Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Appliance Dead Pool (or The Great Appliance Conspiracy of 2006)

Some well known facts about your household appliances:
  1. Household appliances speak to each other in a buzzy, mechanical language that has yet to be translated by humans.
  2. Through this method of communication they coordinate their own deaths.
  3. When one appliance dies, two more are sure to follow.
  4. They know when you have a little extra cash on hand that you'd like to spend on something fun like a vacation or some cashmere. (This is why we all have a yarn stash)
  5. Your furnace will only die on an extremely cold day.
  6. Refridgerators only die when they are full, never when they contain only condiments, two beers, and a fuzzy square of cheese.
  7. Your car is in on the whole conspiracy too.

Our last home was more than 50 years old. In the 10 years we lived there we replaced the stove, refridgerator, built-in microwave, washer, water heater, water softner, and furnace. We always had an appliance dead pool going, betting on which appliances were going to die next.

Our current home is only 7 years old. We replaced the stove and dishwasher just because we wanted to. Buying appliances because you want to, not because you have to, is a beautiful thing. We figured our days of the appliance dead pool were over. We have a practically new house! What could go wrong?! Our general appliance complacency has come back to bite us in the behind this last couple of weeks.

Three weeks ago the friendly folks at Sears called to say that our dishwasher warranty was due to expire, would we like to renew for three years at the low, low price of $149? My husband, who hates service plans and extended warranties, said no. He thinks these plans are "selling to people's fear of bad things happening to them." As I've spent my entire adult life in the insurance business, I'm not sure how I feel about his philosophy, but marriage is all about compromise, right?

Anyway, last week the dishwasher (triggered by my husband's refusal) died. Three years old. Stainless steel inside and out. Wonderfully quiet. Dead. Of course in dying it leaked water between our laminate wood floor and the crap ass vinyl floor underneath the laminate. Now we have to hire a floor guy to come out and replace the warped boards. Our friendly Sears repairman (now billing full price) arrived and diagnosed the problem, a blown motor. He replaced the motor and $350 later, we have a working dishwasher.

This morning my husband got out of the shower and declared we were once again living under an appliance curse. The hot water heater was on the fritz. His blue lips should have been proof enough, but I had to run downstairs to see for myself. Praying that there was no leak as we have the same laminate hardwood all over the basement, I checked it out. No leak but no pilot light either. I had a huge meeting today with a company I'm trying to sell our consulting services to. Of course. I ended up throwing on sweats, putting my toiletries in my backpack, grabbing my suit and going to the office to shower.

Luckily our water heater is on our utility company service plan that we pay for every month. The water heater was not a total loss and a couple of parts later (and no bill thankfully) we are back to indoor plumbing.

Please see #3 above. We are living on borrowed time. The temperature has dropped 30 degrees in the last twenty-four hours. Smart money in the dead pool has the furnace.


Anonymous said...

It is a conspiracy...or an appliance pandemic of some sort. Either way, I'm pretty sure that my truck is involved somehow as well. Isn't there some sort of flu shot for appliances?

Sydney said...

And in the south, your air conditioner will die on an extremely hot day. It doesn't seem to matter how old the appliances are. They can start a conspiracy at any time.

Chris said...

LOL - too true!! Also, bonus points if the fridge and air conditioner can conspire to die at the same time, when it's VERY hot out.

Guinifer said...

Maybe a sacrifice to the great applience dieties would hold them off for a while?