/ Sustainability

New right to repair rules: what do you think?

New rules to make household appliances more sustainable have been announced by the EU, but will they end up benefitting consumers?

As part of a continued effort to reduce Europe’s carbon footprint and to make energy bills cheaper for European consumers, new ‘right to repair’ rules have been announced.

From 2021, EU firms – and any UK firms wishing to sell to the EU market – will have to make products such as refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and televisions longer-lasting.

Under the new standards, manufacturers will have to supply spare parts for these household appliances for up to 10 years.

The manufacturers must ensure spare parts can be replaced with the use of commonly available tools, without permanent damage to the appliance.

But under the new rules, only professional repairers – not consumers – will be supported by manufacturers to carry out the repairs.

Should we all have the right to repair?

Are the repair rules good or bad?

There’s been a long-standing view that new products just don’t last as long as they used to, with built-in obsolescence a growing concern for many.

As a result, the call for white goods to last longer than a couple of years is one which will surely be welcome news to most consumers.

But what about those of us who want to save time and money by purchasing our own spare parts and mending our own goods?

The pace of change in the industry, which now includes many products which have intricately mixed and increasingly complex digital and physical components, means many owners are usually either unable to source the right parts or repair the machines themselves.

Replace vs repair

Finding a professional repairer to carry out the fix at a decent price is often difficult. This means many turn to a replacement rather than a repair.

And we all know getting a replacement after a short while is just as wasteful from an environmental standpoint as it is a waste of money.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that warranties and guarantees can sometimes be more generous than your statutory rights, and give you an extra option to resolve problems with a product.

Ultimately the move to improve the longevity of white goods could be positive, but the monopoly on who repairs is a concern – especially if it’s going to become impossible for consumers to perform what would have been simple fixes themselves.

With all that in mind, what do you make of the new rules? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments

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steadyeddy says:
4 October 2019

I would say it is better to repair than replace. Washing Machines, Fridges , Dishwashers etc take a lot of energy to build and transport to the end user. Most are thrown away when one of three things go wrong. The Controller Unit, The Electric motor/belt and The Pump. All are easily replaced if the values were viable. Repairman will charge £40/60 per hour and parts £100/120. Machine likely to be 2/3/4 years old. New machine basic cost is £240 -300 with free delivery, next day and old one taken away. So most go for replacement instead of repair. Cheap for the consumer but expensive for the environment. Also machines are not designed for repair in the first place. Low build quality forces consumers to replace. I know many landlords who will replace W/Ms and D/Ws after 2 years and at the first sign of trouble.

It is essential that consumers have access to sensibly-priced spare parts so that those who feel competent can repair appliances without the – maybe – prohibitive extra cost of a “professional repairer”. It will, of course, be done at the consumer’s risk, so the manufacturers reservations should not be used as a barrier. I hope Which? will campaign for this.

Mind you, as now I expect many sources will supply spares direct to the “public” and I’d expect maintenance information will become available, even if unofficially. But we should have the right to both.

Regarding availability of spares this is phrased as” x years from purchase” so I presume that means, effectively, after the model has been discontinued.

Here’s a link to an EU statement that would have been useful – https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_19_5889

“It’s also worth keeping in mind that warranties and guarantees can sometimes be more generous than your statutory rights, and give you an extra option to resolve problems with a product.“. The whole point about repairability should be to economically keep an appliance going after a warranty has expired. However, the problem with failures just out of warranty is the unwillingness of (some) retailers to recognise lack of durability or a fault in the product and deny, or not help us, with our our statutory rights as given in the Consumer Rights Act 2015. It is important that Which? should help consumers pursue these rights, even when it might be a little difficult, as with some durability issues. Collecting and collating more detailed information on product failures should be done to help this.

Having replaced the handle on my washing machine this week I oddly current experience on this!

Before I searched for videos on how to repair I phoned around a few repair places and everyone was extremely busy and also expensive. I has a quick search online for how to do it myself, ordered the parts and it ended up being really easy to do in the end.

We have just gone through a phase of people repairing things less while at the same time videos showing you how to some of the more straightforward repairs means that people who do want to repair can try it themselves. I wonder if this is a part of the reason professional repair people are harder to find.

The ideal state is for major and expensive appliances not to break down or develop faults in the first place. I think all washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators should run trouble-free for at least ten years [under normal conditions and in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations] without the need for repair. If that were the case generally we would not need special regulations about repairability and replacement parts.

Just because manufacturers can limit access to spares to professional technicians surely does not mean that they must.

