The term equipment is generally used for those appliances used as a tool for doing something. That means it enables one to do the job better and with ease. Mechanization of the home is one of the significant developments happening to our homes in this century in spite of large number of people being unemployed. Manufacturers of household Appliances are constantly improving their products making them easier to operate and greatly reduce the homemaker’s expenditure of time and energy.
With the advent of multitudes of household equipment, new problems face the homemakers. She must learn to manage and utilize these resources in a manner that will maximize their contribution to the welfare and satisfaction of her family and herself.
Management of equipment includes the proper selection, care and operation of all pieces from spoon to refrigerators. Therefore a homemaker needs to know about her equipment since she spends more time using her equipment.
Need of Appliances
Efficient use of equipment includes the correct selection, arrangement, operation and care of appliances so that the homemaker may accomplish the maximum amount of work with the minimum of effort in the shortest possible timer The advantages of present day technology applied to home is in terms of better equipment which lends itself to convenience in household task performance. Any piece of equipment from a Spoon to a cooking range is designed to do one or more particular jobs. The appliance or tool that will be best for you will be the one that does the job you have to do the way you Want it done. The commonly used appliances used by the urban and rural homemakers are discussed below
Cooking Gas Stove
Gas stoves are popular cooking appliances used today in many homes. They use the gaseous fuels which have the advantage of extreme flexibility, that is, they can be burned under a great variety of conditions almost instantaneously by manipulation of a valve. They are miscible in all proportions with the air required for combustion.
For domestic use, liquefied petroleum gas is generally supplied in steel cylinders which are delivered and fitted to the burners by means of rubber tubing. The burners are specially designed for efficient burning of the gas. The burner head has a number of small holes around it to provide primary air for the combustion. The appliance has a tap in front of the burner which can be adjusted to ‘ON’ ‘OFF’ or ‘MEDIUM’ position. There is a valve on top of the cylinder. The gas is released from the cylinder to the burner by opening this cylinder valve. The pressure regulator brings down the pressure of this gas to a working level. The regulator is located next to the gas outlet of the cylinder
To Operate, the cylinder valve is first opened and then 9 lighted match applied to the burner, while the appliance valve is opened simultaneously. The gas ignites and the flame could be adjusted medium or high as desired by adjusting the appliance tap. While cooking, the tap is turned on full to begin with and as soon as the contents of the utensil boil the dame is reduced such that the contents just remain boiling.
To extinguish the name, the appliance is turned 0ff. The cylinder valve also must be closed whenever the gas is not in use for safety reasons.
Selection of gas burners is purely based on its high efficiency and heating rate. The burners are simple, attractive and easy to clean. They are made of steel chromium plated or enamel painted or stainless steel well designed, durable and neatly constructed burners ensures complete combustion with no smoke. Appliance is durable, needs servicing every year for cleaning the burner heads and checking leakage. Heat output can be rapidly adjusted over a wide range and any number of intermediate positions are possible. No attention is required except keeping away draughts. The gas is nontoxic under ‘ normal conditions. Gas burner saves time and energy since it cooks fast. It is clean and convenient. Cost of fuel is high, but hardly there is any maintenance cost.
Women‘s activities in the house revolve around the kitchen stove and the family happiness can be increased with improvements in the design of the stove by reducing the fuel intake and nuisance of smoke and soot. Smokeless cooker relieves women from eye and headache due to smoke and even uses less fuel than average cooker . Three vessels could be placed on it simultaneously. The heat can be controlled with the draft system and damper. Smoke is controlled and regulated through a chimney provided at the other end of oven right up to outside of the roof of the kitchen.
Pressure cookers are designed so that steam is held within the pan, creating pressure. This raises the temperature to above the normal boiling point and shortens the cooking time. Foods are cocked at approximately 121°C, the steam pressure of 15 Lbs’ per squire inch is approximately maintained.
There are two types of pressure cookers available in the market. One type has flexible cover that can he slipped under the rim of the pan pressed into position, and held there by a hook attachment on the handle others have an outside cover that slides into grooves on the rim of the pan and locks into position . A rubber gasket aids in’ sealing the cover tightly.
Pressure cookers are pans made of aluminum, cast or pressed and of stainless steel. They vary in size from 4 to 12 liters capacity depending upon the manufacturer.
