Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dishwasher Distress

So what does this frugal Mom do when her dishwasher breaks? Very relevant question around these parts this week.

This Mom has determined that the dishwasher is not getting water to the top rack. The water should be coming from the back and flowing into a "tunnel" that travels to the middle of the bottom of the top rack and then disburses from four arms that would then spray the water onto the top rack dishes. The last load took three hours to run, with me turning it off before the cycle was complete and the top rack dishes looking no better than when they'd been put into the dishwasher.

Immediate solution is to wash dishes by hand. While that may not be fun, it's functional and leaves me with time to google like crazy and try to figure out how to fix the dishwasher. Yes, I'll try to fix the dishwasher myself. I will borrow tools, if necessary, and learn all sorts of new stuff trying to get it back in working order. If I'm lucky I'll get it to work again, but that doesn't always happen. Whether it works or not I'll realize, yet again, that I can do a whole lot more than I ever thought I could and I'll walk away feeling awfully proud of myself (but let's be honest ... I'll feel prouder if I fix the darn thing).

If I can't fix it I'll google and see how much it'll cost to fix it (which I may already have determined by googling to find repair solutions).

If it's too much I'll enlist my children to help me remove the dishwasher and will replace it with the "builder's special" dishwasher in the garage. I'm so grateful that when we purchased new appliances after building this house we saved the the old ones, the plan then was to put them back and take the high-end ones when we moved. Eight years later I haven't moved, but have already put the cheap-o washing machine back in the laundry room when the "nice" one died an untimely death.

When the aforementioned washing machine started acting up the kids and I washed laundry by hand in the kitchen sink for over a month. My oldest son and I tore that washer apart. I learned so much about washing machines, things I had no idea were even there to be learned. We actually took it apart three times working to fix it. I could have pointed out and named various parts of the machine with my eyes closed. Sadly, when all was said and done our expensive washing machine would have cost more to fix than to replace because the broken parts aren't available (note: be careful when buying high-end appliances when brand new on the market, there's no telling how long it'll stay on the market or how it will perform over time). My oldest daughter and I then brought the builder's special washing machine upstairs by ourselves (second floor laundry ... usually a great thing), one difficult frightening step at a time ... but we did it and got it hooked up and working! I borrowed a neighbor and his friend to get the "good" washer downstairs. The next weekend I stuck it outside with a "free" sign on it and a man and his pregnant wife grabbed it to try their hand at fixing it. I could have spent hundreds trying to fix it, I could have spent hundreds replacing it, but instead I spend about $5 for a funky screwdriver thing and have a working washing machine (though, admittedly, a very basic washing machine ... but functional).

And that's why this frugal Mom is off to fill to get her children to fill the sink with suds.
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