Energy-saving washing takes money and healthy ‘brain’

May 30, 2008
By

Our washing machine died the other day. Jumping on the energy-saving craze about 10 years ago, we bought one of the first gas-saving, water-saving, front-loading machines. It was sick all of its life. The first time the doctor of washing machines did a house call he diagnosed it with a bad brain. The one-year warranty had just expired, and I shelled out $330 for a new motherboard.

A computer? One year? My brother is using the same machine my mother bought in the 1960s. The repairman from that brand was no longer lonely when it came to our machine because over the years, the main gasket blew out, the brain failed again and, a couple of days ago, the motor stopped motoring. Our fancy, gas-saving, water-saving, energy-saving tub offered no savings to our pocketbook.

With instructions to purchase the most simple and durable machine in the showroom, my wife went hunting for our new appliance: “Please dear, I don’t care about the price, the color or the style. I just want the fewest breakable controls.”

They saw her coming. “Come hither, my little deary, enter my lair.” And, like a trout to a fly, she was hooked. Our new machine comes from some European country I can’t spell. It has five spin settings, five water temperature settings, settings to set the settings and more blinking lights than Logan Airport. My Princess Bride tries to assure me it is simple; it has direct drive. As I am heading for the cooking sherry, I can only wonder: Does it have a brain?

Carlos Icaza
Jamaica Plain

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