When you think about it your home is equipped with a whole range of electrically powered appliances. They have made your life more luxurious and comfortable. In many places even in the 1st world in 2013 many of these things are a luxury. In some rural areas of Europe, for example, there are many villages where piped water into a house is a luxury which most houses do not have. Where people bathe in tubs of warm water some of which may have been heated on wood burning stoves. These stoves are used for their cooking even though bottles of gas are freely available. As for water borne sewage, that is unheard of. Most have out houses or, if they have running water, they have to make do with septic tanks and periodically have a “honey wagon” come and pump it out.
Electrical power is available but is used for the cable TV which is available but is expensive so all lights are religiously switched off. This would seem extremely primitive to us in Orange county, California where the roll out of technology has been astronomic. All homes automatically have running water, water borne sewage, electrical current and modern refrigerators, cookers and ovens.
Furthermore a large range of appliances are available and selling all making the life of a house holder more dependent on them. Let us briefly consider items we now regard as essential for normal life.
Firstly there is the refrigerator. Because refrigeration is a relatively simple technology appliances designed in the 50’s work on the same principles as those designed last week. The exchange of heat from within is achieved by evaporating compressed gas into a sealed panel within. This pulls the heat which is then compressed and the heat radiated outside. The original gas used was ammonia but safer inert gasses have been developed. Refrigerators are relatively trouble free and even have an automatic de-frosting cycle so with normal care and ensuring that the radiator is kept clean and has airflow there is little else to be done.
Electric kettles are a similarly accepted essential. These, like steam irons and other small hand held appliances, eg beaters. Food processors, toasters, carving knives and the like, are convenient and require little further than the most rudimentary care. Items that accumulate scale can easily be cleaned off using vinegar or some other de-scaling medium such as ascetic acid and left to react for a few hours. After rinsing they should be as good as new. Many of these items are relatively cheap so should they fail it is usually discarded to be replaced with a new model.
But when we come to Washing machines, dish washers and tumble driers we enter a new ball park. These are capital items and require maintenance form time to time. Door seals and vee belts can and often do fail. There are various valves and heating elements to be considered so when one needs repairs it is just as well that the appliance repair center in Orange county is available to come, at a reasonable fee, and rapidly service your appliance for you.