Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Domestic Tales

So...while I loved my picture of laundry on the line, my grandmother became quite worried about us walking outside to get frozen shirts off the line in December, breaking the foot of snow that probably would have accumulated on them. A few phone calls later, dear, dear R. let us know that Sears was delivering a spanking new dryer on Saturday. In a serendipitous moment, the dryer was too wide to go down the basement steps, so T. and I had to go to Sears to get a narrower model. Labor Day voodoo worked its charm and we got an amazing deal on a washer and a dryer. Both of our old appliances were of legal drinking age, I think. The washer doesn't have a gentle cycle; I've been simply putting my delicates in for less time and hitting the "wash and pray" button. Wheeeeee.

While we didn't get one of the space-age looking, uber-energy saving jobbies (because one of them alone costs upwards of $800 and I do not have a secret stash hidden anywhere, much less one I would use for a washing machine), we got a solid machine that has a gentle cycle AND a handwash cycle. It's not a front-loader, but boo-hoo, poor me with my nice, new washing machine. NOT COMPLAINING ONE BIT. I LOVE IT.
Our fabulous washing machine

Ah, but the dryer. Well. Huh. The dryer itself is wonderful. But I mentioned I'd give you a saga of sorts, and here goes:

our beautiful dryer

First of all, the delivery guys were running behind, showed up an hour later than they'd promised (although they did call ahead to let us know), etc. They put in the washing machine no prob. As I'm upstairs with arms thrown wide, spinning in circles and picturing the loads and loads of hot, non-crusty-from-the-line-in-the-basement, clean clothes, I hear, "Oh, we gotta problem...." Thud. Langston Hughes moment, dream deferred, nooooo..... The gas pipe on our wall was the same size opening as the dryer attachment, so one wouldn't screw into the other. You know, both were 5/8ths around instead of one being smaller, so it wouldn't thread properly. I needed to get an attachment to get this all to work. I told them I'd run to Lowe's and get the thing if they could just please wait (mom was there, so all was under control), but they were behind, everything else was installed, they had to go. So the one guy gives me the necessary bolt I need to get said attachment and mentioned something vague about "pipe dope" and sent me on my way.

I wandered Lowe's for ten minutes until a very nice salesperson handed me exactly what I needed in five seconds: an attachment that cost $1.21. I went home, put everything together, called T., and we spoke fondly of our newfound love of laundry. Tra la la.

THEN...

Woke up the next morning, opened the basement door, and smelled a lot of gas. Awoke T., who intelligently turned off the gas valve to the basement. We called Sears to explain our dilemma--we didn't call the gas company because we knew where and why the gas had leaked: the dryer hadn't been properly installed. Keep in mind it was Labor Day Monday, the 7th. Sears said, "Well, we can get someone out there on the 10th sometime between 9am and 5pm." I'm not kidding--that's not an exaggeration. T. tried to impress upon them the direness of the situation, but "that's the best we can do". Plan B was to call A., T.'s extremely handy stepfather, who probably saved us a decent chunk of money and possibly our lives by realizing that we needed thread seal tape, which is similar to the mysterious pipe dope. For those like me, who don't know what it is, pipe dope and thread seal tape are "used to make a pipe thread joint leak proof and pressure tight." (wikipedia). I did not know that you cannot simply put metal to metal because, guess what, gas leaks out. Perhaps the whole "get pipe dope" bit could have been explained more thoroughly and intensely by the delivery worker, as in, "DO NOT TURN GAS ON UNLESS YOU HAVE THIS". Wouldn't you think?

So now all is well and we have a sealed gas pipe and two gloriously working appliances. T. called the Sears delivery people and pointed out that we were lucky that nobody got seriously hurt. Truly, I've written this entry rather humorously, but had we been smokers or candle lighters.... I don't want to think about it. I've certainly learned a few lessons about installation of major appliances.

Oh, and school started last week. Kids seem fine, though I may have to inject my first period students with a coffee IV. I've got a cart this year, which I may ask the kids to decorate. I figure if I have to use it, why not make it interesting? Ideas welcome.

2 comments:

feather nester said...

Hooray for the new washer and dryer! Glad the crisis was resolved. And, eh, we don't have frontloaders either and we survive.

I'm not even going to pretend to have followed all the mechanical engineering crap that went into that dryer installation though. I swear half those sentences sounded like you were just stringing random words together. "thread seal tape pipe dope joint leak proof pressure tight...stapler liederhosen flowerpot partridge pear tree."

highlyirritable said...

I covet your washer. Our has been broken for months and currently spawning some new aquatic life forms. I've had to weight the lid down to prevent their escape.