1.15.2008

Public Service Announcement

Did you know that when your dishwasher is on, it is not full of water, that it is not exactly a washing machine for your dishes? I mean, it washes them, but it’s not an enormous tank of water filled from bottom to top.

You may have known this. You may not have overlooked the dishwasher’s design of a pull-down front door that certainly would have been a precarious way to hold water.

And if you knew this and your dishwasher started making a loud and suspicious sound upon hitting ‘start’ only to later leak water from the lower right corner, you may have done something different from thinking, “Ugh, the leak has returned,” and then call the dishwasher repair company that replaced a hose four months earlier.

No, you might have hit ‘cancel’ and opened the door to see if just maybe you hadn’t closed it sufficiently the first time around, because, you see, your dishwasher is not like your front-loading washing machine, the one that won’t even indicate power if the door is not fully closed. Had you known that only about an inch or two of water sits in the bottom of the dishwasher, you wouldn’t have envisioned a flood pouring across your kitchen floor and eventually seeping into your downstairs neighbor’s home.

My repairman, who arrived only to discover that my dishwasher was working perfectly, taught me all this. He told me that it’s safe to open your dishwasher during any phase of the cycle because the machine shuts off and drains within two minutes, and even if it isn’t drained, the water is so low that it can’t leave the dishwasher. We discussed barbeque forks that may just interfere with the dishwasher achieving a tight seal as they press their length against the door. I appreciated his desire to offer up this visual as an illustration to his lesson.

And unlike me, writing a $60 dollar check to the repairman who has just said, “Sorry, I have to charge you,” you wouldn’t be tempted to say, “Really? You do? That full amount?” given he was in your home for a maximum of ten minutes and the last time he’d come out you paid him $187 to pull out the machine and replace a drainage hose. You wouldn’t have thought any of that because you wouldn’t have called him in the first place.

Of course his time is worth something. And what it’s worth, I realize, goes beyond his fixing skills. I didn’t pay him to repair my dishwasher, but I did just pay him $60 to educate me about my dishwasher and to rewire the inner workings of my imagination, the same imagination that previously created images of dishes taking a soaking bath within my dishwasher rather than sitting and enjoying a spraying shower.

“Now I know,” I say to the repairman as he hands me my receipt. “Now I know.”


5 comments:

flutter said...

ugh, lesson learned.

QT said...

Oh god, honey, I am sorry that I am laughing. My BF is a plumber, and he has to charge $125 to unclog toilets. He says it usually takes him about 1.5 minutes to plunge the toilet. He stays in the bathroom for a few extra minutes, so the person does not feel so dumb when they pay him.:)

BTW, the company keeps about 60% of whatever you pay. Just an FYI.

Deezee said...

QT, I am glad you're laughing. Trust me, I replay this from the humor angle. It was hardly the most traumatic thing of my life (or maybe even of that day!)

:)
deezee

Not Fainthearted said...

Oh dear. Those lessons we have to pay for are often tinged with more than a little chagrin, aren't they.

Sorry about this one! And, as my Norwegian heritage is proud to proclaim...it could have been worse!

thethinker said...

That's a common misconception about dishwashers.

Until today, I did not know that. Next time I wash dishes, I'm going to see if your repairman was right.