MODERN DAD | By Jon Show
I—like most people my age—grew up in a home that had appliances. I don’t remember anything specific about them other than they had buttons and knobs and churned through daily performances like workhorses.
They were the backbone of the house. Cleaners of dishes and underwear. Cookers of breakfasts and dinners. Chillers of OJ and milk.
They were unheralded, likely. Underappreciated, for sure. I remember nothing about them and certainly never had an opinion about them.
The appliances currently sitting in our home? I know a lot about them. I have opinions on them and most of those opinions—correction, all of those opinions—are negative.
Please keep in mind that my dislike doesn’t stem from their appearance or features. I couldn’t care less. My dislike is much more simple than that.
I hate them because none of them work correctly.
When we built a house in Cornelius seven years ago the house came with brand new appliances, which was pretty amazing for two people who had never owned anything of significance that was brand new.
Things fell apart, literally and figuratively, rather quickly.
The first week in the house the dishwasher wouldn’t work so we called the warranty person who jury rigged the top with a mounting bar because the bottom of the countertop somehow interfered with the touchpad.
Fridge leaves me cold
The house also came with a side-by-side fridge, but when it was delivered the right door wouldn’t open because there was a six inch bump-out in the way.
“That fridge won’t fit in this house,” I was told. I found that interesting because it came with the house.
Back I went to exchange it for an LG bottom-drawer freezer fridge that fit in the house. Problem solved, or so I thought.
That fridge—made by a company that sells TVs—went back to the store six months later because it made so much noise that you had to turn up the TV to drown it out.
A few months later the stovetop developed a loud vibration that occurs anytime the oven is turned above 350 degrees.
About a year after we moved in, the brand new fancy Samsung dryer burned up because someone forgot to pull a protective grate off the roof vent at the end of construction. It cost $400 to repair and a few months later the dryer just fell apart for reasons the repairman couldn’t explain.
I was done with fancy glass top appliances so I went to Home Depot and purchased a Whirlpool, thinking the issue was The Mother of Dragon’s insistence on picking household appliances that came with all kinds of fancy touchpad options and ding-ding-duh-ding-dang sounds.
Shortly after that we received a warranty notice for our washer that informed us “the washing machine top can detach unexpectedly from the washing machine chassis during use, posing a risk of injury from impact.”
The notice said we would be contacted within six months to schedule a repair for our potentially exploding washer.
Seven months later a repairman showed up with a metal bar that he bolted to the wash basin to keep it from blasting through the ceiling, and put a new sticker on the control panel that obscured the Heavy Load option.
Problem solved, I guess?
Our whites, darks and delicates spent the next year successfully rotating through wash cycles until the Mother of Dragons went down an internet rabbit hole about black mold in Samsung washers – and off I went to Home Depot to buy a Whirlpool washer without any steam settings, hand holding or ding-ding-duh-ding-dong sounds.
Finally, our washer-dryer problems were behind us because we were putting our faith in a trusted brand that had been churning out clean clothes for more than a century, and not a company that makes cell phones.
Two years later we still have the same washer and dryer, but the washer violently shakes on every spin cycle and the dryer requires a minimum of two cycles to dry anything heavier than underwear. So much for relying on the “world’s leading kitchen and laundry appliance company.”
No fixin’ this
Back to the kitchen.
Last year one of my neighbors – who has the same Electrolux fridge – asked if I’d checked the back of it for a ball of ice. I hadn’t – because who looks at the back of their fridge – but when I did? Yup. Big ol’ chunk of ice.
I called Electrolux and the repairman arrived a couple weeks later. As I explained the problem to him upon entering our house, he told me that the problem was common … and unrepairable.
“We used to glue a yoga mat on the back of it but that didn’t work,” he said, as he pulled out the fridge and looked craned his neck to look around back. “Yup, that’s it. Nothing we can do.”
He left. Electrolux charged my card $150 for the service visit. Not a bad racket for a company that makes vacuums. Speaking of sucking …
The microwave was the one appliance in our house that worked without fail—until last week when the glass plate snapped in half while microwaving food.
It broke under the weight of its only responsibility, like every other machine in our household. Never churning through daily performances like workhorses. Certainly not the backbone of the house.
Unheralded and underappreciated, deservedly so.
Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.