[4]

Toaster - a conversation starter

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!
Toaster is a great conversation starter about materials usage, resource management and sustainability.
We wrote a short article to start the dialogue. (https://www.plastiblocks.com/single-post/2018/08/10/Toaster---a-conversation-starter)

It is so sad that majority of people who have skills don't bother repairing slightly broken, old appliances.
And people who don't have skills - have no one to help because repair shops are almost extinct.

I hope you can participate in the discussion we started on our blog by commenting there or here and maybe share any repair projects of house hold stuff to encourage others to do so as well.

toast-1077984_1280.jpg
 
#2
Even modern appliances are rarely repaired, like the ThinkPad I'm currently using; had it apart for nearly a year before I found the short on the
motherboard- most folks just replace the whole board or chuck the machine and get a new one
 
#3
I will generally try to repair something prior to chucking it. My very first project on my Tormach CNC was making a new latch for the electric tea kettle.

I carry this practice to extremes sometimes. The retainer for the rewind spring on my Lufkin tape rule broke so I I reverse engineered the broken part and machined a new one. A bearing on the pulley side of the motor in my B & B belt sander and it didn't appear to be replaceable so I ordered a new sander. Shorty after ordering, I got wondering if maybe the pulley was screwed on with a LH thread. Sure enough, it was. I rummaged through my collection of salvaged bearings and found an exact replacement; sander repaired.

Even of a product isn't repairable, it gets reduced to a pile of parts. Hence the salvaged bearing collection. Larger appliances like printers will provide useful pieces of stock for future projects. When heating appliances fail, it is often a $.50 thermal fuse.

An interesting story regarding thermal fuses; a coffee maker quit and on dissecting it , the thermal fusehad blown. The interesting thing was that there were two thermal fuses wired in series. Very puzzling. As I thought about it though, product acquiring a CE mark require a failure mode analysis. Multiple factors involve the determination of the severity of failure mode including detectability, probability of failure, and risk to person and/or property. Usually, those factors are multiplied together to get a final score which determines if preventative action is required. In the case a failure of the type woouldn't be detectable. Also the risk of serious damage to person or property is n the event of a failure to open is high. Lowering the score by decreasing the probability of a failure remains a desirable option.

There is a finite probability that a thermal fuse would fail to open when it should. If that probability were say 1 in 10,000, the probability of both fuses failing to open would be the product of the two or 1 in 100,000,000. Clever people, those Chinese
 
F
#4
The problem is societies quest for new. Why would you repair an OLD toaster when you can buy a NEW one, even if the OLD one was repairable. Industry has just picked up on it and made products that would become obsolete knowing they can keep the product line flowing selling replacements.
The $10 toaster verses the $20 toaster is an interesting subject. Will the more expensive one last longer or are you simply paying for a name brand or designer finish thats built the same as the cheap one. I often ponder that when replacing.

Greg
 
#5
I have experienced a few appliances failing. I generally look to discover and remedy the problem. A few times, I have fixed it. If the problem happens to be on an electronic board, I typically replace unless it is under warranty. I feel that one board is the tip of the iceberg and any money invested is a waste.

In relation to the expense of appliances and other devices (cars, computers, houses) more money spent only gets you more bells and whistles. The quality is not any better and the product isn't any longer lasting.

Our $80 over the range micro wave outlasted our previous $350 one by a few years now. That is only one instance.

When my wife and I go shopping for new appliances, price rules. We don't use the extra features that drive up the cost. Sad, but it makes the most economical sense.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#6
The problem is societies quest for new. Why would you repair an OLD toaster when you can buy a NEW one, even if the OLD one was repairable. Industry has just picked up on it and made products that would become obsolete knowing they can keep the product line flowing selling replacements.
The $10 toaster verses the $20 toaster is an interesting subject. Will the more expensive one last longer or are you simply paying for a name brand or designer finish thats built the same as the cheap one. I often ponder that when replacing.

Greg
Sadly, this leads to more landfills. While recycling is a positive step, reusing is environmentally far superior.
 
