Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am really beginning to wonder about the reliability of goods of all kinds that we buy these days compared with those 'back then'.

We had a solar hot water system made especially for our home back in about 1975 and it is still (touch wood) working really well. We did have a valve go on it about 10 years ago but since then few problems. Now I am told that a solar HWS may only last up to 10 years but why? It seems to be the same with so many things we buy these days, even really reliable brands.

25 years ago I bought a hole in the wall R/C airconditioner for our living room so by now it must be anything from 35+ years old. Turn it on...it works. A little noisier than some modern wall splits but IT WORKS.

In October 2006 we had a ducted (5 outlet) R/C airconditioner installed and even in the first season it did not appear to work as well as one would expect. Found we had to ring Melbourne, Victoria (we are in Perth) and the chap asked if we had cleaned the filter. We had but said we would do it again. Ridiculous as you only need to do that a couple of times a year. He then said it would be 3 weeks before he could have anyone check it out. We checked the filter again and decided we couldn't bother ringing back. Silly of us but I lots of us get that way at times.....sort of put it in the 'too hard' basket.

Last year it really began acting a little strange and wouldn't cool the rooms down at all. In fact, if anything, the temperature would go up!!! Rang the installers who recommended a chap that specialises in this brand of airconditioner.

He arrived and within minutes found that gas had been leaking, mended the leak and pumped 1kg of gas in. Great and many thanks and an account of $160. Worked for about a week and then more problems and more heating isntead of cooling.

The technician came back, ran checks and found more leaks.....new LARGE part required. One was ordered from Victoria and we had to wait until our tech had a window in his tight schedule to instal new part. Last Saturday he arrived, installed new part but SOMETHING WASN'T RIGHT. He had worked for 90 minutes only to find leaks in the new part. Could fix them but that would nullify the guarantee on the part!!! What to do? He rang Melbourne on Monday and ordered another new part and this time would they damned well please test it before shipping it over.

Now this will take at least a week by road to arrive but our great guy has promised he will give it priority as soon as the part arrives. The replacement plus installation etc is going to cost us over $1,000 and when on a pension that sort of money is a real problem but a kindly loan will overcome that problem, one we can pay back as we can.

Thank goodness for the old airconditioner in the wall. We are so thankful we didn't have it removed when the ducted one was installed.

We asked our tech why it worked so well compared with the new one (which by the way he says is a reliable brand) and he said when it was made it would have been tested in the workshop before shipping to make sure it was OK which it still is.

Although our current aircon is covered for 5 years for replacement of faulty parts and labour the firm has been placed in the hands of a receiver. We can still send our accounts to them and in time we could be lucky to receive about 30 cents in the dollar which will probably amount to about $300 if we are lucky.

To top all this off, we are heading for a really bad heatwave this week. Temperatures above 35 and up to 40 for at least the next week. Hot nights as well (thank goodness for the overhead fan in the bedroom but the airconditioner is really needed to cool the room before going to bed).

We are keeping our fingers crossed that next time all will be well and with March still ahead of us which is usually hot and humid we just may get the relief we have been longing for over past weeks.

I know this is longwinded but I just had to get it off my chest and I truly do feel that modern appliances, etc., quite often do not come up to our expectations and their reliability leaves a lot to be desired.


  1. Built in redundancy so they can resell to you sooner. Just a fact of life now unfortunately. xxx

  2. I find some facts of modern life just a little disconcerting....and dishonest as well.