M. Giant's
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Saturday, January 24, 2009  

Dished Out

I'm not sure exactly how old our dishwasher is. I do know that it's less than 16 years old, because we moved into this house in 1993 and replaced the existing one some time after that. I also know it's more than 12 years old, because otherwise I don't know if I can justify buying a new one yet.

But as of this evening, I'm afraid that's what's going to have to happen.

We've been putting up with this dishwasher more than we've been enjoying it for the last few years. When my dad and I installed it, we never did get it in quite straight, so it's always been at a bit of an angle. It goes through erratic phases where it leaks water onto the kitchen floor, and the only way to predict whether it will or won't in a given load is by checking to see whether we've remembered to put a towel under the door(if we didn't, it will). It's been through three door springs. I've never been able to shake the suspicion that it's somehow leaking water into our subfloor behind the access panel. And the metal brackets holding it in place under the counter succumbed to metal fatigue long ago, so the only thing holding it in place is inertia, which means it tilts alarmingly forward whenever we open it and the bottom dish rack would crash into the center island if we let it. But you didn't come here to read my Craigslist posting for it.

But as much as I hate the thing, at least it managed to continue living up to its core competency, that is to say, washing dishes (save the occasional archipelago of crud inside the odd pint glass now and then). But now it's not even doing that any more.

Tonight, when I started it, I heard it fill up with water as usual. And then it emitted this loud, electrical buzz and went silent. I went to investigate. A couple of the setting buttons on the front were incompletely pressed, probably because M. Edium sometimes likes to pretend the dishwasher door is the tailgate on WALL-E's truck. So I returned them to valid settings and started the machine again. Nothing, except more sullen silence punctuated by that occasional angry buzz that made the lights in the house dim. I was hoping that if I let it cycle through that way, it would correct itself and run properly after that, but it's still too pissed at me.

Imagine that. It. Is pissed. At me.

So now I'm writing this entry as a way of putting off the decision as to whether I should crack it open and see what's what, or start shopping for a new appliance (installed this time, naturally). Either way, I've still got a mess to deal with: two racks of dirty dishes, plus the ones that have accumulated in the sink, plus all the water that's standing in the bottom of the tub.

That's the trouble with having a dishwasher break down; it never happens at a convenient point in its cycle. Nobody ever finished unloading the clean dishes and putting them away, only to have their dishwasher then tell them, "Oh, by the way? That was my last load. You should probably make other arrangements going forward." No, you're always left with whatever mess the dishes where in when the machine crapped out on you.

Either way, though, it's looking like we're going to be washing our dishes by hand for at least the next few days. And this when Trash is about to start teaching her university classes at night, and when I'm writing two recaps a week (soon to be three). If this is just a temporary strike by our dishwasher to make us appreciate it more, I find the timing quite cynical.

Just what I needed: another reason to hate it.

posted by M. Giant 8:44 PM 3 comments


Do yourself a favor - go as soon as you can and replace it. Our dishwasher died just before Christmas (luckily, we weren't entertaining this year), and the longer my husband dinked around trying to fix our 9-year-old dishwasher, after I had already asked him to please give it up for dead, the more irritating it got. Your dishwasher sounds like it would need repairs that cost at least something close to a new one, and parts for one that old would be pretty hard to come by. While washing dishes by hand is not the end of the world, when you're a busy family not used to having to do it, it will play merry hob with your schedules and lives.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 26, 2009 at 7:18 AM  

It's time M.Edium started earning his keep. No more free rides, little guy...

Or you could move 10 blocks to the south to Edina - where we hire peasants to wash the dishes when we choose not to smash them to bits after every meal and replace frivolously! (we only smash the dishes, not the peasants - just clarifying - we're not tyrants...)

By Blogger Chao, at January 26, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

Go to the local appliance store and get the new one ASAP. You'll all be happier, incl. the installation guy. See the dishwasher is just trying to do its part to help you stimulate the economy!

By Blogger Bunny, at January 27, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

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