Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Dryer is Back from the Brink

On our wedding anniversary, I posted about our dryer sounding like it was dying. This is one of the nice things about 1980's tract homes. Since the dryer sits in the garage, the noise was not too big of a problem. That is until last Thursday. I was watching TV while folding laundry and I kept turning up the volume to drown out the noise from the garage. Also, when I went to get the mail, I could hear the dryer out at the street!

So after the UT/OU game (No, I don't want to talk about it...) I decided to take apart the dryer. My plan was simple. Open it up and replace any parts that looked too worn out. $40 and two hours later, we were back in business. The repair was done in less than an hour, the rest of the time I spent vacuuming lint out of, under , behind and around the dryer. It was amazing, the amount of lint that was sitting inside this machine. The service manual recommends vacuuming out the lint every year or so. It has been five years, four months and 14 days since we bought it, and I know I have not ever sucked out the lint. Have you?

Now, the dryer sounds much happier, and I am thrilled, because it is one more repair that we have handled without a repairman. Self-sufficiency in home repair was one of our biggest goals when I started staying home. While I was working on the dryer, I was trying to remember the last repairman that came into our house.

The siding was installed two years ago, but they worked only outside, so that might not count. 2 1/2 years before that, our washer broke and we had someone repair it, but it was under warranty. Does that count? A plumber was out once, while the house was under a home-warranty, but he did not actually fix anything, so I know that one does not count. The repairs were excluded in the warranty fine-print. He was willing to do the work, for $100, but we decided to call around to get a better price. One of the plumbers I called talked me through the repair and did not charge me for the advice! Seems like the parts cost me less than $10. We had him run a new gas line for our gas log fireplace, a year later. He made up for the freebie on that one! It worked out to about $75 an INCH to replace the old gas line and to install a cut-off valve. We also had a new AC system put in 4 1/2 years ago and a new roof put on 5 years ago. Otherwise, if it has been done to this house, we have done the work ourselves.

Remind me to tell you about the roofer who sung church hymns, cursed like a sailor, disappeared for a month and nailed-down shingles in house-shoes at 5:30am. His wife also helped him tote bundles of shingles onto the roof while she was wearing a denim mini skirt! It is a great story, but alas, when a mentally-ill man roofs your house, just know that you WILL need a new roof before the 20 year shingle warranty expires.

At this rate, The Boss Lady and I might be able to install our own roof in a few years!

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