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The Revenge of the Maytag Washers


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Scottthewolf

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:28 PM

OK, Whirlpool has totally got out of hand with their parts prices.  I had a Maytag Dependable Care top load washer with a totally ruined mounting stem, boot, & seal and a ruined tub bearing, but this one was down a basement  in really hard well water, and also ruined was the transmission, brake package and the lower spin bearing, so this washer was totalled. 

 

Then, later that day, I also get a call on a Maytag Bravos washer which I call the (fake) Bravos washer because it is nothing more than a modular vertical washer without an agitator. My customer had just bought this washer from a friend who had it in storage for about a year.  Well, sure enough, even though it was only 3 years old and only used a couple of times, the main tub seal and the bearing (the bearing is part of the gearcase) was totally ruined. $300 just in parts to fix this machine, so again another washer for the landfill.

 

One good thing about the old Whirlpool belt drive washers and the Whirlpool direct drive washers is that the gearcase remained stationary during the spin cycle and they didn't eat tub seals and tub bearings.


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#2 MicaBay

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:02 AM

OK, Whirlpool has totally got out of hand with their parts prices.  I had a Maytag Dependable Care top load washer with a totally ruined mounting stem, boot, & seal and a ruined tub bearing, but this one was down a basement  in really hard well water, and also ruined was the transmission, brake package and the lower spin bearing, so this washer was totalled. 

 

Then, later that day, I also get a call on a Maytag Bravos washer which I call the (fake) Bravos washer because it is nothing more than a modular vertical washer without an agitator. My customer had just bought this washer from a friend who had it in storage for about a year.  Well, sure enough, even though it was only 3 years old and only used a couple of times, the main tub seal and the bearing (the bearing is part of the gearcase) was totally ruined. $300 just in parts to fix this machine, so again another washer for the landfill.

 

One good thing about the old Whirlpool belt drive washers and the Whirlpool direct drive washers is that the gearcase remained stationary during the spin cycle and they didn't eat tub seals and tub bearings.

It seems to me whirlpool doesn't want appliance business to continue to repair their machines.  Their parts are priced in such a way that a DIY can get er done, but not the professional.



#3 PDuff

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:58 AM

It is heartbreaking to have to condemn a Newton made Maytag or WPL direct drive, and when I can replace it with an Amana VMW for around $400, it's a no brainer for the customer.

 

It's even more painful to put one of these units on the scrap heap.  A real tug of war takes place in my head, one side says "I think I can save it", while the other side says, "How much time and money can I sink into it and still roll it over for a profit?"

 

By the way, the back shop is full of "special projects".  Guess which side has been winning lately.



#4 nickfixit

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 12:47 PM

One good thing about the old Whirlpool belt drive washers and the Whirlpool direct drive washers is that the gearcase remained stationary during the spin cycle and they didn't eat tub seals and tub bearings.

 I always thought the spinning transmission was strange. I never liked any of the Maytags, even the Dependable Care. I thought the old belt-drive Whirlpool was a better washer..


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#5 Scottthewolf

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 10:00 PM

The only things I hated about the belt drive Whirlpool washers and the new VMW washers is that you have to work underneath them.  For some reason Whirlpool engineers hate having a removeable front panel on any of their top load washers.


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#6 AQAppliances

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:32 PM

I have been seeing a lot of newer washers lately. I have to admit I would much rather work on the older stuff. The newer stuff seems like it has a lot of unecessary electronics and the parts cost much more. It seems that the average repair for a newer washer is about twice as much as an older one.



#7 cmlewis1272

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 06:31 PM

This topic reminds me of a post I read by the samurai on one of his other sites. The title is Appliance repair trade is dead. He stated some of things that are in some of your replies here. So ho do you all feel. Is the trade on its way out due to the availability of cheap replacements and customers unwilling to spend close to cost of a new machine on a repair. What advice would you give someone thinking of going into the trade

 

Chime in.



#8 jjones

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:10 PM

I would like to read that article.
I did a search for the article but could not find it.
Do you have the link to it?

#9 cmlewis1272

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 12:19 AM

http://fixitnow.com/...pliance-repair/

 

here it is



#10 acfixerdude

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 01:57 AM

Wow, that's an OLD article... wonder how Samurai's thoughts on this have evolved over the last 8 years.


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#11 jjones

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 06:47 AM

Yes it would be interesting to see what the Samurai's views are today.

I tried to open the link for "Appliance Repair: A Dying Trade" but that article apparently has been removed from the site.

Would have liked reading that article.



#12 Scottthewolf

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 12:02 AM

Apparently I am a glutton for punishment. I am back working for Whirlpool Factory Service.  They made me an offer I couldn't refuse.  Funny thing is I am still seeing alot of the old Maytag stuff covered under extended service contracts, so I feel like I never left Maytag Factory Service.


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#13 B4UTRUST

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 12:35 AM

Yes it would be interesting to see what the Samurai's views are today.
I tried to open the link for "Appliance Repair: A Dying Trade" but that article apparently has been removed from the site.
Would have liked reading that article.


Here's a copy of the text from the archives.

Had an interesting phone call today.

“I got a Kitchenaid wall oven and the door is locked closed after I ran the clean cycle. I called Kitchenaid and they said to call you.”

Since I’m the authorized Whirlpool/Kitchenaid servicer in the area, Kitchenaid referred him to me.

“Yes, I can fix this for you. May I have your name, sir?”

He told me his name. I remembered him from another job I did for him previously. An older guy and his wife. She seemed ok, but he was a real peculiar sort. The kind you read about in Tales from the Dark Side. I replaced the condenser fan motor in his Sub-Zero refrigerator.

