Wednesday, July 02, 2008

How to hook up a dishwasher... in forty-seven *ahem* easy steps.
  1. Make sure that the old dishwasher really doesn't work. Do this by starting and stopping it numerous times with the same load of dirty dishes inside. Start it, cross your fingers, let it run for awhile, and then stop it when the stupid beeping sound goes off indicating that it's not working properly. Open the door, stare inside, verify that the little soap dispenser thingy hasn't opened yet and that there's a large quantity of water in the bottom of the machine, close the door, and restart it. Repeat. Repeat.
  2. Take all the dirty dishes out of the broken dishwasher and wash them in the sink. They won't all fit, so this takes several tries. Because you have a dishwasher, there's no drainboard on which to dry them, so use your best stacking technique to build a tower of clean dishes. Don't wash any of the silverware. That's too tedious, and there's plenty to get you through until the new dishwasher arrives.
  3. Look online to see if anyone is having a sale on dishwashers. Sears looks promising, but they have a hefty delivery charge (more about that later).
  4. Hop in the vehicle and drive to the nearby family-owned appliance store. They've been reliable in the past and have had prices pretty much in line with the big-name stores.
  5. Talk to the salesman about what you really want in a dishwasher. White. Relatively quiet. Something that washes the dishes. Something that doesn't cost $1000 or more. Top of the line isn't necessary, as (with any luck) we'll be moving sometime in the near future and the dishwasher will remain with the house.
  6. Pay $373.45 for the lower middle of the line dishwasher. Here's the good part. Opt to install it yourself to save the $119 delivery/hookup fee.
  7. Drive to the back of the store and help the warehouse guy lift the dishwasher into the back of the vehicle.
  8. Drive home, back into the garage, and remove dishwasher from the back of the vehicle. For some reason, lifting it into the back with the help of the warehouse guy was much simpler than removing it with the help of the husband.
  9. Tell husband to stop ripping open the cardboard box that holds the new dishwasher because it will be easier to move into the house while it's inside the protective cardboard covering. He agrees.
  10. Wait a day. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves here and do too much in one day.
  11. Turn off electricity to dishwasher. This requires that the husband goes to the basement for the dangerous part (flipping off circuit breakers) while the wife stays upstairs to watch the light on the dishwasher door go off. Use cell phones to communicate between basement and first floor. Flip several circuit breakers because you forgot to take glasses to the basement and can't read the labels on the door of the breaker box.
  12. Turn off water supply.
  13. Disconnect old dishwasher. This in itself is another forty-seven step process and involves hunting down the big flashlight with the rechargeable battery, several screwdrivers (no, I meant Phillips!), wrenches (I don't know where you put those, so you're going to have to go find them yourself), utility knife (please put it back in the drawer when you're finished because that one's mine, and it's not to be confused with the dozens of others you have in the garage), removing everything from under the sink to enable access to the drain pipe, mopping up the floor when the dishwasher is tipped onto the hand truck, and then sitting it behind the vehicle for future hauling back to the appliance store where it will be recycled.
  14. Bring the new dishwasher into the house. Once again, this would probably be easier if the moving weren't being done by a husband and wife who always seem to do things in opposite ways.
  15. While husband goes to the garage to see if anything needs to be salvaged from the old machine, remove the cardboard box from the new machine by carefully cutting along the dotted lines at the bottom of the box. Take cardboard and styrofoam packing and place with recycling.
  16. Stand and watch as husband begins process of figuring out what goes with what and how to hook up the new machine. Do you want me to read the instructions? No. Real men don't need instructions.
  17. Listen to all the grunting and expletives that come from the kitchen as husband tries to take off the old electrical box.
  18. Go to garage for another pair of pliers.
  19. Go to garage again for a flathead screwdriver.
  20. Bring insulation from old dishwasher back into house to supplement the thin layer of insulation on the new one (did I mention that the new one only cost $373.45? -- apparently that doesn't buy the thicker insulation).
