Thursday, January 29, 2009

Adventures in Appliance Repair

Have I mentioned before that I am married to an appliance repair man? No?

Hi. My name is Jeff. I try to fix our appliances after my wife has called the real appliance repair man and we've been thoroughly fleeced.

See, we've been having some issues with our Whirlpool Super Capacity 465 Oven. An oven that was originally purchased for $600 back in 2001, giving it a current depreciated value of $36. Try to remember that important dollar figure as we progress further into this story of appliance woe.

A few months ago, I tried to use the self-cleaning cycle. Normally, the oven automatically locks and then cranks itself up to highs previously unknown so it can burn off the grime encased within that I have ignored for the past year. But this time I got an error message that looked like this:

Anyone want to try to decipher the secret message from the stove? No?

Anyone want to come over to my house and clean the control panel? Please?

How about the wall behind the stove? Would anyone like to volunteer to clean that? I'll bake you a smoky cake.

Well, neither did we. So, predictably, we just let it all go...until we realized this was happening.
That would be the vinyl fronts peeling right off of the cabinet drawers due to heat escaping from the oven we haven't had fixed. I believe in HGTV circles this happenstance would be more commonly known as deferred maintenance. But I like to call it, 3 kids, 2 jobs, and the yard needed to be mown last week. (Mown? Is that a word, or have I been living in the south too long?)

Naturally, when we realized all of our high-end cabinetry was going to be slowly cremated, we raced to do something about our troubled oven...which is why I was able to take the above picture for you just tonight. Right.

What we actually did was to wait until the oven was so coated with baked on crud, that we could not turn it on without smoke billowing out of it, thereby causing the smoke alarm - which is connected to our house alarm - to wail for hours on end. Case in point. It wasn't enough that it went off for 45 minutes while we were trying to host a lovely dinner party this weekend, I tempted the forces of Hades again on Tuesday night when I tried to bake enchiladas. Dinner that night was delicious, but earsplittingly loud. Louder than the kids even.

Fortunately, after the second night, my live-in lover threw in the towel and we decided to call an official repair guy. He was supposed to come between 8:00am-12:00pm this morning. Naturally, he showed up at 3:00pm.
15 minutes and $141 later, the oven still wasn't working. However, I did learn that for another $278, he might be able to fix it. That is when I bid him adieu.
Jeff came home later that evening, and believe you me when I say he was DELIGHTED that I had shelled out $141 for an oven that still wasn't working. And that is precisely when he decided he was going to fix it himself. Because nothing, no nothing, will get a man all hot and bothered like having spent $141 on a $36 appliance, unless it is the possibility of having to spend $278 more. (Somebody give me an Amen.)

And, so, this is what commenced.

First he did some electrical surveying back here. It was gross. I felt sorry for him. Not sorry enough to climb back there myself simply because squeezing into tight spaces with a screwdriver isn't part of my Less of Me weight loss plan for 2009. Maybe in 2010.

Then he unscrewed some important bits in the front of the unit.

And then he totally mooned me.

And while I would love more than anything to show you that picture, I cannot. Because I have to sleep with that same moon tonight. Also, I was laughing so hard that it's not really in focus.

Anyway, after Jeff had retrieved his pants, he determined that we needed part #32 (See it there in the middle of the page?) and he ordered it. From California. So in about 10 days I'll be able to use my oven again. Isn't that exciting? And the biggest victory of all is that we'll have only spent about 5 times what the oven is actually worth.

Assuming he ordered the right part.

(To be continued...)


  1. the moon, the moon! would have totally loved a glimpse of the moon!!

  2. I hate to say it, but I believe I saw that moon way back in jr. high... boys will be boys! Thanks for sparing me the sight again! hahahahaha! :)