Appliance longevity

What are the oldest functioning electric appliances in your households? Not talking about an ‘heirloom’ gathering dust in the attic but something that actually gets used on at least a semi-regular basis.

Electric would be our washer and fridge, now 22 years old. Smaller appliance, the vacuum cleaner, 20 years old.

Dryer is also 22 years old, but it’s gas.

All are Kenmores.

Looked at new vacuums when our had to be fixed, but even the expensive ones are not as sturdy as the one I have. I guess they don’t make stuff like they used to cringes while feeling ancient.

Not long ago I threw away a toaster that we had gotten from my parents who had originally received it as one of their wedding gifts…in 1962. The spring pop-up mechanism broke at some point during the 1970’s and you had to wait until you hear a click and count to 30 and manually pop the toast up for just the right consistency.

Currently, the record holder is a Maytag washer dating from the 1980’s we got from a deceased relative (full disclosure: the washer sat unused for about a decade during that time)

We bought our dryer from the people who owned the house when we moved in 20 years ago - I’m not sure how long they had had it before then.
We just replaced our dishwasher after 20 years. It was still running fine, but pieces were falling off the front of it.

Not quite an appliance but I bought my clock radio (dual alarms) sometime in the mid-80s, and it still works fine. I got it way before they had them with CD players built in, let alone IPod or phone ports. The other day the radio alarm didn’t work and I got scared - but it turned out I just had knocked it off a station. Hope it lasts as long as I do.

Our appliances are mostly new; between my wife and I, we only owned a washer and dryer when we moved into our house after we got married, and we renovated the kitchen a few years ago, so the refrigerators, dishwasher, range, oven and the rest were all bought new in the past few years.

Her washer and dryer finally gasped their last about 4 years ago and 2 years ago, respectively, so those are pretty new. The range, oven, microwave, primary refrigerator and dishwasher date from 2013, and we kept the previous refrigerator (had to buy in 2007-2008 when we moved in).

However, my wife has a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer that predates our marriage, and as far as I’m aware, she already had it when I met her in early 2004. So that’s the oldest appliance we have; I think she may have got it about the time she graduated from college, which would make it somewhere around 17 years old.

Does a bong count? I got mine about 1978.

I had my stand mixer and rotisserie when we moved in here, so I know they’re older than 11 years. But all the household appliances, including HVAC, have been replaced within that 11 years, except for the water heater. I don’t know how old it is, but it still heats water and it doesn’t leak, so it can’t be too ancient.

We are notoriously tough on appliances. We’ve lived in our house for almost 17 years and have replaced each major appliance at least once. Small appliances also find it difficult to survive here.

I do have a working coffee maker (that I no longer use) and a working vegetable steamer that were both wedding shower gifts almost 25 years ago.

I win!

My Kitchenaid stand mixer is 60 years old - it is an original Hobart product (Kitchenaid was the name they gave their residential products). I scoured ebay for one of the originals.

Major (home) appliances were built for lifetime use - until about 1960, when “Planned Obsolescence” became a thing.

If you discard a 1970 appliance today, do not expect the one you buy will also last 45 years.

We haven’t replaced our water heater since we moved into our house in 1993. I suspect it is original to the house, which was built in 1986.

I’m the guy with the ancient refrigerator thread: Ancient Refrigerator Thread

I talked with the guy that bought it from us about a year ago, and it is their daily refrigerator. So that thing is about 66 years old, and has been in service continuously since new.

We’ve got a small fleet of Sunbeam Mixmasters that get semi-regular rotating use so they stay usable. Think the oldest is from about 1945.

I’d have to double check, but our oldest telephone in active daily service is a model 302 from the early to mid 1940s. I’ve also got a phone from 1916 or so, but it’s more a Phone of Theseus as the wood body is original, but the guts are either modern reproductions or out of a 1970s era phone.

I’ve moved enough times that nothing is all that old. Certainly nothing major.

I do have a couple multi-line landline telephones from the early 90s that get pulled out occasionally for emergency use. My oldest electric item is a 1/2" high torque power drill from about 1985. It gets used whenever I need something heavy duty. Which is maybe 2x/year. My wife has an electric kettle from the early 80s. It gets used a few times a year.

All these are as functional as the day they were new. So nothing old that’s regular use, but also nothing that’s babied or only a showpiece antique.

The plastic on the phones and the kettle is getting that old yellowish tobacco-stained look even though they’ve never been exposed to smoke or smokers. The color still makes my nose wrinkle in anticipation of that stench they don’t actually have. Strange.

  1. Sunbeam egg cooker - a wedding present from 1959.

  2. Carousel microwave bought in 1976.

Both these are in regular use.

Had to take the microwave out to a repair shop about ten years ago to get the oven light replaced. My God, that thing was heavy. Must have been almost sixty pounds.

I still use a landline telephone and a recorder answering machine that I bought over thirty years ago.

We have a freezer in the basement in continuous use since about 1986. We also use my Crock Pot from 1972.

I don’t know the exact date, but my house came with a very 80 fridge, in lovely almond and wood grain.

Just a few months ago, I replace a Kenmore gas water heater from 1985. Nobody believed me that I had a water heater that old except the plumber who actually came out and saw it.

The year before, I replaced a refrigerator that was probably from the early '80s or late '70s. I cut my electric bill nearly in half.

So I’ve replaced a lot of appliances in the last couple of years. The only really old thing I’ve got is a Sony TV set from 1985.

Do battery-powered items count? I have a cheap plastic wall clock that I bought when I moved out on my own in 1984. It’s a bit yellowed, but it still runs just fine, and I still have it. It’s gone with me through all my many moves. :slight_smile:

As for electric appliances, I now live in an apartment, and last year, I noticed that the hinges on my refrigerator, which was probably as old as the building (early 1970s) were getting rusty. I mentioned this to management, and they sent someone out to look at it. They agreed that it was on its last legs, and replaced it with a newer, no-frills model. The following month, my electric bill went down by about $20 even though I was doing nothing else differently. :cool: The dishwasher is probably original too, and even though it has rust in it, it’s the most efficient dishwasher I’ve ever used.

p.s. The refrigerator was almond, as is the dishwasher, and the stove, which needs to be replaced as well.

My furnace is original to the house, 1959. My beloved clock radio, purchased in 1968, died last year. I’m still using it as a lamp stand, and aspire to get it repaired.