#7
I had an old toaster that I kept repairing, finally broke to the point that I could not get it fixed. purchased another, it is not worth fixing. Always try to fix stuff even when wife says I should not.
 
F
#8
Sadly, this leads to more landfills. While recycling is a positive step, reusing is environmentally far superior.
Our "waste disposal site" has a separate section's for metal, electronics, and brush/trees. Still allowed to pick through the metal here, its amazing what gets tossed. There was a chainsaw case there a while back, inside was a Poulan saw, don't think it burn't a tank of fuel, the bar was pristine. Brought it home filled it up and it started right up and ran like a top. It yields scrap metal, electric motors, etc, I refer to it as the Calabogie Walmart, and they have a great return policy.

Greg
 
#9
I have suffered from this "fix-it illness" for many years. Just today I machined two stepped collars to repair temperature control dials on an oven. I have found the quality of some of the newer appliances (and other items as well) just are not worth the effort to repair. I usually look at it as an opportunity to play with my machines. I generally subscribe to the philosophy that " why would I buy it when for a little more money and a lot more time, I can just make it myself"

Ted
 
#10
Another case in point: We just bought a 2003 Mazda protege hatchback. 3900$. Beautiful shape. Some would say "4 thousand dollars for a 15 year old car?"
I say yes, and I'll bet it will still be running in 5 years.
M
2003protege5blueside.jpg
 
#11
If I can repair I will. Usually the repair will be over engineered and be stronger than the original part.
As to the price of repairs and no one doing them any more it comes down to how much would you work for an hour? so why expect others to work for less. A couple of hours to make a 12c part is only worthwhile if we do it ourselves.
Back on the subject of toasters - go to your local white goods store and count how many different models are on display.
This is a very simple piece of equipment who's sole purpose is to colour a slice or two or four or six of bread (usually on both sides) and "POP" it up when coloured to the degree you desire.
My local store had 34 different models without counting the differing colours of the same model, just to colour a slice of bread.
Is this really necessary? Remember sticking it on a fork in front of the fire? Tasted better then as well.
And while why we are on the cost of poorly made "stuff" these days I find it very difficult to equate a cooker with its absurdly ridiculous price to the simple angle iron frame, often not even painted with an ultra thin skin of stainless steel or enameled steel sheeting held to it with a few screws.
Maybe we are the idiots paying for this stuff.
 
#12
I always try to fix things first... if I can't, at least I get to 'exercise my analytical abilities' and learn how it works as a bonus...

A few years ago our Sony TV died... I disassembled it and found the power supply board was bad... I ordered a new board and repaired the TV. Figuring that the power supply was the 'weakest link', I went ahead and ordered a spare...

10 years later, the Sony is still working, and the spare board is still unopened on the shelf in the basement...

I figure as long as I have the spare, it will never die...

-Bear
 
#13
I will generally try to repair something prior to chucking it. My very first project on my Tormach CNC was making a new latch for the electric tea kettle.

I carry this practice to extremes sometimes. The retainer for the rewind spring on my Lufkin tape rule broke so I I reverse engineered the broken part and machined a new one. A bearing on the pulley side of the motor in my B & B belt sander and it didn't appear to be replaceable so I ordered a new sander. Shorty after ordering, I got wondering if maybe the pulley was screwed on with a LH thread. Sure enough, it was. I rummaged through my collection of salvaged bearings and found an exact replacement; sander repaired.

Even of a product isn't repairable, it gets reduced to a pile of parts. Hence the salvaged bearing collection. Larger appliances like printers will provide useful pieces of stock for future projects. When heating appliances fail, it is often a $.50 thermal fuse.

An interesting story regarding thermal fuses; a coffee maker quit and on dissecting it , the thermal fusehad blown. The interesting thing was that there were two thermal fuses wired in series. Very puzzling. As I thought about it though, product acquiring a CE mark require a failure mode analysis. Multiple factors involve the determination of the severity of failure mode including detectability, probability of failure, and risk to person and/or property. Usually, those factors are multiplied together to get a final score which determines if preventative action is required. In the case a failure of the type woouldn't be detectable. Also the risk of serious damage to person or property is n the event of a failure to open is high. Lowering the score by decreasing the probability of a failure remains a desirable option.

