A Cautionary Tale


Then the icicles draped the houses

Then the icicles draped the houses

My hubby and I made a decision (okay I strongly suggested this) to purchase a new dishwasher. Before the old one gave out and likely would flood the kitchen and hallway.

After all, the old one was going on 19 years old. It really had never given us a headache or a problem in all that time. However, the past few months I noticed dishes were not getting as clean and glassware often had spots and a film despite the use of preventive aids which had kept this from happening over all these 19 years.

So hubby measured and carefully wrote down the measurements. It certainly wouldn’t do to find the perfect dishwasher only to have it arrive and be too big or too small for the available space. He hit Consumer Reports and did his research. He brought home the results and consulted me.

Of course, he showed me only those which met his specifications: high rankings in areas he deemed necessary and size.

Then I took those model numbers and looked them up on line. After all, I was the determiner of whether it would really “fit” in the kitchen, meaning did it complement what we already have. Or was it totally unacceptable despite its high ratings.

They make such noise when they fall

They make such noise when they fall

Wonder of wonders—my top choice was the same as his. (Now this is a rare occurrence. I’m for sleek, modern and stainless, black or titanium and black. He has a fondness for roosters and harvest gold and olive green. I’ll say no more.)

So off we went to the appliance store. And even a great wonder? It was on a very good sale. We bought it, arranged for delivery, installation and most importantly, HAUL AWAY.

We were told the only responsibility we had before the new appliance arrived was to turn off the water to the dishwasher.

Now the day before the delivery we get the confirmation call and my husband asks about the installation since that wasn’t mentioned. Well, that gets him the opportunity to speak to a real human.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

Yep. No notice of any installation we should call the store and reset a delivery date.

Well, we did, but delivery, installation and haul away couldn’t be done until the following week. We agreed. I mean, what else were we going to do? I certainly wasn’t going to try to install it and fortunately my dear hubby decided he’d not step up a show his macho.

Thank God for small favors.

So we’re back to just turning off the water.

The new delivery date was scheduled for this past Friday. About Tuesday hubby says to me, “There’s no water turn off under the sink.”

“Of course there is,” I answered but I was busy desperately trying to finish the final edits for this next book and didn’t immediately get up and show him where it was the last time I cleaned under the kitchen sink.

A dozen roses for Valentine's Day

A dozen roses for Valentine’s Day

My mistake. Hubby’s also.

When I asked about it later, he said the problem was solved. So you know what I thought, right?

Well, Friday arrived. I’m in a very celebratory mood—the dishwasher is arriving and being installed and while that’s happening I will be out to lunch with two writer friends I don’t get to see often. Best of all, when I get home, the whole dishwasher process should be finished.

Lunch was fantastic.

When I got home, I saw the old dishwasher outside the garage and the installer’s van. I walked in the house to see my new dishwasher in place, the installer on the floor finishing up. But I sensed something was wrong.

Then hubby came into the hallway. I smiled at him and noticed his color, his breathing. “Things look like they are going well?”

“No. I had a terrible day…” and I heard about the flood in the lower level where our disabled son has his rooms and all his supplies and equipment is stored. In turning off the water, my hubby had tried to turn it off at the main valve instead of under the kitchen sink. The valve broke off and there was no way to turn off all the water rushing in.

At that same moment the doorbell rings, the dishwasher delivery men and installer had arrived. Fortunately, Steven’s nurse on duty was able to quickly reach the water department who had a crew finishing up another project just a few houses away. They were here in minutes and quickly found the main turn off outside which only they could turn off. They did and then hubby reattached the valve.

Meanwhile, the delivery men took out the old dishwasher, brought the new one in, and left. The installer began his work.

Hubby made a phone call to a water extraction service. Then he changed his clothes which were soaked right down to his shoes. (They are probably ruined.) That’s when I arrived home to hear this tale of woe. The water extraction people were right behind me. They arrived and used these enormous vacuums to get up the several inches of water.

The new appliance in our kitchen

The new appliance in our kitchen

But this weekend we are drying out. Industrial sized humidifiers and fans are doing their thing. Very loudly. Steven’s supplies are mostly because the water didn’t reach the shelves. The equipment has dried without issue.

And I write this while I do a shift with my son and listen to the fans and humidifier do their jobs. Sometimes noisy equipment is a very good thing.

Oh, and the moral of this story? Let your hubby clean under the kitchen sink regularly to become familiar with the water turn off thingamajig.

Any cautionary tales of your own to share?

