Hat Tip To The Pro

I installed a home appliance to make my life better.  As I should have expected, it has pissed me off for months on end.  (Note to self: Find an appliance salesman and punch him in the balls…karma requires it.)

It was billed as a dishwasher but I believe it was a test of your home’s plumbing cleverly disguised as a useful appliance.  My home failed this test.  The house came with a dishwasher that didn’t work.  I thought I’d just hook the new dishwasher to the old fittings.  WRONG!  It turns out that the plumbing in my house was a craptacular mess.

The Neanderthals who formerly owned my house had virtually no pride of workmanship but a shitload of spare time.

Rather than a standard sewer hookup they’d jammed a 1/2″ flexible hose into a hacksawed 2″ sewer line.  How did they fill the remaining 1 1/2″ gap?  With silicone.  As near as I can tell Jethro Dipshit in the days of yore jammed most of a tube of silicone into the hole and made a softball sized mess.  If I ever have a time machine I’m going to find that loser and beat him with a plumbing manual.

As for the water-in they’d done something similar.  Two random fittings and a tube of silicone.  Did I mention that the old dishwasher was broke?  I think it committed suicide after witnessing criminally incompetent pluming.

I put in several hours installing a proper sewage line, in line, and power hookup.  I built everything up to code and with the standard fittings.  Then shoved the dishwasher into the appropriate spot, hooked up the fittings.  (Which had matching threads as they should.)  Pridefully turned it on…

…and it leaked.

So I checked every fitting.  It leaked again.  I tried my favorite approach; swearing.  When that didn’t work I re-tightened everything.  It didn’t leak.  Yeah!

It worked for a while.  Then it leaked again.  In frustration I installed a ball valve on the input line, so I could take the dishwasher off-line easily.  Then I rechecked every fitting.  I tried everything: Teflon tape, silicone (in moderation), more swearing.  Finally I got it sealed up.

It worked for a while.  Then it leaked again.

I finally gave up and called a plumber.  He arrived two weeks after the call.  (Man I love having ball valves on various water lines!)

I was shattered.  What kind of man hires a plumber for a dishwasher? I suck!  I expected him to take a standard fitting, use it to hook my standard input line to the standard dishwasher, and do it all in five minutes.  I’d get a huge bill for five minutes work; and I’d justly deserve it.

He expected the same thing.  Instead he announced that my dishwasher was apparently made in bizzaro land and had an unusual fitting.  He tightened it just like I’d done and it leaked just like it always does.  He’s a Godly man so I swore on his behalf.  (I’m thoughtful that way.)

After quite a bit of noodling around he discovered that the brass fitting that came with the dishwasher had a hairline crack.  (I hammered it a bit to make it show in the photo.)

When mankind cannot manage brass threads...we're slowly devolving to losers in mud huts. I'm of the opinion we're well on that path.

I was elated.  A problem identified is on it’s way to a problem solved.  Just replace the brass fitting.  Right?  He tore though his pile of brass bits and announced that none of the 345,834,221 pieces in his truck fit my dishwasher.  So we piled in my car and raced to the hardware store (which was about to close).  They didn’t have it either.

He suggested I contact the manufacturer of my bizzaro dishwasher.  I suggest he load a pistol and shoot me.  We both agreed that my dishwasher must have been made by illegal aliens in Guam on who speak Mongolian, answer the phone (which is unlisted) only on alternate Thursdays, and probably set fire to the tool and die that made my dishwasher the day the last one rolled off the assembly line.  In short the odds of getting the fitting from the supplier was lower than finding an honest politician.

I suggested we stop off at the bar en route back to my house…and leave me there.  He got motivated and attacked the hardware department.  Several unusual objects appeared on the counter.  I bought them all.

Back at my house he soldered some copper together and added some glued together bits of CPVC and installed it.  The next day (let the fittings cure) I opened the ball valve and it worked like a charm.  If I ever have another child I’m naming it after my plumber.

Also, and this is because I want to protect future generations, when this dishwasher finally wears out and I buy a new one (theoretically with “normal” fittings) I’m going to remove the adapter we had to create and bury it in the forest.  I refuse to leave behind anything like the works of the silicone people.

P.S.  As for my plumber.  Huzzah!  Well done sir!

About AdaptiveCurmudgeon

Adaptive Curmudgeon is handsome, brave, and wise.

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0 Responses to Hat Tip To The Pro

  1. Brian Dunbar says:

    I refuse to leave behind anything like the works of the silicone people.

    What you have, Sir, is a dishwasher that will never-ever break, wear out, or decay.

    Until you sell the house. The buyer will look at your plumber’s handywork and wonder what in the word he was thinking ..

  2. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    As Harry Callahan observed “A man’s just got to know his limitations”. I come from a long line of bookworms. I have some minor ability with this-side-of-the-breaker-box electricity. I can manage truly minor plumbing problems, such as changing a house filter or cleaning out a trap. I won’t even discuss anything involving gas more serious than re-lighting a pilot. Anything more, and I call an expert. I’m sure I do something that the experts I hire can’t.

  3. BeenThere says:

    Ah, the joys of home repair. When I moved into my house I found an interesting wire installation in the basement. Previous occupant knew you could buy Romex wire in 25′ increments, but somehow failed to understand that you could cut it. He ran the 25′ of Romex the 10′ that he needed and when he got to the end of the run he just … rolled it into a loop, stripped the end, and wired in the end. Drove a nail into the wall stud and hung the wire from the nail.

    I’ve never really figured out how he could manage to cut the sheathing, strip the insulation and so on but couldn’t figure out to end the wire.

  4. BeenThere says:

    ending s/b “figure out how to cut the wire”.

  5. MaxDamage says:

    Dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, all are home appliances that have very simple functions impeded by mandate and fiat. I flat-out refuse to purchase new units any longer because they simply No Longer Work.

    Case in point, the dishwasher. For 20 years my old GE dishwasher quietly blasted food, gunk, and assorted detrius from the dishes. It used several gallons of water and heated said water using several watt-hours of electricity. It was reasonably quiet, and used a little soap. After the second motor died I was persuaded by My Good Wife to purchase a new, quieter unit with a child lock feature. Weeks were spent comparing features, prices, etc… We finally purchased a stainless steel piece of German engineering rated best-in-class.

    Except it doesn’t wash the dishes. It can’t, because it uses almost no water. This is why it’s so quiet. It also uses almost no soap. What it does use is rinse agent, in mammoth quantities. Every possible problem listed in the user manual has “refill rinse agent” as the solution. So the actual dish washing function was of secondary importance compared to pleasing Mother Gaia and the Department of Energy.

    Eventually these products will be improved to the point where they do not function at all, which will be the ultimate in energy efficiency as they’ll use absolutely no water, soap, or electricity when we quit using them.

    – Max

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