The steam escapes through a vent tube. A weight gauge placed over the vent controls the pressure. The pressure is maintained by regulating the amount of heat. A safety device in the cover,a plug of fusible alloy or of synthetic rubber automatically releases excess pressure or reacts if the cooker goes dry. This is designed to melt or blow out if the pressure becomes too high.
The raw food and a little water is placed in the cooker, the lid is clamped in place and the heat turned on. Soon the water boils into steam. The steam pushes the air out of the cooker through a small hole in the cover. When all the air is expelled,the equipment is ready for pressure cooking. A small valve in the cover closes the hole and prevents steam from escaping. Since there is no way for the steam to escape the temperature is raised above 1OO‘C. In a, few minutes the food is cooked. But the cooker has to be cooled by pouring cold water over the lid
which will cause the steam to be cooled into water again. Now the pot can be opened safely. The pressure must always be completely down before the cover is removed. Some menu fractures caution against cooking in a pressure cooker any foods that form or thicken since it might clog the vent.
1. It is important to keep the air vent clean. Any obstruction in it may cause the pressure to build up without a means for the steam to escape.
2 The rubber gasket should also be kept clean free from food particles and grease.
3 The gasket needs to be replaced when it can no longer make a tight seal.
4 Due to constant use, the cooker may become discolored. these stains can be easily removed by boiling a weak solution of vinegar and thoroughly cleaning it after using it every time..
A simple cooker is a simple device, but is very effective in saving energy by cooking items simultaneously with the same amount of heat input.
A simple cooker has three parts.
1. A tall vessel with a lid.
2. A perforated disc which is placed at the bottom of the vessel.
3. Three compartments which fit one on top of the other.
Rice, Pulses and vegetable could be cooked simultaneously in this cooker. Wash rice and add sufficient water in the first container. The same way, wash the Pulses and add two measure es of water to it. Place cut vegetable in the top container. There is no need to add any water for vegetables, since they contain enough water and is cooked by the steam generated from the water placed at the bottom of the cooker. Place the three compartments in the box one on top of the other. Close the lid and place on the stove. After boiling the hammy be reduced.
I. The total cooking time is reduced. It takes only about 30-40 minutes depending on the amount cooked.
2. Constant attention is not required
3. The fuel requirement is reduced to about half compared to the situation when everything is cooked separately.
Hay Box Cooker .
Hay box is a fuel less cooker which can be effectively used by the rural women. It depends on the principle that materials which entangle air in their meshes allow very little heat to escape and are bad conductors of heat. A box lined with such material, therefore will retain the heat of any thing put into it. If Food at boiling point is immediately placed in the box it will remain practically at that temperature for a very long time. A large wooden box of 60cm x45cm X45cm or any convenient size available could be used for this purpose. The box is tilled with hay forms a hay box Prepare a pillow of jute
almost of the size of the box and till it up with the hay which Will work as a perfectly insulated box. Take care that pillow is well fitted on the box. When a good foundation has been made. Place a vessel or vessels preferably without long handles in the positions they will occupy. The pot of reboiled food is firmly placed in the hay and covered with the pillow of hay. The food will cook within one to two hours with the retained heat. Two or three items can be cooked together in this box depending upon its size. First of all, take any food item you _wish to cook like rice or Pulses , wash and clean it up for rice and khichdi, just double the amount of water required for the item to be cooked. In order to cook rice, boil the required amount of water separately. When water starts boiling, add the rice and a pinch of salt and cover it. After 4 minutes, remove the utensil from the fire and make space for it in the hay box and put the utensil. Keep the lid of the utensil closely tight, otherwise the steam will pass out and the item will remain uncooked. After putting the utensil in the box, place the pillow over it and shut the box. It takes 15 minutes for vegetables 30 minutes for rice and about 1 hour for Pulses to cook.
This method is very useful for cooking rice, porridge and anything requiring slow cooking. A hay box is most useful when gas is used for cooking as it will continue to cook things otherwise requiring a small gas to keep them going. It saves fuel as no fuel is required in the hay box. The food remains warm for 5 to 6 hours. There are no chances of burning and ‘boiling over’ of the food.
The following points should be kept in mind for effective working of the box.
