January 19, 2018

Archives for 2006

Emerson Recalls Ceiling Fans

Emerson Fan RecallEmerson Electric Co. Recalls Ceiling Fans for Injury Hazard from Falling Blades

Name of Product: Emerson 60-inch Designer Ceiling Fan

About 4,000

Importer: Air Comfort Products Division of Emerson Electric Co., of St. Louis, Mo.

Hazard: The brackets holding the fan blades can break, causing the blade to detach. Falling pieces can hit and injure bystanders.

Incidents/Injuries: Air Comfort Products has received one report of a fan blade striking a consumer in the head. The company is also aware of six incidents of the brackets failing. Three incidents resulted in minor property damage.

Emerson FanDescription: The recall involves the “Emerson Designer 60-inch Ceiling Fan.” The recalled fans have a 60-inch diameter and come in seven types of finishes including weathered bronze, pewter, antique brass, white, antique white, oil rubbed bronze and brushed steel. The following model numbers are included in the recall and can be found on the base of the fan.

    Model Number — Finish
    CF760WB — Weathered Bronze
    CF760PW — Pewter
    CF760AB — Antique Brass
    CF760WW — White
    CF760AW — Antique White
    CF760ORB — Oil Rubbed Bronze
    CF760BS — Brushed Steel

Sold by: Menards and other lighting showrooms, electrical distributors and hardware stores nationwide from May 2005 through September 2006 for between $90 and $300.

Manufactured in: Taiwan

See this recall on CPSC’s web site
Emerson Ceiling FanRemedy: Consumers should stop using these fans immediately and contact Air Comfort Products to receive a voucher for a free Emerson replacement fan of comparable value. Air Comfort will reimburse consumers up to $75 for charges incurred in the removal and installation of replacement fans from Air Comfort.

Consumer Contact: For more information, consumers should contact Air Comfort toll-free at (866) 478-8564 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.emersonfans.com

Farberware Fruit Slicers and Corers – Lifetime Brands Inc. Recall

Farber Fruit Slicer and CorerName of Product: Farberware Classic Series Fruit Slicers and Corers

Units: About 207,000

Manufacturer: Lifetime Brands Inc., of Westbury, N.Y.

Hazard: The metal blade can separate from the plastic handle during use, resulting in cuts to consumer’s hands and fingers.

Incidents/Injuries: Lifetime Brands has received 34 reports of the blade separating from the handle, including nine reports of cuts to consumers’ hands and fingers.

Description: The recalled product is the Farberware(r) Classic Series(tm) Fruit Slicer and Corer with model number 78350. The model number is written on the packaging. The fruit slicer/corer is an eight-section round metal blade encircled in hard black plastic with two handles. “FARBERWARE” is printed on the top of the handle.

Sold at: Grocery, hardware, discount and other retail stores nationwide from January1999 through October 2006 for about $4.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using these fruit slicer/corers immediately and return them to Lifetime Brands Inc. for a refund.

Customer Contact: For additional information, contact Lifetime Brands Inc. at toll-free (888) 568-1533 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or write an email to fruitslicer@lifetimebrands.com

See this recall on CPSC’s web site.

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. Recalls Christmas Light Sets Due to Shockand Fire Hazards

December 14, 2006
Release #07-055

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 326-7931
Firm’s Media Contact: (617) 421-0543
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. Recalls Christmas Light Sets Due to Shock and Fire Hazards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Hobby Lobby Christmas Light Sets
Units: About 2.3 million sets
Importer: Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., of Oklahoma City, Okla.
Hazard: The lights have undersized wires which can separate from the plugs and/or the light sockets, posing an electric shock and fire hazard to consumers.
Incidents/Injuries: CPSC has received one report of a minor shock when a consumer touched a light string. Hobby Lobby has received one report of melting wires.
Description: The light sets listed in the chart below are included in the recall:

100 Count Indoor/Outdoor Super Bright Mini Light Set
BulbColor WireColor Item# E# Retail
Multi Green CUL11001 E-214285 $2.47
Clear Green CUL11000 E-124315 $2.47
Clear Green CUL11000 E-65692 $2.47
Clear White CUL1100A E-214285 $2.47
Red Green CUL11003 E-214285 $2.47
Blue Green CUL11004 E-214285 $2.47
Green White CUL1100J E-214285 $2.47
Multi White CUL1100J E-214285 $2.47
Blue White CUL1100J E-214285 $2.47
Red White CUL1100J E-214285 $2.47
Green Green CUL11005 E-214285 $2.47

