My Appliances Are Out to Get Me

Friday’s “What the frak…?” moment (WTFM) is brought to you by………..

My oven: All I did was turn it on. I swear.

Does anyone else remember their grandparent’s house? They had the same stove and refrigerator for your entire childhood. The same ones you saw in the photos from when your parents were kids.

This also applies to your childhood toys, like the awesome Fisher Price garage. They survived you and somehow your children too.

Everything was built to last.

Not anymore.

Companies decided this was a bad business model at some point and now, the item will last to just past its warranty.

Then die.

On December 31st, 2010, my refrigerator died.

CG brought it back to life.

Then a few months ago, it became ill, refusing to freeze anything but water.

The compressor is on its last legs.

I’m told it’s fatal, and only a matter of time before it hums its last breath.

Then on Tuesday I turned on my oven.

That’s it.

To preheat for the Papa Murphy’s pizza.

I went to write while it warmed up, my children engrossed in Finding Nemo as the outside temperatures graced 103. Again.

Fifteen minutes later, I realized I had yet to hear the telltale “beep” informing me the desired temperature was reached. I walked into the kitchen and saw the temperature read 375, not the requested 425.

And why was the oven light flickering with a bad bulb when I’d never turned it on?

What the frak?!

The light inside the door flashed, like a scene at the end of a movie when the hero and the villian/creature face off for the final battle.

I hit the oven light switch, and it turned on.

But if it wasn’t the oven light…?

I opened the oven door.

And saw sparks.

The bottom heating coil had an one inch segment glowing bright orange. It tossed bits of fire as it popped.

My oven had joined the appliance rebellion.

I apologize for the blurriness - the flash wasn't on.

I turned off the oven, grabbed the camera, failed to notice the flash was off, and took this –>

Before I had time to turn on the flash, the glow was gone, leaving the segment of coil riddled with melted metal bubbles instead of the smooth finish.

CG claims he can replace the coil.

I just sent him to the internet hunting for the part. And directions. Because 48 hours have passed since the sparking, and nothing has been done.

He never uses the oven. It is my domain.

I can’t bake my favorite brownies.

And I have a fresh pizza going bad in my fridge. How long do Papa Murphy’s pizza’s last if not baked?

For now, the oven joins the other house appliances:

1)  The “high end” Built-in Microwave that won’t turn on – may it rest in peace, while its Wal-mart counterpart brought from my first apartment keeps on ticking.

2) The Dishwasher thanks to silverware falling down, then melting the interior – impossible to fix and thus required a new dishwasher.

3) The Fridge which moved from Iowa to Texas with me, so technically doesn’t fit the mold of the other ones that came with this house.

Now I wait for The Stove Top (the oven and stove top are two separate pieces) and The Washer and Dryer (bought for when we moved into this house in 2003) to join the group.

If they could wait at least another ten years to do so – I’m good with thirty or forty – it would be most appreciated.

Because I can’t handle any more frakking stuff breaking.


Happy Friday, all.

Anyone else stricken with Appliance Killing Fever or had a different “what the frak?” moment this week?

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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23 Responses to My Appliances Are Out to Get Me

  1. Argh! I just had the same issue with our TV. We have had THE worst luck with TV’s.
    Generally the TV when bought comes with a 2 year warrantee. But like clockwork, as per with our 3 last TV’s, just after that warrantee expires, POOF! off goes the TV. Tube blown!!
    WTF?? lt always happens.
    And then of course there was our microwave that just decided to stop working. It would turn on but no turning of table or anything!
    Don’t even get me started on the number of kettles we have gone through!
    Sigh, I hate stuff breaking too.

    • Ok, the TV thing would really piss me off.

      My old college TV still works. I think. It hasn’t really been turned on in four years and is biding its time until it becomes “the kid tv” for DVD watching only.

      We did have a big issue with our really nice one, but luckily it was still under warranty, because it required a $300 part.

      Our microwave did the turn table thing too, only once it stopped turning, it only sounded like it was working (i.e. hummed and light came on) but it wasn’t actually heating anything. Now it fails to turn on at all.

      Sending some good TV juju your way.

  2. oh, dear.

    Last year we got a new cooktop. Our old one took 30 minutes to heat water.

    The wednesday before Nathan came our A/C stopped. We had to get an entirely new unit. $$$$$$

    2 weeks later we decided we didn’t want to continue chancing the leaky washer on our wood floors so we bought a new set (we probably could have waited but it would have been thousands in damage if the washer went all the way.)

    A week after THAT I came home, the garage was dry. 2 hours later went out for a toy someone left in the van and there was water. It looked like it was coming from the hot water heater. DH came home right away. It was the hot water heater. OY.

    Our oven doesn’t get as hot as it reads but there is a “little” life left. Let’s hope we have at least a year?

    Our garbage disposal works but sometimes struggles. I give it a year or two as well.

    • Things USED to work. I swear.

      It makes me leery of buying anything awesome, if it’s just going to die in five to eight years.

      Sounds like you’ve had it worse than I have. My sympathies, my friend.

      And give that new bundle a hug from me. So adorable.

