Saturday, October 29, 2016

How to Be a Condo Owner, Part Two: Repairs

I've said it before, and not much has changed: I hate my dishwasher.

Okay, okay...yes, I'm very glad to have a dishwasher at all--I have lived without one a couple of times--and so what if it's noisy enough to rival the power saws downstairs? So what that it rocks forward when you pull the trays out because it was installed poorly? It gets the dishes cl--

Oh, hell. No, it doesn't.

At least I have a warranty.

Today was my warranty appointment, and while they had told me it would be between ten and two, he was running early and able to be here at 9:15. He figured out the problem very quickly, after chiding me that it's not supposed to rock forward like that ("Yes, I know, it was like that when I bought the place."), and then proceeded to fish a small boatload of paper, plastic, and who-knows-what-else out of all the places where water is supposed to run through while I turned slightly green.

"You're not supposed to put these things in a dishwasher!" he lectured, while I nodded weakly and said, "Yes, I know, I didn't. I'm not stupid" (the last part in my head only).

And so we spent a lovely half-hour together, with me trying valiantly reminding myself that "he was mansplaining" is not a good homicide defense, while he repeatedly told me what was wrong with the machine, and that I ought to not put stuff that will clog the dishwasher in the dishwasher.

Finally, he appeared to be finished, and stood up. Out of curiosity, he peered at the little cylindrical part that's on the sink (damned if I know what it's called, but here's a picture), lifted the metal "cap" part off, and made a noise of dismay that I felt in my toes.

"Does this leak water into the sink?"

"Well, yes."

I mean, I've never seen a dishwasher do that in my life, and yes, I thought it was odd, but--and don't laugh at me, please, I'm new to this owning of appliances business--I didn't think it was a bad thing, really.

"It's not supposed to do that. See here? It is missing a cap, it's been broken off."

"Of course it has." (This, I actually said out loud.)

"I wonder why..." and then he started muttering, and opened the cupboard under the sink, pulled out my garbage can, and made another sound of dismay while I stood there wondering how much jail time I'd get for torching my own home. (Too much to make it worth it.)

"Oh, it's not supposed to do this, you need a plumber!!!"

Long story short, and just imagine me telling it in a Slavic accent:

The part on top of the sink (let's just call it the cylinder) is where the water goes after it drains from the dishwasher. It comes up a small tube and is directed back down by the little cap into a larger tube...which travels down under the kitchen sink through a pipe that meets up with the sink drain under the garbage disposal. The pipe is supposed to go in as straight a line as possible from the cylinder to the drain...mine is a big long U, meaning that water would back up in there if it drained, causing my dishwasher all kinds of angst, and possibly a medium-sized explosion that would flood my kitchen.

So, because the previous owner of this home was a cheap-ass dumb-fuck (*ahem* pardon my French), the only obvious solution was to not actually fix the damned problem, but to break off the little cap in the cylinder so my dishwasher water drains into the sink, and now I have the joy of finding a plumber and also trying to convince the home warranty people that this ought to be covered--and if I can't do that, hoping that my homeowner's insurance covers "cheap-ass dumb-fuck former owners who never fixed anything without squeezing the pennies out of his ass."

Finally, about an hour and fifteen minutes after he'd arrived, I ushered my chatty repairman to the door and felt a few tears well up in my eyes. It seems like nothing about this condo has been easy, but I suppose if it was, it wouldn't be Wild and Absolutely True.

But hey, at least my dishwasher doesn't rock anymore.

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