Thursday, March 9, 2017


The dishwasher quit. Remember the dishwasher? We bought it along with the problematic refrigerator and the washer and dryer from Sears two years ago. Then came phone calls and emails insisting we purchase expensive extended warranties. There are two schools of thought on those warranties. We didn’t buy in.

If today we had that extended warranty, it would mean, I think, that Sears Repair would come and fix my dishwasher with no charge – or minimal charge. Oh – and I’m sure they would come anyway and fix my dishwasher – for a hefty fee.

Instead, we went the route of the local repair shop. The guy came in a timely manner. He said the problem might be that I had let the Jet Dry run out. It’s important to keep that filled, he said, because of the sensor. The dishwasher knew it was out of Jet Dry and was therefore refusing to fill with water. I had some Jet Dry and we poured it into the compartment.

Do I heat the water at the tap before I run the dishwasher, he wanted to know. That’s important. Otherwise the dishwasher has to heat the water. That could cause a problem. So, now I’m feeling really bad and Mike is looking askance at me, remarking that he thought I had read the manual. So, now it's my fault that there's something wrong with the dishwasher

The guy suggested a product I could buy at Walmart that would clean the inside of the dishwasher. Okay, it didn’t look squeaky clean, but after all, it didn’t wash that last load of dishes. I had to unload and wash them by hand. So, sue me if there’s a dribble of hot chocolate in there.

I use the efficiency wash, I said, because WHEN I READ THE MANUAL, it seemed to recommend that. Don’t use the efficiency wash, he said. That’s not most efficient. Instead, he started the machine according to settings he selected, and I couldn’t help but notice that the efficiency setting came on. The cycle would run for 3 hours and 45 minutes. Then call him, he said as he left, and tell him what happened. He added that he could not keep up with all the updates in dishwashers, and if it didn't re-set, he would have to sit in his recliner tonight and read online diagnostics.

What happened was that the cycle ran with very little water and no washing. The hot chocolate dribbles were still there in the bottom of the tub. So, I called him to report. Run it again, he said, on those same settings, and then call him to let him know what happened. Perhaps it just had to re-set, and it might take two runs for that to happen. Now I was really upset because in another 3 hours and 45 minutes it would be after 5:00 and he would most certainly not be available until tomorrow.

And you know – I’d just as soon not wash the dishes, but it’s not the end of the world if I have to. What troubles me is that the guy is jerking me around because he doesn’t know how to fix my appliance.

So, this morning Mike leveled with the guy on the phone. “Do you know how to fix our dishwasher?” No, he said. So, Mike suggested he send a bill for his call and we would find someone else.

It had occurred to me that any appliance repairs would now be expensive, I commented to Mike, but it hadn't occurred to me that we would not be able to find someone to fix it. Well, there’s always Sears, but we weren’t ready to give up – or is that “give in?” A local appliance shop said they weren’t certified to repair Kenmore appliances, but he gave us several options – a national outfit, and an appliance repair shop that has been here in the Valley for 30 years. We called the former, but Mike couldn't understand the rep, whose first language wasn't English.

So, we called the longtime repair shop. Yes, he could fix it, he told Mike, but he couldn’t come until Monday. So – Monday it is, then. Meanwhile, I’m running the water at the tap until it’s hot so that I can wash the dishes. Perhaps it's the coming thing. KW


Chris said...

Oh my!! Two years?!? That's terrible. I guess there's comfort in at least having hot water to wash by hand. (And once again I'm so grateful for our trusty "Brunhilda", she's old, she's ugly, but by golly she's fast and the dishes are always spotless.)

Chuck said...

Joanne had me buy our neighbor's dishwasher, which had been removed and replaced with another, because it "didn't look right" in the new/old home he had purchased and was remodeling. You are welcome to it. It is sitting in the garage. It would take some major work to get it to fit in our basement--cabinet, plumbing, wiring, etc. We don't even know if it works. As we get older, everything around us gets older, too.

Hallie said...

Okay, I'm calling BS on the JetDry compartment. I never used that in my dishwasher and had understood it to be optional. I mean, has JetDry entered into an agreement with the dishwasher manufacturer to increase sales?! Absurd. Also calling BS on running the hot water. A high efficiency dishwasher that requires you to waste water before running the machine? No. Who cares if the first 15 seconds of your wash cycle is a little cold! Please turn to the trusty Internet to see if others have had similar issues. - From the woman who doesn't believe in extended warranties (if you insist I buy it, the product is bunk).

Chris said...

Hallie, you made me laugh! And I totally agree with you. We've walked away from sales when they tried to pressure us into extended warranties. As you say, if they insist, the product must be bunk!

Kathy said...

Thanks for your interest and helpfulness, everyone.

Like I said -- two schools of thought on the extended warranty. Mike feels the manufacturer should stand behind the product, but that's not what they do today. And the sales associate at Staples said that they never know in this digital age if a product will work or not.

And Chuck -- the first thing Mike said was, "We sold the old one, didn't we?" Even if we still had it, reinstalling it would be difficult.

Meanwhile I'm washing the dishes, and you know what? It feels rather good to wash them and have clean dishes on hand, ready to be used again -- instead of dirty dishes in the dishwasher waiting to be washed. I admit, though, that I think twice about how much mess I'm going to make.