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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Appliance Replacement Report: Burnt House Averted; New Dishwasher Installed

I wandered down the stairs this morning to let the dogs out and to get the coffee going when I heard the sound of the dishwasher motor running and immediately hitting a wall of the smell of burnt plastic, I might have asked myself if a burglar had entered the home and turned on our dishwasher at 6 in the morning, but it was pretty clear, to me anyway, that my wife was tired of our kitchen and was seeking to remodel via fire.

Or maybe not.

But, with positive intentions before heading off to bed last night, the dishwasher did get turned on and unfortunately, the switch got stuck at the very beginning of the cycle at the precise moment where the system is supposed to heat up, turn on the motor and in a second or two, start shooting water into the wash tub. It made it as far as heating up and turning on the motor. So, aside from the burnt dishes and awful smell, we avoided any further damage, though a new dishwasher would be required.

So, after quickly removing the old dishwasher and hauling it out to the sidewalk (where it would only last an hour or so), my wife and I headed off to grab a cheap new dishwasher. I figured an hour there and back, another hour to install the new one and off to another fun filled Sunday of doing something.

I buy all my appliances from Conn's, and more specifically, the junk/return outlet over on 410 at Loemans Village. Call me a cheapskate, but I hate to pay an extra $100 - $300 just to get something in a sealed cardboard box that I will have to cut into small pieces and hope that the nice garbageman hauls away.

Even though I shop there a lot, I have to tell you that I find salespeople at Conn's to be of the same caliber as Used Car Salesmen. Please don't be offended if you sell cars or appliances; I mean you no disrespect, but instead, I have to confess that I simply do not enjoy the game. And it is a game.

Yes, I know when I walk in the door and you start chasing me that you know, that I know, that you know, that I am purposely not looking at you and in fact, I am walking as far away from the item I want to purchase so that when you finally do corner me and start telling me what a great deal you have on TV's, I can look like a dumbass and say, "Oh, is this the TV section? I need a can opener."

I know, I'm an asshole but I just want to go into a store, have as little interaction with you as possible, pay the bill and leave. Please don't take it personal. I don't.

I have seen that movie Fargo, and I know that when you go back to talk to the manager about getting a better deal, you are really going back to the office, taking a quick look at the sports section in the paper, perhaps squeezing out a few beer-farts from a night of heaving drinking, and coming back to give me the great news. Oh, and the men are worse. They always want to be real friendly and such. I mean, it isn't like I'm buying a freakin ' house here, I just need an appliance. We don't have to go through introductions and such anymore than we would if I came in to buy a Whopper at Burger King.

I'm probably making too much of this, aren't I?

Okay, so we get the dishwasher and as I'm paying for it and turning down all the usual add-ons like warranties and installation and delivery and such, the nice salesman tells me that he has never installed a dishwasher before and asks how long it will take me. Having installed more than a handful in my time, I tell him we'll be back to burning plastic in an hour or so. And technically, had I installed it correctly the first two times, we would have.

There is a Home Depot right behind the Conn's, so I stopped in there to purchase a little brass fitting needed for the installation. Thankfully, on my third trip to Home Depot to get the parts I really needed, I was able to return the fittings from the first trip.

Technically, there is nothing hard about replacing a dishwasher. There is electricity, there is water coming into the machine and there is water going out. Basically, you got three things to unhook, then hook right back up. Given that we are only talking 110 here, you don't really even have to turn off the electricity, until you get shocked the second time. And, technically, you can use the same water pipes; you know, just disconnect the old and plug it into the new one. The problem is, these dishwasher makers don't have the common courtesy to place all the connections in the same exact place on each machine.

Copper tubing is actually pretty fragile. I mean, if it doesn't line up exactly and you start trying to bend it to make it fit, there is a good chance that you will make too much of a crease in it and water will simply spray out all over the place. Just ask me.

Yea, so practice makes perfect. I mean, again, in technical terms, you don't have to be a mechanical engineer to do this. But if you are going to try to slide the old one out and put the new one in without replacing the parts, prepare to get dirty. Hell, even my wife took a stab at fitting her little hands under the washer to try to line up the pipes.

In the end, I went to purchase a new hose which meant that I could connect it to the bottom of the dishwasher, then feed the other end through the cabinet to the water source. You can see that it is a lot easier to simply turn the machine on its side and hook things up. From there, pull out the old plumbing under the sink and hook it up.

Total time to hook it up on the third try? 6 minutes, 43 seconds. I rock!

Total time to have someone drive by my house to haul away the old one? Just over an hour. Sweet!

1 comment:

Lee said...

Did ya put a "for sale" sign on the old dish washer, or just sit it on the curb? :) I've seen folks driving around in pickup trucks loaded with scrap metal appliances and items to take to the salvage yards. Guess they make enough off the scrap metal prices to pay for the gas they are burning while driving around aimlessly looking for free stuff?

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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