Thursday, July 05, 2007

stupid dryer

Look, a post that's not about derby, though the item in question was in fact purchased from a derby girl whose presence in the league and on the all star team is sorely missed. The young lady and her husband have left our fair city and moved out west. Their new home apparently came with washer and dryer, so they didn't need the ones they had here. Our dryer has recently gone down, so we purchased theirs.

I'm pretty sure all our dryer needs is a heating element. The motor works, and the dryer blows air, but the air isn't warm and doesn't dry the clothes. Thinking that replacing a heating element should be an easy job, I turned the dryer so that I could access its innards, pulled off the panel on back and was immediately rewarded for my efforts by frustration.

The heating element does not appear to be replaceable. It's mounted inside a metal sleeve and both appear to be welded or riveted to the machine, not what I wanted to see, and certainly not the kind of thing that a screwdriver would make quick work of.

We spent a couple of weeks washing clothes and drying them at the laundromat. That was not only eating up our time but also our quarters. The solution then was to begin hanging things. I should by now have strung up some sort of outdoor clothesline, but I haven't, so the clothes have been hanging around the house on coat hangers, towels draped over drawers, clothes hanging on the shower curtain rod, in a closet not generally used for clothes, and in doorways. Not a bad solution, if also not optimal considering the towels dry very scratchy when hung to dry.

We've had the newish dryer, the one that should work, for nearly a week. I had to spend a morning driving the unregistered and uninsured truck which preceded a busier than normal day just to get the dryer which then had to spend some time in the garage waiting for me to get it into the house. I thought I was waiting for a friend to loan me his hand truck till I realized that the thing under the refrigerator condenser thingamajig in the garage was in fact a wheeled cart that converts to a hand truck by moving the handle position. This house, mostly the garage and attic, is spotted with random items that are left from Momma's grandfather, things he didn't take when he moved and generally no longer wants or needs. I've found some extremely uninteresting and useless (to us) things over the few years we've lived here.

Upon discovering the hand truck, I realized that I could switch the two dryers and get rid of the growing pile of laundry. I was even able to get the two dryers switched without Momma even realizing what I was doing, hoping to somewhat surprise her with mounds of clean clothes. Assuming the very best outcome, I'd have had all the laundry washed dried and even put away when she came in from work. We'd have clean, soft towels again, and best of all was my plan to wash our good sheets and replace the shit sheets that are only ever on the bed between removing and washing the good sheets. The good sheets don't come off the corners making you wake up several times in the night on bare mattress. Also, when your sheet can so easily ease itself off, you may find yourself losing needed traction when things are happening in the bed, things that two grown people enjoy doing.

In somewhat of a blaze of glory, I switched the two dryers, getting as far as attaching the hose that carries that hot air and lint away. Imagine the sheer joy I felt when, leaning over the dryer looking for the outlet so that I could plug it in, I realized that the prongs on the power cord did not in any way match the outlet. I can't describe the feeling of happiness that surged within me knowing that we'd spent seventy five dollars we couldn't quite afford on a dryer that we could in no way use.

I doubt this is an issue we can resolve easily. The options involve either an electrician to make the changes to our electrical system that would allow us to use the newer dryer or finding out how to change the heating element in the older one, quite likely the option we should have taken in the first place. The deal was too good to pass up at the time, a much newer dryer at a fraction of what it would have cost new.

I'm stuck for ideas at this point. I will most likely not be doing laundry tonight, though I might just do a few loads that I can quickly dry at the laundromat in the morning. Tomorrow is our homeschool park day, so I'll need to be up early (for me) and drying clothes because I'd rather not miss seeing our friends, and the boys of course need their playing Ninja Warrior at the park day.

And as I've written this, my frustration has lessened. My anger level has dropped considerably. I did carry a fair amount of anger over the hour after this incident unfolded, an anger completely unfocused with absolutely no one to blame or hold accountable. I wish it were someone's fault, someone who needs a good choking, but alas, such is not to be the case.


Daryl Cobranchi said...

Assuming both are 220, you should be able to buy a replacement wire/plug at Lowes/Home Depot. Even cheaper, just cut off the plug from the old one and use wirenuts to join it to the new wire.

Anonymous said...

the dryer cords should be interchangable...look for screws at the top of the cord

christine said...

That sucks! Sounds like something that would happen to us. That's how Don has gained his vast knowledge of plumbing and electric: self-education facilitated by bad luck, necessity, and lack of money.