1. Less water should be used since it is not boiled away.
2. The food should boil for several minutes before being placed in the box. This ensures that all the food is at boiling temperature.
3. Care should be taken to see that steam should not be allowed to leak from the utensil.
4. The boxes perform best at low altitudes where boiling temperature is highest.
5. Good insulating materials should be used. Suggested wall thickness for box cookers are
Cork 5 cm.
Sawdust/woodshavings 13 cm.
Raw cotton 10 cm.
Fibre glass 10 cm.
Chaff of rice 15 cm.
Hay 15 cm.
6. The my box should be kept in the sun frequently So the moisture tn the straw is removed.
Pressure stoves arc an improvement over the wick stoves. This appliance (Fig. 12.6) consists of a burner tap and a tank at the bottom for the kerosene. The tank is fitted with pump, a lid and an air key. There is spirit cup at the center of the stove and a nipple on top of it. In general, pressure stoves consume less of kerosene and produce a hotter flame than the wick stove. To operate the stove, the tank is tilled with diesel oil to about two thirds of its capacity. Then tighten the tank lid and release the air key. Place an asbestos soaked in kerosene in the spirit cup and light it. When the lighter is almost burnt out, lighten the air key and the stove is pumped 4 to 6 full strokes till the flame is intense enough for cooking.The kerosene oil passing through the previously heated burner is gamified and is mixed with air as it passes through the nipple.
The air mixed gas is burned with an intense heat and blue atmospheric flame Some of the heat generated is conducted down the vaporizing tubes of the burner to the bass ensuring adequate vaporization prior to combustion. The roaring sound associated with this burner can be eliminated by fitting an outer cap over the nipple. The cap has a number of small holes through which the air vapor mixture can pass and get ignited. The flame can be regulated and therefore the heat output can be varied within limits. To increase the name more air is pumped in and to reduce the flame, air is released by opening the pressure release valve to the required extent. If the valve is kept open for sometime, the flame gets extinguished. While not in use, the valve must always remain Open. The fuel tank must not be filled to the brim any time. Adequate space must be let on the top for air pressure. The stove should not be operated with less than approximately 250 c.c. of kerosene in the tank.
The pressure stoves are not easy to keep clean. Vapourisers and washers on pressure stoves require occasional replacement. Pressure stoves need pricking, priming and pumping , before they enable it causes soot on lighting. The heat Can not be controlled minutely. It is too hot for simmering purposes. It needs to be pumped up from time to time. The Game can be put off rapidly. Faulty use produce smoke and soot.
Wick stoves are basically like kerosene lamps they are of three types.
l. Single wick.
2. Multiple prick and
3. Gravity type.
in all cases the oil rises by capillary action from the container to the burner through a wick, preferably of asbestos. Short wicks are better than long ones to draw up the kerosene.The wick can be a circular wick or a strand of multiple wicks which can be raised or lowered as desired to light, extinguish or regulate the name.
Wick stove consists of a brass tank at the bottom with a central tube and two perforated sleeves surrounding the wick carrier. This is covered with an enamel burner cover and on top there is an aluminum grate to hold the utensil. There is a regulator just above the tank to adjust the flame. The tank is first filled with kerosene oil and then the regulator is moved to the extreme left. The burner is slightly lifted and the wick is lighted and then the burner is lowered. A high level of oil should be maintained in the container to ensure efficient blue flame. To extinguish the flame, the regulator is turned to the extreme right and the burner is removed. In this type the flame is controlled as required.
In the multi wicks stoves, the wick disc carrying a number of wicks fits into the fuel carrier so that the lower ends of the wicks dip into the kerosene. There are two perforated sleeves, one inside and the other outside the wicks. These serve to admit the necessary air for the combustion particularly the primary air. Just above the chamber, there is a wick control to adjust the flame and on the tap, a metallic grate is placed to hold the utensil.
To operate, the whole burner is removed and the wick control adjusted to raise the wicks. The wick(s) is lighted and the burner firmly replaced. The flame is regulated by operating the wick control. The kerosene oil on the wick first burn with a luminous flame but soon the kerosene vapours formed pick up enough oxygen from the air in the burner and the mixture burn: with a blue flame. The wicks need constant trimming
and cleaning and frequent replacement. it is easy to light the stove but requires sometime to give the proper flame. Heat output can be varied but only to a samall extent,all too often pan bottoms become black. Wick stoves are slow for boiling. it can be put off easily But sometimes it produces smoke and soot.
