Author Topic: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again  (Read 5419 times)

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Offline james_s

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2020, 07:09:17 pm »
"Realistic" (Radio Shack) was very bad. :-- Another brand I hate is Citroën, the worst cars ever (IMHO!).

Realistic was a store brand that was stuck on all sorts of different stuff, it was never a manufacture. Most of the scanners were made by GRE or Uniden, I think some of the audio gear was Pioneer but not all of it. The stuff varied widely in quality, some of it was very good, some was junk. I still have a few high end Realistic scanners that are about as good as analog scanner radios get.
 

Online E-Design

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2020, 08:40:08 pm »
Duracell brand batteries - these days, they have a high chance of leaking.
(not an appliance, but worth a mention)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 05:06:18 pm by E-Design »
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Offline Towger

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2020, 09:28:47 pm »
Amstrad - Sir Alan you owe me.

D-Link - Spent 600 on crap...
 

Offline Veteran68

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2020, 04:14:58 am »
Duracell brand batteries - these days, they have a high chance of leaking.

Agreed! Duracell used to be my go-to brand, but they leak everywhere now. Energizers seem to leak more now too, so I've been on a mission to find other brands.

Some of the best off-shelf batteries these days are the Kirkland branded batteries from Costco. Reviews have shown them to hold up as good or better than the major brands. I'm on a 72-count box of the Kirkland AA's now, so far so good.

AC Delco branded batteries were also highly rated. I've gone through a 50-pack of their AA's and never had a leak.
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Online Gyro

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2020, 11:26:37 am »
Amstrad - Sir Alan you owe me.

D-Link - Spent 600 on crap...

I never did work out what he got the 'Sir' for. It can't have been for quality, or even innovative products. Maybe it was for self-publicity, rather like Dyson. After all, Trump made it to President on the back of the US version of the Apprentice!

Ah, it was for "for services to the Home Computer and Electronics Industry"  :-\
Chris

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Offline dzseki

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2020, 11:38:28 am »
Sony CRTs: My father used to run a TV repair shop, his observation was too that Sony CRTs were looking nice while good but had less life time compared to other "less regarded" tubes.

Seagate HDD: personal experience I've had 2 (completely different) Seagate HDD that failed around 200 days of operation mark, ( they both spin up and down randomly), I have had good health rate from WD HDDs the only one that has weak sectors ran already 1200 days or so, but it still works better than the Seagates... But I am not a HDD eater, so ymmv.

Side note: We moved to a new (used) house last year and built in a new kitchen. I spent a lot of time figuring out what brand appliances should I buy (I would have Miele, but really could not afford it..). I ended up with appliances from Amica (Poland), they while not very old brand as is, but seemed to be a genuine brand who do all manufacturing in house, they offered longer warranty than most competitors. Obviously these appliances haven't served enough to form an opinion on their reliability, but we are happy with them so far.
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Online tom66

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2020, 01:28:23 pm »
Duracell brand batteries - these days, they have a high chance of leaking.
Certainly for their AA size, there's negligible difference between Duracell and generic Alkaline. Hence why when Duracell promote their batteries they always compare them to ZnCl or ZnC batteries.
 

Online SilverSolder

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2020, 02:13:49 pm »
Duracell brand batteries - these days, they have a high chance of leaking.

Some of the best off-shelf batteries these days are the Kirkland branded batteries from Costco. Reviews have shown them to hold up as good or better than the major brands. I'm on a 72-count box of the Kirkland AA's now, so far so good.

Kirkland batteries are apparently made by Duracell.  I can confirm from personal experience that the Kirklands can leak like a very leaky thing (unused, in a drawer) after a couple of years.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2020, 02:23:39 pm »
Duracell brand batteries - these days, they have a high chance of leaking.

Agreed! Duracell used to be my go-to brand, but they leak everywhere now. Energizers seem to leak more now too, so I've been on a mission to find other brands.

Some of the best off-shelf batteries these days are the Kirkland branded batteries from Costco. Reviews have shown them to hold up as good or better than the major brands. I'm on a 72-count box of the Kirkland AA's now, so far so good.

AC Delco branded batteries were also highly rated. I've gone through a 50-pack of their AA's and never had a leak.

