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Old 9th Jan 2019, 2:58 pm   #1
dave walsh
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Default Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

While monitoring the state of the Nation via the BBC1 News at One, I noticed a piece about Repair Cafe's and why aren't there more spare parts available?
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 3:21 pm   #2
chriswood1900
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Default Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

Some of you may have spotted the news items today on BBC on the throw away culture and re-introducing repairable items. Various members of the repair community were interviewed and it may lead to legislation that requires manufacturers to design products to be repairable and supportable in the future. A lot of reference was made to people repairing there own things which is a big change from the 'No user repairable items' labels and items made difficult to open. My own view would be that all major items over a certain value such as cars, TVs domestic appliances should have a mandatory 5 or 7 year warranty, thereby forcing manufacturers to design equipment to last a good time and drive out the low quality parts.
Info here:-
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46797396

I would be interested in other view particularly those that worked in repairing and servicing.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 3:25 pm   #3
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Default Re: Repair Cafe's Again!

BBC news site has an item on the growth of laws around the world requiring repairability in consumer goods. Mention of openable cases, spare part availability and service information!

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Old 9th Jan 2019, 3:27 pm   #4
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

Two in one day...Amazing.

Lawrence.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 3:29 pm   #5
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

My son recently needed a new toaster.
The old one was a pressed together horror made to not be repaired. He looked at buying a new Dualit one, made to be fixable.
The price was so far removed from what a toaster was worth that he bought another nonrepairable one.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 3:33 pm   #6
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Smile Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

Hi,
I've always been of a practical nature and enjoyed taking things to bits as a child, and finding out how they worked. My father was a motor mechanic, so I assume it comes from what he taught me.
Ever since then, I try and repair stuff rather than replacing it. I must have saved quite a few quid (now euros) over the years.
My wife is a bit vexed with me as I keep repairing our 22 year old washing machine, despite her making noises about getting a new, more efficient, one!
Whenever I see anti-tamper screws or notices saying: 'No User Serviceable Parts Inside', I regard it as a challenge.
Cheers, Pete.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 3:38 pm   #7
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

Are we perhaps too used to bottom price electrical goods then Sam? Who decides what something is really worth

I wonder what a reasonable toaster would have cost in the 50s or 60s in real terms. I often see interesting comparisons of average wages vs cost of goods extrapolated into modern money equivalents, its interesting. I don't know what the answer would be but I imagine we would have paid a lot more for a toaster in those days than we typically do today.

I see a 4 slice Dualit is £200 in John Lewis currently. That will be my next purchase on the basis it will last longer and potentially can be repaired and last many more years.

A work colleague of mine recently walked into his kitchen at night after smelling a burning smell over christmas. He found his toaster on fire, the kitchen full of smoke, and a tablet and some paperwork next to it burning. It was clear the fire originated at the toaster. He hadn't used it recently and has no idea how it went up, I suggested maybe the mechanism didn't correctly disengage earlier, he said its possible but not to his knowledge. Anyway, he believed he found the fire just before it became more serious and a job for the fire brigade. He had his wife and 2 daughters asleep upstairs. He has now bought an expensive one and unplugs it of an evening

Clearly an extreme example, but such cheap appliances are often left plugged in and we trust a hell of a lot to the quality of them.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 4:12 pm   #8
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

There was one most annoying feature of this, manufactures would like to have the monopoly doing the repairs, no available parts or documentation. It's a safety thing you know (ha ha). The five/seven year guarantee is a good idea as would screws you can take out and replace more than once.

My boiler (bought over the counter with no need to prove anything) came with full (very good) install/service manuals and bits can be had at any "trade" plumbing outlet. Why not the rest of consumer kit?
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 4:15 pm   #9
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

My wife was after a new iron having seen ours in a Glasgow museum! however in view of the fact the mains cord was getting done,I fitted a new length.

The museum was so astounded they gave here a laminated picture of it.

Cheaper than a new iron.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 4:31 pm   #10
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

A problem with d.I.y repairs to modern electronics stuff is that the extensive use of surface mount devices makes replacement of failed components difficult.
Re the suggestion that repairs should only be done by the manufacturer or an approved service centre, I brlivecthat this is already the case in Germany in respect of cars, where diy repairs are not permitted.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 4:42 pm   #11
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

Never mind repairability, I find it an outrage that mobile phone manufacturers are allowed to make them with non-replaceable batteries!

I have been hoping the EU might one day ban that kind of overt planned obsolescence.

Wouldn't it be good if the CE Declaration of Conformity had to include a service manual?
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 4:50 pm   #12
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

I feel that a great many modern appliances should be designed to be repairable.
I also like the idea suggested above, that goods that cost more than a certain value should be required to have at least a 5 or 7 year warranty.

However some modern electronic goods are too compact and too complex to be readily repairable.

Electric cookers, washing machines, tumble dryers, light fittings, vacuum cleaners, and large power tools should in my view be repairable and manufacturers should be required to supply spares and fitting instructions.

Small and cheap appliances such as kettles and toasters are unlikely to be worth repairing since they cant be readily dissembled, and re-design to facilitate repair might add considerable cost. Such disposable appliances should be regarded as more like light bulbs, to be discarded when dead.
The emphasis should be on recycling the materials in such cases.

