12 December 2007

Clean dishes and no bare bulbs

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It is certainly true of people that separation makes you appreciate them all the more when together again. Sometimes it's like that inanimate objects. If you're without something for awhile, it almost feels new when you get it back. Two recent examples follow.

For several months, our dishwasher has been doing a progressively worse job of cleaning the dishes. What began with specks on glasses turned into routinely dirty bowls and pots. A couple weeks ago, I took apart and cleaned everything that did not require tools. Unfortunately there was no improvement. This past weekend I finally undertook a deeper examination and started taking everything apart. It's good to have a advance knowledge, though, and for that I am indebted to Samurai Appliance Repair Man and this illustrative slide show. In no time had exposed the mascerator assembly (pictured), which was clogged. I removed a ton of crud, mostly cardboard and toothpicks. Now we take extra pleasure when the dishwasher cleans dishes, even though that's what it's supposed to do all the time.

A similar nagging item was a broken glass lampshade to the lamp on the left. We didn't want to replace the whole lamp just because the shade broke, but I wasn't finding anywhere I could get it. After much googling of part numbers, I finally found a company selling replacement shades. However, it too forever for them to get it from their distributor and sent it to us. I placed the order in September and it arrived yesterday. With it back, though, there is no longer the harsh glare of bare bulbs illuminating our family room. Normally this is nothing special, but in this case it is.


Sharon GR said...

I know how pathetic it is to get excited over something so minor, but I'm thrilled to have clean dishes again.

Before the dishwasher was fixed, Youngest suggested we just wash the dishes by hand. Having never had to do that regularly, Youngest didn't understand the look of horror I had at the idea.

DBK said...

Nothing is so satisfying as successfully doing it yourself. When our sump pump broke down on us, I asked the plumber how much it would cost to fix it and which sump pump he would install. He told my the brand that he said was the best and quoted me $400 for the job.

I bought that sump pump for $175 and installed it myself. Took me 45 minutes, mainly because I had to read instructions. Every time it rains hard, I get a great sense of satisfaction. Everything works perfectly.

When we had our water heater replaced, I watched the plumbers do it and realized the only skill involved that I didn't have was knowing how to sweat copper, so I spent about $40 for equipment and some copper pipe to practice on and taught myself how to sweat copper. When I had to replace a sillcock, I did it myself and used my newly acquired copper sweating skills. The sillcock works perfectly. I bet you it would have cost $200 if I had hired a plumber to put in that sillcock, but I paid something like $12 for the parts and did the work myself. Maybe it was $21. I don't remember. But it was certainly cheaper than hiring a plumber to do it.

I have nothing against plumbers and the plumbers I have hired did good work, but there's nothing like saving a couple of hundred dollars and doing the work yourself. If you had hired a plumber for your dishwasher, it would have cost you hundreds.