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In The Dishwasher Dumps – Part 1

January 14, 2011

So my dishwasher bought the farm last Thursday. Perhaps to those of you “old school” peeps who still wash dishes by hand, this is a silly thing. It is NOT a silly thing to me… for numerous reasons. The first and most important of those reasons is that I live in a household of six. That means we generate a lot of freaking dishes, or we use enough disposable plates, forks and cups to have our own personal landfill. When the dishwasher no workie, we feel the pain.

It doesn’t just no workie, either. No, it mocks. Which is a serious bummer. There is a lovely green light on the front of the unit that goes on when the dishwasher starts, and stays lit after it has finished. It’s a positive green light, in general, because it means that my dishes are warm, smell ever so slightly of bleach, and have been completely sanitized. I love that green light. But Thursday night, when I pressed the Start button, the green light did a little flashing number… twice. As if to say, “HA! HA! I no workie.” Completely uncool.

My Hubby, who bought me the dishwasher two years ago for Christmas because I am practical like that, bought a top of the line model–the kind that does everything except figure your taxes for free. He was evidently tired of hearing me complain about the builder-grade dishwasher we had in there before. It’s also possible that his ears were beginning to suffer from the sheer number of decibels required to hear the TV over the darn thing. Either way, he rocks and so does the dishwasher. And? He’s also smart, so he purchased the Extended Product Protection Plan.

Friday morning I called for service.

That part was easy enough. The gal on the other end of line was reasonably pleasant, managed to find us in the database and verify that we were, indeed, qualified to receive service on our disabled dishwasher. She scheduled someone to come out to our home that very afternoon… between 1 and 5.

Outstanding. I don’t know what happened to the days of having service people schedule appointments, but the 4-hour block thing gets on my last nerve. Pretty much everyone on earth works, so I’m guessing they know that hanging around from 1 until 5, when the person really doesn’t arrive until 4:45 is painful. However, since they didn’t appear to want to change their policy just due to my personal fabulousness, I acquiesced.

Before I got off of the phone, I told the pleasant lady to please note in the call all of the steps we had already taken to troubleshoot. Having worked in IT for umpty million years now, I am sometimes able to figure out problems like that, or at least shorten the process–after all it does have a little computer inside. Back on Thursday evening, irritated by the mocking of the formerly friendly green light, we had found the codes online to reset the thing, had followed the suggestions we read to pull the power to it for 30 seconds and try again, and had seen that in several instances, this particular flashing light issue was caused by a heater failure. Nothing we did helped, but I was hoping that by adding our troubleshooting steps to the call, the service person who arrived would at least have to spend less time getting to the root of the problem. Perhaps their steps even included the heater thing and someone’s memory would be jogged by reading the notes.

Wishful thinking.

At 4:49pm, on the nose, Mr. Service Man arrived. He seemed like a nice person and set about immediately trying to figure out what the problem was. I reiterated the steps that we had already taken and he spent the next five minutes following those steps EXACTLY. Yep. Reset the dishwasher, just as we had done. Pulled the power, waited 30 seconds, plugged it back in, just as we had done. As if I had perhaps manufactured the story about what we had tried.

He did do one thing we hadn’t done. He hunkered down on the floor by the dishwasher, held the Start button down for a few seconds… and listened. Nothing.

After the listening and the nothing, he stood, announced that it was the controller and told me that he would order parts.

What?!? Order parts?!?

“You don’t have a controller with you?” I squawked.

“Nope, have to order,” he replied nonchalantly. “I’ll order it emergency, though. So it should be here by Monday or Tuesday.”

“MONDAY OR TUESDAY?!?” I cried. “Really?!? We CANNOT be down a dishwasher until Monday or Tuesday.”

“Well,” he half snickered, “It’s Friday afternoon. There’s nothing gonna get done today.”

And with that, he was gone.

I surveyed the mountain of dishes that had already collected since the previous evening with despair. Yuck. It absolutely blew my mind that they would make we wait four hours for him to arrive, have him arrive and follow the same steps I had already followed, tell me what was wrong, be unable to fix it, AND make me wait another 3-4 days for a part.

Why in Heaven’s name would you send a repairman out to a service call completely unarmed?

“Well,” I thought, recovering slightly from the horror of being out a dishwasher for DAYS at a time and pulling my emotional self up by the bootstraps, “We can make it for 3-4 days.”

I called the kids in and we set about tackling the mountain of dishes. I know, most people would say we have four perfectly good dishwashers in the house. And that we should just enlist them to get the job done. Pitch in as a family. Make it a learning experience. In general, I agree. For most things.

But have I mentioned I’m slightly Type-A?

Having my people, as much as I love them, do the dishes instead of sliding them into a machine that heats to a gazillion degrees and for sure kills any remnant of botulism, salmonella, e-Coli, and all of the other bugs out there, gives me hives.

The water isn’t hot enough, the scrubbing isn’t vigorous enough, the drying towel isn’t clean enough. Did you wash your hands before you started? Do NOT pick up the dog while you are on dish-drying duty! Your sister’s shirt is NOT meant to be used as a towel!


It’s a problem.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2011 10:40 am

    I’m like you. I wouldn’t know what to do without my dishwasher. The couple of times I’ve had to – I put the dishes in my big canning pot and end up boiling them. I’m horrid I know….

  2. cassee01 permalink
    January 14, 2011 11:38 am

    have I told you lately how glad I am you are posting again!

  3. ChapmansRus permalink
    January 14, 2011 4:32 pm

    I wonder if you could expediate the process by going online to find the part yourself & having it overnighted?? I did that with my dryer when the heater core went out on it a few years ago.

    In the mean time, boiling them in sudsy water might do the trick of killing every last germ & parasite 😉

  4. February 17, 2011 8:02 am

    You are seriously one of the world’s best writers!

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