50 Count Classic Colors Indoor Super Bright Mini Light Set
BulbColor WireColor Item# E# Retail
FrostWhite Green CUL05200 E-124315 $2.99
RoyalPurple Green CUL05203 E-124315 $2.99
AngelicGold Green CUL05204 E-124315 $2.99
Pink Green CUL05205 E-124315 $2.99
Red/Green/White Green CUL05206 E-124315 $2.99

150 Count Indoor/Outdoor Ribbon Style Net Light Set
BulbColor WireColor Item# E# Retail
Multi Green CUL15519 E-214285 $6.99
Clear Green CUL15519 E-214285 $6.99

100 Count Outdoor/Indoor Miniature Trunk Net Light Set
BulbColor WireColor Item# E# Retail
Clear Green CUL15530 E-214285 $5.99
Multi Green CUL15531 E-214285 $5.99
Red Green CUL15533 E-214285 $5.99
Green Green CUL15535 E-214285 $5.99

300 Count Indoor/Outdoor Hang-Straight Icicle Light Set
BulbColor WireColor Item# E# Retail
Multi White CUL3003B E-214285 $9.99
Blue White CUL3003E E-214285 $9.99
Clear White CUL3103A E-214285 $9.99
Clear Green CUL31030 E-214285 $9.99

Sold at: Hobby Lobby stores nationwide from June 2006 through early December 2006 for between $2.50 and $10.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the lights immediately and return them to the nearest Hobby Lobby store to receive a Hobby Lobby exchange card.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact the Hobby Lobby Call Center at (800) 326-7931 anytime, or log on to the firm’s Web site at www.hobbylobby.com

See this recall on CPSC’s web site.

Vacuum Cleaners


hooverHere are a few thoughts about vacuum cleaners. I think the basic differences are between the uprights and the canister types. I’ll admit right here that I prefer the canisters. I grew up with the old Hoover Constellation that came out in the 1950’s. The world was getting excited about space travel and that excitement was showing up in people’s homes. The Constellation was advertised to “float on air.” I remember my mother getting her new upright in the ’70s and how heavy it was. So much has changed. If you are interested in vacuums and their history, you can visit www.137.com , which has a cyber museum with a variety of pictures and information.

Uprights seem to be most practical for wall-to-wall carpeting. There are many now that come with attachments, but I find them awkward to use. The wands are stiff and usually too short. Canister vacuums are more versatile. They are perfect for hardwood and other hard flooring as well as carpeted rooms. They are generally lightweight and easy to maneuver which is important in a two story house. Stairs are often carpeted and if you don’t want to buy two vacuums, you’ll be carrying that baby up and down more than you want to think about. Depending on the model, canisters have four or five attachments to use on an arm of adjustable lengths.

eurekaWhen I got married we were given a small Eureka canister called the “Mighty Mite”. It was satisfactory and gave us no trouble until the day, twelve years later, it completely gave out. I shopped around a bit and decided on the Miele White Star. We have had it for about five years now with no trouble at all. I like the variety of heads it comes with to accommodate any flooring or fabric. One of it’s best features is the infinitely adjustable suction that prevents curtains and other light fabric from being sucked up.

We don’t have allergy problems, but I still appreciate the fact that Miele offers a variety of filters for this model, although some come at additional cost. I discovered that the bags are not available at discount stores like Target, they must be purchased at vacuum stores that specialize in Miele products and are a bit pricey. I believe Miele is discontinuing this model soon, but they are sure to be coming out with a similar one. The newer one will likely have more standard features and be a bit more expensive. That just seems to be the way it goes.

I haven’t tried all the brands available out there, but it seems to me that a vacuum is a fairly straightforward machine and that leaves the consumer deciding on a brand or model for it’s ease of use. If anyone has an opinion they’d like to share about performance, service, or their experience with a particular vacuum, we’d love to hear about it.

