Do you throw away non-functioning household appliances rather than repair them? You may even think that old machines and household appliances must be thrown away once they have given up their minds?
In our opinion, the concept of throwaway culture belongs in the waste bin of history – for good. Because it is no longer necessary to simply throw away any washing machine or air conditioner, vacuum cleaner or refrigerator, or any other household appliance. We would like to give you a guide on how to repair broken machines with ease and tell you when it is really time for disposal. You will get helpful tips and also get good disposal points presented.
Our throwaway society
It is quite easy to blame the people of the last century for creating, promoting and propagating today’s throwaway society. With the increasing import of cheaper products and the rapidly improving technology, discarding and replacing is at first glance easier than self-repairing.
Electronic waste or e-waste is a fixed category of waste. This includes large household appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners, as well as sophisticated appliances such as stereos and flat-screen TVs.
From 1999 to 2015, the number of recycled e-waste rose from 15 per cent. That doesn’t sound like much at first, but you have to remember that it’s going up disproportionately. In 1999, the total estimated amount of e-waste was 1,056,000 tonnes; in 2015, the total volume was 3,562,000 tonnes.
By recycling electrical appliances and putting them in landfills, we are polluting our environment. Television and computer monitors usually contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Each item containing boards contains nickel, beryllium and zinc.
Considering that improved technology and their computer brains are also making “stupid” appliances, the scale of the future, clear.
So when is it worth repairing devices?
Basically, the decision to repair has less to do with your talent than with your inclination and motivation to repair. If you can tackle and get your hands dirty, you’ll be able to restore your washing machine with just a few euros – and easily. All it takes is the right instructions.
As a rule of thumb, if you can repair the machine for 50% of the cost of a new purchase and your device is not older than 6 years, definitely put your own hand.
1. Washing machine
Washing machines are usually used more than any other device. And they work hard. A machine needs about 50-80 litres of water and wet clothing, which is about 100kg load capacity. These heavy loads eventually affect the washing machine’s ability to move the clothes.
- The difficulty of repair: 2/5 (simple)
- Most common repair: The washing drum no longer rotates. Often the error can be easily corrected by replacing the bearings or the drive belt.
2. Air conditioning
Air conditioners can be intimidating when it comes to repairs. But they have less moving part than you think.
- The difficulty of repair: 1/5 to 2/5 (from simple to easy)
- Most common repair: If the air conditioner no longer distributes a cold desire, it helps or replaces the capacitor, fan motor or temperature unit. Again, the names of these spare parts are misleading. Do-it-yourselfers report that repairing is very easy and takes less than 30 minutes.
Extreme heat and constant wetness ensure the wear of the dishwasher.
- The difficulty of repair: 2/5 to 3/5 (from simple to medium)
- Most common repair: If the dishwasher is leaking, always check the door seal for damage first. This is replaced in no time. If the heating element is broken, this right can also be easily replaced. If the dishes are not properly clean, it may be due to a defective spray arm or a defective pump. Both repairs require a little more craftsmanship, but it is definitely worth swapping these components.
When to throw it away
Nothing lasts forever. Even the most robust and reliable device that has performed best over the years must eventually be discarded. But how do you know when it’s time?
Basic guidelines for disposal:
- Hard-working equipment: Machines that operate at high pressure and/or constant operation are more likely to die faster and are more difficult to repair. For example, garbage compressors that exert forces of up to 2,300 pounds per square inch tend to have a shorter lifespan. Washing machines also move heavy, water-laden clothing at top speed.
- Older devices: You might think that durable, durable devices that are still working would be candidates for a new repair. But that is not the case. If longer-functioning appliances such as gas stoves and refrigerators are broken, their value as recoverable items is almost zero.
- Electronics: The constant addition of more complicated electronics to our devices contributes to its end. These include e.B.Wi-Fi, motherboards and printed circuit boards.
- Compressors: Refrigerators and freezers that require new compressors are extremely expensive to repair. Replacing compressors often breaks the 50 per cent rule mentioned above.
- Smoke and fire: Dryers, ovens, refrigerators and washing machines that produce smoke are not only difficult but also risky to repair.
The Estimated lifespan of household appliances
- Garbage press: 6 years
- dishwasher: 9 years
- Microwave: 9 years
- Washing machine: 10 years
- Ceiling fan: 10 years
- Freezer: 11 years
- Washbasin disposal: 12 years
- Tumble dryer: 13 years
- Refrigerator: 13 years
- Selection, electronics: 13 years
- Selection, oven hood: 14 years
- Selection, gas: 15 years
How to get rid of working devices
What no longer works for you doesn’t mean it can’t work for others. Businesses and individuals are often willing to continue using your discarded household appliances.
Local sellers and flea markets: Get rid of the device and get paid? Win-win! Offer your old home appliances on platforms like ebay.de, reBuy.de, geldfuermuell.de or wirkaufens.de or look out for local flea markets.
Gifting: How about donating or giving away used equipment? Friends, acquaintances or social networks are happy. It’s also charitable: for example.B. the NGO Labdoo donates notebooks to schools all over the world. The gift network freecycle.org organizes targeted urban groups that give things away.
How to dispose of your broken devices properly
Very importantly, electrical appliances do not belong in household waste. The Electric Scrap Law has been in place since 2016. This obliges retailers, online and offline, to take back all devices in the event of a new purchase. Small devices up to 25cm edge length can always be returned free of charge.
If you’re wondering where electronics actually start? The following rule of thumb is helpful here: Anything that is operated with a power cable or with batteries or batteries, whether fixed or replaceable, must not be put into household waste. Newer devices can also be recognized by the symbol of a crossed-out garbage can.
Nearest local disposal options can be found: Simply search online for the nearest collection point or recycling yard. Try the free smartphone app “Schrott”, where you will be guided directly with a card to the nearest disposal point.