December 17, 2017

Archives for April 2009

Appliances – Luxury or Necessity?

Americans are changing their view of which appliances are truly necessary. According to the Pew Research Center, many of our past favorites are losing their hold on our pocketbooks.

A microwave oven, a television set or even home air conditioning is no longer considered a necessity. Instead, nearly half or more now see each of these items as a luxury, the report found. Similarly, the proportion that considers a dishwasher or a clothes dryer to be essential has dropped sharply since 2006.

The study also found these recession-era reevaluations are all the more striking because the public’s luxury-versus-necessity perceptual boundaries had been moving in the other direction for the previous decade.

For example, the share of adults who consider a microwave a necessity was just 32% in 1996. By 2006, it had shot up to 68%. But it has now retreated to 47%. Similarly, just 52% of the public in the latest poll say a television set is a necessity — down 12 percentage points from 2006 and the smallest share to call a TV a necessity since this question was first asked more than 35 years ago. Most surprising to me is the change in response to the clothes dryer — down 17 percentage points since 1996.

Save When Buying New Appliances

When buying a new appliance, the Boy Scout’s motto “Be Prepared” is good advice. Before heading to the local appliance store, check out these tips that could help you save some money:

First, know just how much appliance you need. Appliance stores will often put the top of the line models out on the floor to entice the buyer. You might not need all those bells and whistles. Ask to see the basic models and then search for ones with the additional features you will use.

Remember to compare the energy use of various models. You’ll find that on the bright yellow label affixed to the front or top of the appliance.

Be aware of installation requirements and costs. If your house cannot acomadate the appliance you choose, and changes are necessary, that will cost you. So will exchanging it for one that fits – stores often charge restocking fees.

Look for deals:
Some tips from
Do they offer package deals if you buy more than one appliance?
Can you get free delivery?
Do they sell floor models or scratch-and-dent models?
Do they honor price adjustments if the appliance goes on sale within 30 days, or do they know whether it will be on sale soon?
Is there a rebate or any type of promotion, such as a gift card or product incentive, if you buy the appliance?
Do they price match?
Do they accept trade-ins or at least haul your old appliance?
What is the manufacturer’s warranty? Say no to extended warranties. According to Consumer Reports, extended warranties aren’t worth buying because the appliance doesn’t typically break within the warranty time, costs less to repair, or the problem isn’t covered by warranty.
Where is a repair/service center located? Is it near you?

Be certain your appliance cannot be repaired. Other options include buying a reconditioned or used appliance. If you are buying new or upgrading, be aware that white goods (appliances) go on sale in October and January when store have new models arriving.

Get something back. You might be able to sell you old appliance or donate it to charity for a tax deduction. Your local utility office might be offering a rebate program for particular energy saving appliances. A last stop for an old, broken appliance might be the scrap yard. Copper wiring is being recycled along with other metals.
A little extra time invested in knowing your appliance needs and then being assertive in getting them can save you quite a few bucks over time.

Recall: Toaster Oven/Broilers by Haier America Due to Burn or Electrical Shock Hazard

Name of Product: Toaster Oven/Broilers

Units: About 106,000

Importer: Haier America Trading L.L.C., of New York, N.Y.

Manufacturer: Lun Dar Electric Ind. Ltd., of Taiwan

Hazard: Electrical connections in the toaster oven/broilers can become loose, posing electrical shock and burn hazards.

Incidents/Injuries: Haier America has received two reports of minor burns and one report of a minor electrical shock to consumers, and one report of minor property damage.

Description: This recall involves toaster oven/broilers with model number RTO1400SS. The units are stainless steel and black plastic. “Haier” is printed on the front and the model number is printed on a label on the back of the toaster oven/broilers.

Sold at: Mass merchandisers and specialty retailers nationwide from September 2006 through January 2009 for approximately $20 to $40.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled toaster oven/broilers and contact Haier America to receive a free replacement toaster oven/broiler.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Haier America at (866) 927-4810 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at

Recall: Senseo One-Cup Coffeemakers by Philips Consumer Lifestyle Due to Burn Hazard

Name of Product: Philips Senseo One-Cup Coffeemakers

Units: About 155,000

Distributor: Philips Consumer Lifestyle, of Stamford, Conn.

Hazard: An electrical fault and the build-up of calcium from hard or medium water can cause an obstruction in the coffeemaker. If this happens, the boiler can burst, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported in the United States. The firm has received 17 reports of incidents in Europe, including six reports of minor personal injury involving first degree burns to the hands, arms and abdomen.