If not, I’ll see you next week. :-)

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16 Comments on “A Cautionary Tale”


  1. What a story! You wrote it in such a way that it pulled me in and I wanted to know the ending! My husband is a do-it-all sort of a guy because his father taught him everything. And my hub is just like my dad who was a fireman but on his off-days he did “everything else”. Whenever anything breaks James can and does fix it. We have saved thousands of dollars. I guess I married my dad! Scary!


  2. No such stories to share today, Casey. Well not appiance instalation stories

    Sorry about your ordeal but then you got a great dish washer out of the mess. Once the woman who lives above our condo left her bath water running and left the house. Extractors, towels and lots of squishing on the rugs. The end results of this not being taken care of properly was black mold inside the walls of two rooms. Yuck … black mold makes me sick. So when we moved I left the owners on the hook for the damages. No small comfort there :)


  3. Thankfully I don’t have a story to match that. However, we will be redoing our bathroom in the next couple months, so there’s still a chance. (Hopefully not!) I’m happy for you on the new dishwasher, but sorry what you were trying to prevent ended up happening anyway. Hugs!

  4. Edie Ramer Says:

    Hugs, MJ. I’m sure it wasn’t a fun experience for any of you. At least it’s over now.


  5. Oh, Casey, that sounds like the way projects go around my house. Probably a good thing you were relaxing at lunch while the worst of it was going on. Enjoy your new dishwasher!


  6. Patti,

    Glad I pulled you in to reading it since it ran a bit longer than I anticipated, but I got on a roll…

    Hubby is handy about many things but hates some things. Anything to do with water paper, toilets, i.e. plumbing, he doesn’t like. Now I know why.

    Thanks for stopping by and sometimes marrying someone with your dad’s best qualities is very smart. ;-)


  7. Florence,

    Hopefully we won’t have to deal with black mold. I know that can be a very serious problem. I don’t blame you for walking away and leaving it to the owner to deal with. That issue was far worse than my little tale.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  8. Stacey,

    We’ve redone 3 bathrooms and have never had an issue. I wish for you the very same luck. Hopefully you’ll do before and after photos so I get to see them.

    Hoping you’re having a great Sunday.


  9. Edie,

    Actually, it was just a bit funny once I realized no one was hurt and the problem could be resolved. I just figured “my luck.” Trying to avoid a flood produced one anyway. ;-)

    Hope you’re Sunday is going well.


  10. Jamie,

    But look how well your kitchen turned out! I enjoyed following the progress on your FB pages.

    Hope you’re having a specially, sunshiny Sunday. :-)

  11. Virginia McCullough Says:

    The story reminded me of Shirley Jackson, who wrote “Raising Demons,” a funny book written many decades ago, or Erma Bombeck and her stories. But, the final picture was the payoff–what a great looking dishwasher!


  12. Virginia,

    I was a great fan of Erma Bombeck when I was a stay at home mom raising 3 energetic boys and with lots of family around. Always great story material.

    The dishwasher is so quiet and lovely and I love it. On to tackle new flooring for the flooded areas.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  13. anne parent Says:

    The new dishwasher is beautiful. So, this is what happens when you go out to lunch with friends. It just proves my belief that men really need women to supervise them. I’ve found it to be true in my house with the remodeling, too.


  14. Anne,

    And I’m so glad I was at lunch and not part of staunching the flood! :-)

    As of today, hubby is admitting he made a really stupid mistake. That’s world shaking!

    Great lunch, wonderful memories. Have a great week.

  15. Brenda Says:

    I love the new dishwasher. I think this could be a chapter or 2 in one of the Double D series:) Hubby’s are GREAT until something goes wrong – AND – something always goes wrong:) They keep life very interesting. I know it wasn’t a laughing matter, but I have to tell you, reading this after the fact – the way you wrote it – I had tears coming down my cheeks since it brought back fond memories of situations I’ve been in. This was NOT funny when it was going on and during the clean-up process, But, perhaps a year from now, the 2 of you will be telling this story to some wonderful friends over some vodka’s or wines and get quite a chuckle out of it. Big Hugs and hubby deserves Big Hugs, too! I’m so happy there wasn’t a LOT of damage – water is very destructive.


  16. Brenda,

    This story will somehow be in one of the books as a scene, just not sure where. But trust me, my life and the lives of those around me are fair game and I tell them so.

    It was so good to read that you were laughing while reading this as I sometimes think I can’t write humor at all. So I’m glad that others don’t think that.

    Thanks for taking the time out to comment. :-)


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