Thursday, December 8, 2011

Appliance Anguish and Plumbing Plagues

Sometimes I think I should not have been born in a century so rife with technological advances...specifically, anything electrical or water related. I'm not certain if I carry some kind of magnetic force field that messes with household conveniences, or whether all these items are truly defective. I prefer to think it's the latter. At any rate, I've been doomed for years. Hubby has noted and commented on this same personal defect and has said that there's a story here somewhere. I'm not so sure, but here goes.

I first became aware of my affliction some 20 plus years ago. I no sooner moved into my own home with my two small children than the curse began. The fridge conked out...something to do with the defroster timer and in fact, it malfunctioned on two more occasions during that particular appliance's lifetime. The first time it broke, I decided to forgo the repairs indefinitely. I did not feel in a position to maintain my house and an appliance repairman. The good news is that it was winter and we managed to use the great outdoors to keep our food frozen for the next four months. By the second and third times the defroster broke, I located the essential part and replaced it on my own.

My washer stopped functioning shortly thereafter.  It filled with water and sat, and sat, and sat. The washer was clearly far less agitated than I was. Fortunately, the transmission was under warranty. The labour wasn't. After shelling out $171, the repairman left and the washer sounded as though it was readying itself for liftoff, but that's another story.

I was familiar with the saying "everything happens in threes", so I wasn't too shocked when the clothes dryer fizzled or I should say sizzled, next. The drum stopped revolving in mid load and half of every item inside became seriously singed and slightly scented. I was thankful for a sympathetic neighbour who not only dismantled the appliance, but cleaned it, replaced some kind of belt and restarted it for a mere $20.

I believe the aforementioned saying about "threes" is inaccurate. At least, it was in my case. It should have read, "everything happens in multiples of three".

 A "friend" sold me a used dishwasher that lasted for 2 weeks. That was just long enough for me to enjoy its benefits and realize that I really needed this appliance. Anyone who has ever been blessed with children entering their teens, knows how good they are at denial. It's amazing how every dish in the house gets dirtied by one of two culprits, "nobody" or "wasn't me".

My VCR became defunct during a particularly riveting episode of the now cancelled, "All My Children". I used to look forward to relaxing after work and fast forwarding through my favourite daytime t.v. programmes. One day, the cassette became wedged into the rectangular opening and refused to release a captive Kelly Ripa. Perhaps that's how she was teleported from a soap opera into the realm of the "Regis and Kelly" talk show. I have come to appreciate the modern tivo/dvr Bell thingy that records shows without additional equipment or aggravation....well, unless the satellite dish is disrupted by inclement weather or the smartcard develops a multiple personality disorder. It's always fun dealing with technical support staff. I particularly enjoy pushing every button on the telephone while attempting to get connected to the correct person in a department that is "experiencing higher than usual volume" of calls at that moment.

As for the plumbing, I am proud to say that I have become an expert. I know all about toilet stoppers, floats, chains, plungers, plumbing doctor and numerous other minor essential repairs. I have single handedly replaced the entire inner workings of a toilet.  My biggest plumbing challenge came when I tried to figure out how to get my jeans to hang below my....well, never mind.

So today, I found myself home alone and faced with not one or two, but three, defective toilets. The first was experiencing a phantom flush, another developed a leaky pipe and flooded the floor and the third wouldn't stop running. No problem. I looked inside in horror. Not a single one of them had the familiar floats, chains and stoppers. I was flummoxed. I did not think for a moment that I'd ever have to relearn all my plumbing techniques.

Ah well, since I only require one such facility, I shall stick with the phantom flusher and turn off the water flow on the other two. Although I considered phoning a plumber, I have decided rather to call upon one of my newly acquired skills. This is one which I've found very useful. In fact, I've become extremely adept at it over the past few years. I'll simply wait for hubby to return home.

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