Tuesday, September 29, 2009

house issues, edition 284 (I’m only half joking)

A little background, I detest our house, detest. From the moment we moved in we started having housing issues. The short list of what’s been replaced- refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, microwave, dryer, washing machine, add in the numerous electrical and plumbing problems.

Last Friday, I started the dishwasher then came into the living room to check email and update my iPod. About 20 minutes later I noticed that the power cord on my laptop was out. Sure enough every electronic item in the house off. Somebody from Washington DC was in town to inspect the electricity in all government owned and leased housing, so I assumed he had arrived and somehow turned off the electricity before coming inside. Between the wording on the email I received and the timing, it seemed plausible. What do I know?

Hour after hour went by, no electrical expert knocked on the door. Several phone calls later, the powers that be were at the house and found the problem. The dishwasher was leaking and somehow water came into contact with something electrical in the dishwasher which then shorted out the circuit breaker for the outlets. Fair enough. The remedy: don’t use the dishwasher, we’ll contact the landlord and somebody will be out next week to fix the dishwasher.

Fast forward to today. Forty-five minutes late, the appliance repairman, whom I’ve dealt with several times before (see above list) arrived. He looked in the dishwasher, looked under the dishwasher, then said he knew what the problem was. He accused me of using regular dish soap in the dishwasher. Um, NO. I showed him the dishwasher pellets I use. Response, “well somebody used dish soap in there.” There are two people in the house and I honestly can’t think of a time my husband has ever used the dishwasher. He’s great about loading and unloading it, but given the task to actually start it, I don’t think he’d even know how (there are several buttons and it has to be done in a certain order). Mr. repairman continued to insist that I put dish soap in the dishwasher. Becoming increasingly angry over the accusation, I showed him my Williams Sonoma dish soap and told him in no uncertain terms that there is no way I would waste, I mean use that soap in the dishwasher. Ever. He said that he’d looked for leaks and didn’t see any. My instructions were to run the dishwasher without soap for a full cycle. With that, he left.

Twenty minutes later, another repairman arrived, this time for the phones. Don’t ask. While speaking with him about the wiring, phone and alarm issues, a lovely woman from the housing department called to check on the dishwasher repairman. I explained the “diagnosis” and let’s just say, she was less than thrilled that I’d been accused of putting dish soap in the machine. She also asked me to check for additional water since it was currently running. As soon as I walked into the kitchen, bam, the clock on the coffee maker went out, microwave went out. Hmm, it was like Friday all over again. The wonderful electrician who was at the house pulled the machine out, sure enough, water. He even had a few suggestions as to what was wrong and why it was short-circuiting the electricity.

A few phone calls and two hours later, the appliance repairman returned, even less thrilled to be here than the first time. The electrician tried to exchange pleasantries with him and was ignored. The appliance repairman was visibly upset when the electrician made a suggestion as to what might be wrong with the dishwasher. The repairman then said he had to go get supplies and would return in an hour. So, here I sit. tick tock tick tock

Fortunately the electrician was wonderful, phones are fixed, and I now have his number should we have a problem in the future. He also got bonus points in my book because he was really sweet to the cats.

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