The Laws of Appliance Failure

When we moved to the Valley in 2005 we got a new home and a set of 7 new appliances for it. 5 of these were Maytag, but the brand name doesn’t really matter. What happens is that we then became subject to the inevitable laws of appliance failure. It took a few years but eventually they kicked in.

These laws – which are a set of corollaries to Murphy’s Law – are usually experienced as follows:

Law #1 – Given a set of appliances, the most vital one will start to fail first. In our case this was our 9 year old Maytag refrigerator. Maytag, we hardly knew ye. We started to hear a buzzz-click on the unit and the compressor wouldn’t start right away.

Law #2 – The failing appliance will be the most complex, and hardest to locate a repair person for. We have lots of good local appliance guys – but they fix stoves, washers and dryers. After a few failed attempts to get an Ottawa repair company to come to Almonte, I ended up with the company repair firm. This is now Whirlpool, as Maytag is really a shell brand for Whirlpool today.

Law #3 – These will be at least two repair options. The cheaper one won’t fix the problem. Our repair guy was actually quite a good one. He told us that we had one of two problems. Either the start relay for the compressor was going, or the compressor itself was failing. We had him replace the relay which was a simple and low cost repair. To replace a compressor on a 9 year old refrigerator is financial folly as  you can get a new machine for about $100 more than the cost of the repair. Of course the buzzz-click continued soon after the “repair” was completed.

Law #4 – Once a repair attempt fails, the root cause will get worse..and worse. The failure of the compressor to start became an hourly occurrence and although the temperature of the fridge appeared to be OK, I felt we had to do something fairly soon. The decision to buy a new fridge was inevitable.

Law #5 – A replacement appliance will not be immediately available locally. OK so we were not going to buy another Maytag – not after a ridiculously low product life. We went to Home Depot and we found the ideal replacement machine. It was a Samsung – French doors, right color, nice freezer, new quiet compressor technology, more room, yet fit in our “smaller” space in the kitchen. Although I felt a little discomfort that the maker of my TV also made my fridge, it was perfect. The only problem was it was back ordered at the factory and we could not get it for 3 weeks. Price was right though as Home Depot was having a pretty good appliance sale. So we ordered one.

Law #6 – Once a replacement is in the pipeline, the incumbent appliance will die immediately. This indeed happened – buzzz-click repeatedly with no startup and climbing temperatures – so we had to shut the Maytag down, and transfer everything out of it. Fortunately I had had the presence of mind to buy a small bar fridge for the basement, so we had a place to keep milk and cold meat for a couple of weeks. We also had a freezer so we didn’t starve – although my 4 year old granddaughter thought we might and got upset about the possibility.

Well, having gone through all stages of The Laws of Appliance Failure, we eventually got the new fridge. It’s very nice so far, and my wife likes it better than the old one. Very roomy, very quiet and the French Doors are a convenient touch. Hopefully we won’t be revisiting these Laws any time soon.


1 Comment
  1. maria 7 years ago

    Very disappointed with the Maytag fridge.
    The other 2 fridges that we have had during our marriage all lasted at least DOUBLE this Maytag!

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