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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Throw Away or Repair?

Can this microwave be saved?
U.S. landfills are reporting a drop of 30% in discards. Maybe people are getting things fixed instead of consigning them to the rubbish heap. I’ve got a microwave that I’d like to get fixed and am wondering if anyone in the Neighborhood knows of a trustworthy repair shop that works on microwaves. It used to be that rather than tossing appliances, shoes, clothes, etc. people took them somewhere to be repaired. The current economic situation is reminding people that their parents got things fixed. The problem is that a lot of repair shops are gone due to retirement or lack of customers.

Two summers ago our grandson microwaved a sponge into ashes in our old Litton microwave. I loved that microwave. I’d had it since 1985 and it had done yeoman duty, being repaired along the way and surviving my mother actually catching a potato on fire in it. We were out of state at the time or what happened next could have been averted. Because the burned sponge made a terrible odor my children thought the microwave was not salvageable. They took it to Goodwill.

When they called and told me what had happened and what they’d done I was terribly upset. I told them that if they were going to replace it they had to get another Litton because Litton made the very best microwaves. That’s when we discovered that Littons are no longer made. Apparently they were too well made. The children replaced my microwave with a cute little white job with a childproof lock. The problem is that in Littons it is the microwaves that revolve, not the food. There’s no plate which makes for easy clean up and best of all it will hold a 9X13 pan of whatever you like. The new microwave holds a 9X13 pan just fine, but it can’t rotate. The pan just bangs on the inside of the door.

I had one more avenue. My best friend’s mother had owned a Litton. When she died her husband fell heir to it and my friend let him know that if he decided to move or otherwise get rid of the Litton to let her know that I wanted it. After a year and a half the day arrived. Unfortunately the microwave is not operating. It just won’t turn on. Step-father had moved it to the garage when my friend found it and saved it from a fate like mine. Now it sits in my garage awaiting my finding the proper repair shop to take a look and see if it can be repaired. If anyone knows of a good repair shop in Tacoma, let me know as I would like to give this old Litton another chance at life.

As a nation I hope we cease being a throw-away society. I hope that there will be a place for people who like to tinker to repair items that still have some life left in them.


Lorraine Hart said...

Ah, you bring back memories Stephanie! Funky little repair shops...the man who used to walk through neighbourhoods, ringing a bell so you'd know he was ready to sharpen your knives or scissors. I even remember the rag-man with his pony and cart!

I saw a piece on the news about shoe-repair shops doing hopping business. I hope you find someone to help with the microwave!

Stephanie Frieze said...

I remember going to the drug store with my dad to test the tubes from the television or taking the radio to the repair shop. It would be nice if Americans were able to work fixing things instead of us thowing things away so others working in sweatshops could make more stuff.

Kim Thompson said...

Stephanie: Give Jim Jensen a call:

Here is Jim Jensen's number.

He's an appliance repair guy. He's very kind and quite fair. He fixed our refrigerator twice and we are very pleased with his work. My in-laws have used him too and they are pleased as well and recommend him readily.

Not sure if he services Gig Harbor, but hey, he may have some suggestions. Good luck!

Stephanie Frieze said...

Thanks, Kim. I'd be happy to take the microwave someplace if he's willing to try to get it running.

Kim Thompson said...

Yeah, give him a buzz! Good luck!

Mizu Sugimura said...

I have a microwave that isn't working up to par because I inadvertently lost one of the three pads that hold a rotating glass tray. When I went online to search for a replacement - the listed cost was something like $25.00 plus shipping to replace the entire part. In my mind, this is a bit steep considering all that's missing is a foam-type pad less than 1/2 inch long. No doubt this is where "progress" and I don't see eye to eye.