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December 30, 2010

Comments

Gary

When my 20 year old Maytag washer or dryer break, I'll have them repaired rather than replacing them.

A few ago, Consumer Reports tested a front-loading washer on which the door seal turned all of the clothes black. I'd hate to see what happens when the door seal on a front-loader wears out -- water all over the place, I suppose.

Gary

Another example of government mandates gone awry: stop/start technology for cars. The way this works is that every time you stop, the engine turns off; when you need to go, the engine restarts. Unfortunately, the battery technology to do this with reliability and longevity does not yet exist. Like push-button start, cable free (fly-by-wire) throttle, electric steering, cylinder deactivation, and many other questionable technologies, stop/start will become commonplace in a few years, whether you want it or not.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/244091-why-energy-storage-investors-must-understand-newton-s-laws?source=hp_editors_picks

Paul

Believe it or not some of the best washers/dryers are made in New Zealand, by a company called Fisher and Paykel:
http://www.fisherpaykel.com/

They are sold at Sears, Lowes, ...

dorpmuller

Oh, don't get me started on low flow toilets either...

Angelo

Dorpmuller: I hate to do this, but I have to get you started----please keep the Feds and EPA out of my bathroom. Low flow toilets are ridiculous. Sure, 1.9 gallons instead of 3.5 or more, but when you have to flush them 3 times to get rid of waste, you're not really saving water. Low flow toilets are "crappy." We bought a house built in 1974 and two of the toilets appear to be original----one American Standard and one Briggs. Even if we remodel the bathrooms, I'm keeping those toilets.

Angelo

Oh and on the washers----the repairman was right on target. Old top loaders, Maytag, Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore----the oldies are worth keeping and repairing. They keep going and going and going. 35 years is realistic. I bought LG front loaders and so far, so good----but I expect to replace them in 10 years. Again, let's please resign the EPA to filming commercials with people crying over litter on a highway---let's reverse this trend of them deciding what my next car will be like and what underpowered, overpriced appliances will aggravate me in my home.

Doug T.

Angelo -- I understand your frustration, but neither of the regulations you mention originated with the EPA. One comes from the Department of Energy, the other directly from Congress.

The washing machine regulations are from the Department of Energy, not EPA. There is no restriction on the amount of water that washing machines use, but there is a Federal standard for energy consumption (note that rules are stricter for appliances bearing the "Energy Star" label):

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=clotheswash.pr_crit_clothes_washers

However, new regulations go into effect with the New Year which will, for the first time, restrict water usage with all washing machines.

Note that the California Energy Commission is currently petitioning the DoE for stricter regulations in California, which would essentially outlaw top-loading machines in that state.

The toilet flushing regulations are from Congress, not EPA. They were included in the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Also, I am not aware that EPA has ever produced television commercials. The famous "crying Indian" public service announcement was produced by "Keep America Beautiful" and the "Ad Council", two private organization. Interestingly, the star of those commercials, "Iron Eyes Cody" was not actually an American Indian. He was originally named Espera Oscar de Corti and was the child of Sicilian immigrants.

Angelo

Doug: I wasn't sure of the extent of the EPA's involvement, which is why I covered myself by saying "Feds and EPA." Also, if you re-read my post, I didn't say that the EPA produced any commercials in the past. I simply said we should have them resigned to producing commercials about littering (i.e. doing nothing else) in the future. If you Google/Bing a list of EPA personnel/people who have headed the EPA, you will find out how closely they are aligned with the politicians you speak of who have passed these laws. Also, do you believe the EPA has anything to do with CAFE standards?

Doug T.

The CAFE standards were enacted by Congress. The EPA developed the testing and evaluation protocol. EPA also does the actual testing. The Secretary of Treasury appointed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration responsible for maintaining the standards and handling exceptions.

Again, California has special rules in this area.

I guess my point is that your frustration is best directed to Congress on these matters -- these are not instances of out-of-control agencies, but rather of agencies implementing Congress' will.

Angelo

Doug: I agree with you----to the extent that these agencies might be or are out of control, we have to hold accountable the body that created and empowers them. I'm visiting my sister (a teacher) for New Years Eve. I noticed an NEA magazine and I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. Regarding government: Since the Department of Education was created, what tangible positive results have we seen in the performance of our children in public schools?

Angelo

By the way, I've heard good and bad---but mostly good---about the Maytag "Centennial" top loaders. They are apparently the closest thing out there to old school washer/dryers and they are relatively inexpensive.

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