“I had another fellow out here a while back,” he continued, “but I didn’t want to call him again because I don’t think he knew what in the hell he was doing!”

“Really?” I replied. “What did he work on?”

“He did something to my Sub-Zero and since then it’s been running too long.”

Now this was a rare opportunity to get a glimpse into the mind of a customer. He obviously didn’t remember me but, oh, how I remember him. I was there twice, once to diagnose and then returned with the fan motor to do the repair. Each time I had one of my kids with me (I usually take one of my kids with me on service calls). They still shudder when the they think of walking in that house. How to describe it; let’s see, ever been in the back room of a mortuary, where they embalm the bodies? That’s what this house felt like. We were all a little creeped out by it.

“Running too long?” I queried. “Well, why didn’t you call me back to see if it was something related to the repair I did, which was to replace the condenser fan motor?”

After a bit of a pause…

“That wasn’t you, was it?” he asked, sounding a little unsure of himself. “We were very upset with you!”

“It certainly was,” I replied. “I remember the job vividly. You called me out because your refrigerator was making a loud vibrating noise. I found the condenser fan to be bad and replaced it. Are you telling me that the refrigerator is making noise again?”

“No,” he replied, “it just seems to run too long.”

“‘Seems to run too long?’ And so rather than call me to even ask me about it, you just stewed on it and bad-mouthed me to everyone you know. That about right?”

“Well, everytime you come over you charge us just to walk in the door,” he exclaimed, sounding defensive.

And he should be defensive because now he was flat-out lying.

“Mr. Stanley, you know that’s not true,” I declared. “I charge one flat fee for any repair that’s completed to your satisfaction and I tell people that fee right on the phone, when they call for service. The only thing added to that fee is the cost of parts. And I warranty my work for one year, parts and labor, with a lifetime warranty on workmanship.”

A longer pause…

“So, what about my wall oven?” he finally asked.

“I’m afraid you’ll need to call someone else to take care of that for you,” I replied. “You’re obviously a customer who can’t be pleased. And I’m not going to give you another thing to bad-mouth me about. At least this way, the worst you can say about me is that I refused to come out. But I’m telling you that straight up instead of weaseling out. Most appliance techs have been so abused by customers like you who put them under the witch hunt the moment they walk in your house that they no longer have enough self-respect to just say ‘no’ to customers like you. So they’ll either grovel in a futile attempt to please you or tell you they’ll show up, but don’t, and then not answer the phone when you call to find out where they were. Have a nice day.”

And I hung up.

This conversation reveals everything that’s wrong with the appliance repair trade. Appliance techs are already behind the eight ball the moment they walk in the customer’s house. Most people have been conditioned by 60 Minutes and other tabloid TV shows to view appliance repair techs as morally deficient cretins whose main objective in a service call is to screw the customer.

Granted, there are lots of charlatans and cretins out there, like this jive-turkey from Sears A&E. I get horror stories everyday by email or in the repair forum. But most independent appliance servicers are conscientious and highly skilled tradesmen who’ve invested thousands of hours learning the basic skills, keeping up with the new models, and honing their craft in the field. In fact, to be good at appliance repair, you need both excellent mechanical and electrical skills. To do it right, you need a more diverse and technically demanding set of skills for appliance repair than you do for any of the other skilled trades.

But the problem is one of perception; some of it self-inflicted, but most of it just a cultural thing. Plumbing and household electrical wiring are all hidden behind walls and so are mysterious, almost magical things. But people work with their appliances everyday and so acquire the false sense that they must be easy to fix. They don’t know what they don’t know. Think about that: most people don’t know what they don’t know, but think they know it all.

The other factor working against appliance repair as a viable trade is the “how much is a new one?” syndrome. People look at what it costs to buy a new appliance and, in their muddled little brains, use that as the measure for what it should cost to fix it. Any ‘tard can see that banging out a washer in a prison-camp factory in China has nothing to do with what it costs to have a skilled and trained appliance technician drive to your home and fix it. Ah, but facts are stupid things, as the Gipper used to say.

But perception is reality and it’s that perception, along with the super cheap appliances available today, that have doomed the appliance repair trade. I said “have doomed” because it’s already done; the rest is just a long, slow swan song. I’m going on record here and now to declare that the appliance repair trade is dead.

The next mega-trend in appliance repair is do-it-yourself. The Internet has made this possible. Sites like this one and excellent online parts houses, like RepairClinic empower almost anyone with a pulse with the know-how to repair their own appliances. But even this do-it-yourself trend will extinguish at some point. Without skilled and experienced techs, you wouldn’t have do-it-yourself websites– how could you? Who’s gonna be around to write pearls of wisdom or answer questions from grasshoppers in the repair forum?

But, dontchoo go frettin’ none– as long the fermented nectar is flowin’, I’ll keep right on goin’. Yee haw!


Owner/Operator Flagship Appliance Repair


#14 LI-NY Tech

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 02:54 PM

It's not dying. But you need to check your demographic. Transition ever upward. That's where the money is.

David
RD Appliance Service, Corp.

PO Box 234, Bethpage, NY, 11714

516-561-0523

http://www.rdapplianceservice.com

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#15 jjones

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 07:21 PM

B4UTRUST

Thanks for the repost of the article



#16 AQAppliances

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 07:48 PM

Hard to say that it is a dying trade here in Maryland. I know Sears techs that are working mandatory 6 days a week because they cannot keep up with the workload. I am finding to make it as independent you have to repair all makes and models. These Samsung and LG's are taking over. If you are not an expert in all makes and models you will be left in the dust. This trade is no different than other professions in that you must continue to educate yourself.




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