When our son was a toddler, we purchased a new stainless refrigerator with side by side doors. I twitched as the child dented the front of it with various toys but I was still a proud parent of my new appliance. It took only a short time before bits and pieces began to dislodge themselves from my precious fridge. And then the glamor wore off.

Are you familiar with the little moveable parts on the front of the drawers that allow you to pretend you control the climate of your produce? They were the first to go. (Actually, first was a small mysterious bit which may have helped to hold the drawer face which dislodged three days ago.)

But several years ago, when the bottom frame which holds the produce drawers cracked, I was very annoyed. Yes there’s a metal frame across but the side joints are just plastic. Who thought designing the weight-bearing corner with plastic in a perpetually cold place was a good idea?

The nice lady on the phone first sent me the diagram of the fridge and this research gave me a part number. For $17, I got the part shipped. Then I replaced it myself. I also ordered a dryer element, which went up at Christmas two years ago, and then my husband replaced it. And there was that cap to the drying additive chamber in the dishwasher which I threw away. That was a $25 mistake.

Coffee makers have the same problems as refrigerators but for reverse reasons. The plastic hinges and vents for steam can only last so long before they too, under daily usage and stress, become crunchy and crack. The coffeemaker in the garage trash right now had the lid hinge break. I thought about just replacing the pot for my backup coffeemaker in the basement but for $15 more, I bought a new machine. And the replacement of the microwave got a whole blog post all to itself.

Soon, the alleyways will be lined with crunchy appliances tossed from their dusty roosts for their post-Christmas replacements. I love/hate my appliances but plastic is here to stay. I don’t have to like it and Repair Clinic dot-com is perfectly willing to let me order the part at all times of the day. And when it comes to me doorstep, and after guilt tripping my husband for an entire weekend, I’ll be putting it in myself. Maytag man be damned. Or putting a new one on plastic.

If you have any thoughts, please drop a word below in the comments. Or

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  1. I am tragically familiar with small plastic parts in everyday items, especially those which are located into the kitchen. I have a deep hate relationship with some plastic shelves of my fridge, they already broke down three times this year and had to get them replaced.

    I love your blog. I will keep following it from now on 🙂

  2. I bought my dishwasher In May 1995 for $420 from Reliable Appliance in Hampstead, Md.. The owner said that while he carried many brands, Whirlpool was the reliable-est. The best money I have ever spent, ever. We somehow burned up the bottom, washer part of our “cap to the drying additive chamber” (thanks for the technical term, much better than the jet-dry doohickie). I’ll be ordering the part as soon as this case of homelessness goes away thanks to your inspiration. $25 or so 10 years ago would have saved about $800 in extra jet-dry money, – duh moment of the year, thanks again Shalagh.

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