Monday, April 9, 2007

In which I am not quite the chump I thought I was OR Things I learned from the dishwasher repairman

I am extremely risk-averse. This isn't always a bad thing, but it does mean that I am a prime candidate to get taken in by those extended warranties that businesses like to pad their bottom line with. I know that they're only trying to sell you the thing because they know you won't use it for that annual maintenance, and that they make an excessive amount of money from them (I read a Business Week article about a year ago that said that warranty sales account for more than a third of Best Buy's operating profit and all of Circuit City's) and yet...when the nice sales clerk explains that it'll only be another $54.86 to purchase a five-year extended warranty...I often fall for it.

But today I was vindicated. Our dishwasher has not been drying our dishes and when the Sears repairman came out to look at it, a service that I was prepared to pay through the nose for, he looked up our serial number and found out that I'd actually bought a warranty four years ago, so our $256 repair bill (labor and a new heating element) was covered. Hooray!

While he was here, the repairman taught me several things that I didn't know - and in lieu of something I heard on NPR today, I will share my fun facts:

  • 90% of the country has hard water. We here in the Puget Sound area have soft water.
  • Those "electrosol" tablets that have pre-measured detergent plus a gel rinse are four times the amount of detergent you need with soft water and a new-ish dishwasher
  • Using too much detergent (see above) makes the rubber gasket on your dishwasher come out
  • Newish dishwashers only use one gallon of water to clean a whole load of dishes.
  • You should always run your kitchen faucet with hot water before starting your dishwasher so the water it takes in is as hot as possible.
  • "Back in the day" we used to keep hot water heaters at 140-150 degrees, but then "the government" decided that we might get scalded so now we keep our water heaters at 120 degrees and the dishwashers ruin their heating elements heating the water back up to a sanitizing temperature, and our washing machines don't sanitize our clothes anymore so we end up going to the doctor's office more frequently and subsidizing that whole industry...Sears hires some very entertaining repair-people.

As you can see, it was an informative day.

1 comment:

Your Man said...

I am glad you learned stuff from the repairman... although truth be told I would be worried if this was titled "things I learned from the pool boy".