Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Failing Highrise Electrics

2010, so far.

Clothes dryer belt $20
Balcony door bolt $40
TV repair $400
Dishwasher repair $320
Three bedroom overhead fans and lounge dimmer switch $1240
Non standard light bulbs $50
Dead lock replacement $100
Range hood light repairs $?
Electric kettle $60

Total $2,330, allowing $100 for range hood lights. Probably something I have missed too.

What happened? Two cases of power supply units failing, tv and dishwasher. I am sure in the olden days appliances did not have a power supply unit, or if they did, they never failed. You fixed your tv or radio by taking the back off it by removing a few slotted screws, not Philips heads, and looked for a valve that was either glowing red hot or not glowing at all. You took it out, went to the shop and bought a replacement and plugged it back in. No power supply unit nonsense.

The Lockwood 001 deadlock has been around for three decades or more. This is the first one of ours that has gone wrong. When I removed it there were lots of brass shavings and a bit of metal. What a fail.

Clothes dryer belt, fair wear and tear.

Light bulbs, we use a lot of unconventional lighting. It costs.

Kettle, total extravagance. Nothing wrong with the old one except it was so noisy.

Range hood lights. Don't know yet. Not high priority. No evidence of burn marks. Maybe in the switch.


  1. Anonymous3:50 pm

    will spare you the "back in the old days" rant, but thats the way it is now in 2010 - modern consumer capitalism has got to the stage where goods can be produced in enormous quantity as cheaply as possible. If you save 5c in making 2 million machines (your brand name attached) its real money.
    In return, we get gadgets and gizmos that didn't even exist 5 years ago...
    SMPS (switch mode power supplies) are cheap to make, incredibly versatile from a design viewpoint, ubiquitous, and the Achilles heel of most modern appliances. Leave the device on standby, it chews up electricity, and because they run hot, their life expectancy plummets. Easy to fix, take the lid off, look to see if any are bulging. About a dollars worth - el cheapo capacitors.

    Bugger - I did a RANT without realising I had started one...


  2. Anonymous4:52 pm

    It astounds me how disposable everything is now. I remember going to the tv repairman in my childhood when the set packed it in. He fiddled around in the back of it and presto, we had a working tv again.

    None of this going-into-debt-to-buy-a-plasma-larger-than-a-car business.

  3. Michael, when our tv went bung, I established that it could be fixed for $6 by replacing capacitors. Alas I lack a soldering iron and soldering skills. Thanks for the info on SMPS. I knew little.

    A loose valve MD. Hang on. You are too young for valves. Plasmas really are so cheap now though. We can and are buying a new and larger LCD tv for half the the price we paid for the first one.

  4. Anonymous10:03 pm

    These incandescent globes (Spell check there please) do not just go "ping" when they cease to work, they shatter everywhere.. have you had that happen Andrew? We have had to replace a few in the year or so that we have been using them.

  5. Do you mean the new energy efficient fluoro ones Cazzie? No, not had one explode. Mind you, we only have one.

  6. Yes those are the ones Andrew. It was a bit scary when the one in the girls room went.

  7. All those who think we are so much greener than poor old mum and dad in the 60's - our family had one small garbage bin per week for a family of seven. The same radio was there all my childhood...same with the stove, the fridge and washing machine...and the car...nuf said - we have thrown the baby out with the bathwater - now four enviro lights in the roof of the lounge room to equal one central light bulb - because they are so dim - how can that be saving?
    Garrgh -

  8. I was so engrossed in your blog post about electrical things going bung, I forgot my pasty in the toaster oven. Would you mind popping down and cleaning out the burnt bits? The oven still works but the burning smoke sets off the alarm.

  9. We have come a long way since then MC. Better? Maybe not. Now I don't like a single overhead bulb, but nor do like bright halogen spots beaming down into my eyes. We grew up with the single overhead bulb and it was fine. I remember my grandparents tiny dust bin that went out once a week. Where did they put all there other rubbish? Well, they didn't have any. Need to think about why they did not have any.

    Jahteh, open doors and windows and turn oven onto high and burn them off. So you did not immediately eat the pasty upon purchase. Well done.