Mixers consist of a base which houses the motor and controls, a glass or plastic food container that fits on the basc and a cover for the container .The cutting assembly has several sharp steel blades. It is either attached to the bottom of the food container or is removable. Sticky or thick foods are particularly difficult to remove from the blades. When blades are permanently attached, cleaning is done by adding warm water, some detergent and turning on the blender. A removable cutting assembly simplifies cleaning somewhat. On sonic of the models, the provision for speed control is also made winch helps in avoiding over blending. The motor is of speed 30 h.p. motor which 0perates both on A.C. and D.C. Some containers are provided with a pouring lip and with a graduated scale. In some containers, there is a hole which could be opened and closed to facilitate the addition of the food without removing the lid. Some containers have a comfortable handle to hold.
There are two types of beaters commonly found in the market.
l . Whisk.
2. Rotary beater.
Whisks are used chiefly for introducing air into egg whites. The wisk is effective in incorporating large amount of air and giving maximum volume through a somewhat coarse texture. It may be made of many fine wires, each wire forming a long oval and all the wires brought together at the top to make a handle. The number and fineness of the wires determines the effectiveness of the whisk. Beating with wisk takes longer and requires more physical effort. Hence the handle should be comfortable.
Rotary beater is generally used for making dough for the cakes, ice cream, and for churning milk. A good rotary beater has sturdy yet relatively thin sharp blades which fit close to the bottom of the bowl. Eight blades are more efficient than four blades.
A drive wheel, Centrally supported is preferable. This makes contact with the two pinion wheels that turn the shafts and cutting blades. Nylon bearings make beating quieter and easier. With each complete turn of the drive wheel, the blades should make four or five revolutions, thus the beater is doing four or live times as much work as the user. A single shaft extending from the top of each set of blades to the gears makes the beater easier to keep clean than if the blades extend to the gears.
Since heaters are difficult to wash and dry thoroughly. a rust resistant material such as stainless steel should be used for the blades. The handle should be of moisture resistant materials that will not break and chip. The top handle should be comfortable to grasp and Operate for sometime. The handle on the drive wheel should be long enough so that lingers and knuckles will not come in contact with the drive wheel.
In some boaters, the joints are not tight enough. The crevices in the joints accumulate dirt, and they make it difficult to clean. The gears may not be covered and hence are unhygienic because of the accumulation of dirt. Sometimes the heaters are not operated smoothly.
Non Stick Cooking Vessels
A coating is now being used for the interiors of cooking utensils. Nipple is the trademark for the nonstick fluorocarbon resin finish that is used for cookware. The finish is applied in two coats over a specially treated metal. It is used for pans fry pans, kadais and also on baking utensils. This finish is available brown and black color. The finish makes a pan so slick that most foods will not stick to it and food residue is easily removed by water and a soft Sponge or dish cloth. Fat or grease can be used but they are not required to keep food from sticking. The soft finish can be damaged rather easily and metal forks or spatulas should be used with care. Securing pads and abrasives should not be used.
Refrigeration is defined as simply the cooling of food below the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere for the purpose of preserving the food. By preserving food, one can delay the growth of bacteria. keep fresh appearance for perishable food items and eventually save time and energy of homemaker in meal preparation.
Initially cooling was done by ice boxes or by keeping things on moist surfaces. Now, with the advancement of technology cooling is entirely replaced by refrigerating mechanisms, the energy of which is supplied by an electric motor or gas
Refrigerator cabinets are made of sheet steel welded to form an inner and outer shell with insulation in between. An efficient insulating material must be heat and moist resistant, non destructible and odorless . Fiberglass is widely used as insulating material in refrigerators. The door should be as well insulated as the walls. Refrigerator should have hush door construction. The opening is lined both on door and on cabinet with a breaker strip of plastic. A gasket around the outer edge of the door makes a tight seal for the cabinet. A continuous magnet is sometimes embedded in the gasket to hold the door tight on all four sides. The lining should have rounded corners and unions to simplify cleaning and the bottom should be slightly depressed to catch liquids accidentally spilled.
