Thursday, April 12, 2012

a story about a drain, a disposal and a dishwasher

This is the gripping story of how a clogged drain led us to get a new-used dishwasher.

Once upon a time there was a little family who has always had just what they needed at just the right time.  One day, they received their tax return and they began to make plans about what to do with the money.
Should they buy something exciting and fun like new gutters for their house?
Should they put the money in savings in case something unexpected breaks?
Should they give the money all away?
Should they take a shopping spree on the Plaza?
Should they finally put up that fence that they get a bid for every year, but never end up buying because they always end up spending their savings on something else that breaks?
Should they put their money in their adoption fund?

The possibilities were endless!

Fortunately/unfortunately, some little decisions were made for them.  One of those little decisions was fixing a clogged drain in their kitchen sink.  The Manly Husband tried to fix it by himself, but the clog was too deep into the plumbing and his tools couldn't reach around the bends in the plumbing.  So they called their plumbing heroes, Bob Hamilton (they were very generous to the little family when they had to replace their sewer line last Spring).  Bob Hamilton plumbing came out and unclogged their drain and in the process discovered that the little family's garbage disposal was old and rusted.  The plumber told them a broken garbage disposal doesn't do it's job of breaking food up and that's how the drain was clogged.  And so it was that another little decision was made for them: they would have to use part of their tax return to buy a new disposal.

So the Manly Husband bought a new garbage disposal and installed it himself because he is awesome.  And the little family was feeling pretty good about how they were using their tax return money.  They even decided to take a leap of faith and pay off a lingering student loan, which left them with just a little tiny cushion of leftover money to put in savings.  The Mommy-Wife was a little nervous about that big decision because she just had this feeling that something else might break.

And then it happened.  The Mommy-Wife's premonition came true: the dishwasher broke.  The Manly Husband noticed that the dishwasher wasn't draining so he pulled it out and tried to figure out the problem.  Initially the little family thought it must have something to do with the clogged drain, but that wasn't it.  Eventually, the Manly Husband diagnosed it to the best of his knowledge as having a faulty drain pump.

A new drain pump would cost about as much as buying a working used dishwasher, so the little family decided to look for used dishwashers on Craigslist.  The Mommy-Wife also sent out an emailed plea to her coworkers asking if they knew anyone upgrading their appliances who might be willing to let the little family adopt their dishwasher.

The little family had limited success with Craigslist, but eventually found a dishwasher that looked promising.  They arranged to pick up the used dishwasher one evening, but earlier that day the Mommy-Wife got a call from one of her coworkers - she had a friend who was renovating her kitchen and the friend had a working dishwasher that the little family could have...for FREE!  The Mommy-Wife was so excited and she called to cancel the pick-up of the Craigslist dishwasher.

A few days later, the Manly Husband went to pick up the new-used dishwasher from the wonderful generous friends of the Mommy-Wife's coworker.  Then, he set about installing the new-used dishwasher.  He ran into a few problems with tubes and connectors being the wrong size for the new-used dishwasher, but after several trips to Home Depot, the Manly Husband got everything installed correctly.  In triumph, he turned it on and... wouldn't drain.  Could it really be that the new-used dishwasher had the exact same problem as the old dishwasher?  But the generous friends of the Mommy-Wife's coworker had just used it the day before with no problems.  So the Manly Husband turned once again to his trusty companion, YouTube for the answer.  And he found this video:

My Dishwasher Won't Drain -- powered by ehow

And that's when he realized that the little family's old dishwasher wasn't actually broken.  And the problem wasn't with the clogged drain.  The problem was with the new garbage disposal.  As it turned out, new garage disposals come with a hidden plug where a dishwasher would be connected in case someone doesn't have a dishwasher.  The Manly Husband was unaware of the plug, so when he connected the old dishwasher to the new disposal, the water couldn't drain from the dishwasher and flooded back into the bottom of the dishwasher.  And when he connected the new-used dishwasher, the same problem occurred.

In the end, the source of the problem was this:
A small, black, circular piece of plastic no bigger than a nickel.  Sneaky little bugger.

Once the Manly Husband knocked the little plug out of the disposal and reconnected the dishwasher, everything worked perfectly!  The Mommy-Wife was so proud of the Manly Husband for sticking with the project despite the frustrating complications.  And the Manly Husband had an excellent attitude about it all, despite feeling a little embarrassed that a nickel-sized piece of plastic could best him for three days.  (He even said that the Mommy-Wife could write a blog post about it!)

The little family was so excited to have a working dishwasher again, especially because their kitchen had devolved to a horrendous state of disaster and messiness:

(Don't worry, once they had their new-used dishwasher installed and working, they got to work cleaning up their messy kitchen)

And now the little family has another decision to make, what to do with the old (not broken) dishwasher?  Well, they'll leave that up to the generous friends of the Mommy-Wife's coworker.  But maybe it will end up in the little family's garage sale?  We'll just have to wait and see.  Until then, the little family is thankful that once again, they had just what they needed at just the right time.

The end.


Katy said...

you are too funny, glad everything worked out in the end, as it usually does!

Jami Nato said...

OMG. well at least you got to the bottom of it!

Taylor Parker said...

Plumbing is such a fun issue, isn't it!? Just a couple weeks ago, our garbage disposal starting making a funny noise. We could not figure out what in the world was going on with it! Finally, we just called hamilton plumbing , and they found a broken fork in our garbage disposal! It was horrible! How in the world it got there, I will never know, or really even how the fork broke! I'm so glad that you got your dishwasher working!