Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hung out to dry

Ah, the perils of homeownership.

My dryer broke this weekend. The motor was going but the barrel wasn't spinning.

And of course, it broke on the first run for a new load. So now I've got 20 pounds of wet clothes, and it's like 9 p.m. on a Saturday night.

Yeah, I know, I was home doing laundry and playing Strat hockey on a Saturday night. My life sucks. That's not the point.

Anyway, after hanging my clothes pretty much all over my two-point-five bathrooms for the night - one shirt dried, Lord knows how - I wound up in the laundromat the next day. For the first time in three years, since I inherited the washer and dryer with the ol' townhouse.

Two bucks in quarters (for an hour! yeesh!) later, I had dry clothes (and one dirty shirt, which took the grime off a shower curtain rod). In fact, I wasted a buck because it only took half an hour in the industrial dryer to do the trick. That's a two-hour job in my lil' old critter.

So after two fruitless days of phone calls, I finally got a repairman to come to my house ("The Appliance Guy"). Turns out the belt on the drum snapped. He said I got my money's worth out of it, though I suspect Mr. I.O. Everyone, who I bought the house from (the name has been changed to protect the guilty) got most of that.

A new dryer is $400-plus. My crappy old one is probably worth half that, if I'm lucky. And I paid $137.80 to get the thing fixed. (No, I didn't ask what it cost beforehand, I was just grateful somebody finally called me back and showed up.)

Anyway, figure that's a $20 part, plus tax. So I paid $100 for labor. The dude moved the dryer six inches, undid six screws, flipped the breaker, replaced the band, reversed the process, signed the receipt, talked a bit of Yankees, shook my hand and left in 20 minutes. That's like $300 an hour. I'm glad it wasn't something complicated that might have required him to undo like eight screws or something. Would've cost me next month's mortgage payment.

This month's mortgage payment. Crap. Time to balance the checkbook.

But I digress...

So, anyway, end result is, now I can finish my laundry without having to share time with the creepy people at the laundromat. Because even I'm somebody's creepy-person-at-the-laundromat, the others there creeped me out and are therefore worse.

Ah, the joy of homeownership. At least I got a guy in the house in two days. That's better than my track record with the plumber, and he literally lives across the street.

General Electric electric dryers
Appliance repair in the Hillsborough/Belle Mead Area
Save $137.80
The laundromat industry, as per the IRS

Maybe locksmithing wasn't the best career choice?