There is a finite probability that a thermal fuse would fail to open when it should. If that probability were say 1 in 10,000, the probability of both fuses failing to open would be the product of the two or 1 in 100,000,000. Clever people, those Chinese

OH RJ you just brought up a very troubling time in my career.

I was a product designer for the largest global consumer power tool company that decided to purchase the small appliance division of GE. Back in the 80's drip coffee makers were some what new. They are a very simple device, including a water reservoir, hot water generator, coffee basket with water spreader and receiving carafe.

The hot water generator is co -extruded aluminium with a hollow tube and one that houses a calrod element. Water falls from the reservoir thru a check valve into the hollow tube in the hot water generator, gets heated expands and goes up into the basket.

The electrical is very simple. A normally closed self resetting thermostat is thermally attached to the hot water generator. The thermostat has a temperature setting above the temperature for water being heated. When all the water has passed through the generator the temperature sores up and the thermostat opens. Often the hot water generator top surface serves as the "keeps warm" surface (hot plate) for the carafe. When the temperature falls the thermostat closes briefly and the temperature rises quickly ,and then opens. And the cycle repeats as long as the coffee maker is turned on.

Now at the time we knew that the self resetting thermostat could eventually fail either open or closed. Open is no problem. However closed is a disaster. We knew this and UL / CSA require the product to be safe with a single component failure ..open / short.

So a one shot thermal fuse was installed. The value being above the normal working temperature by a margin to avoid nuisance tripping. Safety test showed that the product to be safe with a single component failure. All was good.

Untill the popularity of drip coffee makers meant we were selling over a million a year...And the occasional report of a kitchen fire caused by a coffee maker. **** how could that be? When we investigated the failures there wasn't much left to help, and we spent hundreds of hours trying to figure out what was happening. My company was extremely safety concious, and no designer wants to be responsible for loss of life. Which we never had fortunately.

Long story short, we did get the manufacturer of the thermal fuse to admit that there was a very small probability of their thermal fuse not opening on temperature exceeding their rating ( AS RJ mentioned).

So our ultimate solution was to insist that all of our coffee makers have two thermal fuses. The criteria being that if the fuses were from the same manufacturer they had to be two different values to make sure a batch problem didn't affect both...OR we could use two different manufacturers with the same value.

Based on our findings we lobbied UL / CSA to require in the standard that two thermal fuses be required for coffee makers. It was an North American initiative, not Chinese. Not that I have anything against Chinese suppliers.

And now to get back to the repair aspect of this thread. We knew when we analysed products that were returned under warranty that there a lots of DIY'ers out there that tried to fix their appliances and we frequently found one shot thermal fuses that were bypassed. So the standard also introduced tamper resistant fasteners to try and hinder the DIYer's.

Sorry for the long reply, but this was a tough time in my design career trying to figure out the root cause.

David
 
#14
OH RJ you just brought up a very troubling time in my career.

I was a product designer for the largest global consumer power tool company that decided to purchase the small appliance division of GE. Back in the 80's drip coffee makers were some what new. They are a very simple device, including a water reservoir, hot water generator, coffee basket with water spreader and receiving carafe.

The hot water generator is co -extruded aluminium with a hollow tube and one that houses a calrod element. Water falls from the reservoir thru a check valve into the hollow tube in the hot water generator, gets heated expands and goes up into the basket.

The electrical is very simple. A normally closed self resetting thermostat is thermally attached to the hot water generator. The thermostat has a temperature setting above the temperature for water being heated. When all the water has passed through the generator the temperature sores up and the thermostat opens. Often the hot water generator top surface serves as the "keeps warm" surface (hot plate) for the carafe. When the temperature falls the thermostat closes briefly and the temperature rises quickly ,and then opens. And the cycle repeats as long as the coffee maker is turned on.

