May 19, 2005

It is done.

For those of you counting, it's taken roughly a year and a half.

For those of you not counting, and that total includes me, I'm talking about getting this dishwasher installed and working, and I'm not referring to the dumpy little Mexicali lady who comes over once a week and does our clothes. I don't know who the hell she is, I haven't ever paid her, and she doesn't speak a lick of Ainglaise, so it's all good.

No, the dishwasher. Those of you who have been inside the Irrelephant home know that it has sat patiently in it's little nook in the kitchen cabinets, still wrapped in it's royal blue shipping plastic (and I won't name who it was who asked if we had bought a blue dishwasher,) all it's little tubing and attuperances hooked up, waiting for some life-giving go-juice.

See, I'm a handyrellephant. And no, that doesn't mean I park in those close spaces with the blue pictures at Wal-To-Wal-Mart. No, that means I do things in the house. Usually well, sometimes not so well, and sometimes I get to a point where I have to give up and call a rather expensive professional because I've gotten in way over my trunk.

Back when I lived at the old house my brother (who is infinitely better paid than me) gave me his old throw-away portable dishwasher. For those of you who have never seen one of these things, they're cool, in a bizarre sort of way. They're dishwashers on wheels, in essence, and have some sort of long black hoses with a giant attachment that snake out of the back. You roll this beastie up to your sink, park it, fill it, then attach these giant black umbilici to your faucet and turn the hot water on, and it does it's magic.

That is unless your portable is old, and the connection between the umbilical cord and the faucet is worn out, in which case when the dishwasher is NOT filling with hot water it's spraying it around the kitchen.

I finally gave it away to someone else, thinking I had done a good deed, and bought the cheapest non-portable model I could find at the local hardware store, for about t'ree fi'ty. I tore out a cabinet (not a hard trick in a paperboard mobile home) and installed that joker, hooked up the one power wire and fought the plumbing for a week, then finally one day loaded it with dishes and powder and fired it up.

I immediately regretted selling the portable. Not only was it quieter, it washed dishes. The portable would clean weeks-old dry spaghetti off anything. It would devour whole bones and spit them into the sink as tiny grains. It was even quiet. The new model was...inferior. A little. It would clean dishes if they were already clean. It would seize up over a wet teabag. It would wash dishes with the noise of a Boeing 777 taking off with one of the airport catering trucks stuck in it's rear landing gear. But it worked, in it's own little way.

The point is, I got used to having a dishwasher. When we moved here over a year ago, I enjoyed a small windfall, and since we already had a place FOR a dishwasher in the house, along with a line of Romex waiting for it, I bought a SUPER nice Frigidaire model, with all the bells and whistles, and all the plumbing and etc. to hook it up. Hooked it up. It failed spectacularly to work other than to make a brief wet gurgling noise and a whimper. Two weeks of waiting for a Frigidaire authorised repairman to come out and order a new motherboard for it, which took three weeks. He installed it, started the dishwasher, and left. Thirty minutes later it stopped. Utterly. I replaced a very old and very expensive circuit breaker in the box to see if THAT would help. It refused to work still. At this point I was desperate, and called a friend, who reported that the Romex was not carrying current.

I freaked.

And fearing a houe fire, left it all alone, until we could afford a repairman to come look at the wiring.

He came yesterday. Called me at work to tell me that the line was indeed alive, because " just shocked the pee out of me." His words. The problem being it was only carring 107 volts, not 110, which was just enough to make the dishwasher NOT work. He replaced a circuit breaker with one of the two extras I had bought a year ago. Seems I had very carefully and lovingly replaced the wrong one when I was back there so long ago. (The dining-room lights, however, now work better than ever.) Turned the dishwasher on, and we've since done three loads, no grief, no smoke, no pain.

I can't wait to see how the bill reads:

Circuit Breaker: Free, provided by owner.
Romex: Free, pre-installed.
Travel Time: 5 miles @ .$37 a mile.
Making the Fix-It Guy Look Foolish: Priceless

1 comment:

jeff said...

I am having similar problems.
replaced cicuit board, romex, and breaker(for real)
still not working. PF keeps coming up.