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Small victories over kitchen appliances

Started: 2011-10-15 11:46:09

Submitted: 2011-10-15 12:07:13

Visibility: World-readable

Loyal readers who were present at Megafest 10.0 may remember that our ice maker stopped functioning halfway through the gathering. It had been temperamental for years, but we didn't really use it very much so it didn't usually bother us, at least until Calvin discovered he could get us to put ice in his water bottles. (This was more useful in the summer.) The ice maker was no longer making ice, and the water flow from the dispenser on the front of the freezer didn't work either, so we suspected an inbound water flow problem and quickly discovered that there was a water filter mounted for easy access under the grille that we were supposed to have been changing every six months for the past seven years. Kiesa ordered a replacement filter, and when she installed it when it arrived, the ice maker started working again -- just in time for fall.

Our dishwasher is our other temperamental kitchen appliance. For the past few years, once a month or so it would decide it didn't want to let water into the dishwasher for the wash or rinse cycle and would simply make a lot of noise, do nothing, and often kick in the heated dry and bake on whatever scraps of food I hadn't rinsed off. A second wash would almost always work just fine, so we chose to ignore the problems until last month, when it started acting up on a regular basis. We didn't really want to spend money to fix the dishwasher (since it was cheap, aging, never really worked all that well to begin with, and needed pieces replaced that held the upper rack onto the horizontal support slides), so we decided to buy a new dishwasher and have it installed. (I figured I could probably handle installing the dishwasher myself, but I didn't want to deal with hauling the old dishwasher away, and that was a service we could get with an installation.) Kiesa found a new dishwasher at Lowes, but wanted one with a white front rather than black or stainless steel (both of which might look better on their own but would look dreadful in our white-themed kitchen), so she ordered a dishwasher and we settled in to wait two weeks for it to arrive.

That night our dishwasher gave up for good, forcing us to resort to hand-washing dishes. We chose to eat takeout rather than cooking our own food in an attempt at reducing the number of dishes we used, which proved generally effective if not especially cheap or low-calorie. Kiesa's mother showed up that week for a visit and immediately volunteered to hand-wash our dishes. Our new dishwasher arrived earlier than we first expected and was installed just in time for Kiesa's mother to return home, leaving us once again in control of our own dish-washing destiny and puzzled as to the inclusion of a mysterious "rinse aide" and wondering whether there are black-market chop-shops that will replace the energy-saving efficiency 'features' of new dishwashers with energy-abusing components that wash dishes in half the time.