I haven't bought disposable AA batteries in years now. LSD NiMH have gotten really good, I have Eneloop, Fujitsu and some of the Japanese made Amazon branded cells and have not had a single failure or leak since I started buying them almost a decade ago. Alkaline AAs are obsolete IMHO.
 

Offline Brutte

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2020, 04:15:50 pm »
A couple of months ago our washing machine died. (Miele, 13 years old).
(..)
I ended up with a new Miele, £900 with a 10 year warranty = £90/yr and a fair chance that it won't break in that time and have to be scrapped.

So you made an assumption that durability == warranty length. Interesting but not very common approach, I am afraid we are not there yet. With progress, this equation becomes a limit case as manufacturers are better and better with estimating when appliance breaks and maximizing profit. Of course this always comes with some random factor but the ultimate goal (perfect design) is the one where all components fail a day after warranty period is over.
 
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Offline Veteran68

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #60 on: January 13, 2020, 04:19:35 pm »
Kirkland batteries are apparently made by Duracell.  I can confirm from personal experience that the Kirklands can leak like a very leaky thing (unused, in a drawer) after a couple of years.

Interesting. I'd read some thorough testing of alkaline battery performance a year or two ago and Kirkland were one of the highest rated (if not the highest), well above Duracell, so it didn't seem like they shared the same chemistry or construction at all. I'm about 1/3 through this 72-pack that I've had for about a year and no sign yet of leakage, but I'll keep an eye out.
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Offline Veteran68

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #61 on: January 13, 2020, 04:26:48 pm »
I haven't bought disposable AA batteries in years now. LSD NiMH have gotten really good, I have Eneloop, Fujitsu and some of the Japanese made Amazon branded cells and have not had a single failure or leak since I started buying them almost a decade ago. Alkaline AAs are obsolete IMHO.

I used to be a die-hard rechargeable fan too, and went years without buying disposable alkalines. I have a collection of Eneloop, Energizer, and some Chinesium generic NiMH. But it became a chore over time to ensure I had charged ones on hand and ready. Especially for the wife. When she manage to find charged batteries, she'd never put the dead ones in a charger, so when I needed a battery I'd have none charged. So I kept alkalines on hand for her to grab when I wasn't around, and then I gradually just started using them myself out of convenience.

Also rechargeables can't handle the voltage/current loads that alkalines do, which rarely but occasionally causes an issue with devices with tight operating specs or high drain. My DSLR flash unit, for example, specifically states NOT to use rechargeable batteries, and only alkalines.
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Online coppice

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #62 on: January 13, 2020, 04:42:22 pm »
Also rechargeables can't handle the voltage/current loads that alkalines do, which rarely but occasionally causes an issue with devices with tight operating specs or high drain. My DSLR flash unit, for example, specifically states NOT to use rechargeable batteries, and only alkalines.
Quite a lot of camera equipment says not to use rechargebles, and if you put rechargeable cells in them they just don't work. They need more than 1.25V per cell to function. This means that when used with alkaline cells they stop working when the cell still has some capacity left, so these products are rather poorly designed. NiMH cells have a low internal resistance, and are capable of supplying high currents. The issue with products that can't be used with them it purely their rather marginal voltage requirements.
 

Online SilverSolder

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #63 on: January 13, 2020, 05:23:52 pm »
I haven't bought disposable AA batteries in years now. LSD NiMH have gotten really good, I have Eneloop, Fujitsu and some of the Japanese made Amazon branded cells and have not had a single failure or leak since I started buying them almost a decade ago. Alkaline AAs are obsolete IMHO.

[...]

Also rechargeables can't handle the voltage/current loads that alkalines do, which rarely but occasionally causes an issue with devices with tight operating specs or high drain. My DSLR flash unit, for example, specifically states NOT to use rechargeable batteries, and only alkalines.

I find my flash units work better (faster cycle time) with NiMH rechargeables than plain alkaline.  The rechargeables can really supply a lot of current...

My experience mirrors what is on this site:  https://scantips.com/lights/flashbatteries.html
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #64 on: January 13, 2020, 05:34:40 pm »
A couple of months ago our washing machine died. (Miele, 13 years old).
(..)
I ended up with a new Miele, £900 with a 10 year warranty = £90/yr and a fair chance that it won't break in that time and have to be scrapped.

