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The great "can't fix that" racket


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I think our Bosch probably managed 8 years to first failure. Then it had a little cluster. Door seal and brushes, which are service items really. Did the bearings a couple of years back (won’t ever do that again!) and a new pump last year. Brushes just now and it wants another door seal. The have been a number of blockage incidents over the years but I don’t blame the machine for those. We are pretty sure we bought it in 2005, so it’s done ok.

Its predecessor was a Zanussi which did 12 years (was still just about going when we gave it away, but I was banned from mending it again). That was mechanically faithful, but liked to burn out the heater contacts in its mechanical programmer. I added a relay the second time which sorted that. Also persistent issues with the level switches, which I’m pretty sure was just slime in too-small hose tappings. 

Prior to that we had a well used Indesit (cost a bottle wine) that was actually pretty reliable. It flooded the kitchen once when a small stone in the pump wore a hole in the casing (I told you it was making a funny noise!), which wasn’t really its fault, but it was noisy, not very good at washing clothes and had a low spin speed. That one got passed on as a runner too. Never scrapped an appliance!

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So to expand a bit on the Saniflo......  Our en suite bathroom is a relatively recent addition (not by us though) and is a long way from the rest of the plumbing in the house.  This unfortunately mean

Why? It’s 10 years old (at least) and the motor doesn’t start without encouragement. It will be knackered.  Anyway, I don’t have a capacitance meter to hand, access is tight (putting it politely)

Hi Mike, the insurance were very good. It all got sorted without too many tears   Roger

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Recent minor victory, less 'fixing', more 'sourcing'.

Bosch tumble drier's fluff filter had the filter fabric tearing away from the frame.      Fluff getting downstream, potentailly blocking the vent.     Bosch said, Oooo! that's an old machine (ten years?) We don't stock parts any more!         But a Google search of after market spares suppliers found one that did.  So thank you, TD Spares!     It arrived almost overnight, appears to be an improved, strengthened version of the original and fits, perfectly!

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Hello Nick

                Triggers Broom springs to mind? (But it is still original!)

You know I told you I repaired our oven with a 20year old part? well that failed as well

So I bit the bullet and bought a New genuine one for £73 after hunting all over Tinterweb!

The oven now cooks at the right temperature and a New oven would have been £500 to £600!!!!!!! (and only a few cosmetic bits different!)

Plus it is only 10 years old so new as far as I am concerned.

Roger

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bicycle bits..... No 2 son has a bike problem. He likes expensive ones and then wears them out by riding them all the time in all weathers. Almost 15k last year...... More than the whole of the family car fleet combined (unusual year it’s true!)

Over the years we have learned that cycling related electronics, sat nav computer things, electronic gears and power meters are
- hugely overpriced 
- woefully unreliable 
- when (not if) they fail during warranty there will be all kinds of wriggling and if you do manage to shame them into action the replacement will die in weeks.
- if you do decide to upgrade before your device has died, when you sell it on eBay it will be DOA for the new owner with all the aggro that entails.

He’s given up on the electric gears now and gone back to cables.

This weekends “mechanical” was entirely mechanical though. The free-hub on his favourite back wheel had gone sullen and was intermittently free in both directions. We failed to get into it (tbqh, having got into Shimano titanium one before after making a special tool and then spending 3 cuss- filled hours trying to herd what seemed like hundreds of little balls back inside it, I wasn’t that keen), but after much fiddling and some spray lube it seemed to be working.

Yesterday’s ride, he took it anyway, but after about 30 minutes we got a call. He’s 12 miles away with zero drive...... Was just about to set out with another wheel when he called again to say it was ok again. Stand down. Then 90 minutes later another call. It’s really borked now.... and he’s 40 miles away!

SM took his spare wheel and left muttering dark oaths.

Yesterday evening he finally found the right YouTube video. It’s really easy he says, it just pulls off by hand. Not after 25k with no maintenance it doesn’t, but a small 3 legged puller did it.

I have to say that this one (Mavic) is a clever little thing and was still almost working in spite of being absolutely rammed with dirt from all over the world. Remarkably, half an hours cleaning and judicial application of lube has it almost as good as new, though the bearings remain a little rough. Really cunning and simple design. Now he knows how to do it I reckon it’ll get done more often. Worth doing as the parts cost £70 if you do manage to bust them!

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15 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

He’s given up on the electric gears now and gone back to cables.

I can't relate to breaking a hub, but as a cyclist I can complain about the general serviceability of bicycle components.

The cable systems are also annoying, the Shimano combined brake/shifters are not cheap (the mid-range ones are £190): https://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-105-r7000-11-speed-shifter-set

They only come in a pair.