Under EU law, I think any spares or manuals purchased by repairers become their property, giving them the right to sell them on to the public.

But a worry here is who gets to decide who the “professional repairers” would be.

For example, Apple will currently only sell genuine spares to their contractually controlled authorised repairers. Apple then prohibits the latter from directly selling those parts to the public or to 3rd party repairers.

It would be interesting to research what proportion of discarded appliances are still in good working order and could be refettled for further service. A lot of stuff gets jettisoned in the interests of a kitchen refit or in connexion with a house move. It might not look brilliant or have all the latest features but ripping it out and starting again should be the last resort. As the owners of well-running kitchen appliances that are now well into their second decade and never having required the attention of a repair technician we deplore the throw-away culture that is undoubtedly stimulated by consumerism and the emphasis placed on new models. I suppose it was ever thus.

We did not dispose of any working appliances when our kitchen was refurbished.

We had tried to replace the old worn-out cooker before deciding on a refit but rejected the new ones.

The probably 15-20 year old washing machine stopped working and I think went bang just before the work started. It had already had a £250 repair and as the previous washing machine started rusting and leaking about the same age, I was not unhappy to have a new one so didn’t consider a repair on this occasion. Luckily, I still have a very old Electra spin drier bought second-hand in my single renting days, still works well and still in excellent condition.

We kept the fridge/freezer that is probably over 20 years old now and luckily still a good shade of white and also the microwave that is now over 9 years old.

So we are very similar John only replacing things when they need replacing rather than because we fancy a new model.

Sue Newport says:
9 October 2019

I so agree with you,I had a 28 yr old slot in duel fuel cooker In full working order that I had to replace just because I could not get new control knobs.for the oven when the numbers had all rubbed off.It was a good solid machine,but not safe for house sitters to use without temp controls they could see.Do wish I still had it .The new one I ended up with is utter rubbish in comparison, thin casing ,light weight gas plates & enamel that was crazing after 2 yrs.Not at all impressed.

For this EU legislation to be effective, spare parts will need to be available at affordable prices.

That said, my ~35-year old Sharp microwave oven and my ~30-year-old Zanussi washing machine also show that it was once possible to build products that were engineered to last a lifetime, with any reliance on the availability of spare parts.

Is 10 years long enough?

There must be many parts that could be standardised, for example: screws.

We want to replace some of the handles on our double glazed windows now around 14 years old.

Firstly, the holes attaching the handle need to marry up, that is the fairly easy bit.

Then a check to make sure nothing on the handle gets in the way of opening and closing the window.

Then the distance of the catch has to be correct, not so easy to find but possible.

But the real problem is the screws that attach the handle to the window. We cannot find any the same or even similar that would do the job. The company that supplied the windows went out of business years ago.

We have sent photos and measurements of the screws to various companies and bought several on their recommendations that turned out to be useless.

So for now, we have given up.

One solution would be to use a tap to cut a new thread to suit other screws. Obviously the new screws would have to be larger and it might be necessary to slightly enlarge the holes in the new handles. You have already done the hard bit, which is to find handles that have holes in the right place.

@alpha – Is 10 years long enough?

Maybe not. Manufacturers used to make screw threads to all sorts of designs, meaning that they were incompatible. In 1841 Joseph Whitworth proposed a standard that would ensure a bolt made in Birmingham, say, would fit a nut made in Glasgow. Since then, other standards have emerged, but the principle remains the same.

So if 180 years later, we still haven’t got a working standard for such mundane items, maybe the EU are not being sufficiently far-sighted with their legislation.

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I still use some BA screws and nuts for repair and construction, simply because I have inherited some and and been given others.

The screws you refer to are masonry screws, Duncan. No plugs are necessary because the screw threads are much harder than those of ordinary wood screws and will cut a thread in brick or stone. Some modern materials are much superior to those we have used the the past.

Somehow, the thought of buying a 5mm drill to make a hole 3.5 inches deep made me smile. Did you have trouble finding one of those, or are drills still available in Imperial lengths?

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wavechange said One solution would be to use a tap to cut a new thread to suit other screws

That is a possibility, but there is a danger of ending up with windows that won’t shut properly.

I forgot to mention another little problem – the screws need very shallow/thin heads.