Shelves should be made of corrosion resistant metal rods or bars, near enough together to hold small storage dishes without likelihood of their tipping but spaced widely enough apart for efficient air circulation. Stainless steel is material most frequently used but some shelves are of anodized aluminum . A single glass shelf over the crisper drawers is found in some refrigerators They are sometimes replaced by plastic sheets. In some models the shelves are adjustable. The refrigerator may be finished both inside and out in porcelain enamel often white ll] colour (Fig 12.10).
Principle of Working
When food at room temperature is placed within the refrigerator, the warmth it contains passes into the surrounding air and is carried by convection currents to the cooling unit where the heat cause the refrigerant to change from a liquid to a gas. The heat absorbed to bring about this change of state from liquid to gas is known as latent heat of vapourisation. This heat is used in separating the molecules of the liquid which are packed more closely together than are gas molecules.
When the gas is again liquefied, it gives off an amount of ‘ heat equal to that which was absorbed, but this process is carried on outside the refrigerator cabinet.
Refrigeration is accomplished by using a cooling agent to extract heat from an insulated area, and then dissipating it. The agent that absorbs the heat is called the refrigerant. The refrigerant changes from liquid to gas or from gas to liquid as the cycle takes place. Air circulates in the refrigerator because of the alternate heating and cooling of the air. As cold air takes on heat from the foods, it rises and passes over the freezing unit, where it cools and then circulates downward to pick up more heat. As it removes heat from food, it also removes moisture, which is then deposited as frost when it comes in contact with the cold surface of the freezing unit.
A refrigerator performs most efficiently when there is little or no frost coating. In general it is best to defrost before more than a Quarter of an inch of frost accumulates on the freezing unit. A refrigerator should be placed in as cool a location as possible out of direct sunlight and away from the heating equipment. The refrigerator Should be leveled, so that the door may seal correctly. Leveling screws are usually provided at the two lower front corners. If the refrigerator is not in level there tends to be vibration causing wear on the motor.
Use of the Refrigerator
Milk and other animal products should always be kept at 40°F or below. Egg and small fruits are given the next coldest place. Salad vegetables occupy space near the fruits. In the warmest location, strong flavoured vegetables and fruits find their places when it is necessary to store them at refrigerator temperatures.
Do not clutter Up the refrigerator by storing foods that do ‘not require refrigeration like jellies, pickles etc. Use covered, containers to preserve the crispness of succulent vegetables.
Ice trays are commonly made of aluminum and sometimes of plastic. Trays should be filled to within 1/4 from the top edge to allow space for expansion of the ice.
l. The refrigerator should be kept clean and dry The outside finish may be wiped off as frequently as possible Food spilled in the inside should be cleaned up immediately and shelves and walls kept free from moisture.
2. The refrigerator should be thoroughly cleaned at the time of defrosting. The freezing unit and inside walls, should be washed with soda waters-2 tablespoon of baking soda to a quart of water-then dried. Ice trays should be emptied and washed before new “ice is frozen. Wash the trays in warm soapy water, rinse and drain. Wash the gasket with the warm soapy water ,rinse with water and dry. Food and grease should be wiped from the gasket as soon as deposited.
Defrosting is advisable before the deposit is 6 mm thick. Ice on the coils acts as an insulator, cuts down the efficiency of the evaporator. The drip water should be emptied as soon as defrosting is complete.
Refrigerator for Rural Homes
Where use of refrigerators is not possible, some improvisation can be made. The construction of this device is very simple. An outer shell of about 60an x 60cm X 60cm structure built from bricks holds wet sand. On this sand, place an earthenware basin to store fruits vegetables, milk etc. This basin is then covered by a bamboo basket to Provide air circulation. Then a clean wet gunny bag 0r a thick cloth dipped in water the edges of which should touch the sand covers the whole structure. Water drips from cloth and through capillary action, moisture in the sand is retained and cold temperature is maintained. Such device can retain freshness of milk and its products for 48 hours and vegetables for a week, even in summer.
Another model of refrigerator is made from.
