Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Pox On All Appliances

I’m sorry that I didn’t get a post up on Monday. But Monday was a bit busy. You see, I discovered that our hand-me-down dishwasher had a problem. I’d been suspicious since the machine began making sounds that you hear only in war movies—it whistled and whined like a blitzkrieg. The kids (and Calvin and I) were known to start the dishwasher and say, “Let the bombing commence.”

So, I should have checked the dishwasher. I should’ve made sure everything was functioning properly. But I didn’t. Sometimes I want to live in that naïve world where everything is good. Besides if something went wrong I’d know. Right? 

The first sign was wet socks. I like to wear socks when the floors are cold. But when I walked to the kitchen sink, my toes got wet. I hate wet toes and slushy socks. So I put on dry socks. And ignored the implications.

The next day, my socks got wet again. I called Matthew, who’s this month’s dishwasher loader, and reminded him that water is not a toy and shouldn’t be flung about in a giddy manner. He told me that he was pretty sure he hadn’t been giddy or flinging water. I gave him my stern look, made him wipe the floor, and dismissed him.

The next day was warm. So I wasn’t wearing socks. I don’t like hot feet either. (I have a narrow comfort zone—73 degrees.) I walked into the kitchen for a glass of iced tea, and my toes splashed water. I had to admit the obvious. We had a water problem.

I got a towel—I have a whole collection of worn towels in the laundry room for sopping up wet floors. Clearly, I’ve had to do this much too often.  I mopped up the floor and discovered that the linoleum had succumbed to all the repeated soakings—it ripped like a wet paper towel. Interestingly, the ugly 1970s avocado green linoleum underneath is in great shape. (Is avocado is a fashionable color right now?)

Once I got the water up. I checked the new garbage disposal. The last leak (only a couple of weeks ago) came from a seal rupturing on the old disposal. I was hoping for something easy like a connection that needed to be tightened. But the new disposal and the cabinet were dry. Hmm.  Not good.

I got a screwdriver and took off the bottom panel from the dishwasher. Guess what? Water. And mineral buildup. If you aren’t experienced with water issues, mineral build up means that it hasn’t been a one time leak.  It’s been going on for a while. But I’d preferred my nothing’s-wrong bubble. Now it burst.

I turned on the dishwasher, lay on the wet linoleum, and shined a flashlight into the hidden dishwasher depths. And then I saw the drip. And it wasn’t coming from any connections. It meant pump problems. Which I cannot fix with a roll of duct tape or Gorilla glue. (Don’t you just love Gorilla glue?) 

After muttering imprecations, I dutifully reported to my husband that we needed a new dishwasher. He asked if I thought that he wanted to hear this news. I told him, “No.” But I explained that denial wouldn’t solve the problem (just ask my toes). He wondered aloud if the dishes should just be done by hand by our minions. I reminded him that we did have our tax return. I did not mention that the refusal to purchase a dishwasher would be met with civil unrest among the minions.

Now we await the arrival of our dishwasher on Thursday. Calvin gleefully pointed out that he would not be home to install said dishwasher because he would be out of town.  So I recruited my dad. On Thursday, he and I will install the new dishwasher.  And the new washing machine—the old one saw fit to die too. But that’s another story...a pox on all appliances, all appliance engineers, and the evil person who thought up planned obsolescence. 

17 comments:

  1. Sorry!! We had to get a dishwasher recently and papa is no longer able to install it. When the guy from Lowes installed it he informed us that the old one was30-40 years old and there was no plug. Apparently it was just attached to a couple of wires. Nana

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  2. Most dishwashers have the capacity to do either wires or a plug. I hope they didn't force you to call an electrician.

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  3. I remember your dishwasher sounds. They were... interesting. My impression was more of laser guns and crashing ships, but blitzkrieg does fit the bill as well.

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  4. Ugh! I hate faulty appliances! I'm trying to convince the bf that we should buy our own, new (and good) appliances for our appartment so I dont have to explain to the office why - in a fit of rage - I ceremoniously murdered the dishwasher that (truly) washes nothing.

    Excuse me while I sit in my corner and brood jealously over your new dishwasher!

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  5. I guess he'll help you out since you helped him with shopping, eh?

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  6. Uh oh! I've had that dishwasher my friend and it was not a pleasant experience. I've also had the peeing fridge and the haunted microwave. Don't even get me started on the washer and dryer...

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  7. Your dad...hmmm...hope you have good fire insurance :>) Just kidding, but I've heard enough stories from his unbiased brother~and I'm sure your dad has a few stories about his "favorite" brother! Good luck and enjoy your dry feet~Aunt Judy

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  8. Isn't it interesting how appliances can be moody, even though they aren't sentient? (Or are they???)

    Sorry about your dishwasher and washer. But bright side! They will now be shiny, new, and hopefully not sound like a battlefield! :)

    I have a dishwasher at home, which I didn't know was a dishwasher for most of my life because we only use it for storage. There are dishes in there, but they aren't being washed. :P

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  9. Those giddy water flingers!

    Elana Johnson just had a dishwasher problem too. Sorry you have to get a new one. When appliances go, it's such a pain. We rely on them so much.

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  10. Hey! Our dishwasher broke this weekend, and it turned out someone had put some paper in it. (I suspect the 3 year old...she gets blamed for everything wrong in the house).
    Anyway, clog is out. I also learned that if I put a half cup of vinegar into the dishwasher 10 minutes into the cycle, I'll have less mineral built up and hard water stains on my dishes and the soap works more efficiently. Who knew?

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  11. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. Your description of how you checked it all out was beyond impressive. I would've given up at the wet linoleum stage.

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  12. Oh Phsaw! We went without the dishwasher for a few months with 9 people in our house...the minions have no idea.

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  13. We also had the microwave that ended up setting itself on fire. That was. . . interesting.

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  14. LOL! Loved this post. When I lived in an apartment, my dishwasher gave me fits, too. One day I realized that it had been running a bit too long, and I decided to check it out. I took one step on the linoleum floor and crashed to the floor - there was a good inch of water on my kitchen floor! I even thought I broke my elbow, so dutifully went to the doctor the next day. Yeah, they laughed when I told them what had happened...and I had to laugh, too. Thankfully, the elbow wasn't broken and the maintenance guy fixed the dishwasher. :-)

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  15. Thank goodness for tax returns! We haven't even got ours yet but its already "spent" :)

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  17. OH MY G. I HATE wet socks more than anything. It's such a creepy feeling. Ugh. Bad dishwasher, bad!

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