Posted by: Rob | August 12, 2008

It’s like Deja Vu all over again

If you’ve been reading Annie’s blog for a while now you might recall that earlier this year we had some refrigerator trouble.  The big Kitchen Aid refrigerator, purchased brand spanking new in September of 2001 (perhaps that was an ominous sign?), crapped out one day last January.  It would continue to run, but just blew warmer and warmer air.  We discovered it in time to save the bulk of our food and move the freezer stuff to the big freezer down in the basement.  The rest went into the ice chests normally reserved for camping duty.

It failed on a Saturday and we mulled over what to do.  At the time we were considering a job relocation, the scope of which would have had us selling the house, so we didn’t really want to invest in another new refrigerator.  Come Monday I was calling the local appliance shops looking for a used and/or reconditioned unit.  The kindly gentlemen at Imperial Appliances asked me what the symptoms were and assured me that he could fix it.

He came out that day and, sure enough, replaced a part with a jobber set up and got the thing working again.  Bravo!  Less than $200, including a housecall, and we were back in a business.

Until Sunday.

We returned from our camping trip out to the nearby National Park weary and hungry and, as Annie dug around in the freezer, it became apparent that our refrigerator was again on the fritz.

Fuck.

This time I wasn’t going to fool around with it.  It could $200-a-pop us until we had spent the equivalent of a new refrigerator cost.  We decided to just bite the bullet and get a new one.

I looked around at “TheBrick.com” on Sunday night and we perused a few models.  Skirting the more expensive “French Door” models, we ultimately concluded that a good ole top freezer model would work just fine.

Monday I called the Brick’s corporate (or builder) sales person*, passed along the model of the refrigerator we settled on, got the price and arranged to pick it up that evening.  And, this time, I bought the extended warranty (5 years…that’s an extended warranty these days.  What does that say about quality and longevity?).

We picked up the new fridge at the warehouse and hauled it home.  Got it into the house and unpacked it from all the plastic, foam and cardboard.  Setting it up, I realized that we’d gone down a notch in quality.  Not only is the new fridge smaller (by our choice), but it’s “cheaper” too.  The slides for the bins inside are just on slides; the old fridge had fancy roller tracks.  There are other noticeable “downgrade” differences too, but when I pointed these things out to Annie she just replied that we will be selling the house with the appliances anyway and I shouldn’t worry about it.  I guess I can console myself with the new fridge’s EnergyStar rating, I suppose.

So, it’s not bad enough that I’ve had the lost time and the added expense of dealing with the refrigerator crisis, but as Annie hauled out the vacuum cleaner hose to pick up the little “crumbs” of packing foam, the built-in vacuum cleaner “didn’t sound right”**.  I had her shut it off and figured that it needed to be emptied and cleaned.  There was a giant hairball in there, but even after emptying the canister it still didn’t sound right.  It didn’t smell that great when I went down again to look at it either.  Checked the hose as it seemed to possibly be plugged but couldn’t find anything amiss.

I guess I’ll be spending some quality time with the central vac in the near future to see what’s wrong with it.  Or maybe I should just chuck it and get a new one of those too.

I wonder what other curve balls the universe is going to be throwing my way.

* I have access to a discount rate on furniture and appliances through the social club at work.

** Actually it sounded like an F-18 throttling up on the tarmac.

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Responses

  1. I almost sound like a Stepford wife. What the hell has happened to me?

  2. is the universe throwing curve balls or hair balls? appliance shopping is rife with the prospect of “regrets”. usually done in a mode of desperation, i’ve never had a fridge i liked. my new place? Got one of them cool ones with the ice/water in the outside of the door! i have no doubt this will be a maintenance nightmare, die within weeks, and potentially flood my downstairs, but i’m excited nonetheless… (sigh)

  3. Ah Daisy, the optimism of an engineer. It warms the heart.

  4. The joys of homeownership; it’s always one damn thing after another, innit?

  5. Sometimes it’s nice to just call somebody, and they deal with it. My fridge in my apartment failed twice. They fixed it the first time, and the second time replaced it. I took a bunch of crap, though, because I grabbed the maintenance man from across the hall instead of filling out requests. I might have had to wait a week if I’d filled out requests. Sorry, I can’t afford to lose that much food. I was on food stamps at the time.


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