In praise of fixable appliances

Last week saw the first ‘fault’ on our washing machine. We’ve had this particular one for nine months, and with a baby and young boy in the house it is well used.

When I went into the laundry to empty the machine I found the cycle had not finished as I had expected. Instead, the machine was flashing an error code at me. You know the ones. The kind that laugh at you and say “Ha! You’ve overworked me.  I’m on strike. You’re going to need to get someone in to look at me. It’s going to be pricey. And just before Christmas too; in fact, you might have to wait till the New Year before I’m back working again. Oh, and don’t get any ideas about being able to open my door and recovering your clothes – I’m locking you out! Happy Christmas.”

But in this case, not. I went to the manual, which, to its credit, told me exactly what the error code meant. The impeller was blocked. And, even better, it told me how to access the impeller and unblock it. You see, this washing machine comes with a little hatch that enables easy access to problematic parts. What is more, the instructions and diagrams actually corresponded to the model of machine I had. Too often one gets generic instructions – a manual that tries to cover models A, B, C and D all in one publication. So, while you have model A (the el-cheapo one), the instructions are invariably for model D and you’re left guessing as to how to apply them.

In this case the diagrams were exactly what I saw in front of me. The instructions were explicit and clear. I accessed the impeller (after first emptying the water out of the machine) and found, sure enough, an obstruction. A small piece of lego!  Now, who was responsible for that,  I wonder?  Good reason to check clothing very carefully for stray objects before it goes in.

I put everything together again, as per the instructions, and the machine is back working happily. No cost at all – just twenty minutes or so of my time.

I don’t normally name brands here, but since this was such a welcome change that I will say “Well done Bosch.”

Let’s continue to make things that we can fix. Happy Christmas!





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