Sunday, November 23, 2008

Microwave Oven

My sister Mary and her family came to visit Rachael and me last Fall of 2007. Mary tends to be a little meddlesome and noticed that our microwave had some buttons that were broken (or at least difficult to press) and some of the digits on the time display were missing. The Microwave also had an interesting feature where the keypad (which worked properly) was only visible when the door was open. Mary made the decision for Rachael and me that we needed to purchase a new microwave. Rachael also agreed with Mary. Mary even made it a point to email all of her girlfriends about how our microwave sucked and I needed to buy a new one. I objected. I thought why buy a new one for $300 when I could fix it myself or at least have it fixed for $60? I replied to Mary's email with the notion that I will fix it myself. Of course, there were many replies from ladies telling me to buy a new one and what a lousy husband I was. Some were saying that their husband would say the same thing and nothing would get fixed (Now they have the lousy husband). Anyways, I was able to get the microwave fixed and it has worked fine so far.

The reason that I have this post is to start a discussion on when to scrap a device and when to get it fixed. I feel that if anything is broken on a device we (as Americans) just throw it away and buy a new one. Why not at least attempt to fix it and get a few more years out of it instead of adding more junk to the landfill? I feel that you can save money and you can save the astronomical amount of junk added to our waste. Am I being stubborn or am I just being economical? What do you think?

(A note: I love my sister, Mary, but we disagree on a few points. She is not a bad person and I am not trying to make her look like one. I was just trying to illustrate the grief that I can get for at least trying to salvage something that has a few quirks but works fine.)


becky Martin said...

matt, sometimes i think our brains think alike...only sometimes though.

Becky Martin said...

matt, sometimes i think our brains think similarly...only sometimes though.

Prototech said...

You're right to repair, IMHO.

We do this display repair with new & improved button assembly all the time for $54.95 with a 1-year guarantee.

So your $60 ballpark was right on, and it sure beats the price a new oven!

Details are at if you want to gloat! :)

Cynthia said...

Matt, I completely agree with you that we tend to just buy a new one of whatever is broken instead of try to fix it. I know as a wife of a fix it man that sometimes it is frustrating because it takes more time, but in the end I am always grateful that we saved a few dollars. Thank you for bringing this to mind as I often need to be reminded that taking the time to fix it is often better than just spending more money and adding to the landfills.