The central vacuum in the basement is as old as the house and not quite as lucky. The house has undergone many changes in the nineteen years it has existed, all for the good and making it a much nicer place to live. The vacuum system however has only existed...working somewhat, until we used it to vacuum dry wall dust during the building of the upstairs renovation that first year here. That immediately clogged the filter element. Never having used it before, we just threw the element away, figuring we could always buy a new element if we ever wanted to use it later for something. We figured that with Vick’s back problems, we could reduce the lugging of equipment up and down the steps by replacing the filter disc and using the unit again. WRONG!
I went to the Sears (because it’s a Kenmore) website to find the element part number. The model number brought up the unit instantly, with an exploded view of the parts and installation parts. All but a few of the more common parts were marked unavailable. Why have the pictures and part numbers if they are unavailable....and since the filter assemblies work in multiple units, made by different manufacturers, why quit making that until sales no longer exist. I saw that many, many people were looking for the same filter! The only alternative... replace the unit with a newer model. RIGHT! For a filter element!!!!!
Well guess what Sears....... I will wrap a foam element around the cartridge holder and make my own filter element. AND.....when I decide to buy a replacement central Vac unit, it won’t be a Sears.
This has become a throw away world. Perhaps we should look back at the quality and cost of things years ago. It was a joke to have a job as a Maytag repairman years ago, but now it wouldn’t be so funny. It’s not uncommon to buy a washing machine...or any other appliance for that matter and have trouble within a year...and usually just a day or week after the warranty runs out.
Sometimes, you can’t tolerate the way it runs or the noise it makes, but a machine that runs and normal noise is not covered under a warranty, so you’re stuck with it. Our friend just replaced a washing machine that was only months old, because the way she works, she didn’t have enough time in a day to run such long cycles and the clothes never came out as clean as she wanted. She inquired about these problems and she was informed that it was running as designed and there was nothing they could do. Try a longer cycle to get cleaner clothes. (they must have missed the first complaint about extremely long cycles)
Anyway, as I said, we have become a throw away society, hell bent on recycling. If that isn’t one of the biggest oxymoron ideas I’ve ever heard, I’ll throw it away!
We need to get back to manufacturing good quality appliances and putting people to work supplying replacement parts to keep things working. I repair everything we have with the exception of the electronic equipment, our Microwave, washer or TV’s which all need plugged into a computer to find the problem. You can expect a monkey with a tool box and a computer to show up....make some phone calls and then tell you it’s not covered or it’ll cost you an arm and leg to fix, so you’re better off buying a new one. All the computer does is tell them what has happened in the past when, “this occurs”, and then gives them a list of things to do, sequentially, until the problem is fixed (if it can be). The problem is that they do #1 on the list and then you have to wait. If it does it again, call. Now it’s another visit and more money to try #2 on the list and this goes on and on, you buying parts to try until something works or they run out of list, and then say, “Huh....I’d just buy a new one if I were you... this one is weird....I can’t explain it!” Appliance repairmen are all a major disappointment...even the ones who ocassionally luck out and hit the right "try this item" the first time around. That's because they are as surprised that they fixed it as you are.
Vick always wants to give them a tip...I say, "for what? Doing their job?" Following an idiot list of “try this stuff” while we are already paying $100.00 per hour labor, and a guy who has to have a GPS system to find his way home after work, is disgusting! I bulk at the thought of a tip...as if he did me a favor or something! Usually I’m ready to fight before they clear the doorway on their way out, because there I stand...with an outrageous bill receipt in my hand, as they say, “Too bad we couldn’t fix it for ya, but a new one will work a lot better anyway.
(forget that they were working on a unit that was literally brand new anyhow!)
Give me the old relay logic over electronics...cars with plugs, points, a condenser, pistons and a carburetor...and appliances we can fix...then we’ll be moving in the right direction again! Recycle garbage......not appliances, cars and household things! Fix them!!!!!
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046487 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC