Sunbeam Appliance Repair
But it’s hard to put a price on sentiment. There was something about the mixer that transcended dollars and cents. It was a 300-watt motorized bridge to my youth, and I had hopes of passing it on to my son, a professionally trained chef who developed his own affinity for the mixer.
Sentiment aside, there were practical obstacles. I contacted KitchenAid customer service via live chat, and was abruptly informed that the company offers neither repairs nor stocks parts for ancient mixers. She suggested I try authorized service centers, which also turned out to be a dead end. Local independent shops expressed little interest either.
But before calling it quits, I began searching out so-called vintage-appliance-repair websites, leaving a trail of phone and e-mail messages to shops across the country. One responded. Richard Nelson of NelsonEzy.com, in Casselberry, Fla. Nelson has built a business repairing and refurbishing iconic kitchen appliances like Sunbeam Mixmasters, Waring blenders, Hamilton Beach milkshake makers and, of course, KitchenAid mixers.
After describing the problem, Nelson was confident it was fixable, so I prepaid the flat $150 repair charge, which included return freight. It cost me another $40 to ship the unwieldy 32-lb. mass of metal to Florida. That $190 was almost as much as the price of a new, entry-level KitchenAid.
Weeks past. Then months. About 100 days, to be precise. Nelson apologized for the delay, saying he’d been swamped with work. I guess there’s no shortage of consumers who want to hold onto the past or simply feel that they just don’t make ‘em like they used to.
I asked what the problem was with the mixer. Nelson said it was a minor glitch: The brush springs needed replacement because they lost their springiness. They lacked the necessary tension for the motor brushes to make adequate electrical contact. Nelson also cleaned and polished the armature contacts and speed controls, removed and replaced all the old grease, and completely lubricated the unit. Overall, he said, “the mixer is in great condition.”
I'm happy to say it's back to work and running as smoothly as ever.
I was proud I’d taken such good care of it all these years, and am confident the mixer has enough life left in it to give my son another 40 years to make his own baked good—and memories.