Monday, July 03, 2017

How to Be a Condo Owner, Part Five: Appliance Love

Last September, I wrote a post in which I bitched about how exhausting being a new home-owner was. Part of that post lamented about how much I hated my dishwasher--the one that came with Casa Meg.

Appliances only last maybe ten years--if you're lucky--and this thing had to have been way beyond that. It was in pitiful shape, but I got a few more months out of it after letting a chauvinistic old repairman spend an hour berating me for stuff the former tenants had done to it as he fished bits of plastic out of the drain.

But a few weeks ago, it stopped draining properly, and then I noticed a bit of water dripping on the floor when I ran it. So I bit the bullet and ordered a new one.

And I love it.

The old one was a Whirlpool, noisy as all get-out and, as mentioned, older than an appliance ought to be.

The new one is a Bosch, and it's so beautiful, I can't even.

Of course, there were two plastic toddler spoons and someone's old, unopened Geico bill under the old one when the installer pulled it out. I took my hand vacuum to the mess.

This being Casa Meg, formerly the Guinea Pig-Sty, there was, of course, a problem with the plumbing that I knew about thanks to Mr. Lecture from last fall. The air gap had been modified (read: broken) so that the water would drain out into the sink, instead of going through the pipes under the sink and directly to the drain. The pipe leading to the drain was too long, making it U-shaped, hence the stupid-ass-what-were-you-thinking "repair" of breaking the air gap.

Oh, and because apparently I am not the only one who didn't know what an air gap is until my dishwasher needed repairing and replacing, it's the bit that partially sticks out of your kitchen sink under a little cap.  Under the sink, it connects to two pipes--one that comes from the dishwasher, and pushes the water up, through the cap on top of the sink, and then drains it out through the second pipe into the drain. It sounds complicated, and probably is more complicated than these things out to be, but once you know what's what, it's easy enough.

Thing is, I had to replace the air gap myself.

I have a degree in music. I am not a plumber. I've never plumbed in my life, unless you count unclogging a toilet.

Still, I gamely went across the street to my helpful OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) and bought the ten dollar component I needed. Then I climbed under my kitchen sink and bravely started taking things apart.

Aside from some truly rank-smelling water than leaked out because it hasn't been draining properly for probably at least five years, the job involved minimal mess, and minimal stress. The hardest part was working one part of the old air gap valve out of the pipe because it had been in there so long, but after some wrestling, I managed it.

I felt like Wonder Woman.

The new air gap installed, I was finally able to run my new Bosch. I had to actually lean down close to it and put a hand on it to make sure it was, indeed, running. It is SO QUIET!! The only noisy bit is when it's draining, and the water runs through the pipes.

I never thought I'd be that person who gets really excited over kitchen appliances, but between this and my oven, I've been on a high for months. And with my new-found plumbing skills, I'm realizing I'm actually kind of a home-owning badass.

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