Do I Look Like Lois Lane? - 10/02/13
"It's the motherboard!" Those dreaded words I DID NOT want to hear the appliance repairman utter. We've been seven stinky days without a washing machine. It spit out an F35 code last Thursday and promptly turned itself off in protest. The dirt laden baseball uniforms, sweaty gym shorts and super stinky socks have been piling up ever since.
Let me just give you a visual of what that's like for a family of four. Saturday, my husband who is the baseball coach for our son's team, had to wear a dirty jersey as did my son. My son also had his muddy baseball pants from the previous game to complete the look. I've been spot cleaning my daughter's jeans. Her tennis clothes? Well, they're on their third wear and they're smelly too. I ran out of workout clothes by Tuesday and worked out in my pj's at home with no socks because they're soiled too. To top it all off... we all of the sudden have a bed wetter. The same kid who's been bed trained since 3 now suddenly doesn't seem to hear from his bladder once his eyelids shut. OMGosh!!!!!!!!!! Multiple sets of sheets, comforters, mattress protectors, pillows, stuffed animals are taking on a life of their own. First, they were piles. Now they're mounds. Multiple mounds. Like Indian Mounds where Native Americans bury their dead, except these mounds are in our house and no one died, even though it's starting to smell like it.
We bought this washer just four short years ago. In that time, it's stopped working three times--- an annual event like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Our previous washer lasted 13 years!!! It was the old tried and true top loader with an agitator. No bells and whistles, just the knob that you'd click, click, click to the desired setting. In fact, it was still working great when I gave it away. We upgraded (I use that term loosely) to the fancy, shmancy front loader with the steam feature, moisture sensor, sanitizer, 5 spin speeds and a computer powered LED control panel.
I just had to know, did we buy a lemon or is this the new norm? Consumer Reports says if you buy one of these new fangled front loaders, you have a 25% chance of needing repairs in the first few years. A contractor referral company, Service Magic, says today's appliances are made with more thin plastic instead of copper and porcelain material which is longer lasting. They also have more electronics which means more things can go wrong. We never once had to call a repairman about our old washer with the agitator... not once.
It's really counterintuitive. Manufacturers started making these high efficiency washers to conserve energy and water, but they break down so quickly that they're clogging up our landfills. I was reading where the unreliability of these big ticket appliances is forcing us, as consumers, to view them as disposable like a broken curling iron or a pair of holey socks. So, what have we really accomplished if we save a little water, but pollute Mother Earth?
I'm a glass half full kind of gal so I'll wrap this up with the positives that have come from this modern day inconvenience. First, I have sweet, sweet neighbors who have let me wash laundry at their house all three times this machine has been on the fritz. I try to spread it around and not call on the same set of neighbors each time. Little did I know I'd need to keep a flow chart tucked in the cabinet to remind me who was on deck last. Second, we've all worn more of our clothes... clothes that don't typically see the light of day. Like what I was forced to wear to work today. My coanchor, Scott Couch, said, "You're wearing pants. I never see you wear pants." Then came the comment that made my day--- The 9pm producer said, "You look like Lois Lane today." Well, afterall, Lois was an award winning journalist and had Superman as a love interest (I do too.) Problem is, not even Superman can fix this substandard, disposable washing machine that does everything, BUT wash clothes.