1. A newly baked porous clay basin (size depending upon the needs of your family).
2. Two shallow, lovely knit bamboo baskets that can just fit into the basin.
3. A piece of old gunny.
4. A few bricks.
5. Rough sand, some mud and water.
Electric iron is one of the most useful appliances in a house~ hold for ironing clothes. The typical electric iron now weighs approximately 1.12 kg and its wattage ranges from about 600 to 1250. The heat supplied to the ironing surface or sole plate is used for ironing the clothes. The lower surface of the sole plate is smooth so that it moves easily on the fabrics being ironed. The sole plate of aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron or steel plated with chromium, should be without flaw, smooth and flat. A good iron has tapering sides with leveled edges and a narrow point to get around buttons and gathers. The sole plate found on different models varies slightly in size and shape.
Above the sole plate is the heating element which is control. ted by a thermostat in automatic irons. The thermostat is usually located on top of the iron or as part of the handle which shuts off the current when the iron reaches the temperature for which it is set and turns it on when temperature drops below that setting; Current is therefore flowing through
the iron only part of the time. the thermostat is marked to indicate the setting to be used for various fabrics, In the non. automatic irons there is no such provision. The switch to be turned on and off as the temperature is more or less in relation to the requirements.
Above the heating element is the pressure plate which provides most of the weight required in the iron. These parts are Covered with a case which carries the handle. The terminals in Which the connector or plug of the flexible cord is pushed are connected to the heating unit. Electricity flows in the heating unit as long as the cord remain connected and sole plate temperature depends on the difference between rate of heat production and rate of heat loss to the air and materials being ironed.
Most handles are made of molded plastics shaped to it the hand. The handle should be beat proof and far enough from the body of the iron to keep from burning the fingers when it is grasped. It should be of a size and shape convenient to the hand.
In using electric iron
1. Always connect the iron to a wall outlet. When the cord is separate, connect the receptacle to the iron first and then connect the plug into the wall outlet. When dis connecting, reverse the procedure.
2. Keep the bottom or sole plate of your iron shining clean so that it glides easily. Scorched starch can easily be removed by rubbing the bottom of the hot iron over grains of salt.
3. To ensure safety, the iron cord should be replaced as soon as it starts fraying. When removing the cord from an electric iron, always remember to pull the electric plug and not the cord itself.
4. Care should be taken not to scratch the sole plate by ironing over books, eyes, zippers and similar items.
5. When cool, the iron should be stored on its heel rest.
The electric toaster in its simplest form consists of a live Cord attached to the heating element or grid. The heating element commonly consists of nichrome ribbon wound on mics strips. Some types use nichrome wire coils for their resistance heating elements. In single element toasters, two slices of bread are toasted from one side at one time, then turned around to toast the other side. Toasters with three elements can toast two slices from both sides at the same time. The two outside heaters are alike, but the center heater has to do twice as ‘ much work and so is designed to take more electric power.
Electrical connections, springs and operating mechanisms are usually under the bottom cover. Sometimes,” it is necessary to remove the shell that encloses the heating elements and bread holders. This shell often clips onto the base with the springy’ and snapping over projections. At the bottom of the shell are extending lips which pass through slots in the base whet! they are bent over.
The toaster should always be disconnected before a jammed piece of toast is removed or before cleaning. Forks or other utensils should not be used to remove the toast, since they may damage the heating element or may give the user a shock if the toaster is not disconnected. if a toaster with a removable or hinged crumb tray is selected, the removal of crumbs is easy and should be done regularly The toaster should not be dropped or shaken for this may injure the heating element or the thermostat adjustment. Basically design in toasters remain more or less the same. The square cornered, straight line chaps With colored enamel or chromium finishes are currently available.
Factors to be considered in the selection of Household Equipment.
Consumers in the market find it difficult to make wise Choice from a number of products available in the market. Since most families face economic limitations as to how much they can buy, the need for choice becomes evident. Wise buyers often need to weigh the purchase of one item against that of another. The criteria for selection of one equipment vary from the other. But the following considerations may be helpful in the selection of any appliance.
Saving of Time and Energy
Machines can often do a job better and yet decrease work. If an equipment is not serving that purpose, it is not worth the input of money. More time and work is saved by equipment if the job is done often. More effort is saved if a job is made t easier. If fatigue felt by homemakers is often psychological, then it may be reduced if a disliked job is done more easily through the use of equipment.By use of equipment, some steps in the work process may actually be eliminated. Effective use of equipment should not only save time and energy but the quantity and quality of work should also be improved, labor saving devices however can save time for creative activities. Use of mixers, washing machines etc, have reduced the house work time to a great extent.
