrating, but I'm past the anger/sad bit. I find ways to do stuff, it just sometimes takes a bit longer (well, sometimes days rather than hours). I 3D-print various 'tetra-grips' that allow me to 'hold' things like my TS100 soldering iron or scope and meter probes. Squeezing things like ez-grips or croc clips is a problem I've not found a good solution for yet, as is pushing/pulling things in/out of breadboards.
I am glad to hear you are moving on with what you can do. I would hope I could do as well, though I am not confident I could.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,372
Pro vaccene / pro mask. HOWEVER, I'm anti-hysteria. Safe is safe but going into hysterics over the issue is - well I was going to use a word that starts with S, but I don't want to insult anyone who might be a bit more zealous on the subject.

Washers and dryers: MIL had a new machine stop working properly. Problem: Mode Shift Coil. The machine was a smart machine and had OBD (on board diagnostics) which said the MS coil was open. It's just a coil of wire that is bolted with a single bolt to the bottom of the shaft. EASILY accessible. Yet, the manufacturer would not sell just the MSC. They wanted to sell the entire mechanical section for a cost of $135.00 US. With the cost of having a repairman pull the old mechanism, which was in pristine condition, and installing the new mechanism, cost would have been between $333.00 and $400, depending on how hard it was to remove the mech. She decided to scrap it and buy new. I stopped her. Took the machine home with me and disassembled the MSC. It had a blown fusible link. It was rated for 102% normal operation. That meant under the slightest overload the link would blow. I replaced it with one rated for 133% normal operation. The machine is still functioning perfectly. No problems. Cost: $1.95 at Radio Shack. And my time.
 

William Ketel

Joined Jan 23, 2018
16
There has been some legal action about forcing farm equipment manufacturers to sell repair parts to farmers. Not sure about the outcome, though.
AND I recall a car (Horizon) that I had many years ago. A removable part in the distributor failed and the only part anybody would sell was a new distributor for $135, which was a good chunk of cash at the time. I wound up fixing it with some plastic welding rot from a neighbor, it worked for another two years with no problems.
 

Thread Starter

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
2,189
Well the plot thickens... the manufacturer no longer stocks that "Harness, PCB to Heater" as its not cost-effective for them to stock a bit of wire and 2 connectors when, and I quote "it can be made on-site". Except the repair company's policy is that only manufacturer supplied approved parts can be used... FFS!

So they've decided its "beyond economical repair", I kid you not, and have offered a free replacement with this years equivalent (cost 620GBP), or, for <20% the cost of a new one, to upgrade to a higher spec machine which can take a bigger load and that would be beneficial.... I'll probably go with that...
 

Thread Starter

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
2,189
There has been some legal action about forcing farm equipment manufacturers to sell repair parts to farmers. Not sure about the outcome, though.
AND I recall a car (Horizon) that I had many years ago. A removable part in the distributor failed and the only part anybody would sell was a new distributor for $135, which was a good chunk of cash at the time. I wound up fixing it with some plastic welding rot from a neighbor, it worked for another two years with no problems.
The "right to repair" movement, which I wholly endorse, is gathering pace in both Europe and US. Go to repair.org
 
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