Sunday, June 11, 2006

Problems with Appliances

I'm getting ready to leave for New York in about an hour - off to a Writer's Conference in Saratoga Springs for a week. I tried to get everything settled for Mom so she doesn't have anything to worry about during the time I'm gone but life, of course, rarely every cooperates with those kinds of plans.
It all began with our old washer and dryer. They'd both become cranky in their old age. The washer would simply quit spinning while the clothes were still waterlogged, saying, in effect, "I'm tired, that's all I'm doing". The dryer used a different technique. Put too many, still soppy because of the washer, clothes in it and it would resist by kicking off the breaker. It finally got to the point that it would only agree to dry one pair of jeans or two towels at a time. You can imagine how much time Mom spent doing laundry facing this kind of appliance obstinance.
So, I went to Sears and bought a new washer and dryer. I made sure they could have it delivered and installed before I left for New York. They brought it but it turned out, there was one problem: they couldn't install the dryer because in my old house, the plug-in (into which I've plugged my dryer for 15 years) was a "stove plug-in" and not a "dryer plug-in" (and using the incorrect plug-in would void my warranty). And it seems that Sears appliance installers can't do anything their contract says requires an electrician. So the Sears man asked John, "if I tell you exactly what you need and how to do it, do you think you can put in the plug-in?" John said he could. I gave him a significant check to buy the various items he needed. He successfully replaced the plug in and we were good to go.
The Sears guys had not been able to hook up the washer either because it couldn't be placed where it belongs until the dryer could be plugged into the new plug-in and pushed into its designated location. But, that's no big deal, said the Sears man, "all it requires is attaching the hoses and plugging it in."
But when John attached the hoses, there was one problem: it leaked. He worked on it himself (somewhat grumpily because he and Lisa were trying to get ready to leave for Florida). He never could figure out where to turn off the hot water. So I ended up calling Tri-W and they came and turned off the water and fixed the leak, pushed the washer into place and plugged it in. (I haven't got that bill yet so I don't know how much the leak-fixing cost me).
"Hooray," said Mom, "I'm ready to wash, wash, wash!" - which she needed to do by then because we had basketsful of dirty clothes that had been stacking up while all this delivering and wiring plug-ins and repairing leaks had been going on.
Only problem: the new dryer kicked off the breaker exactly as the old one had. Mom was devastated and I was pretty distraught myself. I told the girls at work about it and Tammy offered John's services to come take a look and see if he could figure out what was going on. After checking the situation out, John decided that the cause had never stemmed from the dryer itself but rather, that I had a defective breaker. He offered to install a new one which he did the next day. Bless his heart, he didn't charge me anything at all for his labor but the materials cost about $80.
Mom, paranoid by now, ran the dryer long enough to dry a couple of damp towels and sure enough, it ran like a charm and didn't stop until it buzzed to say the towels were dry.
So, once again, she was ready to start in on our growing mountain of dirty clothes. Only problem: the washer ran about a cup of water into the tub and shut itself off. We called Sears. Naturally, the washer is under warranty but the problem is: they can't get a repairman here until June 21.
So, I'm off for a week in New York. I'll be coming home with a huge totebag full of dirty clothes. That will be on June 17.
I think I'll tell Mom to call me on the 21st when the Sears man comes. I'll use my lunch hour to come and supervise his visit.....and I don't plan on letting him out of the house until he proves to us that we can finally do our laundry!