Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Walls Were Just The Beginning

You know that old adage about how bad things come in threes?  Well, it's holding far more true than I would like when it comes to home repairs.

Our house is 35 years old.  It is a veritable baby in comparison to our previous home that was 80 years old when we moved out.  I assumed that having a younger house meant less silly "oh that's really old and now you're screwed" type of repairs.  Here is where I reference the adage about what assuming does.

Anyway, the point is that in the middle of dealing with the beginning, middle, and completion of wall construction, a number of OTHER things went wrong with the house.  Money is flowing in a mighty torrent from my bank account to the repairmen of Pittsburgh.  (Repairmen of Pittsburgh -- decent band name.)

First, our garbage disposal went haywire.  It got stuck in the "on" position.  We have one of those nifty professional models that turns on by twisting the drain plug in the sink.  No switch on the wall by the sink.  Just reach down, twist, and churn away.  I'd never seen one before we moved here.  Now I know why.  That sucker got effed up somehow (I don't know how!) and it got stuck in the on position.  I'll let you go ahead and imagine the frantic attempts to shut it off to no avail until I finally cut the power at the breaker box.  As luck would have it, the thing is on its own circuit so I didn't lose power to anything else in the process.

I haven't had anyone in to fix it yet but it will probably be around a $250 job to replace the batch feed switch on the silly thing.

Then there was my garage door.  I was standing in the library one Saturday afternoon (yes, we have a library - we have too many books and the formal living room became a library) and I heard a huge crashing noise.  I ran around for 10 minutes trying to locate the issue until I decided that maybe it had happened outside and I hit the garage door button to check.

The door went up about a foot and a half.

The door opener tried to lift it further, got nowhere with that effort, and sent the door back down again.

Lather, rinse, repeat about 4 times until I satisfied myself it was not a fluke.

So, I went over and while the opener was running, I lifted that damn door all the way up so that I could get my car out.  And then I noticed that certain pulleys and wires were hanging willy nilly off the tracks of the door.  Ah.  Yes, THAT would be the problem.

I called in a repair guy who said I had bad springs.  He replaced them both for me for the low, low price of $70 (yahoo!) and also left me with a rather nice little quote for new garage doors.  If we can scrape the money together, that's a project for the fall.

So, the door was working well for a few days.

And then it crapped out again.  This time, it would start lowering, go about a foot and a half, get caught up somehow and go back up again.  Joy.  This occurred on the first day of wall construction.

I called the repairman back and he came back out and gave that opener a piece of his mind.   Really, he just adjusted the thing to accommodate for new springs and it's working fine now.  Even better, he didn't charge me.

Two days later I decided that I had better do some laundry before we went out of town last weekend.  (That's another blog post.)  I got an error on the first load.  We have a front loading high efficiency washer so those codes mean diddly-bo-jack-wop-shit to me.  I cleared it out and sent it through another rinse and spin cycle.

That crapped out, too.

Bonus.  Now I had a washing machine problem that I needed fixed immediately in order to have clean clothes to pack.  I called a local repairman and when I told him what kind of washer I had he ran away.  And told me that every other local dude would run, too.  Sigh.  So I called the next option - a large appliance repair company.  They said they'd be able to send a dude out that same day.  Hurrah!

I went to the laundry room to remove the wet clothes from the washer.  Now, this is the first time I've ever had the washer repaired - we only bought it 3 years ago.  So, I didn't really think about the consequences before I opened the door of the FRONT LOADER WASHER THAT WASN'T PROPERLY DRAINING.

Water.  Everywhere. 

I got it cleaned up the best way I could without, you know, having a working washing machine and waited for the repairman to show up.  He showed up, took the thing apart and removed a single bobby pin and some lint.  Let me repeat that.  A single bobby pin and some lint.  Then he put everything back together and charged me $134.  For a single bobby pin and some lint.

But, wouldn't you know, that washer works again and I had clean clothes for the trip.

Dear Household Fairy - UNCLE.

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