Divorce and the dishwasher


I think I’m being tested. Is it normal to need this many major appliance repairs in the span of 2 months?  My husband moved out on October 23rd, and since then I’ve had to repair the washing machine TWICE…and now this.  Am I crazy to think he’s sneaking in here and sabotaging my appliances to make me appreciate him? This is what I found this evening, of course…AFTER my son had put away all the dishes (so, I guess I might have to re-wash everything we own now. You’ll understand later). At this stage of the game, I’m not one to waste time. I head straight to YouTube. I learn how to remove that round filter you see in the middle of that milky mess. But first, I had to take a paper cup and manually remove all of that nasty water. I’m chuckling, because at the time, I thought putting my hands in that water was the gross part. Fool. Anyway, I drain the water and pull out the filter. Apparently, you are supposed to clean this thing as part of your regular maintenance. That in itself is funny because, really…who performs “regular maintenance” on their freaking dishwasher? So, this filter is beyond disgusting. It’s a cylinder made out of metal mesh, like a screen, and completely coated with a pinkish-hue film of slimy gunk. I clean it out, and check the sensor. What the hell is the sensor? I have no clue, but YouTube told me to do it, so I did. I sort of rubbed my finger over it to “check it”, and then checked the drain hole for blockage. There was none. I searched the internet a bit more, and saw videos explaining how to check all sorts of things under the control panel. Things like switches and pumps and plumbery stuff like that. I bust out my new tool box (my sister thoughtfully bought me one for Christmas, after my washing machine escapades), removed the panel, and immediately noticed signs everywhere warning of electric shock. I realized I would need to figure out how to shut of the breaker before attempting any of the videos I watched, and really, I have to draw the line somewhere. I want to be independent around here, but I also don’t want my kids to find me fried on the kitchen floor, so I put the panel back on and start thinking about calling a repair company. I’m disappointed, because all I can hear in my mind is my husband saying to me, “You’re going to miss me around here, you know. When something breaks and you need me to fix it, I’m not going to be around”… like I’m a helpless, dependent nothing. I’d rather call and pay for a repairman than call him, admitting my helplessness. I was frustrated, because I’d spent so much time working on this and thought for sure I could do it. Before completely giving up, I took a chance and called a friend for help. He’s pretty handy, and knew exactly what I was talking about. My friend guided me to the drain hose that leads to the Y valve in the pipes under the sink (don’t I sound so freaking mechanical right now? I just learned these words tonight). I unscrew the C clamps that are holding it up against the wall and unscrew the ….damn, I forgot the name of the other clamp, I guess I’m not quite the plumber I thought I was a few minutes ago. Anyway, I pull the hose off the pipe, and this thing is FILLED with this…this…substance. No, substance is not right. It’s like a rubbery, snotty, liver-looking, clotty, gelatinous yet meaty…organism. No, it’s not alive, but it could be, maybe on another planet. This is what I’ve been using to wash my dishes. How on Earth are we still alive? Apparently, this “clog” is 8 years worth of wet food, and it’s blocking almost 3 feet of this hose. I grab a bucket and look for something to unclog it. All I can find is a campfire marshmallow stick. I shove it in there and I can feel it in the sludge of this moist food alien baby byproduct. I pull it out and it’s like I lanced a giant wound…coated with the innards of this poor, suffering alien. Unfortunately, it’s not long enough to clear it. Each time I poke it in, I feel like I’m slowly killing someone in there. It feels fleshy. “So, this is what it feels like to stab someone”, I think to myself. My friend brainstorms and suggests I use a snow marker from the driveway, and by golly, it worked. I sloshed it around in the baby alien body (sorry, but this thing really did take on a life of it’s own…I came THIS close to naming it) and turn on the drain of the dishwasher. You know those gross videos floating around the internet of people lancing these giant cysts on people’s bodies, and they explode like 2 ton zits…like the old play doh hair dresser toy that would push it out like a sausage machine? That’s what it was like, but grosser. Picture diced up liver, lightly tossed in diarrhea. I’m pretty sure I just performed a medical procedure on this hose. It’s entire infected gut product ended up in the bucket…like a back alley colonoscopy. Blood everywhere. It was completely disgusting to watch it ooze out like a giant pimple… yet somehow, oddly satisfying. Anyway, it worked! I ran a cycle and it drained, smooth like butter.

So, it wasn’t completely independent appliance repair, but still way better than paying Sears a couple hundred bucks to come over.

My new motto as head of household, “Fix it yourself, or find someone to teach you how!”


This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt was “coat”. Thanks, Linda!

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS and #JusJoJan Jan. 7/17


6 thoughts on “Divorce and the dishwasher”

  1. How cool!!! You fixed it!!!
    I wanted to comment but the wordpress app didn’t give me the option to, only to like it. I wonder why. Anyway, congrats on your fixing!

    1. I just checked my spam and trash folder and you aren’t in it, so it’s just an error. If you find out why the app does that so often, fill me in. It’s so frustrating to type out a heartfelt response on my phone just to have it denied!

  2. Brava! You did it again! As you were describing the whole thing, I got to wondering about your dish soap. A few years back, I switched us to an eco friendly soap, and our water couldn’t dissolve it. Some of it ended up settling around the lower part of the dishwasher and fouling the gasket so things started to leak. I had to scrape this gooky yucky stuff out of the machine. Now I use something like a Cascade single pack, but our store brand because the Cascade was eating some of my plastics.

    Good for you for sticking to it and calling in a friend!

    We’ve been having to nurse along a leaky pressure tank in our pump house. My husband tried to patch the leak, but he’s only been able to slow it down. About once a day, he’s been going out and putting more air into this tank. It keeps some air in the tank so our pump doesn’t run constantly when we use water. Today, he was at work and the pump started to short cycle, so I grabbed the kid (who Daddy showed how to do all this recently), and the kid showed me what to do- and basically did most of it himself. The only thing he forgot was that we needed to test the pressure in the tank occasionally. I ended up inadvertently draining the tank completely instead of partially, and put way to much pressure in it. I ended up calling my husband who filled in the missing piece of the puzzle. We get a new tank on Mon or Tues. But now I feel a lot more confident in our water system.

    1. I use the little soap packs, too. This was all just a result of me never cleaning the thing out, as well as being lazy about scraping the food off my plates. Yuck! I am a new woman, though…and now will perform “regular maintenance” on my appliances!

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