It’s sometimes not easy, but I remember your efforts with a broken fan blade. 🙂

A screw with a very shallow head is likely to be made of stainless steel. It would be worth finding out the existing thread size from one of the existing screws, either by finding a matching nut or measuring the diameter and pitch: https://www.engineersedge.com/hardware/metric-external-thread-sizes1.htm

I recently had quite a hunt to find suitable screws and fixings to fix a loose wobbly door handle inside my en-suite shower room. I did eventually manage to solve that problem, after a careful trawl through B&Q’s stock of similar items and a visit to Proper Job’s selection of prepacked fasteners. During this process, my 40 year old cheap & nasty set of taps, dies and thread gauges saw the light of day for the first time in many a long year.

In theory, as a trained engineer, I know how to make bespoke screws from scratch and I’m sure I could have pursued that route if so required.

Perhaps it was just sheer flook but I bought some replacement locking handles from Wilko that I fitted to the double glazing casements after moving house. They lined up perfectly and I therefore assumed they were standardised. I am sorry to hear of Alfa’s experience.

The only adaptation I had to make was to shorten the bar that operates the latch.

Thanks for the link wavechange, I will give this one to hubby to have another go at seeing as he did most of the searching last time.

I did gain a new appreciation for all the names of the various parts of a screw.

There must be thousands of window handles either current or past. Double glazing windows are all basically the same so this does seem the sort of product that could have a few standard sizes and fittings that manufacturers could then put their own stamp on.

I’ve had plenty of my own hassles with window and door locks. I wanted to replace the rather tatty back door handle when trying to leave my home in a respectable condition for the next owner but failed to find a suitable one.

The fact that many window handle locks share the same key does suggest that they might be made by the same manufacturer.

It’s a totally specious argument from manufacturers, that access to spares and information needs to be limited to “professional repairers” for reasons of safety, and it is a shame that the EU have bought into this. Obviously, the manufacturers’ only interest is to protect their fleets of “authorised” repair engineers; a lucrative by-product of making unreliable appliances.

The worst that could happen from an incompetent DIY appliance repair is maybe a flood, electrocution or fire – and we can certainly trust those ethical manufacturers to protect us from the latter, like Whirlpool for instance:

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/02/revealed-the-brands-linked-to-the-most-appliance-fires/

At least the risk from a botched appliance repair is localised. And yet ANYONE is free to repair that most lethal of domestic machines and risk spreading injury, death and destruction throughout the country.

You can stroll into a local branch of Halfords (other motor factors are available) or franchised dealership and buy brake pads, electrical components, fuel filters and all manner of other equipment, that are not just necessary for the car’s continued operation, but for the safety of the occupants and other road users.

Why is that OK, if repairing a toaster or washing machine isn’t?

It’s a totally specious argument from manufacturers, that access to spares and information needs to be limited to “professional repairers” for reasons of safety, and it is a shame that the EU have bought into this. Obviously, the manufacturers’ only interest is to protect their fleets of “authorised” repair engineers; a lucrative by-product of making unreliable appliances.

The worst that could happen from an incompetent DIY appliance repair is maybe a flood, electrocution or fire – and we can certainly trust those ethical manufacturers to protect us from the latter, like Whirlpool for instance:

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2018/02/revealed-the-brands-linked-to-the-most-appliance-fires/

At least the risk from a botched appliance repair is localised. And yet anyone is free to repair that most lethal of domestic machines and risk spreading injury, death and destruction throughout the country.

You can stroll into a local branch of Halfords (other motor factors are available) or franchised dealership and buy brake pads, electrical components, fuel filters and all manner of other equipment, that are not just necessary for the car’s continued operation, but for the safety of the occupants and other road users.

Why is that OK, if repairing a toaster or washing machine isn’t?

Well said, Em. DIY work does cause injuries but it’s worth keeping it in perspective. As with driving, it’s a case of learning about your own abilities and other factors. Having relevant experience is not necessary and one of the most skilled DIY repairers I know is a hospital consultant.

As you say, Em2, we do all sorts of jobs without restrictions placed upon us. That is done at our own risk of course, Apart from cars, I can buy a chain saw without instruction, I can do certain electrical work that could kill someone, so I should be permitted to mend a washing machine or other appliance at my peril – or using common sense, experienced help if necessary, and YouTube. It is surprising (or is it?) how many people have the ability to learn and accomplish jobs.

There are, already, lots of spares, including from 3rd parties, available to do these repairs and online help abounds. My concern is we should be campaigning for longer-lasting appliances and I’d suggest 10 years is a reasonable objective – or an equivalent number of cycles in appliances used intermittently. I have a 25 year old car that still gets me about; an 18 year old lawn mower (petrol) that continues to cut a lot of grass every week for 8 months of the year. I do not believe using more durable components – motors, bearings, pumps, circuit boards – need add too much extra cost. Nor should repairability.