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RECALL: Atico Espresso Makers

atico espresso maker recall inboxAtico International USA, Inc. Recalls Espresso Makers for Burn and Impact Injury Hazards

Name of Product: Espresso Express(tm) Espresso Makers

Units: About 54,000

Distributor: Atico International USA, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Hazard: The espresso maker’s heating element can forcefully separate from its base during the brewing cycle. This poses burn and impact injury hazards to nearby consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Atico International has received 42 reports of incidents involving the heating element forcefully separating from its base. Among these incidents, there were nine reports of minor scald burns and seven reports of consumers being hit by parts of the espresso maker.

atico espresso maker recallDescription: The Espresso Maker has a black base and a silver water reservoir. The coffee carafe is smoke-colored plastic with a back handle. The words “EspressoExpress(tm)” are imprinted on the black base. The item number is W14A7166, which is located underneath the base.

Sold at: CVS Pharmacy, Farmacias El Amal, Happy Harry’s, Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Kerr Drug, Bartell Drug and Lewis Drug from August 2005 through October 2005 for between $15 and $30.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled espresso makers and contact Atico for product verification and instructions on returning the product for a refund.

Consumer Contact: Call Atico International USA, Inc. at (877) 546-4835 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go the company’s Web site at www.aticousa.com

See this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recalled product.

RECALL: Weil-McLain Ultra Series Gas Boilers

weil mclain boiler recallName of Product: Weil-McLain Ultra Series Gas Boilers

Units: About 16,000

Manufacturer: Weil-McLain, of Michigan City, Ind.

Hazard: These boilers were manufactured for use with natural gas, but could have a blue tag incorrectly indicating to installers that they are intended for use with LP (propane) gas. If an installer connects one of the boilers to LP gas without installing a propane conversion kit, carbon monoxide (CO) can build up due to incomplete combustion, posing a risk of CO poisoning.

Incidents/Injuries: Weil-McLain is aware of one incident where two consumers reported CO poisoning when the boiler installed in their home was connected to LP gas.

Description: The recall involves Weil-McLain Ultra 80, Ultra 105, Ultra 155, Ultra 230 and Ultra 310 condensing, high-efficient, gas-fired boilers for space heating. The user’s manual and installation manual have “Ultra Gas-Fired Water Boiler” on the cover. The boilers are wrapped in a glossy silver/flat black jacket and either stand on the floor or are wall-mounted. The serial numbers range from CP5071716 through CP5327000. When the panel on the front of the boiler is removed, a bar-coded label with the serial number is located on the lower right hand side of the boiler itself. “Weil-McLain” is written on the front panel of the boilers.

Sold by: Plumbing and heating wholesale distributors to plumbers and contractors nationwide from May 2005 through July 2006 for between $4,000 and $7,000.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers who had a Weil-McLain Ultra series boiler installed for use with propane and have not already been contacted by their installer should contact the installer or a heating professional for a free safety inspection. If the boiler was not installed with a propane conversion kit, one will be installed at the time of the inspection at no charge. Heating professionals may contact Weil McLain Technical Service at (219) 879-6561 for more information.

Consumer Contact: For more information, call Weil-McLain toll-free at (866) 426-6172 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.weil-mclain.com

See this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recalled product

Starbucks Barista Aroma Coffee Maker Recall

starbucks barista aromaStarbucks Announces Recall of 8-Cup Coffee Brewers Due to Possible Fire
– October 17, 2006

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 453-1047
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
Starbucks Media Contact: (206) 318-7100

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the manufacturer named below, today announced voluntary recalls of the following consumer products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Starbucks Barista Aroma(tm) Stainless Steel 8-Cup Coffee Brewers
Units: About 73,000

Distributor: Starbucks Coffee Company, of Seattle, Wash.

Hazard: The coffee brewer has defective electrical wiring that can result in overheating, smoking, burning and melting, posing a possible fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Starbucks has received 23 reports of melting in the plastic housing of the brewers. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall includes the Starbucks Barista Aroma 8-Cup Coffee Brewer only. “Starbucks Barista Aroma” is embossed on the front of the brewer and the brewer has silver control panel buttons and a chrome finish. The Starbucks Barista Grande 12-Cup Coffee Brewer and Starbucks Barista Solo Coffee Brewers are not included in this recall.

Sold at: Starbucks company-owned and operated stores nationwide between March 2005 and September 2006 for about $100.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled coffee brewers immediately and contact Starbucks for a full refund. Consumers will receive a postage-paid package along with instructions on how to return their brewer. Starbucks is also offering a coupon (valid through 1/31/07) for a free pound of coffee as an incentive to return the recalled machine.

