So called ‘Engineers’ and crap product design

There are times when the saying ‘if you want a job doing right, do it yourself’.   However when idiots like Hotpoint make washing machines with bonded drum tanks you have to put your faith in the ‘engineer’ to fix the problem.

Long story short, my mum’s washing machine was starting to make a nasty screeching noise when it span.   I had hoped to just change the bearings but on putting the model number into various spares websites I discovered that it has a bonded drum tank.   Seriously that is a crap design!   Instead of a seal and a handful of bolts holding the tank together they’ve glued it!   So it is impossible to change the bearings!   ARGH!!!

Luckily the warranty had not quite run out.   A quick call and they’d agreed to fix it.   Shame that the single largest part of the machine was going to be thrown away for the sake of a very poor decision on the part of Hotpoint.

The first ‘engineer’ comes and confirms that the bearings are shot.   But he has no spares.   So a few days later the next ‘engineer’ comes out with the right parts and swaps the drum over.   I thought this should be a good hour and a half job but he’s gone within the hour.   Claims everything is fine.

Hurrah I thought.   Saves me fixing it and cost nothing.   HA HA!   Good joke!

The first time it gets used it spits out error F03.   ‘NTC Sensor Error’.   CRAP!   My mum calls them back and they say they can’t come out for a week.   OK, sod this, time to get my hands dirty.

The NTC is mounted next to the heater at the back.   I took the rear cover off and was greeted by this:


I think I’ve found the problem!   My mum piped up that she had seen the guy using tape.   Facepalm time!


A quick tug on the tape revealed the true extent of the problem:


So basically he ripped the wires out of the connector and tried to shove them back in.   At least this is going to be a quick fix!

The connector is IDC type which can be a faf to re-terminate.   I trimmed up the ends, cleaned out the old bits of wire from the IDC terminals and managed to re-terminate the wires using a screwdriver and a vice.   Plugged it back in and no more error!   HURRAH!

So I had a bit more of a look around the machine as I now did not trust the ‘engineer’ to have done a good job.   Only found this:


Not sure that cable tie is original equipment!   Yup, he’d broken the clip on the pressure switch and now its tied in place….

I find this utterly shambolic.   If you break something on a customer’s machine you bloody well fix it to original spec!   You don’t tape and cable tie a bodge job and hope for the best.   I am a qualified and experienced Engineer (big ‘E’) so I am expected to perform to a very high standard.   But there is no excuse for crap like this.   If you are going to be called an ‘engineer’ (small ‘e’) then at least make an effort.   And if you cock up, tell the customer!

Too add to the list of badly designed consumer goods…   My dishwasher stopped pumping about 2 months ago.   Turns out the pump impeller had fallen apart!   Its made in 2 parts and looks like it was held together by melting it with a soldering iron.   I know its more scientific than that but still…


And in 2 bits, this is how I found it!


Thankfully you can buy the impeller on its own and fix it without having to replace large and expensive parts!   Still a shame I had to fix this as the part should have been made to last.