Bungalow Mundanity

Disclaimer: I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel by writing this post, but we haven’t had any sexy or exciting projects for quite some time. I decided that it was time to honor the boring maintenance and repair tasks that have kept us busy…in other words, the non-glamorous side of home ownership.

Front edge of dishwasher tub…you can see where water had leaked over the tub edge many times; the upper part also has mineral deposits, since the water was wicked up by the foam noise shield; the new gasket is the cream colored stripe in the middle

Dishwasher leak repair: while we’ve never mentioned it on this site, we have had HORRIBLE luck with the three Frigidaire appliances we installed during the 2005 kitchen remodel (it’s been 9 years already??). The fridge’s ice maker randomly will stop working, the stove will randomly start beeping and claim that we’ve had a power failure and the dishwasher…wait for it…randomly leaks water onto the floor. Of the three, the dishwasher leak has been the most problematic, as it has happened enough that has started damaging the wood floor below. If it happened consistently, we certainly would have dealt with it sooner, but it’d be fine for 30 loads, then leak on the 31st, then go another 50 loads without leaking. But even sporadically, it’s happened too many times over the years.

After the last leak, we pretty much committed to buying a new dishwasher. Once we realized that it was going to cost at least $800 to buy a nice one, I decided to spend more time researching fixes for the Frigidaire. There was a lot more information out there than when I looked years ago, and I found that lots of people were having issues with these Frigidaires. But I also found that the fix is actually pretty easy. First thing to check is the wiper gasket at the bottom of the door. At first I didn’t even think ours had one, because the entire rubber strip was missing. Apparently, the dishwasher gradually digested it over the years.

There should be a rubber strip running along the top edge of this gasket

Replacing that gasket takes a whopping 10 minutes, and it’s super easy to do. The second thing that needs to be done is to the “splash guards” into the bottom of the dishwasher. The hard plastic piece fits behind the door gasket, and these puppies help direct water away from the edges of the tub/door connection. What’s most interesting to me about these pieces is that ours never had them. They were developed as a design change, once they realized that these dishwashers leaked like crazy. Hey, thanks for letting us know, Frigidaire…

Splash guards

We are running our first load after the fixes right now, and so far, so good. We won’t rest easy about it until we’ve made it through two or three months without a leak, though. And lastly, I also ordered a new door gasket, which should show up next week. The total for all three parts was $40, much better than $800. But I swear, if it leaks even one drop of water after tonight, it’s getting ripped out immediately. And then it will be destroyed with a sledgehammer 😉

Washing machine: A few months ago our washing machine shock absorbers broke. With some effort, I was able to repair those myself. In a related incident, shortly after replacing the shocks, one of the springs suspending the tub from the top snapped. It must have taken too much abuse when the tub was banging around. I was not able to find the part online, so I ended up having to buy it from Standard Appliance. I felt pretty ripped off at $50 for a pair, but I’m sure it was still a fraction of what it would have cost to have it serviced.

Couldn’t handle the stress

Drain clog: And shortly after the washing machine repairs, we found one day that our dishwasher was backing up into our utility sink in the basement. I couldn’t find my old snake, so I went out an splurged on one that can attach to a drill. That’s the best thing ever, because it would’ve taken days to clear the line by hand. I ended up having to install a new clean-out, because the antique one in the floor couldn’t be opened. I had installed one in the newer drain line back in 2004, but I stupidly put it too high (I was making everything up as I went.) It was in an inconvenient location, and it also kept the snake from reaching the clog. Once I put in the new clean-out, I was able to reach and clear the clog.

Not my favorite kind of project

So, that’s about covers things since our last post. Just a bunch of maintenance. Teaser: we will probably have more to write about in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

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