4/14/2009

Laundry Tales

For the last several years, our dryer has progressively been getting clothes less and less dry. I will admit that I'm not one to run the dryer a second or third time just to get things dry - I prefer things not shrink beyond comprehension, which is generally what seems to happen when I have more than one drying cycle run. So, I've been compensating with air drying things after they come out of the dryer hot and wet.

This was fine, until Tim started wearing more jeans to work (rather than khakis). Because his jeans were never dry and they took longer to air dry than the khakis did. So, after some deliberation, we decided to replace the thing. (Tim had taken a look at the vent and it was clear, he fiddled here and there, but ultimately the thing is at least 10 years old, probably older, so we just figured it was hitting end of life.)

So the appliance store near us was having their annual "private" sale, to which we were invited having purchased from them before, so we went to take a peak. And I saw the Maytag 3000 series and drooled and coveted and then saw the price and realized that we could actually afford it and so did a little jig of joy and plunked down my credit card. (Though I did not pay extra to have them in red, no matter that my heart thrilled at the idea of a colored washer, I'm just not paying extra for that!) We decided to replace both, seeing that the washer was probably just as likely to break soon anyway as they're roughly the same age.

After a week, they came round to deliver my beautiful new machines and the delivery man tromped upstairs and measured and came down shaking his head. And I had a sad, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that he confirmed when he uttered the tragic words, "They're never going to fit."

See, our laundry is upstairs in the hallway in a special laundry closet that is just about 30" deep. The machines themselves are 31"...and that doesn't include hoses or proper venting distances for the dryer. It's the first time I've been sad that we don't have our laundry in the basement or in a special laundry room off the kitchen like so many around here do. Because in those two locations it really doesn't matter how big your machines are. Of course, you're trucking clothes up and down and up and down all the live long day...but it seemed, at the time, a small price to pay.

So the nice delivery men took the beautiful machines away and I got the credit card refunded and went back to the researching drawing board. Meanwhile, Tim went up to fiddle and in so doing pulled the dryer to the very edge of the closet (the doors were off for delivery purposes, so he pulled it right up to the edge where the door would be) and then I did laundry. And lo and behold, the clothes came out dry. Dry as a bone, in fact. And it seemed as if the wetness sensor was working again as the smaller load took less time to dry.

Thus we figured, upon consideration, that perhaps our current machine is also technically too big and the vent tube was getting mushed and that's why the clothes weren't drying. So now, rather than figuring out what to buy for new laundry appliances, we're trying to figure out what to do about the doors. Frankly, I'm ok leaving them off if that's what we decide - it's not like they're ugly or that area is messy. And they're not significantly louder when I'm doing laundry that it would matter (no one is sleeping). There are a few options we'll consider before leaving them bare but really...if our normal sized dryer can't happily sit in the laundry space, it seems to me that the builders made a goof when they did that part of the house...still...it beats spending $2K on new appliances.

3 comments:

Lynellen said...

That must be it..the builder "goofed". uh, yeah. They are such precise, professional people that it had to have been a very sad mistake on their part. Right.

Rob said...

We've been coveting a new washer dryer set for a coupla years, but I stubbornly refuse to let my 15+ year old clunkers die until the front-loading washers come down in price a bit more. And those snazzy pedestals for the front-loaders that promise to give ya oodles of extra storage in an already tight space call out my name. But $500 for a coupla drawers?!! Criminy!

beth said...

They tried, desperately, to get me to buy a "work surface" to go over the top of both for an extra $200. I asked if I was not going to be able to fold clothes on the bare tops, if clothes magically floated off of them. The salesman managed an embarrassed chuckle and moved on.