I got back into cycling over lock down in the UK whilst living with my parents in Lancashire. I was happily racking up the miles on my bike that I rebuilt with a whole new drive train in 2016 and then stopped using when I fell out with cycling when I lived in Cambridge (ironic).

About two weeks later I was about 10 miles from home, climbed a hill and then descending down the other side shifted into top gear. And then the shifter locked up.

The bit of Lancashire I'm from is very hilly, and even the flat route home had a few short 15% climbs. So I had to manually pull on the cable to get any gear other than top for the ride home, it wasn't so easy. Anyway, I figure, the shifter is nearly new, maybe 3000 miles total on it, surely nothing serious has gone wrong. Take it apart, presented with this:

IMG_20200424_115647.jpg.569f6e9616078f16446fe8afa3d8f9fa.jpg

Some studying of high res images online, and I find a tiny spring on the pawl has snapped. There's no way I can replace it without disassembling the whole thing, which is a) riveted, b) probably impossible to reassemble. So I ended up raiding my bank account instead. The advice online for fixing these is "don't even try".

Edited by JumpingFrog
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2 hours ago, JumpingFrog said:

probably impossible to reassemble.

Fair to say I’ve taken more apart than I’ve reassembled.

One issue is special tools, often cynically priced to be similar to a complete new unit and obviously not interchangeable between manufacturers or even between ranges from the same manufacturer. To change the bearing on the aforementioned hub and wheel itself requires a little pin-wrench priced at £70.....

So far we’ve not had any mechanical shifter systems fail beyond diy recovery.

As for the general pricing...... it is mostly very nicely made but.... not from precious metals :ohmy:

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We are all - well some of us - aware of the disaster that is Brexit, but taking it back a few years, gas privatisation too!

I want to have a 'Smart' meter.  I hope it will reduce my bills and do something towards delaying the Heatdeath of the Universe, or something.      Fine, say my energy supplier, however your meter is too big/the wrongsort/speaks a different langauge than a smart meter.   But we can change it!

Not, in fact true.    Because they don't own it, and here comes the total, psychotic madness of that gas privatisation.    The pipework that brings gas to my house is owned by someone called Cadent, while I own the pipes in the house, and Eon just pump gas through them.    The meter is owned by National Grid!   I thought they provided the infrastructure, but that's my ignorance.

This cacophony of unecessary diversity means that Eon can't touch the meter, let alone change it.    They must sub-contract to National Grid to do the work.     But National Grid, for some reason to do with gas safety - you would think they knew about gas safety and could deal with it - cannot disconnect the meter from my pipes.  I must find a gas technician to come and do that, THEN, National Grid will come and change the meter,  and THEN 'my' technician must come back and reconnect the house supply!

All in the interrests of 'fair competition' and to avoid the 'deadly hand of state ownership'.

There is the small matter that NG have given an appointed date next week, and the firm that maintains my gas boiler has a full diary for the next three, so it's all got to be put off.  I am assured that it can all be done in a day, but I've heard that before.      I think I'll put it off as long as possible and hope for a warm spring!

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40 minutes ago, JohnD said:

We are all - well some of us - aware of the disaster that is Brexit, but taking it back a few years, gas privatisation too!

I want to have a 'Smart' meter.  I hope it will reduce my bills and do something towards delaying the Heatdeath of the Universe, or something.      Fine, say my energy supplier, however your meter is too big/the wrongsort/speaks a different langauge than a smart meter.   But we can change it!

Not, in fact true.    Because they don't own it, and here comes the total, psychotic madness of that gas privatisation.    The pipework that brings gas to my house is owned by someone called Cadent, while I own the pipes in the house, and Eon just pump gas through them.    The meter is owned by National Grid!   I thought they provided the infrastructure, but that's my ignorance.

This cacophony of unecessary diversity means that Eon can't touch the meter, let alone change it.    They must sub-contract to National Grid to do the work.     But National Grid, for some reason to do with gas safety - you would think they knew about gas safety and could deal with it - cannot disconnect the meter from my pipes.  I must find a gas technician to come and do that, THEN, National Grid will come and change the meter,  and THEN 'my' technician must come back and reconnect the house supply!

All in the interrests of 'fair competition' and to avoid the 'deadly hand of state ownership'.

There is the small matter that NG have given an appointed date next week, and the firm that maintains my gas boiler has a full diary for the next three, so it's all got to be put off.  I am assured that it can all be done in a day, but I've heard that before.      I think I'll put it off as long as possible and hope for a warm spring!

I wouldn't bother. A smart gas meter isn't that smart, all it can do is tell you how much you are using but a bit more accurately at any instant. The only way to save money/gas/the planet is to turn the thermostat down.  You are sensible enough to realise that already. 

