Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Broken Home...

The Facts

Things break. Sometimes all at once.

His Side

As you’ve discovered through reading this blog, I’m not much a Mr. Fix-It, but I am learning. I have installed a storm door, put together an entertainment center, hung a TV on the wall, installed a fence, revamped a side-yard, and even done some minor garage door repair work. I had never worked on a washing machine, though… until now. But I’ll get to that.

As you know, we’ve been having some garage door issues. First, we had a bracket break because the door was out of square. After fixing that )with some help), it broke again and we fixed it. Then it broke again and we put a whole new cable on there (which apparently was very dangerous as we found out later). We figured it was time to have the professionals check it out. 

The professional, however, looked at it and told us the bad news:  we needed a whole new system. Kristi dealt with them more than I did but, from what I understand, we had an old system and it would eventually stop working all together. So we had to remedy that.

During all that garage door stuff, we also found out that our washing machine was leaking and possibly ruining the wood floors underneath it. Kristi and her mom took the machine apart and got the replacement piece. I was working that Saturday or I would have helped, too. My only part in it was helping get the washing machine put back together once the new part was on. We couldn’t really get it back on the proper way, but it worked just fine. 

With a working, washer, we turned our attention back to the garage door and shelled out too much money to get it fixed. Normally, we are willing to fix stuff ourselves, but we let the professionals handle that one. The garage door is now in proper working order and we are content… well, we were until the washing machine started leaking again. It seemed like nothing could go right! So we took it apart again, and found another loose piece to replace. This piece only cost 30 cents or so, so it didn’t break the bank, but it was still quite annoying to have to deal with it again. 

When we tried to put the washing machine back together this time, though, it still didn’t quite work right. So we used the best thing you can use in a situation such as that… duct tape. Our washing machine may look ghetto, but it washes our clothes and keeps the floor dry for now. So, we’re fine with it. 

Sometimes being a homeowner is awful. Things keep breaking and it seems like nothing is going right. Sometimes it makes you envy the days you used to rent and were able to call maintenance when something broke. But, having a place to call your own is ultimately worth it and dealing with the issues that arise make you a stronger person and a stronger couple. 

Her Side

Murphy’s Law. It’s a real thing. It states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. And it certainly felt that way in our home recently.

Let’s start with the biggest thing first. Our garage door. I know, you’re probably thinking “why haven’t you guys figured that stinkin’ thing out yet?!” Those are my thoughts exactly. In our defense, we thought we had it all figured out until one day when it came to a screeching halt. The day started off a little outside of the norm. Not because we didn’t get up at the regular time, or some big part of our morning routine was off… it was because upon waking up and walking to the kitchen, I discovered our garage door had been open all night. This is something that is worthy of a slight freak out for me because I’m all about safety. So, naturally, Nolan took it upon himself to check out our entire house for any unwanted guests without any prompting from me (he’s a pretty great guy). I figured that we had accidentally forgotten to put it down the night before and assured myself it wouldn’t happen again.

Fast forward to later that same day. I came home at lunch to let Fletcher out of his crate. As I approached the driveway, I pushed the magic button to raise the garage door. It began to rise, but I immediately knew something was wrong. The cable came off of the track and I’m honestly not sure how the door made it all the way up without that key component functioning. It hit me, THAT’S why our garage door had mysteriously been open the night before… it was malfunctioning. Great! So, over the next couple of days, we did some do-it-yourself minor repairs (or, should I say, Nolan and my brother tackled those). After the main issue was fixed, we thought we were in the clear; but, of course, it’s never that easy. This time, it’s like we were having to coax the garage door so that it would even open. Sometimes it took six tries to open that thing. It got increasingly frustrating and we decided to call in the professionals to see if they could diagnose the problem.

The garage door repairman was set to come check out what the problem was. I met him at the house and, wouldn’t you know it, the garage door didn’t act up a bit. It was like an out of line child getting it together as soon as their parents approach. It felt a bit like a slap in the face… Ok, you’re going to act right as soon as the person who can fix you gets close to you? I see how it is. All the repairman could say was that the door looked fine, it was plumb and he didn’t see anything wrong with it. He did mention that we would eventually have to replace the whole system since it was rather old and it would only be a matter of time before it just decided to quit working. Nolan and I weren’t willing to risk that happening, so we immediately set up an appointment to get that baby fixed.

Now that we had the garage door in working condition, it would only make sense that our washing machine would spring a leak. To be honest, when I first noticed a suspicious liquid near the washing machine my immediate response was to get mad at the dog. After all he hasn’t quite mastered the whole using the potty in designated locations thing. Once I realized the dog was not to blame, I knew we needed to act quickly since a pool of water and hardwood floors are NOT a great mix. We took the “cabinet” off of the washing machine base and quickly found the culprit… a dry rotted hose. That was easy, right?! At least we didn’t have to search for long to find the cause. Something to note here is that if you have a hose on your washing machine break on the weekend, chances are you are out of luck at finding a part until the beginning of the week. We found that one out the hard way. After going to a few hardware and appliance stores we were told our dilemma wouldn’t be rectified until Monday.

Once Monday rolled around, we got the part and replaced it. Easy. What wasn’t easy was putting the stinkin’ cabinet back onto the washing machine. It was more complicated by the fact that we purchased a tray for the machine to sit on in case it decided to spring any more leaks, the wood floors would not be ruined. My mom came over to lend a hand at getting the washing machine back together. It would have been impossible for just Nolan and I to do. We tried the cautious approach, but that wasn’t working so we ended up beating the thing into submission and eventually into place… sort of.

After fixing the washing machine, I was paranoid it would begin to leak again. Each load we put in I’d check every few minutes to see if any water had broken free. It hadn’t… until a few days ago. I saw standing water and wanted to scream. Not again! Nolan and I quickly took the cabinet off so we could see where water was coming from. This will be a shocker:  there were no drips or runs of water - simply a lone pool of water sitting there.

The culprit, in the case of the runaway water, was a clamp on the new hose that we installed. It just wasn’t cutting it, so we had to get a new one. Thank goodness it seems as if that was the fix and it’s back in working order.

And, as if that wasn’t enough stuff that was going wrong, our doorbell got possessed. I don’t actually think our doorbell was possessed, but it sure felt like that for a brief moment. Imagine this… I got home after a long day at work. We had just dealt with the garage door, washing machine, and our lovely puppy who sometimes does things he’s not supposed to. I walk down the hallway to hear a strange humming noise coming from the gadget that projects the doorbell sound. I had encountered a similar situation a while back and knew the wire would need tweaked in order to fix the annoying noise. I walked back to the bedroom and the doorbell slowly began to ring. Now that I think about it, it was actually something right out of a horror movie. At first, it was one chime (indicating a guest at our back door). I knew this wasn’t possible since I had shut the garage door, but I decided to walk toward the back door just to be sure. As I approached the door, the doorbell switched it up and began a two tone ring (indicating I was being summoned to the front door). Now, I don’t know if the chiming got faster or if I was just imagining it, but it suddenly stopped and no one was to be found at the door. Creepy, right? Thankfully it didn’t do that again and I was able to tighten the wires to stop the humming noise.

So, if you have a garage door that needs repaired… we have a guy to call. If you have a washing machine that has a leaky hose, we are pretty much experts in that area. And if you have a possessed doorbell, uh… I suggest you get out of the house!

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