Appliance, 1 2 3

You know how some people can’t wear watches?

Earth Momma is one of those people. Most of the time she just kills the watch, though once, a watch started making time go backwards.

from wristwatchreview

I’m that way with appliances. I don’t know if it’s my body chemistry, my inner magnetism, my raw power…

from guyism

…but damned if my stuff don’t break.

I’ve lived in the same place for about 4 years. In that time I’ve gone through:

1 space heater

2 dishwashers

3 refrigerators

4 wireless routers

1 sewing machine

2 vacuum cleaners

1 weedeater (it counts)

Trust me. You don’t want to be an appliance at my house.

from sodahead

Recently, my refrigerator became a re-freezer and the freezer portion became that thing that Han Solo got frozed in.

from yeeah

I didn’t know that things could be that frozen.

Since my dishwasher hadn’t worked in about a year, I decided that it was time to call a repairman.

He came over to my house, took a peek into my fridge, and in a Hispanic accent that sounded like every stereotypical Italian accent you ever heard said,

“You a gotta a bad thermostat controller-a.”

His accent was so thick I had to ask him to repeat it.

Once I understood, we negotiated the price of a replacement, and within 5 minutes, my fridge was back to simply keeping things cold instead of storing them cryogenically.

from ptiencino

He moved on to my dishwasher (or as he called it, “deeshwarshera”). We chatted the whole time he was fiddling with my appliances. He asked me how long I had lived here. I told him, then I asked him how long he’d lived here.

He said, “since 1991.”


from absoluteastronomy

Anyway, we got onto the topic of my future employment possibilities. I told him that I’m an interior designer and he told me that I should move to Texas.

I gave his this look:

from howdidthishappen

and asked why.

He said, “They like all that decoration in Texas. They got those big hats and cows and all. I seen a decoration show in Texas. They call them “farm-ranches.” Oooh weeee they gots money. Thats where you should go. Texas. For the decoration.”

Well, folks, that’s sound advice. I might move to Texas to a farm-ranch.

from limbcattle

Anyways, he put my dishwasher back together and pronounced it hopeless.

So this weekend I went dishwasher shopping. Always one to save a buck, I figured I’d install it myself.

from pieceofmymind

Bad idea.

I’m pretty handy with the toilet repairs, but kitchen plumbing is waaaay different. Even though the repairman had shown me exactly what I should do, I failed.

Well, I should qualify that and say that my dad and I failed. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you have home repairs that are over your head, right? Call your dad?

from guidespot

I did, and he made it worse.

To make a long story short, there was water gushing from…somewhere…all over my kitchen floor, then electric current started working its deadly magic in the flood. Being the wise person I am, I stood close to Dad with a wooden stick.

You know, just in case.

from parent24

Once the sparks (literally) started flying, we decided that this was beyond our skillz, so Dad called his ex-plumber friend Herbert.

Herbert showed up, wrangled the electricity back to where it came from, then laid hands on my plumbing and petitioned The Lord to heal my pipes.

from heavenawaits

Did I mention he no longer has a plumbing business?

Well, Herbert did a little something with a wrench, entreated The Lord to make what he did stick, and then Herbert left. And I’ve still got a dishwasher in my living room, right in front of my TV.

from tsminter

This leads me to the following list:

Do’s and Don’ts of (some) Home Repair: When to Call the Experts, When to Wing it Yourself

Disclaimer: I’m not a repairman. I almost got electrocuted this weekend. Take what I say with a little bit of skepticism.


from bouldercity

I know more about these than I ever thought I would.

Fix it yourself if:

  • you know where your breaker box is and you know which one to turn off
  • you have an owner’s manual or found one online
  • you know what you’re looking for. I, for one, do not.

Install yourself if:

  • you know where your breaker box is and you know which one to turn off
  • you’re handy with tools and when I say “1/4 inch drive metric socket wrench” you say “is it quick release?” and not “huh?”
  • the water line to your dishwasher has it’s own shut-off valve
  • you pay attention to what you did when you removed the old dishwasher
  • you do it on a weekday when plumbers and repairmen are easily accessible (I didn’t)
Bathroom Sinks

from alcazarfurniture

Fix it yourself if:
  • it’s a simple clog
  • it’s a small leak within the the confines of your bathroom cabinet/vanity
  • you are brave enough take apart the U-pipe and figure out what the problem is and replace parts accordingly
Gas Stoves

from ferrarisappliance

  • you’re dealing with gas. Call someone.
Electric Stoves

from siemensappliance

Fix it yourself if:
  • you can move the darn thing
  • you know what you’re looking for
Otherwise, it might be time to upgrade or call someone.


from itseasybeinggreen

Fix it yourself if:

  • you know where your water shut off valve is. This is the most important this about fixing a toilet.
Almost always you can fix your toilet yourself. Installing a new one is a different story, and one that I haven’t experienced (yet).

I say this from years of experience fixing toilets. The good news is that there is no danger of being electrocuted by your toilet.

Home improvement stores sell all the necessary parts to your toilet for $20 or under. I know because last Labor Day I spent an hour elbow deep in the tank, and emerged victorious.

Raised Flower Beds

from ajxcitycom

Put in a raised flower bed by yourself if:

  • you know if you have buried cables (power, cable, etc.) or not
  • if you do have buried cables, you know where they are
  • you are comfortable with liquid nails and a drill
  • you can lift a bag of dirt
  • you have a pickax and the will to yield it

Reframing a Door

from masonite

Do it yourself if:

  • you have access to (and the skills to use) a table saw
  • you can effectively use a crowbar
  • you know how to make small repairs to drywall
  • you can wield a hammer
  • you can use a paintbrush

Wireless Router

from dlink

Trust me when I tell you that these fuckers are unrepairable.

Refinishing Cabinets

from thehappymarrieds

Do it yourself if:

  • you own/have access to a sander
  • you have a lot of time and no big plans to cook for a week
Table Lamp

from premiumtablelamps

Fix it yourself if:
  • you can access most of the wiring in the lamp
  • you have the proper tools (pliers, screwdriver, manual on wiring from Lowe’s)
  • you have the ability (meaning it’s accessible) to replace the wiring kit (you can get it for $5 at Walmart)
Vacuum Cleaner

from evacuum

Fix yourself if:
  • it’s a clog
  • you can take apart the body
  • you can take apart the “head”
  • you can remember where things were so you can put it back together
Well, this list was by no means exhaustive, but maybe it was helpful. If not, find a good repairman.
suck it, martha.

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Categories: Life, Tips


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2 Comments on “Appliance, 1 2 3”

  1. Earth Momma
    May 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Cracked me up.

  2. Wonder Woman
    June 20, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    What’s funny to me is that you somehow thought that despite being an appliance gremlin, you would be able to repair your dishwasher! Hilarious, but I applaud your gumption 😉

    PS, Earth Momma, I am also watch deficient because they stop on me. I don’t remember if I’ve ever had one go backwards, though. I haven’t worn a watch in almost 20 years.

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