Description: This recall involves Senseo one-cup coffeemakers with model numbers HD 7810, HD 7811, HD 7815, HD 7820, HD 7832, and HD 7890. Model numbers are located on the bottom of the coffeemaker. Date codes are printed on the bottom of the coffeemaker. Coffeemakers made in China have date codes 0727 through 0847; coffeemakers made in Poland have date codes 0627 through 0847.

Sold at: Wal-Mart, Target and Safeway stores nationwide and online at between July 2006 through March 2009 for between $60 and $140.

Manufactured in: China and Poland

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the coffeemakers and contact Philips for instructions on receiving a free replacement unit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Philips toll-free at (866) 604-0051 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays. Consumers can also visit the firm’s Web site at

Join the forum discussion on this post - (1) Posts

Recall:GE Ranges Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

Name of Product: GE Profile™ Freestanding Dual Fuel Ranges

Units: About 28,000

Manufacturer: GE Consumer & Industrial, of Louisville, Ky.

Hazard: The wiring in the rear of the range can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: GE is aware of 47 reports of overheated wiring, including 33 reports of wiring that caught fire. Of these, one fire caused structural damage to the home and there have been 14 reports of minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves GE Profile 30” Freestanding Duel Fuel ranges. The ranges were sold in white, black, bisque and stainless steel. The following model and serial numbers can be found on the left inside corner of the bottom drawer.

Brand Model Number Begins With: Serial Number Begins With:
GE Profile J2B900 LD, MD, RD, SD, TD, VD, ZD, AF, DF, FF, GF, HF, LF, MF
GE Profile J2B915 MF, RF, SF, TF, VF, ZF, AG, DG, FG, GG, HG, LG, MG, RG, SG, TG, VG, ZG

Sold at: Department and appliance stores nationwide from June 2002 through December 2005 for between $1,300 and $2,000.

Manufactured in: Mexico

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the oven and contact GE for a free repair. Consumers can continue to use the cooktop burners.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact GE toll-free at (888) 352-9764 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday ET, or visit the firm’s Web site at

Join the forum discussion on this post - (1) Posts

Dishwasher Repairs – Joke-of-the-Day

Jill’s dishwasher quit working so she called in a repairman.

Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman,

‘I’ll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on
the work top, and I’ll send you a cheque.  Oh, by the way don’t worry about my dog
Spike. He won’t bother you.

But, whatever you do, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to
my parrot!


When the repairman arrived at the apartment the following day, he discovered the biggest, meanest looking dog he has ever seen.   But, just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet  watching the repairman go about his work.

The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant yelling, cursing and name calling. Finally the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled,

‘Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!’

To which the parrot replied, ‘Get him,Spike!’

See – Men just don’t listen.*

Repairing a Whirlpool Washing Machine -Video

Sometimes the hardest part of repairing an appliance, is knowing how to get the machine apart so that you can get in and get to work. A professional has seen a washing machine disassembled enough times to know when to push and when to pull. Here’s a great little video with instructions on how to take apart a Whirlpool Washing Machine to make repairs yourself.

Comsumer Rebate Program for Appliances

The US stimulus bill recently signed into law by US President Barack Obama includes a $300 million provision to fund the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program.

This program will be administered through the 50 US states and will  provide financial incentive to encourage consumer spending and target it to energy savings through consumer rebates for the purchase of Energy Star appliances.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) urge the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to quickly disburse funding to state energy offices for the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs so that consumer rebates will be available for the summer months to purchase ENERGY STAR appliances.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009  will stimulate demand for home appliances, provide consumers with tremendous savings on the initial purchase cost and long-term utility costs of appliances, and will also provide an important environmental benefit by way of a significant decrease in energy consumption.
“Once the states receive funding from DOE for their rebate programs, consumers can begin to benefit
from an immediate savings on the purchase cost of an ENERGY STAR appliance and on utility bills,” said
Joseph McGuire, AHAM President. “AHAM urges the Department of Energy to quickly provide this
stimulus funding to the states so they can get the money into the hands of consumers.”
In a joint letter, AHAM and RILA requested that DOE distribute the funds to state energy offices quickly
and simply and allow existing and new state programs the flexibility to establish programs that meet
regional needs. The associations provided DOE with broad guidelines for releasing the stimulus funds.
AHAM and RILA also believe the benefit should include consumers with non-working appliances and
consumers who are upgrading to energy efficient products before their current appliances cease to