People often ask us “how long should washing machines last?” which got us thinking maybe we should investigate this and give people our findings.
You hear a lot of people say 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 manufacturing and decision making process manufacturers go through.
Traditionally, manufacturers would create the best washing machines they could and then work out how much to sell it for. Now, in a world where people are more conscience 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 one change in approach has a fundamental consequence on the quality of washing machines that now come out of factories. As the priority is to keep costs down more and more often shortcuts are being taken and where once better quality parts where considered, now they’re not.
One perfect example of this would be budget brands using welded tub assemblies in their appliances. If your washing machine bearings go then a repairer 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!
Budget washing machines nowadays can last for as little as a couple of years and many give up just after their warranty period.
No manufacturer wants their products to last forever as then they would go out of business. Everybody wants repeat customers but we should still expect to receive something which lasts long enough to feel like we have got good value for money.
Many in the industry also believe manufacturers install parts designed to last a certain number of cycles. Lets say, hypothetically, they’re designed to last 1,000 cycles. That for an average family with children would a last little over two years. As manufacturers do not state how many cycles, or how long, their machines are built to last it makes it extremely difficult for consumers 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 an exception to this as they’re a luxury brand which demands a higher premium.
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 sometimes it does pay to spend a little more.