I can’t remember when we got our first dishwasher growing up. But I remember it was one of those portable ones so we didn’t have to remodel the kitchen. Those were fun. You rolled them over to the sink after dinner and connected it to the faucet to run it. Meanwhile there was the bulky dishwasher blocking well traveled portions of the kitchen.
For many years I didn’t think much about dishwashers. I lived in apartments or rented rooms in houses and a dishwasher was not my concern. How I wish we had one in the brownstone I lived in my final two years of college. My roommates were all engineers and often spent time in the library studying. Even then I hated studying in a library (when you have ADD, leave out the H please, they are not fun places to be. Besides, homework was so much more interesting watching the Celtics play in the height of the Bird years). So I would be home first and would inevitably be met with a sink full of dishes that needed to be cleaned before I could cook my dinner.
Both of my homes had “builders’ specials” when I bought them. I can’t remember the brand in FL, but CavWife and I nicknamed it “The Monsoon” because it was so loud we would have to pause the movie or recorded show at key points in the cycle. We nearly replaced it a number of times but kept thinking, “we might move soon.” We didn’t want to waste our money, and that doesn’t seem to be an “upgrade.” Have you ever checked how loud the dishwasher is when buying a house?
The GE we own now is much quieter even though it is a “builder special”. About 5 and 1/2 years old, it stopped drying the dishes sometime in the last year. You just lose track of these things. I could replace the heated dry elements, but I’m not that handy and could easily see myself with an aching back, hardened heart and cussin’ a blue streak like the father in A Christmas Story. Just not good with kids around.
CavWife has never been pleased with how it cleaned. Despite the fact we have soft water, there were stains in it too. There were some random comments about buying a new one, but nothing serious.
That all changed on Friday.
One of the jokes in our marriage is that I don’t put anything away, and she doesn’t close any doors. I’m seemingly always closing a door- closet doors, cabinet doors etc. She has gotten much better over the years. I’m not so sure I have.
I don’t remember her keeping the dishwasher door open in FL, but at some point it started happening. At some point I started getting annoyed. I recently started trying to keep the door closed. I particularly did this when her parents were visiting recently since I don’t want her mom to fall and break her hip. My comments and actions didn’t produce any change on her part. Perhaps I should have prayed. And fasted. Perhaps this problem only comes out by prayer and fasting.
Friday. I was preparing our lunch and moved to put something in the trash which was behind me to my right, right where the dishwasher is. Forgetting it was open (AGAIN), I snagged my ankle on it while backing up and lost my balance. Apparently I need one of these back up cameras on my posterior.
Falling I reached out to steady myself. Too far from the counter I could only grab the upper rack which buckled under my weight (too much Halloween candy?).
Trying to regain my footing I stepped down. On the open door. It was not meant to support a 190-200 pound man. I proceeded to land on the floor without my head slamming into the oven door. My lower back and butt absorbed most of the blow. My aging, bad lower back and hips. Stunned, I muttered the word Ralphie said that got his mouth washed with soap. Thankfully 3 of the 4 kids were upstairs resting, and the oldest may not have heard me.
I appear to have survived without any damage to my body aside from stiffness and soreness. I am wondering if she’s trying to kill me though.
The damage to the rack was not permanent. But the hinge is another story. The door now hyper-extends when open. It still works, but we aren’t sure how long it will.
Since it was Black Friday …. I decided to look for a special deals. I’ve never really thought about this though. All I know is that I want a quiet one. A very quiet one.
There were a number of sales. We started to look at reviews. We decided we should look at the worst reviews. Some had a number of mechanical complaints. But there was also a strange trend: dishes don’t dry. Really, one star because the dishes aren’t dry as a bone. What is with people?
What we have discovered is that the “energy star” requirements have had two negative unintended consequences. First, since they use less water they don’t get the dishes as clean as before (another common complaint). This also results in longer cycle times. Second, they use lower wattage heating elements for the heat dry. The Energy Star standards are behind many of the non-mechanical complaints people have.
By Saturday night we hadn’t made an incredible amount of progress in narrowing down the field.
Two things happened on Sunday. First, one of our members told me her refrigerator died on Thanksgiving day. She went to a local store the next day and had her new one an hour after she bought it. That wasn’t as important as the fact they were having an anniversary sale. I’d been on their web site but they didn’t have any prices so I blew them off.
Second, another member’s son was in the ER so I went to pay a visit after worship. I had to drive right past that appliance store. So after my visit, I popped in for a quick check on prices. The salesmen showed me 3 he recommended based on my highest priority. A GE that had very few service calls. A Maytag that was the lowest priced of the three. And a Kitchen Aid that came with the house he bought. I got prices and went home to debrief with CavWife.
Before I could leave the parking lot she texted me. Thanks to Find a Friend she knew where I was and decided I should pick up a Papa Murphy’s pizza for dinner. But her spying ways are another story.
Being an investigator’s daughter, she was on the case with the info. Soon she decided we should go back on Monday. In the meantime, I’m thinking about the new tires we need to buy. I wondered if we should wait to buy a new dishwasher until it did “give up the ghost” and started to leak. But this is a good time to buy due to the sales.
So there we are at the appliance store with 3 of the kids. 3 kids 9 and under. I instructed them on proper behavior before entering. “Look with your eyes, not your fingers.” “I need to think and make decisions, so don’t run around making lots of noise.” That kind of stuff. Why do I waste my time?
The salesman remembered my name and we looked at the three machines and quickly eliminated the Maytag. She seemed to prefer the Kitchen Aid. But there was another one next to it for about $20 more. I wondered, what is the difference? The salesman assured me it wasn’t the larger name plate on the front.
The difference was a third rack for knives, BBQ tools and other such things. It was removable for extra height when needed on the the second rack. Hmmm. I liked this feature. This may change things.
It was my decision, she said. I preferred the new one, but didn’t want to demand it. I didn’t want to pay the extra money, but …. (she’s now laughing at me). And it rates at 46 or 47 dba! Just a bit more (considerably more) than I wanted to spend. Merry Christmas to us! Happy Anniversary to us! (Happy Birthday to us?)
We survived the great dishwasher purchase of 2015. We are no longer dishwasher virgins. I hope to never buy one again.
We may move instead.