Retail prices are a first concern of the equipment consumer. They include the price asked for the equipment and sometimes, the installation charges The purchase of a piece of household equipment may necessitate buying related equipment to provide it adequate supply of certain utilities. The total cost of purchase, operating cost and maintenance cost have to be evaluated against the benefits derived from the use of equipment to decide about the selection of a particular household.
Ease of Cleaning
Ease of cleaning deserves special attention. All cooking equipment needs to be washed, wiped off or cleaned In some way and many other appliances require at least periodic cleaning. The materials used for construction contribute to ease or difficulty in cleaning. Study of materials used in household equipment will give some indications of which ones are easiest to clean and what special care is required. Rounded corners removable linings and doors etc. contribute to cleaning ease. Safety in Use
Equipment should be safe to use Indian Standards institution is a Government Organization which examines and tests electric parts and the Mark is given on the name plate. This means the appliance has met minimum standards of safety, durability and performance established by Indian Standards Institution.
For the many small items of equipment that require neither gas nor electricity. the user must set her own standards and make her own evaluation. While a poorly designed or defective appliance may cause an accident, work habits can also be a factor in causing mishaps. When frequently used items are stored where a homemaker cannot reach them without climbing up, an accident may happen. Cutlery and other utensils with sharp edges may also offer hazards especially when improperly stored. Knives should be stored in a rack or holder to protect the cutting edge as well as the reaching hand.
Materials and Construction
Materials used for Construction contribute to the efficiency of operation and ease of cleaning and maintenance. The home maker is interested in the properties of the materials from which her appliances and utensils are made since the knowledge enables her to select with confidence the best material fora given task and to care for it successfully. Basic characteristic of metals that have determined their use in household equipment have been (i) the strength and rigidity and capability of being welded. (2) their capability of conducting or absorbing heat (3) resistance to air and moisture and (4) specific gravity .
The properties desirable in any material depend on the use to be made of the material. Thus, retaining a cutting :de is a desirable quality in metal used for a knife blade, conductin8 heat quickly and evenly in metal used for a fry pan, and strength and rigidity for metals used for the framework of a major appliance. At present, sheet steel has replaced iron for the framework of the major appliances like refrigerator, washers and ranges because it is strong comparatively light in weight and can be Welded.
Appliances are made by joining and assembling a large number of preformed stamping into units. Flat sheets of the low carbon steel are rolled and the edges shaped for later assembly. The unit is given a protective oil coating. The choice of final coating depends on the intended function. Exterior surfaces are treated primarily for decorative. while other surface must be treated to resist heat, cold, corrosion and chipping. Some parts may be porcelain enameled. Doors are formed by presses which give shape and depth and edges are prepared for welding. Some metal parts are treated to close pores of metal and prevent oxidation. These specific details have to be evaluated in the selection of equipment.
A guarantee is a promise to answer for the performance in case of a failure. A guarantee from the seller is only as reliable as the person who sold the appliance. Although both manufacturer and seller should accept the responsibility for a faulty piece of equipment, it is the manufacturer who ultimately accepts the full responsibility. .
The guarantee should always be a written statement. The buyer should read the guarantee carefully and check for for the following-
1) length of time of guarantee for free replacements
(2) length of time that service is free for emplacement parts and
(3) the place, where free repairs and service art available. At the time of purchase, the buyer‘s name and the serial number of the appliance should be placed on till guarantee. In evaluating guarantee,
there are four main questions for the consumer to consider.
(l) What has to happen
2) during what interval of purchase,
(3) who will make it and
(4) to what extent it will be made. A proper guarantee gives the consumer confidence in purchasing an equipment. A consumer has to insist on obtaining the guarantee card while purchasing any equipment.
An appliance should as far as possible be trouble free. After every use, if it has to be repaired, the equipment is more of a nuisance rather than a labor saving device. First of all, the appliance should be made of such materials and of such construction such that the maintenance should be easy and relatively inexpensive. Some contractors undertake periodic maintenance of the equipment.
Availability of Service
This is another important aspect to be considered while purchasing an equipment. If an appliance cannot be serviced or if spare parts are not available, the equipment will have no value after some time. The return on investment will be negligible in such cases.