I’d like to see Which? looking more at durability and repairability when it reports on products

I suspect that we are at more risk driving on the roads than fixing our own household goods, as long as sensible precautions are taken. At least some washing machines record the number of cycles, or so we were told in one Convo. We should have access to this information.

I thought you had a car that’s a few years old and an even newer lawnmower, Malcolm. 😉

Indeed I do, but I regularly use my 25 year old car when transporting tools, rubbish, ladders, and doing some local journeys – as I did today to dismantle a summerhouse for re-use elsewhere. I did buy a new lawnmower of the same make last year simply because a bigger cut and powered drive made cutting my lawns quicker, but I still use the elderly one for some of the trickier bits, particularly where its roller helps.

I have a collection of power tools. Some get used regularly, others once or twice a year and I will probably find a good home for the cheap demolition hammer drill I bought and used once – to demolish part of a garden wall. It cost me less than it would have cost to hire one, but it was rather wasteful.

As to the availability of spares, I don’t see how that will stop manufacturers cheating the system.

Some years ago, my AEG washing machine stopped working. It was clear from the symptoms that the motor’s carbon brushes had worn out. I called AEG to order a new set and was told it was impossible to order the brushes alone because the brush holders were riveted in place, and I would need to buy a new motor assembly for over £150.

In fact, the brush holders were screwed into place and a friendly local spares wholesaler said the carbon brushes looked exactly like Hotpoint brushes, only reversed. Sure enough, they fitted perfectly, and using just a screwdriver and spanners for the repair I had a perfectly workable washing machine.

As I now had an actual part number for the brushes, I was even more surprised when I came across them on the AEG spare parts list for a more modest £11.

Needless to say, I have never bought another AEG appliance, but I am sure this behaviour goes on everywhere, either by design or just through incompetence.

And that is why it is essential for not only parts, but repair manuals to be freely available.

It’s a while since I have needed carbon motor brushes but I have used companies that sell them. These companies can be worth a look if the manufacturer is charging an outrageous price for replacements. On one occasion I could not find ones the right size but used fine sandpaper or a file to slightly reduce the size of ones that I had in stock. That’s best done outside because it’s a messy job.

I have not encountered brush holders riveted in place, and it looks like another example of planned obsolescence. If access permits, the rivets could be drilled out.

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Rewinding a field coil is one job I’ve never tacked, probably because I have not encountered a faulty one, but well done for that.

Thanks to the availability of much more powerful permanent magnets it’s possible to make motors without field coils and they are more efficient because no power is needed to provide a magnetic field. Brushless motors have been around since the 1970s but they are at last becoming common in household products, reducing the need for maintenance. Although we can and should criticise poor repairability and difficulty in obtaining spares, there are some benefits of modern designs.

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Nowadays you would take photos with your digital camera to ensure that the job is done right. I’ve wound my own transformers but never needed tor repair one.

Surely, a more effective piece of legislation would have been to require manufacturers to guarantee their appliances for an extended period, as Miele appear to be able to do – for up to 10 years in some cases.

Whilst it is frustrating to not be able to buy spares for a broken appliance, I have generally found it is simply uneconomic to repair anything “professionally” once an appliance is out of warranty. And those “extended warranty” scams would hopefully disappear overnight.

As far as I know, Miele offers a two year guarantee and anything more is an insurance-backed warranty with Domestic & General. That may be included in the purchase price or sold separately.

One of my early recollections as a Which? subscriber was the effort to raise awareness of expensive extended warranties offered by large electrical retailers. Sometimes the cost was more than that of the product.

We should perhaps have another Which? report on extended warranties.

I don’t think it matters how a manufacturer decides to fund a warranty. I would expect a manufacturer with a good reliability and durability record, such as Miele, would get better terms for an insurance backed long warranty than manufacturers with less good history, and this should be reflected in what the consumer pays. I bought a Miele dishwasher to replace one from the same manufacturer that had lasted around 13 years in daily use. The new one cost around £550 and, for “peace of mind”, we decided to take up their offer of a repair or replace warranty extended to 10 years at a cost of £149 – £18.63 a year. Underwritten by D&G.

I would be a bit miffed if I had bought a dishwasher that lasted only 13 years when the company implied that their product should last about 20 years. With a dishwasher, components are not subject to much stress and vibration compared with those in a washing machine.

