Wednesday, 16 December 2015

"How do you like your coffee maker?" "Unbreakable!"

Last spring, our coffee maker broke down. The pump stopped working. I sent an email to a company specialised in repairing small appliances. I got no reply. I called another one only to be told "sorry, it can't be repaired because we cannot source a replacement pump for this model"

More than £200 spent in 5 years
We've had this coffee machine for 3-4 years - a Dualit, since you're asking. Replacing it with a similar model would have cost us probably more than £120. It wasn't an option for the simple reason that it was the second time in less than 5 years that we had ended up with a broken coffee machine on our kitchen counter. The previous model was from a different brand - Krupp, to be precise. We probably didn't look after coffee machine number 1 properly - not descaling it on a regular basis, I confess. However, we had been more careful with our shiny chrome coffee maker. But, apparently, that didn't make a big difference to its lifespan.

What to do? As we don't own a car, taking the beast to a Restart party locally wasn't even an option. And, anyway, if a professional repairer couldn't source a replacement pump, my chances to find one on the Internet were slim. A quick Internet search didn't take me anywhere. No Dualit replacement pump in sight. 

In a skip 
The machine remained on our kitchen table for months and months. Until we hired a van to take some garden rubbish to our recycling centre in Brent. It was an opportunity to dispose of our cumbersome coffee maker. We grabbed it. Our coffee machine ended up into a skip with lots of other small electric appliances. "I put it delicately on of some printers", my husband insured me. Well, a skip is a skip. I doubt very much that the small appliances are dismantled and the parts reused. (That probably needs investigating, by the way.)

A zero waste replacement
Anyway, it wasn't the fate I had in mind for our Dualit coffee machine. I was hoping that it was going to serve us well for quite a few years. However, the good thing is that we now have more space in our kitchen. Plus, the risk of our new coffee maker to break down is very small. We've reverted to the humble cafetière - as you call in English. The coffee it produces is just as good - if not better. We even have two replacements for it, were it to be fall on the ground and smash into pieces. This is, my friends, the beauty of a simpler lifestyle. 

P.S: Do you need to have a small electronic or electrical appliance fixed? Have a look to the Restart project website. This fantastic charity has started a repair revolution. It's raising money to be able to fix even more things in 2016. 

Restart party at the library in Willesden Green on November 7th (photo taken by me)