Thursday, November 19, 2009

Appliance upgrade...Taylor style!

I consider buying and installing a new appliance home improvement. So when Elli and I decided a few days ago it was time for a new dryer I kind of cringed (a quick side note, we decided our old dryer was no good anymore because no matter how we propped the chair against the door to make it stay shut and running, it was still shutting itself off. And also it was making a high pitched whining noise). Anyhow, my wife did the research and found a good dryer at a reasonable price. The decision was made, and today we went to the appliance store. We bought it, gave them our old one for disposal, loaded the new one and brought it home. Hooked up the dryer hose, plugged it in, runs like a charm. No problem whasoever. Smooth as silk.

That's how I wanted it to go. But this was a Taylor project, which guarantees (no matter how small or straight forward the task) it was going to not go as planned. And cursing was going to be involved.

First problem: Getting the old one out of the basement. To begin, I needed to disconnect the dryer hose from the dryer. Simple right? Except when I got the old one off, I realized that about 4 years of lint and water vapor had accumulated into the damn thing, thus making it weigh about 40lbs. I know I know. With the correct size hose it's not supposed to collect all of that crap. But our hose was about 10 feet too long so it had twists and turns in it, thus matter collected within. "No problem" I thought out loud, "I'll just put this end in the sink for the washer, and pick up the hose from the other end and 'walk' the hose to the end in the sink, thus emptying the contents quickly and efficiently into the drain." Nope, that didn't work. I would get about 2 feet into it and the end in the sink would come flying out due to the excess weight. After about 20 tries, I figured that wasn't gonna work. So the next idea was just to drag the whole damn thing out from the corner, up the steps, through the kitchen, and out the front door and empty it out in the lawn.

Anyone know what a typical dryer hose is made of? Lightweight, flimsy, very tearable aluminum. In fact, I think they just use chicken wire and left over aluminum foil from the company picnic for constructing those thing. Needless to say, I collected both ends of the hose, all the matter (remember, about 40lbs worth) rushed to the center of the hose, slowed the dragging down, I pulled harder, and the hose promptly ripped in 2, providing all 40lbs of matter to have a conveniant exit point into the middle of our downstair floor. Once again, cursing ensued. I immediaetly went into contingency mode, which involved racing upstairs and getting my hands on ever single towel we own. I got it all mostly cleaned up.

Elli came home from a lunch gathering excursion, and immediaetly sensed things were not going smoothly. Perhaps I tipped my hand when I said something along the lines of "I just made a huge fucking mess downstairs!" and angrily went passed her to throw some of the gathered matter away.

After all the towels were used, and the downstairs was upgraded in condition from "boggy" to "damp", it was time to heave the old relic up the stairs. Now, our house was built in the early 1930's, so the 2 stair cases are steep and narrow. But I measured using the proven male method (eyeing it) and decided there was plenty of room and no need to modify the dryer or the stair case for removal purposes. We got about 3 stairs up before the cord caught. Ok, back down the stairs, angrily remove the power cord, and try again. By the way, more cursing ensued during that. With new found roominess, we set off up the stair again, this time making it about 2 steps away before we hit the edge of the door. After trying to use the male technique of finesse (push/pull harder), and taking gashes of wood out of the door, we successfully manage to wedge it air tight within the door space. More cursing and possibly a few angry tears of frusturation ensue.

After angrily marching into the garage to retrieve a hammer and screw driver, I march back into the house, making a point to say something along the lines of "just once, ONCE, I want a home improvement project to go smoothly", I remove the door hinge pins, take the door off, and we push and pull and manage to wrestle the beast free of the doorway shackles it was onced snared in. The carrying and loading into the truck actually went well. As did the drive, purchase, and return with the new appliance.

After getting the new dryer off the truck bed and unwrapped from the box (and taking a moment to drink in the newness and shineness of the new product), we drug the thing inside and back into the previous problem door jam. The other one went through, so this one should be just fine right. Wrong. The new appliance had a protective cover on the back thus making it about 4 feet too wide. Ok, really only half an inch or so too wide, but at that point I was blowing everything soundly out of proportion. So, the only thing left to do (besides setting fire to the whole house as I wanted to), was to remove the molding around the door frame. So, another angry march ensued to the garage to retrieve the trusty crowbar. Once back inside, uttering the same plea about smoothness and projects as above, the molding was removed and the dryer slid smoothly through. A few grunts and groans later and it was in the basement. Elli and I agreed that it was going to be someone else's problem getting it out, even if we move out within 2 years or so.

It seems to work fine. It's drying all those damn towels as I type.


  1. I would like to add that we also took off the stair railings and the back of the new dryer. And I wasn't allowed to talk for 2 whole hours.-Elli

  2. experiences, some are good, some are not so good and then there are those that really make you cuss!! ~Mom

  3. I'm going to make Chad read this when I get home so he can see that he is not the only person on the planet that has trouble with home "improvement" projects! Hopefully this will help since he will be starting one this weekend!


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