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Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

‘Right to Repair’

… is this Good News, or just a fantasy ?

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Michael Gilligan01/07/2021 07:56:05
18734 forum posts
916 photos


Please discuss … without too much Politics !


Anthony Knights01/07/2021 08:08:40
555 forum posts
233 photos

A good idea in principle. The snag is that I guess companies will make the price of spares such that it is un-economic to repair your appliance anyway.

Ady101/07/2021 09:13:36
4689 forum posts
713 photos

Spares could be pretty pricey

Manufacturers would only want "approved" repairers for elf and safety reasons

A repairable item really needs to be designed as a hand built item, even if robots assemble it

Electrical goods are being refused by charity shops because of elf and safety issues

The whole industry needs reorganising if its going to up its standards

Edited By Ady1 on 01/07/2021 09:16:33

vic newey01/07/2021 09:34:56
97 forum posts
59 photos

It's a similar thing with the extended warranties they try to offer you when the one year is up, £125 a year to insure a £250 machine so why pay that.

Also the extended 'free' warranties that include the parts but not the labour which may be £125 per hour. We had a quote for a faulty electric showers 'free' repair of a tiny sensor that had already failed and been fixed under it original warranty. It failed again and the engineers visit was going to be £185. Needless to say we bought a new one of a different make.

Kiwi Bloke01/07/2021 10:13:40
602 forum posts
1 photos

Well, it sounds like a step in the right direction, but will it transform grossly wasteful industry or really benefit the majority of hapless consumers, who can't even put on a plug? I doubt it. Most things are repairable, assuming you can diagnose the fault, dismantle the thing, obtain a spare part and reassemble everything. But, realistically, is a software-driven, hideously complex, miniaturized gizmo going to get repaired? It's too difficult to dismantle, diagnosis probably requires specialized knowledge and diagnostic software, software may need to be re-loaded, calibration performed, and replacing tiny components under strong magnification is no fun. So Joe public isn't going to do it, and employing someone is going to be too expensive - and then there's the inflated cost of spares, of which the manufacturer has a monopoly. No manufacturer is going to want to release source code, because intellectual property is rightly(?) guarded. And then there's the problem of legislation. Who will decide whether something is repairable - politicians, lawyers? Don't even think of the cost of legal fees. Nah, you'll walk off to the shop, grumbling, and just buy another, as before. Meanwhile, in a massive warehouse, somewhere near you, countless unsold goods are being destroyed - it's economics, dear. The world has gone mad. There is no hope...

Mark Rand01/07/2021 10:14:19
1055 forum posts
12 photos

Providing parts retailers can get the OEM parts from the manufacturer, there should be no problems. 30 years ago I ordered washing machine spares from the shop the machine came from because they had an account. Now I go online to buy spares.

Clive Steer01/07/2021 11:11:13
46 forum posts

I think the majority of people just want a cheap reliable product. However when devices are rendered less usable because of poorly designed parts failing such as plastic fridge bootle trays the cost to the user and environment can be high.

Most manufacturers are continually redesigning their products to reduce cost or improve performance by using new technology or materials so having to stock or guarantee the availability of spare parts for 10 years can be a burden especially if the parts you are stocking are not the parts that end up being the ones that commonly fail. If manufacturers knew what parts would fail why don't they design them better in the first place.

In my experience the most likely parts to fail are stressed plastic, then mechanical and that includes electrical connectors and then electronics as least likely.

Although there are legal requirements for products to comply with various safety standards there are not, as far as I'm aware, any legal requirements for reliability. It is probably perceived that manufacturers wouldn't design an unreliable product. However given the number of products recalled because of safety issues through poor design or manufacturing control then I'm sure there may be many more with reliability issues.

How standards would be worded would be a challenge but the use of "appropriate" materials which are shown to provide longevity or easy of recycling may improve the situation.


pgk pgk01/07/2021 11:32:14
2298 forum posts
293 photos

Sadly, I believe the legislation comes under the heading of greenwashing - sounds good but essentially toothless Any manufacturer that wants to bypass the reality of things being fixed can redesign them so dismantling is impractical - glue the thing together
Now if they had insisted on, say, a 5-year plus included real warranty on all white goods then there would be reason to build them more reliably in the first place.


John MC01/07/2021 11:37:43
352 forum posts
40 photos

Part of the problem is the "throw away society" as was alluded to in the article. Re-educating people to get things fixed rather than thrown away/recycled will be a battle.

I've always found with white goods that spares are generally available at reasonable cost from my local white goods repair shop and the usual internet sources. Electrical parts, seals, hinges etc all readily obtainable. Might not be OE but so what?

The problem will be with parts exclusive to a particular model, probably will be so costly that throwing away will be the best way forward financially.

I think a fundamental change from the manufacturers will be needed to make things more fixable. That is to say design for maintenance rather than manufacture.


Georgineer01/07/2021 12:17:53
525 forum posts
31 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 01/07/2021 09:13:36:...

Electrical goods are being refused by charity shops because of elf and safety issues

Well, yes and no.

I can understand why charity shops are cautious about this - if they sell any goods they have a duty to ensure that they are safe to use. The alternative would be to put the responsibility onto the purchaser by selling electrical goods as 'spares or repair' which would drop the price and reduce sales dramatically.