What Miele actually say is “the equivalent of 20 years use”. Clearly it depends upon the number of cycles. I don’t know (yet) what their test regime is. Ours was used every day, and often twice, so was not at all miffed that it lasted 13 years.

Miele had to change its advertising as a result of intervention by the Advertising Standards Authority. The ‘equivalent’ was added. I hope my Miele washing machine will last 20 years because I don’t want to pay Miele prices to have it fixed.

When I moved in, the previous owner of my home said they would get rid of the dishwasher because it no longer worked properly. The only problem was that the spray arms were blocked with limescale, which took five minutes to sort out. More recently I had to take the side off and clear limescale that was affecting a level sensor using toilet limescale remover. It’s between 14 and 20 years old and has been saved from recycling twice. In both cases, no new parts were needed. Had I called in a service engineer, I expect they would have replaced the affected parts.

Thanks to the relative simplicity of dishwashers, I think we can reasonably expect them to last for 20 years, but only if they are maintained to prevent accumulation of limescale and detergent causing malfunctions. I have friends whose Candy machine lasted for about 23 years (with the help of eSpares) and at one time was being used three times a day for a family of eight. It was scrapped only because it needed a new plate rack.

I wouldn’t touch D&G with a bargepole.

They would only give us £177 for a repair or replace warranty on a 10 year old CRT TV that cost £1500 new when it could not be repaired. It was one of the most expensive TVs when bought and the warranty seemed a good idea at the time. We used the warranty once to replace the on/off switch.

I second that. They’re also terminally slow between collecting the device for ‘evaluation’ and making the offer.

I hope the legislation also applies to software. We had to scrap a perfectly good 6 year old Sony television because it had been unplugged for a year. It missed the last broadcast software update and would have required “repair” by an authorised Sony dealer to reinstall the latest software patch to get it working again. The cost would have been more than the television was worth.

Needless to say, Sony couldn’t send me the software on disk or allow me to download it anywhere.

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Thanks for this Convo, Melissa. Please could you add a link to the recent Convo by Ugo Vallauri of the Restart Project: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/restart-project-right-to-repair-faulty-products/

I believe we need to fight to ensure that manufacturers make spares and information available to the public, and not just to ‘professional repairs’.

I do hope that Right to Repair features in the magazine. I find it very encouraging that Which? is paying more attention to sustainability. Maybe Which? will help raise awareness of those manufacturers that do make products that are more repairable and supply parts at a sensible price.

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There already is one, wavechange – just above the first subheader 🙂

Oops. Thanks George. Now if the link had mentioned the Restart Project it would probably have registered.

It’s not uncommon for household products to indicate faults as error codes but sometimes the manufacturers don’t publish what these mean, except to authorised service engineers. This started with cars, making it necessary to take the car to a dealer or specialist to diagnose the problem – at a cost. Nowadays there are various diagnostic tools that plug into the OBD2 port, often below the dashboard. The more expensive ones are capable of turning off dashboard warning lights after the fault has been corrected. Since modern cars have some sort of display, it would be possible to build-in fault diagosis and have the information displayed on screen, but that might mean that the owner could correct problems, possibly at little or no expense.

I see the right to repair as a battle against the manufacturers. They want us to replace products.

comp says:
5 October 2019

Is something wrong with the Which website?

When I visited this page in the morning, it said there were 25 comments

Now it says there’s 10 comments

Did a mod delete 15? Why?

comp says:
5 October 2019

And weirdly now, after refreshing the page several times, it now says there’s 32 comments

This comment was removed at the request of the user

There were various problems with the Which? Convo website recently, but these seem to have been resolved.

Hello, just to confirm, no one has deleted any comments – I’m also getting the issue where it jumps from the correct number to 10. We’ll see if we can get it fixed first thing Monday.

Thanks George, I trust it will be put right after a suitable repair.

Comp, if you log in, you will see all the comments.

Hey all, we’ll pick this bug up over in the Website feedback conversation.

If you’re still experiencing this, I might advise clearing your browser cache and doing a hard refresh (Crtl + F5) of the page, as it is possible that your browser is referencing an older cached version of the page rather than the current version.

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My parents used to have an AEG washing machine which was a gift for their wedding. It lasted 38 years. The washing machine, still married. My dad, an electrical engineer and all-round handyman, could easily repair it himself; usually it was just the drive belt. He said he would not do this with the new machine.

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If EU regulations require replaceable parts to be made accessible using “normal” tools then reputable manufactures will design their assembly methods accordingly. I presume non-compliant products cannot be legally placed on the EU market so another job for our Market Surveillance Authority – Trading Standards – to police.

