Smart appliances stress me out. Here’s something that is supposed to be “smart” and make life run a little easier for me and everyone else, yet these appliances make me feel anything but smart.
Part of me, too, feels that these smart gizmos cater to laziness; no need to get out of our chair for any given task because we have Alexa.
“Alexa, how do you spell….”
“Alexa, change the channel.”
“Alexa, water the garden.”
I have an Alexa. Not even sure which model, but regardless, I’m not even smart enough to pair her correctly. Every time I walk in or out of a room, I hear her say, “connected to Brooke’s iPhone.” And, when I ask her something, she tells me the connectivity is incorrect.
I have shut my Alexa down.
Still, it is ever apparent that these smart devices and appliances are the way the world is going, forcing us to think technically with no physical effort. They all, supposedly, do the work for you. That is until they break down.
We have a “smart” dishwasher in our 197-year-old kitchen. Seems a bit of an oxymoron, but regardless it came highly recommended and I liked how it looked on the outside and all that jazz. I run the dishwasher at night just as I’m heading off to bed and the other night I was awakened by a steady beep from said machine. Annoyed and utterly too stubborn to put on my glasses for focus, “error 04” was blinking on the display screen. And, in the middle of the night, my way of resolving an error 04 is simply assuming I filled the dishwasher too full. No worries, I’ll put less in tomorrow. Tomorrow came and so did the same error message.
I turned my Alexa back on, and thought I “paired” her properly. I asked her, “Alexa, what does error 04 mean on a dishwasher?” She didn’t reply. In fact, she said nothing, so I don’t know if, again, it was a poor connectivity or if she was being smart by staying quiet because she didn’t know the answer. I resolved to my tried and true method of turning to Google. Turns out, error 04 meant that the fan was burned out and needed to be replaced.
Can’t be that hard of a project, I thought to myself, and after reading up a little in the owner’s manual I found online, I knew this was a project I could DIY. Trying to save a few bucks, I ordered a compatible part on Amazon. Turning off the power to the dishwasher and disconnecting the water supply, I pulled the dishwasher out and changed the fan and it literally took two minutes. Patting myself on the back, I thought I was good to go and the dishwasher was back in business, but that beep came back and same error message.
Turns out, trying to save a few bucks on the compatible part wasn’t a smart idea for my smart appliance. With all of these smart products, appliances, devices and gizmos, if a part breaks down you must turn to the manufacturer for the correct replacement. Our dishwasher is an Electrolux and I did end up ordering the part from there. The replacement process was still quick and easy, and luckily I was able to return the compatible part for a full refund.
Through my testimony here, although we are now surrounded by all of these smart things that may seem rather complex to most (myself included), those error codes and parts that need to be replaced, isn’t so daunting of a task and can make even the most novice of a DIYer feel smart.