So you made an assumption that durability == warranty length. Interesting but not very common approach, I am afraid we are not there yet. With progress, this equation becomes a limit case as manufacturers are better and better with estimating when appliance breaks and maximizing profit. Of course this always comes with some random factor but the ultimate goal (perfect design) is the one where all components fail a day after warranty period is over.

I really made an assumption that warranty length == minimum interval before I next have to buy a washing machine, which is a time consuming and expensive pain in the butt that I could well do without. I don't think I'm too far from being accurate here, unless the machine turns out to be such a total basket case that I choose to ditch it early.

Speaking as an engineer, I don't know how I'd go about designing something for a lifetime as long as 10 years without it crossing over into the realm of being actually fit for purpose, ie. likely, in practice, to go on for a great deal longer. A part which makes it to 10 years should be comfortably at the bottom of the bathtub curve in terms of failure rate by that point.

I bought the cheapest model in the range for which the 10 year warranty was available. It seemed like as objective a criterion as any.

Online coppice

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #65 on: January 13, 2020, 06:32:21 pm »
A couple of months ago our washing machine died. (Miele, 13 years old).
(..)
I ended up with a new Miele, £900 with a 10 year warranty = £90/yr and a fair chance that it won't break in that time and have to be scrapped.

So you made an assumption that durability == warranty length. Interesting but not very common approach, I am afraid we are not there yet. With progress, this equation becomes a limit case as manufacturers are better and better with estimating when appliance breaks and maximizing profit. Of course this always comes with some random factor but the ultimate goal (perfect design) is the one where all components fail a day after warranty period is over.
He clearly only considered 10 years to be a lower bound for the product's life, set by the warranty. However, it depresses me how many people now see warranty duration as the expected service life, and wouldn't even consider paying the inflated repair costs they know they will face from the vendor outside warranty.
 

Online SilverSolder

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #66 on: January 13, 2020, 06:45:32 pm »
A couple of months ago our washing machine died. (Miele, 13 years old).
(..)
I ended up with a new Miele, £900 with a 10 year warranty = £90/yr and a fair chance that it won't break in that time and have to be scrapped.

So you made an assumption that durability == warranty length. Interesting but not very common approach, I am afraid we are not there yet. With progress, this equation becomes a limit case as manufacturers are better and better with estimating when appliance breaks and maximizing profit. Of course this always comes with some random factor but the ultimate goal (perfect design) is the one where all components fail a day after warranty period is over.
He clearly only considered 10 years to be a lower bound for the product's life, set by the warranty. However, it depresses me how many people now see warranty duration as the expected service life, and wouldn't even consider paying the inflated repair costs they know they will face from the vendor outside warranty.

The repairmen tell me most modern appliances simply aren't built to be repaired - taking them apart is like extracting a rat's skeleton out through its anus and putting it back in again -  it just isn't a job anyone with a life and things to do would attempt, and it isn't affordable to pay someone to do it.
 

Offline Veteran68

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #67 on: January 13, 2020, 08:22:35 pm »
He clearly only considered 10 years to be a lower bound for the product's life, set by the warranty. However, it depresses me how many people now see warranty duration as the expected service life, and wouldn't even consider paying the inflated repair costs they know they will face from the vendor outside warranty.

I know a lot of people disagree with me on this, but this reason is why I promote the purchase of extended warranties/service plans on major appliances where even a single minor repair typically costs more (sometimes several times more) than the cost of the plan. I have had numerous appliances break shortly after the factory warranty, and had it not been for an extended service plan that cost me maybe $100 for an extra few years, I would have been faced with spending hundreds on repairs or buying something new. Now I just factor in the cost of an extended plan with any major appliance purchase of more than a few hundred bucks.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #68 on: January 14, 2020, 01:37:13 am »
Also rechargeables can't handle the voltage/current loads that alkalines do, which rarely but occasionally causes an issue with devices with tight operating specs or high drain. My DSLR flash unit, for example, specifically states NOT to use rechargeable batteries, and only alkalines.
Quite a lot of camera equipment says not to use rechargebles, and if you put rechargeable cells in them they just don't work. They need more than 1.25V per cell to function. This means that when used with alkaline cells they stop working when the cell still has some capacity left, so these products are rather poorly designed. NiMH cells have a low internal resistance, and are capable of supplying high currents. The issue with products that can't be used with them it purely their rather marginal voltage requirements.

