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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cinder Man and the Dishwasher

Dear Dad,

               My lovely wife still doesn’t believe I am always right! After years of marriage and countless offerings of proof she still insists that I am wrong from time to time. I don’t know how to resolve this issue with finality so I just continue to provide proof of my infallibility. One such opportunity presented itself with the replacing of the dishwasher. The boss suggested that I have professionals come out and take care of it for me. However since I had never before removed a dishwasher or installed one and since I wasn’t sure how the machine worked, I decided that the missus was wrong. I informed her that hiring someone to do the job would be absurd. Of course I can do it. Yes dear, I know what I am doing. No dear, you don’t have to leave the house. Of course I am not going to burn anything down. I know that is what I said about the deck last year.

               My argument went on for some minutes until she was thoroughly convinced I would screw up. I believe that fixing things that seem difficult to fix is one of the few arguments a man can win resolutely. All that is needed is some raw determination, a good hardware store and a thesaurus with an adult theme to help keep your swears original. (I find that the more original swears often make spouses believe a job is much harder than it actually is thereby increasing the reward factors exponentially!)

               To replace a dishwasher all you need is a simple socket set or manual wrenches, a screwdriver or drill, a flashlight and a gopher. By gopher I mean a child to direct some of the more gentle euphemisms at.

               Start by staring at the outside of the dishwasher and shaking your head for a quarter of an hour. Next throw the directions that came with the new dishwasher away. Why you ask? Firstly there is nothing in there about how to remove the original machine. Secondly all manufacturer direction books are written in an as yet unclassified language. If you understand what you are reading, then just like the person who wrote the directions, you have probably never held a wrench in your life. If you are naturally handy then you probably are not the greatest reader, so either way you don’t need the directions. Ignore the look from your wife as you dramatically toss the book out and clap mock dust from your hands. She didn’t believe you would read them anyway.

               Ok, you need to shut the water off. Look under the sink and see if there is a valve on the pipe running towards the dishwasher. If so shut the water off there. If not shut the water off to the whole house. You will need to do the same with the electrical power to the dishwasher. If you are nervous, just kill all the power in the house. Better to be safe than to appear nervous. Remember there is a woman watching you, doubting you. Remove the screws holding on the lower access panel. There you will see a pipe with a nut on it. That is the water line. Take it off. You will see a hose with a clamp on it. This is the drain hose. Take it off. Now it can be surprising how much water comes out. Send your child for a towel. Be sure to tell them it is in the bathroom and not somewhere on the kitchen ceiling. You will see a small metal box with wiring in it. Make sure the wire leads away from the machine. If it does that is the source of electricity. Open that box and remove the wire. You are nearly done. All dishwashers have two adjustable legs towards the front of the machine. There are nuts on the legs. Loosen these nuts and your dishwasher will begin to pitch forward. Remove any screws from the side of the machine face that may appear to keep the machine from leaning forward. Now get some backbone and wiggle that piece of crap out of there. Remember to swear loudly and creatively while doing this.

               Your new dishwasher will not be compatible with any thing in your house. So you will get a break while you drive to the hardware store to purchase various couplers. I had to drill some new holes for the water line and drain hose due to the differences in the machines. Don’t be afraid to do this. When the new one goes in all of this is invisible. I recommend using a plug on the source side of the electrical wire. It is much easier than hard wiring and if you ever have to do this again you can do it with the power on. You can clean out your water line and your drain hose while you have them disconnected. I also took advantage of having my machine out to silicone underneath my countertops. Anything extra you can have your wife witnessing you do can be very beneficial. However it can also land you another child so proceed with caution!

               Aside from compatibility issues the new machine goes in easily, you have already reverse engineered the old washer out. The very last thing you should do is adjust the legs so your new machine is tight against the counter top. If you do this too soon you will have to undo it to fix any steps you forget. Also don’t forget to go find your child apprentice and tell him you don’t need that towel anymore. He will be outside somewhere looking for it in the middle of the street.

               I made sure that I was the first one to load the new dishwasher. Now that the dishes didn’t have to be done by hand I had no objection. Just that once of course! This is an excellent way to say loudly and clearly that you were right and she was wrong.

               If you got it wrong and the machine leaks or rocks or explodes in a fantastic display of fireworks, simply throw your hands in the air and proclaim that (insert brand) has always made pieces of shit and you have no intention of ever buying their product again. Threaten to sue and stomp around. This may shift some of the blame off of you.

               I replaced my garbage disposal simultaneously and will tell you about it tomorrow.

               Remember just take a thing apart one screw at a time. If there is a place to put a tool then the place was intended for someone to tool it. Good luck and feel free to ask questions or demand specifics. If you are still unsure of yourself try getting drunk first. This may help with the courage factor, it may also land you in the street helping your son look for a towel!

               My wife admitted that I can successfully replace a dishwasher having never done it before. She smiled sweetly and kissed me on the cheek. Later that night the hum of dishes being sprayed clean masked the sounds of my reward. I AM THE MAN!

                        Your technically able and apparently towel-less son.

1 comment:

Stephen Hise said...

Damn fine work there, son - almost made me believe I could even do it! :)