  3. educlaytion says:

    I’ve been there. I think appliances must die of heartbreak when one of their friends goes. Unless you had a secret appliance cult and they committed some kind of mass suicide.

  4. TheKirCorner says:

    oh, oh, bad stuff. I for one, hate when then things like that happen because I am so bad at things around the house…..Oh good god, I just hope your oven is an easy fix my friend.

  5. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    Oh, man. I, too, hope you’ve filled your broken appliances quota until 2041 at the very least!

    • Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

      They way they build things nowadays, I’ll probably be on my fourth replacement.

      • Deborah the Closet Monster says:

        True story. You know those wind-up animal-says toys? (I think they’re called “Speak-‘n’-Says or something similar?) We got a new one a couple of months back. It works now the same way most of my moms cars did, which is to say, it doesn’t.

        A few weeks back, I found an old one in a consignment shop. Li’l D carries that around now, and it’s going strong despite clear wear from bygone years and all the wear it’s now being subjected to. Making good products doesn’t lose a company money. Sure, it might lose them a little money in the short run. But mostly? If companies were only to keep making good products now, they’d be assured customers when it was really, truly time to find a replacement . . . more than three months after the initial purchase was made.

  6. Paige Morgan says:

    I am a connossieur of dishwasher doors – thanks to my kids each climbing on them when they were young.

    I get new microwaves more often than new shoes.

    I have double ovens, but only one functions and the display for the timer is no longer…

    I am with you!

    • My daughter has tried to join your children in the destruction of the doors, but so far I have managed to catch her before the damage is done.

      Can you replace just a door on a dishwasher, because I know you cannot replace just the plastic interior, which is why we had to get a new one after melting a hole into the old one which worked just fine otherwise.

      Your oven tale made me giggle.

      I have missed you.

  7. I totally agree with you about things not lasting or being built like in the good ole days. I had that Fisher-Price garage you speak of. So true, and sooooo sad the crap we have to put up w/ nowadays.

    Depends what’s on the pizza—-if meat, I’d try to cook it somewhere else tomorrow. If only cheese & veggies? Then probably a few more days & it’s fine….???

    • I finally read the fine print on the label. I said I had to bake it within 24 hours.

      It’s been three days.

      So yeah, pizza is outta here.

      And I really want to bake brownies…

      The Fisher Price garage was awesome. My mom has some other great old school Fisher Price stuff from my childhood that my children love. I’ll have to photograph it on my next visit. I’m sure we’d have more if her sewer hadn’t backed up in the basement when my brother was little – it killed many toys that otherwise would still be around today.

      I actually bought an old school kitchen set for my kids – it looks a lot like the one I had. All the doors and plastic looked too flimsy on the new ones.

  8. Tracie says:

    When I was a kid, I accidentally caught my parent’s already old microwave on fire….and that thing still works to this day!

    They really don’t make appliances the same as they used to.

    And that Fisher Price Garage….my cousin had it, and then her sister, and then my aunt gave it to me, and when I outgrew it, it went back to her house for when kids visited, then her grandkids got it, then I grew up and MY daughter got it. Seriously. It is the toy that lives forever!!

    • Hmm.. did you put something metal in it? I recall doing that once.


      The Fisher Price garage was how toys should be made, but obviously they decided that was a bad business model, which is sad really.

      Your tale of how the toy was passed around is one I’ve heard before and it always makes me smile.

      Nice to see you again!

  9. Annie says:

    These things come in threes – but I guess the oven didn’t get the memo! Sorry my friend. Things like that irk me. My washer and dry is usually what gives me fitst. I’m on my third set in 12 years. 😦

    Do you have a grill? Pizza is good grilled. Serious.

    • Wow. That is a curse. You might want to invest in extended warranties for those, since that is slightly ridiculous.

      Although.. Four kids. They probably do twice the work of my machines in half the time.

      I am blessed Mr. Fix-It CG can repair minor stuff for the cost of parts… once he gets around to ordering parts.

      Alas, the fridge compressor is beyond us. Dammit. That is the one appliance I love and never want to replace.

      We have a grill, but you can’t cook Papa Murphy’s on it. It comes uncooked on a special baking paper type tray, that I’m sure would catch on fire on the grill.

      And it’s bad by now.

  10. I keep praying that our dishwasher will die, but so far, no such luck.

    Companies could make appliances last like they used to, but then how would they make any money?

    • Rarely have I had a death wish for an appliance, but I know what you mean.

      New business? Repeat business for good quality? Adding really cool features to make you want to upgrade or improving energy quality?

      I mean.. It works for Apple’s iPod… right?

  11. I believe I shared with you my refrigerator, washer, dryer and garage door opener failure – all at the same time…

    And the repair guy (in a strong foreign accent) shook his head and said, “You Americans. You’re crazy about pretty new appliances. But all these bells and whistles break. The old ugly stuff is much better. You traded out good appliances for stainless steel crap.”

    Or something like that.

    And he was so. very. right.

    p.s. He’s the one who installed my new double ovens a few years ago. He hit his head so hard on the edge of my cabinets that he ended up bleeding on my couch while I offered him an ice pack and bandages and oh my god I hate appliances so freaking much.

  12. Pingback: I am a Stay At Home Parent Failure | Dances with Chaos

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