  21. Go back to garage to remove the 90-degree elbow for the water supply so it can be attached to the new machine. Listen to husband complain that the new machine should have come with all the parts needed to hook it up.
  22. Go to garage to locate the roll of teflon tape needed for the elbow.
  23. Connect elbow to inlet valve in dishwasher.
  24. Reroute flexible plastic drain pipe so it won't get caught up when the machine is slid into place under the countertop.
  25. Have husband push flexible plastic drain pipe through hole in cabinet while pulling on the other end. Stop! Don't pull so hard! Wait! You're going too fast! It's kinked! Okay.
  26. Listen to more expletives and grunting while husband tries to fit arm underneath machine to hook up the water line.
  27. Help push dishwasher into place under counter. Stop! You're crinkling the insulation! Wait for me to move my side! Pull the machine back out. Everything's crooked! Okay, try again.
  28. Where's the wrench? I need the wrench. It's not level, and the only way to move the legs up and down is with an open-end wrench and a 1/4" socket wrench. Sorry. I still don't know where anything is in the garage.
  29. Open and close door to new dishwasher numerous times. It's not as nice as the old one. Are you sure it's right?
  30. Call the local family-owned appliance store to ask them whether the door is operating the way the one in the store operates. Yes, it's different than the old machine. It'll work better once the dishwasher is attached to the cabinet.
  31. Open and close door a couple of times to test it.
  32. Pull dishwasher back out from underneath the counter so some of the extra insulation can be cut away, as it's interfering with the operation of the door.
  33. Use a utility knife to cut the insulation, even though it makes a raggedy cut and sprinkles fiberglass bits all over the place. Real men don't use scissors, I'm told.
  34. Push the dishwasher back underneath the counter. Test the door seventeen more times. It's working, but it's not as nice as the old one.
  35. Connect the flexible plastic drain line to the y-connector on the sink drain.
  36. Go to the garage to get the tape measure to make sure the sides are at the same height.
  37. Connect the wires that are sticking up out of the hole in the floor to the corresponding wires on the dishwasher. The wires don't seem to be long enough. Maybe they slipped down the hole a bit.
  38. Go to basement to see if the wires can be pushed up any more. There's a little more slack now.
  39. Connect the wires, now that they're just long enough to reach.
  40. Where's the electrical tape?
  41. Bring me some of those wire nuts.
  42. Tighten the metal band that holds the flexible drain pipe to the y-connector on the sink drain.
  43. Go look for shorter screws to use in the brackets that attach the dishwasher to the underside of the countertop.
  44. Replace the front panel of the new dishwasher to hide all the electrical connections and plumbing underneath.
  45. Replace all the stuff that was removed from the cabinet underneath the sink.
  46. Carefully peel off the blue plastic protective coating so you can admire the shiny white front of the new machine.
  47. Gather all the tools and supplies used for the installation so they can be put back where they belong. By now we have one moving blanket (for cushioning against the ceramic tile floor), one set of knee pads, two flathead screwdrivers, one Phillips screwdriver, several socket wrenches, several open-end wrenches, teflon tape, pliers, wire cutters, electrical tape, utility knife, flashlight, painters tape (I honestly don't know what that was used for), paper towels, and numerous screws.

There. All done. Elapsed time? Somewhere in the range of six hours, including the trip to the store. But hey. We saved $119 by installing that baby ourselves!

7 comments:

ClinkscalesArts said...

LOL! You weren't kidding when you said it was 47 steps, were you?!

You are a brave woman. I would have paid the $119 and sat in the living room while the pros did it.

thebeadedlily said...

Next time-- pay the experts:)

Julie said...

LMAO - this too funny. I can see me doing the same thing (always trying to save a buck around here).

Thanks for the laugh.

:-) MaryLou said...

I must mention here that it was NOT MY IDEA to save the $119 installation fee. We've done many projects before (including building several houses), so none of this surprised me.

At least we can laugh about it, right?
:-)

GrandmaMarilyns said...

That was hilarious. Isn't it funny what we do to save money.....like buy $100 of beads because they were on sale.

Melody said...

I feel for you, I really do. But I laughed all the way through your post!

Carol Dean said...

At Step 40 or so, I was half expecting to read that the old dishwasher wasn't really broken after all! lol Husbands! Gotta love 'em! :D