I spend a happy day each week as a volunteer in the local Salvation Army shop, PAT testing the electrical donations, carrying out minor repairs and preparing them for sale. I find that I am rather popular because electrical goods sell well, and fetch a good price. When displayed in the window they bring people into the shop, who then browse and buy other things. It's certainly good for the ego - to quote from Christopher Fry' s play The Lady's not for Burning "I apologise for boasting, but once you know my qualities I can drop back into a quite brilliant humility." The shop provides the PAT tester, and the work is largely common sense though there's a wealth of guidance and training available.

It's also an education into our society. There's a constant supply of whatever last year's fad was, often unused, and I despair of the people who send in well-used household appliances without wiping the food residues off, or emptying the dust bag. And there's a limit to the number of fairy-light strings a man can cope with at a sitting!

I thoroughly recommend it to anybody who is tempted, and can find a charity whose CEO's salary is not an obscenity.

George B.

Peter Cook 601/07/2021 12:32:30
156 forum posts
50 photos
Posted by pgk pgk on 01/07/2021 11:32:14:

Sadly, I believe the legislation comes under the heading of greenwashing - sounds good but essentially toothless

Unless spares costs are "controlled" the manufacturers will make the cost well out of proportion.

Our 10 year old Bosch dishwasher died recently. Investigation (took apart) suggested that the control box was faulty. One small PCB in a plastic box with edge connectors £165 inc VAT. It's certainly no more complex than an Arduino Uno I can get for 1/10th of the price. Man to come and diagnose the fault £99. So total cost to repair by "approved" repairer £264 - about 60% of the cost of the dishwasher originally, and a new one is about the same cost.

Actual fault (Google is your friend) was a 100ohm 3W resistor (£1.99 for five) and a Regulator IC (£4.75 for four) both delivered by a well known auction site.1 hour with a soldering iron and it all works again.

But I have no idea where the average person might find someone to do such a repair. All the "engineers" these days seem to be trained just to swap components.

Mike Poole01/07/2021 14:52:20
3057 forum posts
72 photos

Even if they gave the parts away to repair machines the labour costs are high. My Miele dishwasher developed a leak that triggered the flood sensor in the undertray, it was easy to drain the tray and have a trouble free couple of weeks. Of course it soon developed fault number 2 so I bought a new one, Miele are good at being repairable but can be expensive to repair, my sister paid £500 to have hers fixed so the purchase of a new machine becomes more attractive.


roy entwistle01/07/2021 14:56:49
1401 forum posts

Haines used to sell a manual for washing machines. told you which parts were interchangeable between makers.

Macolm01/07/2021 21:24:17
48 forum posts
6 photos

The following website has interesting information and opinions about a huge range of domestic appliances. It can be useful to find what brands share a common design. Some of the information can be not particularly up to date.

larry phelan 102/07/2021 18:55:08
1079 forum posts
14 photos

Guy came to cut my hedges some years ago, called himself an "Agricultural Engineer" !

When I finished laughing, I advised him to try his luck on the Stage.

I have heard some good ones, but that had to be one of the best !laugh

Kiwi Bloke02/07/2021 22:25:12
602 forum posts
1 photos

The BBC news website has a relevant article. It explains that the intention of the legislation is not to make all spares available to everyone. It seems that the more involved repairs will have to go to professionals, who will (might?) be able to obtain spares. Well, good luck with that! What's the going hourly rate for repair cowboys?

Interestingly - or worryingly - the 'Great Reset', that seems to be the dream of the rulers of the world, would have society move from owning manufactured goods to effectively renting them. Perhaps there's some merit in the idea - you pay continuously for functionality, so the provider has to deliver continuing functionality. Oh, it already exists as vehicle service leasing. Pity it's so expensive... And who's the winner?

Neil Wyatt03/07/2021 13:18:59
18744 forum posts
733 photos
80 articles

Please, no 'great Reset' theories here...


Roger Best03/07/2021 14:18:05
293 forum posts
31 photos

I read it as the law provides a legal right whereby the manufacturers are legally allowed to to deny me parts that they have on the shelf because I am not a registered repair company with an account with them even if the appliance has broken within a reasonable lifetime, in this case nominally 10 years.

This would leave me with no redress except the small claims court, I would have to stump up their repair costs or get a new one.

The other point is "10 years". Loads of kit usually lasts longer than that, or at least it used to.

Dishwashers, fridges and freezers do. I just scrapped a 25 year old oven having been able to obtain a hinge for it when it was 20 years old. It got scrapped because the temperature control failed and I couldn't get a direct replacement. As it was clearly nearing the end of its natural life it was finally replaced.

Bazyle03/07/2021 16:53:44
6010 forum posts
220 photos

In the last month I have picked up two vacuum cleaners, one from skip and one on the way to dump, both probably dumped because of poor suction because the extra (non-bag) filters had never been cleaned. One was without hose but within two weeks another skip yielded the hose after the pikies had had the body for scrap metal.

Howard Lewis03/07/2021 17:43:13
5237 forum posts
13 photos

Many washing machines get scrapped, following failure of the bearings for the drum.

Not because spares are unavailable, but because the price of the replacement bearings, and the labour to fit them almost equate tom the price of a new machine.

Very often the manufacturer makes a bigger margin on aftermarket sales than on the original product.

And, cynically, the supposedly identical replacement machine will have been cost reduced to the point, where if you are lucky, it lasts just long enough to be out of warranty!


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