Over the past several months, our washing machine has slowly....ever so slowly....begun taking MUCH longer to fill with cold water. At first, you think to yourself, "Self, is this taking longer to fill?"
"NAH!" you answer. Everything is normal, you convince yourself. Less work that way. Less expense, too!
Well, then one day you suddenly realize that the washer is taking about 2 hours to fill. That's not right.
So, I mentioned to an engineer at work that my washer is broke. I had started researching new washers. My rationale is that I didn't want to spend perhaps hundreds of dollars to repair a 15 year old washer. I had my eye on some new high tech front loading energy efficient washers. Is there a tax break on those? I had no idea how I'd PAY for the high tech washer, but clearly 2 hours to fill the washer means SOMETHING. For example, if my wife and I value our time at somewhere around, say, $200 per hour, then the new high tech washer would probably pay for itself in a day or two, right?
Of course, right!
I had some questions on front-loading machines, though. Chief among them was why does the pedestal cost nearly $300? It's possible my current WASHER barely cost $300 when we bought it new over 15 years ago!
"Could you build a pedestal out of 2x4s and plywood?" I wondered out loud to the engineer. He used to work at Maytag. "Yes", he said in a resigned voice, "people do that."
"What's wrong with your washer?" he asked. Engineers can't resist that kind of line of questioning.
I told him.
"Oh, that's probably just a blocked filter in your hose or on the washer. You can fix that!"
Really? Well, it WOULD seem kind of silly to replace a washer just because of some gunk in a filter screen. I would clearly have to check this possibility out. Dreams of the new high tech front loading washer and dryer on a wooden pedestal of my own making that I didn't know we would pay for were already fading. Some of those new washers play music when they are done instead of buzzing, you know. Did I mention the music? I don't think I did.
I went home that night, somewhat dejected, yet hopeful that it really WAS just that simple. In fact, I was even a little excited. A new front loading high tech washer and dryer is a good way toward a down payment on a Camaro I can't afford and have no place to park! PLUS, if I were to fix the washer, my wife would probably be really impressed, and she'd brag to her friends and they'd probably throw me a party or something.
That would rock, if there was banana cream pie. I like pie!
I told my wife that I had talked to an engineer that used to work at Maytag about the washer and he said it was probably just a dirty filter screen in the washer hose. I didn't mention the high tech front loading washer and dryer, because I was honestly more focused on that Camaro down payment. In my mind, the high tech washer and dryer money that I didn't have was already spent, so now that it wasn't needed on the washer (in theory) it had to go SOMEWHERE, right? The male mind moves fast, try to keep up.
Later, I moved the washer out from the wall, confronting all the scary things that are hidden behind a washer that has sat in the same place in the basement, near an outside door, for 15 years. I was mildly surprised that there wasn't a family of raccoons living back there. Or maybe even squirrels! SQUIRRELS! After drenching myself with the washer hoses (YES, I TURNED OFF THE WATER FIRST) and other-wise making a mess of my fashion plate designer clothes I like to wear, I had checked all the filter screens. Yes, there was a little bit of stuff accumulated in there after 15 years, but nothing major. I didn't think it would have a big impact.
"Well?" my wife asked excitedly as I emerged from the catacombs under the house, "was that it?"
"No", I replied. "It didn't really do anything."
"That's too bad", she said, which CLEARLY meant "you have to get me a new washer and get it now. Also, it must play music when it is done, I'm FED UP TO HERE with washers that buzz! Additionally, while you're out, get me some chocolate."
The money that I didn't have that was going to be spent on the high tech washer and dryer and home made pedestal that was already spent so I'd HAVE to divert to some other cause, like a Camaro down payment, because the money was already gone was now working it's way back to the high tech washer and dryer.
(to be continued)