The day the dishwasher died

If you are old enough, you remember where you were the day of the Kennedy assassination, or when you heard the news that Elvis Presley died.

I’ve added a new date to my list of traumatic events: the day the dishwasher died.

Our Kenmore Elite was 13 years old, so I should have seen it coming. Patrick resuscitated it several times over its faithful years of service, utilizing his engineering skills and collection of Craftsman’s.

Despite its age and a few warning signs, I was still shocked when I walked through the door to the news of its demise. Dishwasher care is important in ensuring that your dishwasher lasts a long time, and you might want to take a look at some dishwasher cleaning tips if you want your dishwasher to last as long as ours.

Photo courtesy depositphotos/used with permission

It plunged me into the stages of losing-a-major-appliance grief.

  1. Denial. Does this mean dishwashing by hand? NO! Say it isn’t so? Couldn’t I still load it, and hose dishes with the sink sprayer?
  2. Anger. Who is to blame? Is it possible I clogged the motor with broken glass? Should I have scraped paper labels off marinara jars used for my ‘homemade’ sauce? Doesn’t the God of appliances know how much I suck at washing dishes?
  3. Bargaining. After Patrick determined the fix was beyond his skills and there wasn’t a YouTube with anything to offer, he called the repairman. I began a chant about how I would do better. I promised not to break any more dishes, would remove large food particles, and be alert to dental floss curled in the bottom my milk glass. I promised to use name brand detergent instead of generic. I vowed to buy jet dry.
  4. Depression. The repairman rendered his $60 diagnosis. The cost of repair was prohibitive considering the age of the dishwasher. Dashed was my dream of a new pump or motor whirring this beauty back into life. I lacked motivation to research Consumer Reports, or go shopping. I cried as I envisioned my next paycheck washed away with the grey water. I made a feeble attempt to keep the dirty dishes from overtaking the kitchen.
  5. Acceptance. A calmness rinsed over me. I accepted the inevitable. We bought a new dishwasher, reinforcing Dave Ramsey’s rule that one should always have a $1000 emergency fund. The old dishwasher is on its way to an unmarked appliance gravesite.

Now that I have endured this ebb and flow of emotions, I find myself in the midst of gratitude.

I am thankful we could afford a new dishwasher. This wasn’t an easy process though. I feel the best way to truly know what the best products are, apart from testing them out yourself is by reading other people’s opinions. When we were having trouble picking the best one, we hit the jackpot with by looking into something like Dishwashers recommended at ProductExpert. From this, we were able to make our final decision, which I am truly happy with. I am happy to live in a world where I don’t have to go to the river, break a hole in the ice and wash dishes on the frigid shore. Or plunge chapped hands into hot, soapy water, to hand wash dishes mostly clean, depending on the dish wiper to finish the job.

As my mother’s life expectancy waned, when she bought a new appliance, she reasoned, “This one should last for the rest of my life.” It reminds me that I outlived this dishwasher, and I will not take life for granted. I’m prepared to celebrate when my new one wears out as a badge of longevity (mine, not the dishwashers). Right after I go through the five stages of grief.

When was the last time you had to replace a major appliance? Did you accept its demise with grace or fight it knife and fork, like I did?

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9 thoughts on “The day the dishwasher died”

  1. I live in a co-op, and we are not allowed to have dishwashers or washing machines in our apartments, for obvious reasons.

    My personal preference is to let dishes accumulate in the sink until there is no more room for anything, then wash just enough of them to make some room. Eventually, I will get sick of the mess, wash everything and scour out the sink. I then repeat the whole process.

    Come to think of it, I really shouldn’t be confessing this, should I!

  2. Last month my friend turned on her dishwasher and went to bed. The next 7 hours water was pumping furiously into her kitchen. She had 25 Thousand Dollars worth of damage to her entire first floor, and into her basement. So I think your emergency fund was well spent! The stages of grief do wane to acceptance and you seem to have washed your hands of the whole matter!

    1. We have adjusted to the diminished bank account and the convenience of the new dishwasher. It is quieter than the old one but still causes the same size bruise when I bump into it, so some things never change. What a disaster your friend endured!

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