Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Valuable Lesson in Damp Clothes

Just over two weeks ago I tiptoed downstairs to the basement to pull out yet another load of laundry from the dryer.

A family of five - one of whom is a fourteen month old in cloth diapers - creates an inordinate amount of laundry. Even after instituting such laundry rules as "don't throw it in the laundry hamper if it's not dirty", which soon evolved into "don't throw it in the laundry hamper if it's not terribly dirty", I still manage to do at least one load a day. Doing one load each day seems to exponentially decrease the chance that I will have to spend one day a week with my head lodged inside my front-loader watching 45 loads spin themselves squeaky clean.

In the summer, when I am fresh, tanned, happy and organized, I put one load in the washer at night and set the handy dandy timer for 5:30 a.m. the next day. This ensures that the load is done by the time I get up, and I am able to place the clothes on the clothesline to dry before any Things even wake up. If I need to do a second load, the first load is always dry before noon, affording me ample time with which to hang up another set of clothes.

In the winter - or spring as it appears it is now, even though there are still traces of snow on the ground here - I am forced to use my dryer to dry our clothing unless I care to bring them in off the line as crisp and hard as overcooked bacon. The dryer is an integral part to the smooth running of life in my household. It means the baby has clean, fresh diapers. It means the jeans that "fit" me can be worn. It means the twelve outfits Thing 2 changed into and out of throughout the day and shoved in the laundry hamper totally clean can be once again . . . cleaned.

You can imagine my despair and utter dismay when I realized my dryer was not working. The clothes I had placed within its round confines with care were still damp when I retrieved them. Damp clothes have no place here, I thought to myself. I quickly scooped up the load and rushed over to my mother-in-law's to complete the drying process.

When I returned to our house, I found Mr. Fix It (aka my husband, the Things' daddy) behind the dryer, disassembling it and working feverishly to target what the problem was. After several such attempts, and numerous more trips to his mother's to dry my clothes, we decided we would need to purchase a dryer. New or used, it didn't matter, it just had to dry fabric to the point that it is not "damp".

Since we are no longer "unemployed" and Mr. Fix It had recently secured himself a most excellent contract job with the Canadian Federal Government, we felt we would completely splurge and buy ourselves a brand new Kenmore dryer from Sears. There were several models on sale, and we ended up getting a fabulous price for the matching counterpart to our faithful old front-loading washer that we purchased over ten years ago.

Remaining loyal to his ever-frugal tendencies, Mr. Fix It told the young salesman that, no, he would not have the dryer delivered to the house, but rather he would save himself $100 and come pick it up himself. Mr. Salesman then explained to Mr. Fix It that he could also drop off his old dryer at the same time (usually they charge you $20 to remove the old appliance from your home when they drop off the new one). Wow, it's like we're making money here.

After reorganizing the entire laundry/craft room, Mr. Fix It and I were able to remove the old dryer, carry it up the stairs and load it into the van. After removing the car seats, and van seats from the van. And then vacuuming the van, because, heck, how often do we have the seats out and the ability to clean it, anyway?

Mr. Fix It called upon his trusty neighbour and friend to assist him in picking up the new dryer from Sears and bringing it back to the house, so that I could stay home and watch the 3 Things. Trusty friend rocks. He came. They went. Dryer arrived. Dryer was assembled, set up, plugged in and . . .

New dryer also doesn't work.

The old brain doesn't work like she used to, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened. However, after much trickery and white lies, Trusty friend and Mr. Fix It tried to pull a fast one on me. Not happening. Busted. I may not be "handy" like Mr. Fix It but I am certainly "crafty" (and intelligent) enough to ascertain that we needed a new fuse and not a new dryer.

20 comments:

Mom24 said...

So, what did you do??? Can you return the new dryer and get the old one back, or are you stuck with a new dryer you didn't need? I hope you like it if that's the case.

Kami said...

Oh boy! At least your dryer now works ;-) And matches your washer!

Donna M said...

Just think how much longer this dryer will last when you only use it for 6 months or so at best. It will last twice as long, especially if you keep extra fuses on hand!!!! :))

Kristen said...

That is hysterical!! See all they need was you, the guru of laundry to help them! They should have called you first! :)

Lizzy Borden said...

That is too funny.. My Mr. Fix it hubby might have done the same thing.
The nice weather is just around the corner. I am like you, I love to hang my laundry outdoors. I love the smell of my clothes after being outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air. Dryer clothes don't compare :)

Loukia said...

Oh no! Oh my goodness... so what did you do? Did you return the new dryer? Were you able to get your old dryer back? Oh gosh...

Phyllis said...

Oh NO!! What an expensive way to diagnos an 'easy fix'.
Remember when Will 'fixed' my freezer and I thought it was broken and needed to be replaced? Thank goodness we figured that one out in time!

dougnlarry said...

Oh no! Will Sears take it back?

Congrats on the contract job though! That's great news!

Amber said...

Oops! I hope you like the new dryer, at least. :)

I have grand designs to start hanging my laundry outdoors, too, when the nice weather actually arrives. I'm glad to hear it's working well for you.

Elaine A. said...

I'm sure it woulda gone out aany day now.... ; )

BeachMama said...

As much as I feel your pain, I also see the humour in this. Really, you just have to laugh or else you might just cry. I think we have all done something like this, the cost of the product just varies (hubby did this with a tire once, thought it was bad but it was the axel, double whammy).

amanda said...

that is hilarious friend :)

lesson learned!!

Nemeth family said...

Ha! This happened to us a couple weeks ago. But my DH spent 6 hours running back and forth between the dryer and Google trying to diagnose the problem. Ordered *the* part from eBay, got it, installed it, dryer still didn't work. Then he called an appliance repair shop and they told him to check the fuse in the back of the dryer. Voila! So about 20 hours and $50 later, the dryer is working again. But I'm not sure if all the time he spent on it was really worth it :-)

Anti-Supermom said...

Shannon -

Thank you for sharing. I will certainly remember when this happen to us (because it will or something very similar).

And I will remember your story.

And it was a FUNNY story at that :)

LOL
Beth

Heidi said...

OMG, Shannon. Like someone else said, you just have to laugh so you don't cry. (Kind of like when I spilled 4 oz of breastmilk on the carpet yesterday...well, you know, but not as expensive). Thanks for sharing - I had a great laugh. And congrats to Paul on the new gig!

Anna-b-bonkers said...

Oh my goodness! It is so funny but I can imagine your pain when you realized it was the fuse!

What a great story though, I was on the edge of my seat!

Amy said...

Oh no! I think you'll need to post a follow up so we can all find out if you were able to return the new dryer.

Also, I just wrote about doing a load of laundry a day... or rather, not doing it.

Great minds think a like/moms-with-three-kids-do-lots-of-laundry.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear. My mr fix-it at least checked the power before making a "clothes dryer leaning tower" from the innards of the dryer and then, surprisedly, declaring that we needed a new one (the burnt smell obviously wasn't a big enough clue). I'm the one who put the floor model in my car & drove it home to install myself because I, too, do a load a day, and my son was off for a weekend camp!! LOVE the new dryer, so it was a nice 'push' for hubby to shell out!

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