Appliance Parts And Their More Familiar Doppelgängers

Appliance Parts And Their More Familiar Doppelgängers

If you’re a DIYer who keeps your eyes open, you just might find that everything in nature seems to repeat. Look around you at all the patterns, shapes, colors, numbers – you name it. But it doesn’t just stop at nature.

It seems that as we humans continue to design more and more gadgets to improve our daily lives, the components that they are comprised of tend to continue this little trend. It’s hard to say whether this repetition is mostly a symptom of inventors, designers, and engineers running out of ideas, or if they are paying some kind of subconscious homage to more familiar, pre-existing objects.

No matter how exotic a new component’s purpose, chances are it will bear a resemblance to some other seemingly unrelated component with which you are already familiar. Here is a short list of appliance parts that make people say, “Wait, is that a…”. The good news is that with this kind of visual association, if you ever need to repair any of these things, you’ll be that much closer to identifying the part you may need.

Whirlpool Dishwasher Heating Element – Horseshoe

Horse Show

The horseshoe is a pretty universal shape, but let’s face it: the gentle curve of this little heating element conjures up images of blacksmiths in Old West movies hammering away at a red, hot chunk of steel pulled fresh from the forge. This “U” shape in particular looks like it would have been worn by a Clydesdale (those Budweiser-bearing beasts have some wide feet).

Whirlpool Washer Door Switch Assembly – Machine Gun


This component specifically resembles the EKOL ASI UZI submachine gun. It’s one of many used on the TV show Crossing Lines. If you think there’s a firearm that looks more like this essential washer door part, let us know in the comments.

GE Range Infinite Control Switch – Atari 2600 Joystick


Oh ye glorious 8-bit computer magic, how we do miss your charm. For those of you who have had the leisurely fortune of playing an Atari game like Pong, Joust, or Frogger, to name a few:

  • A) You’ve probably seen better graphics on a knitted sweatshirt, and
  • B) Do not be confused next time you encounter an infinite control switch for a GE range. It looks a lot like an Atari joystick, and even the name suggests a cool sci-fi game use. Alas, dear gamers, it’s only an appliance part (albeit, an important one – you might need to replace the infinite control switch on your GE range if your burners aren’t getting any power, or if your element is stuck on high!).

Whirlpool Dryer Igniter – Late Model Car Key


All joking aside, even if you could fit the dryer igniter into your car’s ignition switch (don’t try this at home!), you wouldn’t want to turn it. As we explain in our video that shows how to replace this part, you have to be very careful to not bang the gray part against anything because it can easily break.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Water Filter Cup And Housing – Blimp


This component conjures up images of Goodyear advertisements high above ballgames and front covers of Led Zeppelin albums. Whatever kind of blimp it may look like to you, it’s still just a water filter cup and housing…or is it?

The next time you are doing a DIY appliance repair, get more value from the experience by thinking about the different objects in the world that the parts look like. Marvel at how their individual design works with the design of the whole machine, allowing it to work and make your life easier.

You may have to do a few double takes if you run into these sneaky doppelgängers, but at least you’ll be happy to know you’ve been prepared for such deception in the kitchen, around the house, and at large. If you have any examples of your own, post them in the comments below.

Appliance Parts And Their More Familiar Doppelgängers by

Posted by Matt Hansen


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