But a few years John? more like 34? I remember using my student grant (remember those, equally aged) to invest in the minimum number of guaranteed shares in all the sell-offs. Made me a tidy profit by flipping the shares and kept me in beer. Although I disagreed with the principle, I decided that I may as well have a few quid out of the deal rather than the financial markets. 

But I still don't understand why your meter is too big. All the meters I have seen fit to te same bracket on a wall, so the suppler can just undo 2 nuts and swap easily. Bizarre.

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Smart meters have cost me A fortune. Has taken two years to pay back what the shit things did to my bank balance.
If you live in the NW do not waste money getting them fitted.
Dumb shite.
My house is mostly IOT. Now that saves money. 
Eon have on file the request not to ask me to read the meters. I tell the person to F*** *** before putting the phone down.

Utter waste of money for the country & loads of money for installation companies who don't give a ****.

Biggest & most expensive Technology mistake I have every made. 
 

 

Edited by spitfire6
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As an “early adopter” of Smart Meters I can confirm they are a disappointing proposition once the initial excitement of seeing how much gas and electricity your using and seeing how little effect turning things off or down appears to make.  

Then you realise your daughter ignores it totally and then realise the house is cold because your wife turns the heating off to save money.

Then the remote display in the house goes radio rental and starts telling you your using  £300 per day of gas which you obviously haven’t because the house hasn’t been replaced with a 300ft crater after the explosion.  So they replace that and all’s well... until it goes mad again... and they replace it again... and then it goes mad again so it goes in the bin and isn’t replaced.

Then you switch providers to get a better deal even though it’s the same gas and electricity that it ever was but cheaper.  And the meters stop being smart because they are generation one and can’t talk to other providers.  Why’s that?  I never got an answer so now once a month I wander outside to take meter readings to upload to whoever is selling me the same gas and electricity that others did... but cheaper!

No I can’t be bothered to have a generation two meter.  Waste of time and the planets resources to replace something that essentially still does what it always did but has just lost the ability to talk to a network!

I wouldn’t bother again.  Seemed like a good idea at the beginning.

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if you want to understand about Smart meter have a read of these articles.

Smart Meters, Fake News and the IoT | Creative Connectivity (nickhunn.com)

Complete waste of money, they are not smart, they cant reduce demand but can be used to remotely switch off your electricity supply,.... He also has a lot to say about IOT.

BTW if you want to measure your gas consumption, there is a magnet fitted to the counter in the meter, A small Hall effect sensor can detect it and then all you do is count the pulses and you have an electronic gas meter.

Mike 

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I work for a subsidiary of an electricity distribution operator (electricity board, in days of old) and can entirely see the purpose of smart meters. The tangible benefit is for the network, not the punter. Worth doing to modernise the grid and allow demand management via variable pricing, which is a necessary tool for more renewable power. But I think they've significantly over-hyped the consumer benefits.

The roll-out was hilariously mis-managed and should be a case study for how not to run a large technical project.

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Looks like to provision of public e-charging facilities will follow the same botched approach and Government enforced demand to change e vehicles will exceed supply...

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22 hours ago, MilesA said:

Looks like to provision of public e-charging facilities will follow the same botched approach and Government enforced demand to change e vehicles will exceed supply...


This is an interesting watch, if a bit lengthy for the message.

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Not just their business page, this was a headline on this morning's Radio4 News.

It is worth mentioning that the UK legislation to enforce this dates from 2019 and was prompted by the EU!   

Edited by JohnD
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Laudable aims. I approve.

However...... will anything really change?

As you know, I do like to extract the last dying gasps from anything mechanical or electrical and will try to fix anything. In general, when dealing with household appliances I’m not finding parts unavailable, but I do sometimes find parts that are available, but sufficiently costly to make the economics of repair very doubtful. And that is without labour costs. It is true that some parts are clearly unreasonably priced, especially genuine ones (same for car parts) but there are significant costs associated with making parts available. It’s also true that some of the manufacturers own repair services are eye watering. Perhaps to try and offset their warranty calls....

However, even your friendly local repair man has to eat and keep his van running and legal, so even with reasonably priced spares and a reliable and well-priced repair man, the costs are not going to compare all that well against new replacement.  You could argue that the stuff is too cheap to buy new.....

As for things like iPhones, or cycling electronics, which appear to be utterly inoperable, maybe some good will come. At least iPhones seem pretty reliable. Cycling electronics..... not so much.

 

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Hello All

             It will possibly help the likes of us!

But most people by new after a couple of years to keep up with the neighbours or a different colour or a bit like cars it will do 1mpg more per gallon but they only do 5000 miles a year!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So they Never pay for them selves but I suppose it keeps the Chinse workers employed?

Roger

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