If a product won't work with NiMH cells then I consider it defective by design, there's no excuse for that in this age.

Can't say I've had that problem with any photographic gear made in about the last 20 years though. A digital camera was the first thing I ever bought NiMH cells for, my flashes have never seen alkalines as long as I've owned them.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #69 on: January 14, 2020, 01:42:47 am »
He clearly only considered 10 years to be a lower bound for the product's life, set by the warranty. However, it depresses me how many people now see warranty duration as the expected service life, and wouldn't even consider paying the inflated repair costs they know they will face from the vendor outside warranty.

I know a lot of people disagree with me on this, but this reason is why I promote the purchase of extended warranties/service plans on major appliances where even a single minor repair typically costs more (sometimes several times more) than the cost of the plan. I have had numerous appliances break shortly after the factory warranty, and had it not been for an extended service plan that cost me maybe $100 for an extra few years, I would have been faced with spending hundreds on repairs or buying something new. Now I just factor in the cost of an extended plan with any major appliance purchase of more than a few hundred bucks.

The reason stores push extended warranties and service plans so hard is because they are very profitable. In the real world appliances just don't fail that often, if they failed enough that the warranty was a good deal then there wouldn't be any money in offering a warranty.

I've always bought used appliances with no warranty at all. I'd rather fix the thing myself than call someone up, spend time on hold, try to find a time when I'll be home so they can send someone out, be without the thing while they do that.

More than once I've fixed an appliance for someone because the warranty tech was going to be a week or more out and they preferred to pay me rather than wait. Extended warranties are a scam, it's a mathematically provable fact. It's gambling plain and simple, a few people win big, but odds are stacked in favor of the house and if you play long enough you will always lose.
 

Online coppice

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #70 on: January 14, 2020, 01:47:35 am »
He clearly only considered 10 years to be a lower bound for the product's life, set by the warranty. However, it depresses me how many people now see warranty duration as the expected service life, and wouldn't even consider paying the inflated repair costs they know they will face from the vendor outside warranty.

I know a lot of people disagree with me on this, but this reason is why I promote the purchase of extended warranties/service plans on major appliances where even a single minor repair typically costs more (sometimes several times more) than the cost of the plan. I have had numerous appliances break shortly after the factory warranty, and had it not been for an extended service plan that cost me maybe $100 for an extra few years, I would have been faced with spending hundreds on repairs or buying something new. Now I just factor in the cost of an extended plan with any major appliance purchase of more than a few hundred bucks.

Extended warranties are very profitable, so they are clearly overpriced, and I don't think they are a good deal. However, it is worth looking at the relative price of the extended warranty for different products, as it probably reflects their relative failure rates.  :)
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #71 on: January 14, 2020, 01:55:23 am »
I haven't bought disposable AA batteries in years now. LSD NiMH have gotten really good, I have Eneloop, Fujitsu and some of the Japanese made Amazon branded cells and have not had a single failure or leak since I started buying them almost a decade ago. Alkaline AAs are obsolete IMHO.

I used to be a die-hard rechargeable fan too, and went years without buying disposable alkalines. I have a collection of Eneloop, Energizer, and some Chinesium generic NiMH. But it became a chore over time to ensure I had charged ones on hand and ready. Especially for the wife. When she manage to find charged batteries, she'd never put the dead ones in a charger, so when I needed a battery I'd have none charged. So I kept alkalines on hand for her to grab when I wasn't around, and then I gradually just started using them myself out of convenience.

Also rechargeables can't handle the voltage/current loads that alkalines do, which rarely but occasionally causes an issue with devices with tight operating specs or high drain. My DSLR flash unit, for example, specifically states NOT to use rechargeable batteries, and only alkalines.

I have a system, the charger lives on a desk and charged cells are stored in the desk drawer. Whenever batteries are needed they are taken from the drawer, discharged batteries are either put in the charger or deposited in a bowl next to it. Whenever I see cells in the bowl and vacant slots in the charger I load it up and whenever I see charged cells in the charger I put them in the drawer. When there are so many in circulation that the drawer is getting low, I buy a pack or two of new cells and toss them in.

The end result is there is always a stock of charged ready to use batteries in the drawer.
 
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Offline bob91343

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2020, 06:15:41 am »
I agree that extended warranties are a poor investment.  The same is true of an automobile lease.