Now at the time we knew that the self resetting thermostat could eventually fail either open or closed. Open is no problem. However closed is a disaster. We knew this and UL / CSA require the product to be safe with a single component failure ..open / short.

So a one shot thermal fuse was installed. The value being above the normal working temperature by a margin to avoid nuisance tripping. Safety test showed that the product to be safe with a single component failure. All was good.

Untill the popularity of drip coffee makers meant we were selling over a million a year...And the occasional report of a kitchen fire caused by a coffee maker. s*** how could that be? When we investigated the failures there wasn't much left to help, and we spent hundreds of hours trying to figure out what was happening. My company was extremely safety concious, and no designer wants to be responsible for loss of life. Which we never had fortunately.

Long story short, we did get the manufacturer of the thermal fuse to admit that there was a very small probability of their thermal fuse not opening on temperature exceeding their rating ( AS RJ mentioned).

So our ultimate solution was to insist that all of our coffee makers have two thermal fuses. The criteria being that if the fuses were from the same manufacturer they had to be two different values to make sure a batch problem didn't affect both...OR we could use two different manufacturers with the same value.

Based on our findings we lobbied UL / CSA to require in the standard that two thermal fuses be required for coffee makers. It was an North American initiative, not Chinese. Not that I have anything against Chinese suppliers.

And now to get back to the repair aspect of this thread. We knew when we analysed products that were returned under warranty that there a lots of DIY'ers out there that tried to fix their appliances and we frequently found one shot thermal fuses that were bypassed. So the standard also introduced tamper resistant fasteners to try and hinder the DIYer's.

Sorry for the long reply, but this was a tough time in my design career trying to figure out the root cause.

David
And now we know the rest of the story. Thanks for sharing!
 
#15
Fix first, then salvage all useable parts, save what else can be sold for scrap, recycle the rest. I took apart a scrapped microwave. The thrift shop took the glass tray. I used the turntable motor to power a "rube goldberg" making gears and pulleys out of scrap wood. The outer case of microwave became a guard for my scroll saw, misc parts for the machine and some parts for a loom I built. The transformer wire became trees, with foliage made from sheep and llama fiber. I still have a fan, light and several micro-switches to use.
 
#16
I'm all for what Tony says about reusing and recycling parts. If I can I will repair with equal or better parts just like Savarin does. But David brings up the point of some of these DIYers. These guys should never get near a screwdriver. Several years ago, Ryobi had to pay off a lawsuit on a chop saw. Never mind the the guy placed the saw on the ground instead of a bench. And never mind he took the safety devises off. Ryobi still had to pay. Manufactures are under a lot of pressure to keep the cost of the item low, yet it's got to be idiot proof. I used to repair electronic organs for many years. It's amazing what people will do on something as simple as a fuse. They will replace it with foil and then they complain the cost of repair after maximum smoke.
 
#17
Being a service tech my whole life, I always take it apart and diagnose then fix. When u do that, u can usually get a better device than new.
Based on that, I no longer believe the failure of so much Chinese sourced equipment is due to quality control or untrained workers. What I have seen is very thoughtfully engineered in failure modes .... It's intentional...
 
#18
Despite ribbing from the kids, I almost always do an autopsy on dead appliances. Sometimes they can be fixed. When my 6" bench top jointer failed, the problem turned out to be a power switch full of sawdust. As I never used the rheostat, it was deleted and a new mounting plate was made. The switch was replaced by a good quality appliance grade power switch.
 
#21
My kind of people!

I always strip anything I'm disposing of for parts, right down to screws, nuts and washers.

Had a dishwasher with a noisy pump. New pump: $100. New bearings: <$10. Time to disassemble, replace bearings and reassemble: An hour. Did that twice over a period of 5 years or so, third time the interior finish on the tub was failing and rust was becoming an issue, so made Mama happy and bought her a new stainless steel unit.

Old dishwasher contributed to my stash of switches, wiring and connectors before going to the metal recycling place.
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top