David Stone says:
8 October 2019

I agree with Malcolm R.

I’m a semi-retired electronics engineer, with a lifetime background of over 50 years in Television Broadcast / Pro Audio, but also, with consumer products. Most manufacturers used to adhere to a code which meant that cosmetic parts were retained for 7 years, and internal parts for 10 years. Even with this safeguard. many parts were marked ‘RTL’ in the service manuals, meaning that the retention time on complete sub-assemblies & printed – circuit boards were limited as the manufacturer saw fit. In practice, this would often mean that once the production-line had ceased making a particular model of a completed item, anything marked ‘RTL’ would be unavailable.
This used to be o.k. (I remember one particular industrial VCR where the production run was for around 14 years!), but, because the customer wants everything to have the latest ‘bells & whistles’ a lot of what we purchase in stores has already ceased to come off the production line!. It would therefore be most uneconomic for manufacturers to manufacture & store, in vast warehouses, spare parts which might never be used, as the cost would have to be reflected in the actual point-of-sale price.

The answer would seem to revert back to longer production runs, make the build quality of the items better, and the goods more easily repairable. This might instil more confidence in the consumer to be brand-loyal, as in the past, and also save huge quantities of perfectly usable electrical & electronic goods from being just dumped.
I described myself as ‘semi-retired’, that’s because although I had hoped to retire, my days are constantly busy, with enquiries about possible repairs to and actual repair of, both consumer & industrial equipment!
Where the parts are available, I do try to help, but the lack of spares, and service information, coupled with poor build quality means that in the case of more recent goods, repair , if at all, – is not economically viable.

Lets make things last!

David.

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I enjoyed your comment David but technology moves too fast these days to make things built to last forever. When hardly anyone had a washing machine and the economy was on a roll it made sense for the manufacturers to set up production lines for years ahead and produce plenty of spares as a side-line. The engineering was good, the casings were robust, the parts were solid and rigid, and the housewife was happy. There was a healthy second-hand trade and a repair man in almost every suburban shopping parade recycling components from trade-ins. This doesn’t suit the modern household and the makers have had to respond with more frequent changes of specification even though the basic function remains simple and the same. No amount of miniaturisation of the controls will ever make a washing machine any smaller so it takes up less space or does the washing so fast and efficiently that it takes much less time, but – never mind – a new design will roll off the production lines in a subtle [and not so subtle] change of colour every year or so to cope with some imagined fallibility of the human user – like being able to pop in a missing sock once the programme has started. Added value they call it. Higher price say I. But this is consumerism at work [to our collective shame].

I began my professional working life as a Radio, TV & domestic appliance engineer in the 1960’s.
This was an era when virtually everything could be repaired or re-furbished for second users.
As mains power & high voltages in TV’s were a major hazard not to mention some of the ultraviolet & X rays emitted from the valves of the early Colour TV’s, Professional training & expert mentoring were essential. These issues may by long forgotten but they have been replaced with other hazards.
U-Tube is awash with helpful videos & useful background tricks of the trade, but please be aware that legislation is there to protect consumers from shoddy workmanship & in many ways our enthusiasm to take risks with our own health & welfare as well as our family, friends & neighbours.
That said I welcome the move to make available sensibly priced spares (including the return of service manuals) to enable a more sustainable repair, re-use, & refurbishing ethos in our society, this would enable up & coming young enthusiastic hopefuls to build a career in something that’s rewarding in both self esteem & financially.
One last thought, do check the guarantee & reasonable service life expectancy before picking up that screwdriver it might just invalidate any redress you might be entitled to.

As one who is now all too familiar with the current fashion for glass bodied mobile phones, I was indeed pleased that YouTube’s AI saw fit to send me this video:-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj4Od9D4puc

It shows how lasers can be used to help repair glass-backed iPhones, thus allowing 3rd party repair shops to fix these items for much less than the prices that Apple would be charging for repair or replacement.

John says:
11 October 2019

There is also the question of electrical efficiency of older appliances, there seems to be no option to update older models for more efficient components. We are likely to have conflicting priorities regarding repair and efficiency within the EU.

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Wouldn’t it be useful if there was a major consumer organisation whose reviews of products already included a stripdown and repairability assessment, plus the availability of service info, circuit diagrams and spare parts (both OEM and pattern parts).

I believe there is a website dedicated to teardowns and repairability assessments of mobile phones, but I can’t think of any organisation offering that information for white- and brown-goods.

We need an equivalent of iFixit.