Rechargeable batteries aren't good for me, as I don't have enough use for them to get a statistical advantage.  NiCd cells die all too soon.  Any battery operated device always seems to run out when I need it.  And the conservation of energy applies; the wasted energy from all the recharging will add up.

Having said that, perhaps the least efficient battery is the AAA.  It's mostly case and label; the innards aren't much and the cost is about the same as the AA cell.  Alkaline is better than carbon-zinc, which is also called heavy duty.  I wonder where I can buy light duty cells.

Cells do leak.  However, I try to make a point of looking every now and then, and not leaving batteries in stuff I don't use much.  I have spent a lot of time burnishing battery contacts that have corroded.

I have had problems with US brands of cars and won't buy them any more.  The Germans and Japanese have left the Americans in the dust for too long.  While today's cars may be a different story, I am still smarting from the crap foisted upon me in years gone by.
 

Offline MyHeadHz

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2020, 05:56:14 am »

I've seen a lot less Seagate hard drives die, versus WD, Hitachi, IBM offerings,

and the WORST of the lot have been Toshiba hard drives, always an early/earlier/earliest demise,
beginning with accumulating mystery bad sectors and delays, coupled to the tune  'knock knock knocking on hard drive hell's door..'
Once again, opposite experience for me!  :)

The most reliable drives, by far, have been Hitachi/HGST and Toshiba for me. Hitachi sold the rights to manufacture to Toshiba. Once IBM spun off the "Deathstar" line to Hitachi, quality went way up. And Toshiba has maintained it. I ran a 16x500GB NAS for years without a failure running Hitachi drives. Later I upgraded to 1TB drives. I'm now looking across the office at my 8-bay QNAP NAS running 3TB Toshibas. And they're not even NAS drives, they're 7200 RPM desktop drives. 24/7 operation and that NAS gets beat to hell every day. It streams media throughout my house and backs up all the computers. According to the QNAP stats I just pulled, they're up to 4.5 years of power on hours now. Rock solid all the way.

As I mentioned before, I've bought, installed, and run well into the hundreds of hard drives. Seagate by far the worst, Hitachi/Toshiba the best, and WD a good second place.

The company BackBlaze, a cloud-based backup service similar (but better IMO) to Carbonite, today has well over 100K drives in their datacenter. At that volume they can no longer source consumer drives in the quantities and capacities they need, but just a few years ago they bought off-shelf consumer drives, even resorting to shucking external USB drives when drive shortages hit. On their blog they post drive stats/reliability studies they've done. Here's a graph from 2015 showing their failure rates:



My experience mirrors theirs exactly.

That data is quite old.  That was during their peak of drive failures after they were having issues from the tsunami in Thailand.  Yeah, they lowered their standards and let some drives out that shouldn't have been sold like that, but that was a long time ago.  The vast majority of those drives have long since been phased out because of obsolescence.  The Seagate drives are now much more reliable now.  It is worth noting that Western Digital is replacing much of their branded drives with HGST technology, which traditionally has the highest reliability.  Whether this will mean WD branded drives will become more reliable with the new tech or if they will just lower the HGST high water mark to that of WD standards remains to be seen.  The following is all Backblaze HDD data that has been released so far.

https://www.backblaze.com/b2/hard-drive-test-data.html


edit: It is also worth noting that HDD's follow a horseshoe curve for failure.  There are high rates of failure in the beginning, then a long period of low rates of failure, then they start climbing again because of EOL failures (if they aren't obsolete first).  So they all need to be replaced eventually anyway.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 06:05:51 am by MyHeadHz »
 

Online andy2000

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Re: Electrical Appliance Brands You Would Never Buy Again
« Reply #74 on: January 16, 2020, 06:20:50 am »

Let me start:

Whirlpool.



I'll second that!.  My Whirlpool dishwasher is a top end model and in 10 years has needed a new fill valve and a new main motor/pump.  It also has a poorly designed detergent dispenser that often doesn't open.  Even when it does open, it's located in a position where the detergent door hits the rack so it can only open partially.  Quite often, some, or all of the detergent gets stuck in the dispenser.  It's almost a requirement to open the door early in the cycle so the detergent dispenser door can open fully.  It takes about 5 hours to do a wash, so it's extremely annoying when you have to redo it because the detergent got stuck. 
 


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