About the only thing left to break is my bank account (and it’s getting close)
What a miserable two weeks. Recently we needed to replace:
Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me? An oven, refrigerator and water heater? All in a couple of weeks? Why yes, yes indeed.
Let’s start with the oven, a perfectly normal built-in double oven. Worked great and then one day it didn’t. So I called an appliance repair place, they came out, did the usual diagnostics and told me that it needed a new flinky-flabbule (at least I think that’s what he called it but I could be wrong) module of some sort. I said ok, and innocently asked what the cost would be. I was told close to $500.
So let me see if I have this straight: put a $500 module into a twenty-year-old oven? Doesn’t seem to make much sense, right? So I started looking at new ovens which, all things considered, shouldn’t be that hard to do.
I was wrong.
Twenty years ago ovens were smaller than they are now and to buy a “normal” oven now I’d need to rebuild the cabinet it goes in. No thank you. So I keep looking and find one that will fit. It looks okay, I bought it, and it was installed. Only then did I realize that while the overall dimensions were okay, the interior dimensions were ridiculously small and now I have an oven that looks normal on the outside but has much smaller than normal useable space.
But we’re stuck with it for now. Will I ever buy anything branded Maytag again? Probably not. No more buying without serious social media investigations.
Ok, so we needed a new refrigerator. The ice maker in our old one was leaking, the door had a crack and its 19 years old (where did those years go??). It still works okay but the cost of the ice maker in a 19 year old fridge, and an interior door panel that wasn’t made anymore, meant that getting a new one was the operative plan.
We searched, searched, and yeah, searched some more. Finally found one at Best Buy. Stainless steel, fingerprint proof (HA!), and big enough to run a restaurant from and it was on sale. Not inexpensive, you understand, just on sale.
Sale, right. My first two cars were a (very used) Renault and a (very used) Hillman Minx. The cost of the fridge was more than those two cars combined (and the fridge seems bigger than that old Renault come to think of it) but I just have one vote in the family and guess what? I lost.
So the fridge was delivered and installed Sunday. It fit. Not by much but it did. And the interior was a large as it was supposed to be – it wasn’t a scam like the Maytag oven (ok, I’m a little bit bitter oven that oven).
Another fridge point: you can buy a refrigerator, but if you need hoses for it – and you do – you also need to buy those (and an install kit). Why doesn’t the fridge come with hoses? Because the cost would actually reflect reality. What manufacturer wants that when they need to sell refrigerators at the lowest price point possible?
Why not use the old hoses? Because they’re 20 years old – haven’t you been listening? And yes, I probably would have used the old ones but city codes, blah, blah, blah.
In getting ready for the fridge to be delivered I went into the garage to turn off the water to the ice maker (and install a new filter at the same time ‘cause I’m nothing if not efficient) and find out the water heater is leaking. And apparently has been for a while. Oh joy, the day just got a whole lot more miserable.
The water heater
I start searching for water heaters. The vast majority are sold by Home Depot and Lowe’s and they won’t even come out to measure without a credit card number. Problem is, I’m skittish about giving my numbers over the phone unless tied to a purchase (and don’t much like it then). We spent hours not too long ago cleaning up an ID and credit card theft and I really don’t want to go through that again. Seriously, I do not want to do that ever again.
So I blew off Home Depot and some other place I can’t remember and started looking all over again for the elusive (who knew?) water heater.
Luckily, I knew a guy who knew a guy who came over (on a Sunday), looked at it and said what we already knew. So he and I jumped in his van and headed to, where else, Home Depot. Bought the water heater (plus install kit, hoses, and lines ‘cause just like the fridge, you have to) and a new stand (because it needed one) and he installed it all. And he installed it quickly, efficiently, and at less cost than Home Depot. And I didn’t have to give him a credit card number to come by the house.
So after a couple more trips to Home Depot, and sending the kid to KFC because no way was any cooking going on during all of this, we managed to get everything accomplished. We had:
A normal-looking oven that’s tiny inside (I hate that company)
A new refrigerator that cost more than my first two cars and is just about as big as the Renault. But man is this sucker gorgeous. My daughter fell in love with it. That’s a bit weird, but who am I to say anything? She’s taking cooking classes and may put this to really good use –at least that’s my hope.
A water heater that holds water
A filter that filters without leaking
An old refrigerator to get rid of (Craigslist!)
Yes, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, those problems were not exactly life-crushing ones. Annoying? Yes. Expensive? Yes. Time-consuming? Oh heck yes. But some things in life ya just gotta do.