disapproving kitty

Sunday, July 10, 2011

are we saving time yet?

      I am seriously aggravated by my laundry.  About a year and a half ago our washer died.  I took it as a sign from the Universe that it was finally time to get a stackable set, because I really, REALLY wanted to put a laundry sink in my laundry room.  I was very tired of trying to do stain removal with a large bowl or in the kitchen sink.  With a toddler and a baby, there was a lot of stain removal to do.

     So I researched, a lot, and we finally bought the Consumer Reports recommended stackable set.  It arrived, was professionally installed and not too long later I got my sink installed, too.  I love the sink.  I hate the washer and dryer.  They cost more than my computer and they don't work well.

      The washer, one of the water-saving models, seemed to be "washing" my clothes with a tablespoon of water per load.  They'd told me that we wouldn't see much water sloshing around in the drum, but sometimes my clothes would come out nearly dry for crying out loud.  And my towels smelled.  And not the good, "nature clean!" scent kind of smell, either.  But it was brand new!  It couldn't be broken!  I knew, just knew, that if I called a repairman he'd come out and tell me that it was working just like it was supposed to and I owed them for the useless visit, even though we had the extended warranty.  It's that way with my car.

     Whenever my car is making odd noises, it's always perfectly fine when I take it in and the repair guys look at each other with that "look" I cannot stand.  It's the look that says "Stupid woman.  Doesn't know that her car is SUPPOSED to sound like that!  Let's charge her a gazillion dollars and only change the oil."  The end result is that I will drive my car around in a state of disintegrating disrepair until something actually blows up, falls off or makes it stop entirely, so that I have something concrete, dammit, that I can point to and say "There shouldn't be flames leaping out of my engine like that when I drive."  The sad part is that the repair guys will still give each other that "look" but now it's because I'm so dumb I don't know when to bring my car in.  So maybe that's not such a great strategy, but at least I don't have subject myself to car repair guys that often with this method.
   (True Story:  I once had my car in to have the brakes fixed. I picked it up after hours, on a Sunday.  After pulling out of the lot, I drove about 35 feet to a red light and when I stepped on my new brakes, the pedal thumped straight to the floor and the car sort of slowly, gradually, rolled to a stop.  Fortunately, I hadn't been going very fast, and did stop before rear-ending someone.  I pulled into the grocery store lot next door, and tested my brakes over and over, getting up to about 10mph, and trying to brake hard, only to roll to a gentle, eventual stop.   The brakes felt like they weren't even there. I spent nearly 10 minutes wondering if my brakes has always been this way, and if this was just how brakes were supposed to be.  Really.  This is how damn insecure I am about knowing when something is wrong with my car, and trying to avoid car repair guys.  My brakes were 100% dysfunctional and if I'd gotten up to any speed at all I'd have been in a very serious accident.  But I STILL questioned my own senses and reasoning ability.  Because it involved my car.  Turns out some kind of brake fluid canister had been so old and fragile that when the new brakes were installed over it, they just crushed it to bits and brake fluid drained right out of my car.)

   But back to the washer:  Eventually I called, and they sent out a very sweet looking older guy who confirmed that my washer was getting nowhere near enough water.  Ha!  So there!  Only it had been like this for more than a year and I'd waited that long to call.  Sheesh.  But it was still under warranty.  They fixed it, only I still don't think there's enough water, but I haven't called again.  The guy even said that this fix only MAY do the trick.  Otherwise there's something seriously wrong with the mumble-bumble-framice-ator and that will be a much bigger job.  But I haven't called.  If they come, and say "nope!  Workin' fine!" then I get to accept that I paid a lot for a crappy washer.  If it really IS not working right, then I get to live without a washer for several weeks while they try to fix it again.  I don't like either scenario, frankly, and I'm hoping that ignoring the problem will make it spontaneously heal itself.  (Kinda like the giant water spot in our garage ceiling.)

   The super annoying thing, now, beyond it not working well, is that when it gets unbalanced it just, stops.  It does play a sad little two note "I'm unbalanced" song, but if you don't hear it or get to it in time, the whole damn thing just shuts off.  So you get to the machine and the only clue you have that it didn't spin properly is that the clothes are sorta soggy and not stuck, semi-dry, to the sides of the drum.  And there's no way to start it up again where it left off.  You have to do it all over again, or do a rinse and spin cycle in its entirety.

    The dryer is no gem, either.   It dries things with a sensor to tell when they're dry.  Only it just gets to dry-ish.  I go in, all set to swap out the laundry and start a new load and whoops!  Needs another 10 minutes!  Invariably, I don't get back to it for at least another hour.  This is why laundry takes forever.

     Next time, I'm just going to get myself some Lifeboy, a washtub and board, and start using my jerry-rigged drying line for real and not just for sheets.  It'll take longer, maybe, but maybe I can work out some of this aggravation.

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