You know… the days when life was simple? When the stuff you used every day was simple?
About five years ago, my washer broke. It was a 15-year old Maytag that never gave me a minute of trouble, but I wasn’t about to spend good money to fix an old washer so we bought a new one — another Maytag because we thought we were getting the best money could buy.
One day, the Neptune started taking twice as long to do a cold load. Then three times as long. Then the cold setting stopped working altogether. We switched to warm/warm, but had to restart it three or four times to clear the NF (no fill) codes. The repair guy came and first thing he says is that everybody’s having trouble with the Neptunes. Several hundred dollars later, we have a new circuit board and it’s still not working. At this point we assume it’s the water valve… but after reading about the customer complaints and class action suits, I’m not about to spend more than $50 trying to fix it again.
After we order a new water valve for 40-something, Tom gets this bright idea that if the cold water wasn’t working, he could flip the valve connectors and the water hoses and I could have a normal cold/cold cycle. It worked! For five minutes. With no water coming through the cold water pipe for months, turns out there was a bunch of crud in the shut-off valve and that was restricting the water flow.
So maybe the washer wasn’t broken… but if it hadn’t been for the law suit and all the bad reviews from hundreds of unhappy customers and a design that’s way more complicated than it needs to be, we might have attempted to fix it ourselves for 30 minutes of sweat equity.
Before we figured out the problem, I went online to research washers. There’s no such thing as a basic washing machine anymore. There’s actually one model that has fifteen different cycles. Fifteen! I remember my grandma’s washer. I suppose you could say it had multiple speeds depending on how fast you could crank the wringer. I don’t remember her ever complaining. I also don’t remember it ever breaking, but if it did I’m sure grandpa was able to fix it himself.
Maytag no longer makes Neptunes. They’ve replaced it with another model in order to eliminate the issues. Its customer reviews aren’t any better. The reviews on other washers are about the same except for the really high end models. I’m going to assume the only reason they don’t get bad reviews is because nobody can afford them at $1500 to $2000. Two thousand bucks to do a freakin’ load of laundry!