Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dirty Dishes

As you may recall from the last post, there are two areas of home repair that strike fear into my very core; internal combustion engines and plumbing. However, flushed with success with the results of the valve job on the lawn tractor, a new report of a dishwasher problem seemed like child's play.

"It's not washing the dishes," the Missus lamented. "It spits the soap out but there's no water in the tub. It's bone dry in there."

I give her a smirk. "Fear not little lady. I have the Internet and You Tube to help me now. Fix yourself a tall glass of lemonade, sit back, and watch your handyman hubby at work." After all, compared to a riding lawnmower, how tough could it be?

I remove two screws from a cover plate at the bottom of the device and peer into the darkness with my trusty flashlight. There wasn't that much to see, but I did spot a part with a copper line connected to one side and a plastic tube coming out of the other. There were a couple of colored wires protruding from the top. With my keen analytical troubleshooting skills, it seemed like a good place to start.

The Internet confirmed my first impressions. The part in question was called a water inlet valve. It explained that as the timer comes around, it sends electrical juice to the part, it mysteriously opens, and allows the water to pass through. Simple logic. Right? Valve no workee, get no water, dishes stay dirty. This has to be the faulty component. As if to confirm my suspicions, one poster made the note that this valve was a very common problem on this particular model of dishwasher. Further searches reveal that I could order this part for around 25 bucks. Seemed a little steep to me but....

I pass the information along to the Missus, embellishing my problem solving skills, waiting for the praise.

"I think we should call a repairman," she says, unimpressed.

"What? No way! You got your service charge--got to be around a hundred bucks-- then you wait for an appointment, then wait for the part to come in which he'll mark up about a thousand percent, and after all that, there's a good chance it'll be the wrong part which puts you back to square one. Meanwhile the dirty dishes stack up."

"I've lived without a dishwasher before," she replies. "You can help. We'll get by."

Completely illogical thinking. Hard to reason with a woman like that. I order the part. It took a week to get here, but look at the money I saved. With only minor flooding, I change the water inlet valve, turn the water back on, rotate the timer switch to on, and...nothing. No water, not a drop. Shit.

The Missus presents me with the original sales receipt (she keeps things like that) and points out that the dishwasher is 12 years old and probably past its prime. She further explains that a new model is on sale at the local appliance store. We go there. She drives, I sulk in the passenger seat. She chooses a color. I make a pitch for the reasonably priced entry level model. She points to one with digital readout, delayed start time, and has a Fine China setting even though we don't own any Fine China.

The salesman writes up the Fine China model with the caveat that it will be at least a week before delivery.

Can anyone recommend a good hand lotion? Mine are red, chapped, and the skin on my left thumb is cracking. Maybe I could shop Wal-Mart for some rubber gloves, something in a manly tan, or maybe a camo pattern.


  1. Funny blog, your ego in the Mr Fix-it Dept. has been reduced. :o)

  2. It's not so much the Fix-It part didn't is more the Missus was right..........again. You and the Missus make a wonderful team!!


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