Complex and compact electronics (unless very costly) are unlikely to justify the wage cost of professional repairs, and are not repairable by most users.
There should however be a requirement for a reasonable warranty and for batteries and external PSUs to be user replaceable.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 4:59 pm   #13
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

It is all down to cashflow into the original maker. You can bet if anything really comes of this, restrictions would be in place to stop anyone not "approved" or with correct credentials from performing repairs. Cash is paramount to manufacturers and unnecessary scrappage generates more products made and sold with carbon implications. Just look at price of a printer and cost of related inks.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 4:59 pm   #14
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMB View Post
Never mind repairability, I find it an outrage that mobile phone manufacturers are allowed to make them with non-replaceable batteries!

I have been hoping the EU might one day ban that kind of overt planned obsolescence.

Wouldn't it be good if the CE Declaration of Conformity had to include a service manual?
I see resistance to this already in the shape of opposing manufacturers complaining it compromises their "intellectual property" to comply with the suggested measures. Perhaps what they really mean is it compromises their monopoly on repairs.

As mentioned in another thread, lack of any manufacturer support in the shape of parts and manuals has impacted the 3rd party repair businesses. Of course there are many other factors that were discussed.

I was talking to someone in an old fashioned repair shop recently who claimed he simply could not obtain some parts for big name televisions. I believe it was backlight modules, where the TV would shut down if 3rd party replacements were installed. Perhaps there are other reasons, but across the board with cars, IT equipment, appliances, logic is being added to devices to lock them down to branded replacements only
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 4:59 pm   #15
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

Not everyone is capable of safely repairing and item. There is then the cost of labour on any repair, I have just bought a new washing machine with a 10 year parts guarantee, unfortunately to get the spares it has to be via having the machine repaired by there own team. Call out charge at the moment £120.
New washing machine £300, there are cheaper ones, after 5 or 6 years use many would question a £120 callout charge.
To make the repair viable a new machine would have to cost a lot more, how many are willing to pay more.

Itís a long time since I was in retail but price was very often the main driver of a sale.

I donít know what the answer is, but those doing the repairs will not want less for their labour, those paying will not want to pay more.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 5:12 pm   #16
PsychMan
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

It all comes down to regulation needed in my view. There was a time many hazardous substances could be simply dumped in the sea, along with a host of other practices that were harmful to the environment. They were legislated out of practice and standards improved.

We need to legislate our way out of a situation where masses of electrical goods go to landfill, and go there a short time after they are manufactured, polluting our lands and water tables, wasting precious resources and in the long term offering poor value. The old adage of buy cheap buy twice springs to mind.

If we leave it all solely down to price then very little will change. The market is not a benevolent entity
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 5:19 pm   #17
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

Quote:
A problem with d.I.y repairs to modern electronics stuff is that the extensive use of surface mount devices makes replacement of failed components difficult.
I find no problem with them, anyone with current manufacturing experience should be able to do so, just like us in the 70's and 80's being able to wield a soldering iron effectively.

Quote:
I brlivecthat this is already the case in Germany in respect of cars, where diy repairs are not permitted.
I wanted a new bike, chose a BMW and "un chose" when I was told I couldn't (really couldn't because it would stop working without a service centre reset) do my own servicing. Chose a Honda in the end, all parts (at reasonable prices and quickly, I wanted one odd part and was told by way of an apology that it would take three days because it came from the European stock) and service info are available.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 5:21 pm   #18
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

The first result of leaning on manufacturers in this way is doubling of the parts prices, which is difficult to legislate against.

Upon taking landfill rubbish to my local tip, i now observe that the plastics skip has disappeared and i am asked to put the plastic bottles into landfill. The overall situation is definitely deteriorating.

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Old 9th Jan 2019, 5:33 pm   #19
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

My theory is if there is no 5 year warranty,then they are selling rubbish.No way will it last.

If the warranty is that long they do not expect it to fail.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 5:49 pm   #20
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture BBC News today.

We on here like to repair things because a) it is a challenge and b) a lot of the things we have are of an age where they are made of parts that make them repairable.

Others on here will know far better than me but I had a lot of friends in the electrical/TV repair trade that got out of it years ago. Repair has long ceased to be viable on anything but very high value consumer items that are likely to have a long drift into obsolescence.

I combined two laser printers together some time ago. The first had failed because a piece of plastic got fed through. I bought another almost identical model and, typical I am sure of many on this forum, kept the old one 'just in case'. Subsequently, the electronics failed on number two so I decided to have a go - there was nothing to lose but a couple of hours. There was only one visible screw but with two externally identical models I could afford breakage of a panel if I got stumped (fortunately I didn't have to resort to brute force). I had combined the two in a couple of hours and felt very chuffed with myself when it worked (and continues to do so) but the time it took me to do the operation if charged at a not very expensive commercial rate would have far outstripped the cost of a replacement.

I was in my local Asda last night. There were SIM-free smartphones on sale running Android Nougat 7.0 complete with camera, etc., sub £40. Probably not a great technical spec but if it lasts a year that's less than a quid a week. By the time the battery fails to hold a charge the OS will be well out of date anyway.

Though we pride ourselves on keeping things going our activities could well be seen as antisocial in some quarters. I'm not a great consumer but maybe it is just as well most folk are not like me (or dare I say us?) - the economy would be flat on its back!
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