Monday, September 1, 2008

Dead in the Kitchen

As I sit here to write this, I am listening to my husband put laundry away. Laundry that I washed, but not at home. Laundry that I washed at our local SuperSudz. All I want - and NOT for Christmas (I can't wait that long!) is a reliable washer and dryer. I want my kitchen to be a place where things get clean, not where things die. I've been trying, really...

You see, it goes like this:

In 2006, just after we sold our house in preperation for moving to IL, we purchased a used Maytag washer and dryer for $50.00 from my co-worker at The Big Company. It was a great deal and the machines worked great. We used them at the rental where we lived for 8 months until the big move to Illinois and we've used them since we got here.

Until recently.

A couple of months ago, the washer begin walking. Now, you expect a child to start walking. You
do not expect your washer to walk. Loudly. And shake. Extensively. Like Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, shaking his hips and walking across the stage on his toes, holding the mike stand for balance. Rythmic entertainment aside, I knew this couldn't be good.

I called out a local appliance repairman and paid him $28.00 for the privelege of learning the machine was terminally ill and would die; it was only a matter of time. He did tell me that I could continue to use it until the end. It was listening. The machine died a watery death on our kitchen floor just two days later. Champs quickly pulled the washer out of the laundry closet so we could clean. OK, hw pulled out the washer, the dryer and the fridge so we could clean water up from every corner of that kitchen. Snaps to the ShopVac!

After a week of laundromat lingo, We went to Craigslist, where we found a washer listed for $75.00. The seller was offering a money back guarantee for 30 days, so we went for it. Champs brought it home on August 10th, hooked it up and I started washing. The first load was good. The second was a bit, um, noisy. By the next day, it was apparent this machine was just not spinning or draining properly. The third day, Champs opened the machine to find out that the water pump was shot. You got it - another machine died a watery death on our kitchen floor. Helllooooo ShopVac!

It took some time, but we did get our $75.00 back from the seller. Meanwhile, we went back to Craigslist, where we found a full set - the washer and dryer - for $75.00 but with no guarantee. We tried one more time and brought them home on August 17th. We're having a garage sale in a couple of weeks, so we figured on selling the dryer to hopefully help get some of our money back. I also found out that we can take the dead washers to the local metal scrap yard and get paid for the steel in the machine. Even in death, a Maytag is worth something. Anyway, Champs hooked up the third machine to be in our kitchen in less than a month.

I did laundry in this Maytag for 4 days and all was well except for the tiniest little leak. On day 5, however, in the middle of dinner, the machine began to squeal. To whine. To loudly scream that it would not go quietly into that good night. It smoked, rattled and came to a dead stop. That was on August 21 and since then I have spent every Saturday at the laundromat washing my clothes and wishing I was home.

We're done trying Craigslist. We're done with used machines. We can't afford new ones right now. I'll report back in about a week though - we've got something in the works. I hope so, anyway.

I don't think I can take another Saturday listening to people argue with themselves over the rinse cycle.