You hear a lot of people say that things aren’t made as well as they used to be ‘back in the day.’
Whilst that’s not far from the truth it is important to note that they also used to cost a lot more than they do these days.
To understand how long a washing machine should last, we need to understand the engineering and decision-making process that manufacturers go through.
How are washing machines manufactured?
Traditionally, manufacturers would create the best washing machines that they could and then work out how much to sell it for.
Now, in a world where people are more conscious about how much they spend, manufacturers are reverse-engineering products. They are working out how much to sell a washing machine for, and then try to work out what parts to use to meet that sale price target.
This change in approach has a fundamental consequence on the quality of washing machines that are coming out of factories. As the priority is to keep costs down, more often shortcuts are being taken.
This means that while in the past, better-quality parts were considered, now they are ignored as they would bring the total cost of the machine up.
What parts are being substituted for cheaper ones?
One perfect example of this is that budget washing machine brands have taken to using welded tub assemblies in their appliances.
Due to this, if your washing machine bearings experience a problem, an engineer can no longer strip down the tub to change the bearings. Instead your appliance will require a whole new tub assembly, which can sometimes cost more than the machine itself!
How long do modern washing machines last?
Because of this dramatic change in quality, modern budget washing machines can last for as little as a couple of years – and many give up just after their warranty period.
No manufacturers want their products to last forever, as then they would go out of business!
Everybody wants repeat customers, but we should still be able to expect to receive something which will last long enough to feel like we have got good value for our money.
Many in the industry also believe that manufacturers install parts designed to last a certain number of cycles. Let’s say, hypothetically, they’re designed to last 1,000 cycles. That, for an average family with children, would last a little over two years.
How do we choose a washing machine that will last longer?
As manufacturers do not state how long their machines are built to last for, or the total number of cycles they can run, it makes it extremely difficult for consumers to conduct thorough comparisons.
Miele is an exception to this and their washing machines are tested and built to last an average of 20 years. However, they are a luxury brand, which demands a higher premium for the increased quality of their product.
Doing a little research into the product that you are looking to buy can help you to gain an understanding of the quality of the machine. This can include reading customer reviews, to give you another person’s opinion of the device.
Demand for budget washing machines have been increasing year-on-year which means they most certainly have their place in the market. However, after taking into account what we’ve discussed in this article, it’s clear that sometimes it does pay to spend a little more.
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