How long should a TV / iron / vacuum cleaner last?
Until a couple of years ago, my mum was the proud owner of a vacuum cleaner that was older than I was. Back in 1964, when she bought the Hoover Constellation, I bet she expected it would last a good 10 years – not the 45+ it actually managed before it finally choked on a Cornflake.
But these days, it’s different. My electrical items give up the ghost faster than I can buy them. Latest case in point, our 46″ Sony Bravia television, less than five years old – and, honestly, quite an investment buy – which is good now for nothing more than frying eggs on its hot, pictureless screen.
I still buy things expecting them to last at least 10 years, but the reality these days is sadly different. Here’s the average life expectancy of electric items in my house:
Iron: 9-12 months (the expensive ones break as quickly as the cheap ones, so now I just get the cheapest. It’s all such a waste).
Vacuum cleaner: 2 years, plus it’ll limp along for another year with the tubing held together with masking tape. Even the Dyson met this fate.
TV: 5 years. Seriously?
Computer printer: 3 years.
Hand-held vacuum cleaner: 1-2 years before it has as much suction as dead octopus.
Washing machine: 5 years (but my mum’s Hotpoint ran for about 30 years).
Is it me, is it a sign of the times – or are we sold lemons in Dubai?