Consumer Contact: For more information, consumers should contact Starbucks’ Barista Aroma recall hotline at (800) 453-1047 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. MT (11 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET), or visit the company’s Web site at www.starbucks.com – consumers may also write to Starbucks Coffee Company at Customer Relations, Starbucks Coffee Company, mailstop S-RC1, P.O. Box 3717, Seattle, WA 98124-3717.

To see this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recalled product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07006.html

Shhh ! We’re hunting for a quiet washing machine

Many people will find this hard to believe, but my last washing machine lasted almost twenty years. When it finally needed a new transmission, (who knew washers had transmissions?) I shopped around for the quietest washing machine I could get.

The two features that mattered most to me were capacity and quietness. The Kenmore that we were retiring had served us well, so after some comparison shopping, we bought a top loader from Sears that we were told would be quiet. Boy were they wrong! The machine could be heard throughout my house. Sears was very nice about exchanging it for another model. We chose the newest design Sears has called the Oasis. I thought it sounded like a nice compromise between a top and a front loader. Theses are a few of the facts I learned about washers while I waited for the second machine to arrive.

The agitator (that large corkscrew in the center of the tub) is the source of the noise.

Every manufacturer has it’s own definition of noise insulation. There is one manufacturer, Bosch, that measures the noise of it’s machines (and not just it’s washers) in decibelsbosch nexxt washing machine

There is really no way of knowing how loud the machine will be until you use it at home. Some stores will plug in a machine and run it for you, but without laundry and your home environment, anything you hear will still be an approximation..

The Oasis technology was only six months old when I ordered my new washer and there was very little information about how well these new agitatorless toploaders worked. There was certainly nothing about their durability. Maytag had tried a toploading agitatorless machine with dismal results. I started getting nervous about my decision; we were about to spend close to $1000 on an appliance we knew nothing about. I spent more time researching quiet washers.

I had heard that Miele made some quiet machines but that they had smaller capacities, were costly and I could not be assured of a low noise level. My Aunt has a newer Fisher-Paykel, which she likes but both local salespeople and the company customer service representative agreed that the spin cycle sounds like a jet airplane taking off. I learned that Bosch makes what is likely the quietest washer on the market. As I noted earlier, they measure the sound level in decibels and all of the Nexxt models ranged from 54dB to 58dB. Some quick research revealed that 30 decibels is equivalent to a soft whisper, 50 to rainfall and 60 to normal conversation. I was convinced.

Sears was wonderful about everything. I had no problem canceling the Oasis order and they even let me postpone the pick up of the noisy Kenmore until the delivery of my new Bosch.

The Bosch washing machine is QUIET! We can stand directly in front of it and barely hear the swoosh and flop of the clothes. Often we don’t even realize it is running until we notice the movement through the window. (Watching the laundry through the window entertained us all for the first few days.) One of my concerns with a front loading machine was that I wouldn’t be able to add an item once the cycle had started. (There always seems to be a stray sock that tries to escape.) This is not a problem at all. There is a pause button that unlocks the door and the cycle continues. (Sometimes it adds a few minutes to the total cycle time.) The washer uses so little water that my visions of flooding were instantly disproved. Not only that but the capacity is unbelievable and the clothes come out very clean.

As with the first machine I purchased, some things only become apparent once the appliance is set up in the laundry room. This Bosch (and I have since learned this is true in other Bosch owning households) is loud during the spin cycle and rocks itself out of place if the machine is very full. The Bosch repairman changed the feet to ones that are meant for soft floors (I have a laminate floor) and that has helped a bit. I was amazed to find that Bosch plans for the differences in floors and will make this change without charge. The other factor that adds to the noise, which I cannot change, is that my laundry room is not on the ground floor. Most problems with noise seem to come from the instability and reverberation of a second floor location.

So far the Bosch is cleaning beautifully and has fit our needs quite well. It was easy to understand all the cycles and how to use them (Although it chooses the water level and that was different.) It uses only about two tablespoons of high efficiency detergent so the cost per bottle of HE detergent and regular detergent is about equal. The cycles run longer than my old machine, but the extremely fast spin cycle removes so much water that drying time is literally cut in half. (I can dry a load of jeans in about 35 minutes.) Overall, I am very pleased with my new Bosch Nexxt washer and plan to purchase the matching dryer when my twenty year old Kenmore wears out.