Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It's a common problem faced by those of us who rebuilt in the months after Katrina: the demand for appliances at the time was so high that companies shifted into high gear their manufacture of everything from washing machines and stoves to hot water heaters and refrigerators; production went way up and quality control went out the window. As a result, most of the appliances purchased after Katrina are pieces of #@$%.
In the last five years, my fancy, bells-and-whistles post-Katrina LG washing machine has broken down six times (can you say, "bitter"?). The dryer once. The refrigerator twice. The stove twice (it still doesn't work right). The dishwasher once (it still doesn't work right). The downstairs central air conditioning broke down just a couple of weeks ago. This week, it's the hot water heater's turn.
Of course it went out on a Saturday. (Why do these things always happen on a weekend?) No one would even come look at it until Monday. Then they needed to order the parts. I said, "Why don't you just replace it?" They said, "That'll run you about $900." I said, "Okay; order the parts." At least it's still under warranty, so the parts are free even if the labor isn't.
The repair men are here now. That's right, I've been without a hot water heater for five days. Yes, it's been relatively warm here, but even in the summer an icy shower right before you go to bed does not help a writer's chronic insomnia.
I've decided hot water heaters are mankind's greatest invention. Now pardon me why I go pay my plumber $175 for fifteen minutes' work. I'm in the wrong business.