Tag Archive for 'Appliances'

Dyson Sues Vax over Vac

According to an Appliance Magazine article sourcing the Guardian, Dyson is taking legal action against Chinese-owned Vax over its Mach Zen model, claiming that they infringed on the registered design of the original Dyson vacuum from fifteen years ago.

Vax has declined to comment on the case.

This is not the first time Dyson has defended what it considers to be its intellectual property and design rights.  In 2006 they won their claim against Qualtex for selling vacuum cleaner parts that were visually identical to Dyson parts.

How to Replace Washing Machine Inlet Valve

There’s another great repair article over at acmehowto.com about replacing the inlet valve on your washing machine.

Of course, never attempt such a repair yourself without following all safety precautions, like unplugging the washer.

First it discusses what exactly an inlet valve is, and what can happen if the valve is blocked or if its solenoid isn’t functioning.

It discusses how to identify it, where on the washing machine to find it, and how to disconnect it.  It gives advice on the hoses, the terminals, and the wiring.  Once the valve is off, it tells you how to connect the new one and make sure it’s working properly.

If you need to replace your washing machine’s inlet valve, read this article.

Whirlpool Launches Rebate Finder Online

Whirlpool has launched an online tool for consumers to learn more about what rebate programs are available to them under the “Cash for Appliances” program for their particular state.

Entering in a zip code and appliance type will provide consumers with their specific rebate amount.  It will also provide rebate amounts from any local utility companies, if offered.

Read more about it here.

US Government Releases Smart Grid Standards

The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), part of the US Commerce Department, has released its framework of standards and strategies for the upcoming smart grid phenomenon.

This article from Appliance Magazine provides the link to the NIST publication.  To summarize, it includes a reference model to help actually design the smart grid itself, a set of 75 standards, a process to revise or add standards, and a strategy to handle security issues for the online component of the grid.

Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Has Theme

The Second Space Age is the new theme for Design Lab 2010, an initiative of Electrolux.

Undergraduate and graduate industrial design students are encouraged to find new ways to design appliances that take into account the decreased living space people have in these modern times.

As the population explodes over the next 40 years, we will need new ways of washing our clothes and storing our perishables.  Enter Design Lab, which cultivates young minds and fresh ideas.

Read more about it at this article.

China to Receive GE Smart Grid Technology

With a government tailor-made for smart grid technology, the Chinese city of Yangzhou will be the staging ground for GE to introduce its smart grid to the region.

Needless to say, China’s demand for energy has increased dramatically in recent years, so the advent of this new technology holds quite a lot of promise.  GE will have a demonstration center in Yangzhou displaying all of the major components of a smart grid system: the smart meter, compatible thermostats, new smart appliances.

Read more about it, once again, at Appliance Magazine.

Whirlpool to Produce One Million Smart-Grid Appliances in Two Years

Whirlpool has committed to producing one million dryers by the end of 2011 that are compatible with the emerging smart grid technology.

After an additional four years, by the end of 2015, all of Whirlpool’s electronic appliances will be smart-grid friendly.

They are currently promoting this commitment at the International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.  They are exhibiting one of their smart-grid dryers this year.

You can read more here.

GE announces new Appliance and Lighting Division

According to Appliance Magazine, GE has confirmed that it is creating a new Appliance division in order to expand its growth.

The new Division, GE Appliances and Lighting (also covering those products) is effective with the new year.  The division will remain headquartered in Louisville, KY.

How to Repair a Washing Machine

I found a great article on how to troubleshoot and repair a standard washing machine.  As the article’s introduction points out rather succinctly, there are a lot of parts and pieces to a washing machine, which makes diagnosis of a particular problem difficult.

The article covers basic checks, cleaning the washer, disassembling it, checking the various parts to the machine (switches, timers, valves, the tub, agitator, belts, pulleys, and the motor), and water-related issues.

The article contains plenty of details and even the occasional picture to help you on your repair quest.

As always, make sure you take the proper precautions and unplug the machine, detach the water hoses and the grounding wire.

Good luck!

Smart Grid Systems Will Ship 17 Million Units by 2014

Smart Grid systems are soon to be all the rage, as is apparent by the amount of press coverage the topic has received in recent times.  The latest news is that 17 million units are expected to ship in 2014, flooding a fledgling market despite fears of an ongoing recession.

The vast majority of this market is going to come from the utilities offering packages for this new technology.  Standalone units are expected to hold only a small piece of the market share.

Whatever we may think of this technology, we can all agree that it’s on its way.  Millions of homes will have automated grids filled with appliances that can communicate with the utilities, feeding data back to the consumer.

Personally, as impressed as I am, I will be infinitely more impressed when my washer informs me that I’ve accidentally thrown in one of my wife’s dry-clean-only dresses.  I can’t wait until my dryer tells me that it refuses to dry one of my wife’s sweaters, because it will shrink.  Imagine your fridge saying, “Hey you!  Please throw that milk away.  It expired last week!”

Now THAT will be a smart appliance.