Thursday, April 26, 2012

Man vs. House

So, awhile ago young son was cleaning up the detritus left behind in older son's bedroom at Grouch estates after older son moved into his own place.  Young son was busily cleaning away and vacuuming (or 'sweeping' as we quaintly refer to it at G.E.) when he came to me to report that: 1. the vacuum cleaner (a.k.a. the 'sweeper') was making a really strange noise; and 2. it wasn't working worth a plugged Greek drachma.  My diagnosis was something was stuck in the brushes.   This lead to a full scale disassembly of the machine.  It is amazing how many parts there are in a vacuum cleaner these days!  In fact it is amazing that they manage to fit so much in such a small chassis.  It is so amazing that it took me two days to get everything back together and reassembled.  In the meantime I learned that the hose was clogged which when cleared, the machine worked just fine.   Lesson to self:  read and apply Occam's razor to all future home repairs.

So, a couple days later around midnight or so I realized I needed to empty the dishwasher before going to bed.  I opened the door and Lo! the machine was full of tepid water.  Rats.   I did the usual immediate action drill:  Turn it on again.  I heard the pump running but making a weak strangled sound.  Open the door.  Still full of tepid water.  Unplug the machine and plug it back in and try it again.  The poor pump sounded like something was caught in its throat but it couldn't pump out the water.  I started to roll up my sleeves to tackle the repair when the Missus rightly told me to go to bed as the dishwasher would still be full of water tomorrow when the sun would be up and so would I.  I agreed and decided to take the trash out to the trash can before going to bed.  I turned the door knob on the outside door and the mechanism went 'sproing' and pieces flew out of the door.  I couldn't believe it!   I went to bed.

The next morning I tackled the dishwasher.  First I had to bail out the water.  Once I got most of it out I needed to use the turkey baster to suck the rest of the water out.  I gave the rubber bulb a squeeze broke!   Great, three for three!  I managed to get the water out, disassembled the mechanism, pulled all sorts of yucky stuff out of the pump, filled it up with water still sounded strangled.  It wasn't draining.  So I disconnected the drain line and used a straightened paperclip to pull even more yucky stuff out of the drain line.  Put it all back together and...yes!  It worked!   Now to the hardware store for a new door knob and lock, install it and...yes!  it worked too!

I was beginning to feel like a real tool using primate with opposable thumbs when  the Missus informed me that the sweeper (a.k.a. the vacuum) wasn't really fixed after all.  The brushes only turned when the handle was almost horizontal to the ground meaning the user would have to be three feet tall or push the machine around from the kneeling position.  With extreme trepidation I removed the shell from the machine again and quickly determined that a crucial switch that turns the brushes off when the handle is vertical was out of its designated place.  I chastised it and sent it back to its niche and reassembled the infernal device and... yes, yes!  It worked for real this time!

So ended my saga of man vs. house, or perhaps more accurately, the revolt of the machines.  Watch out Skynet, watch out Colossus, you're next on my list of things to fix!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, but did you fix the turkey baster? Good job fixing everything else. I think I'll bring you some things to fix.