The Appliances Have Turned Against Me

About a year ago our kitchen faucet decided that it was no longer interested in working properly. If memory serves it was right around Thanksgiving – a time when having a functioning kitchen sink is, you know, handy – so D picked up a temporary replacement faucet at Home Depot. It was, as my mama would say, el cheapo, but it got the job done. And about eight months later, I finally got around to picking out the permanent replacement.

You may be picking up on the fact that I am a real go-getter when it comes to home repairs.

In the time between picking out the sink hardware and actually having it installed, we had to replace our refrigerator because, well, it died. And then, when the plumber came to install the sink hardware, he took at look at a plumbing issue in our basement (I would tell you the whole story, but I couldn’t stand the guilt of causing you to die from boredom). While he was down there, he looked over at our hot water heater and said, “Hey. Looks like y’all have a leak.”

Sure enough, the hot water heater was toast. So we had to replace it.

Now I don’t know what your experience has been, but in my opinion, purchasing a hot water heater is an utterly unenjoyable way to spend your hard-earned money. I think that it’s even less fun than spending money on a root canal, because at least with a root canal you know that you have a built-in rest period after you write the check. It’s kind of like paying for a two-day nap, if you think about it.

But buying a hot water heater? That right there is the poster child for JOYLESS SPENDING.

After dealing with the refrigerator and the faucet and the plumber and that sassy new hot water heater, we figured that surely we were done with house stuff for a little while. And we were done. For approximately two whole months. Because this morning, at approximately 6:28, our stove took its last breath and whispered, “No more.”

You’ll be happy to know that I was cooking bacon at the time. Somehow that just seems fitting.

So this weekend we will experience the unbridled joy of searching for a new cooktop. It should be slightly more fun than replacing the hot water heater since the cooktop is an integral part of moving All The Bacon out of the package and into my mouth, but at the rate we’re going, I’m a little concerned that when Alex wakes up on Christmas morning, I’ll be pointing at the new appliances and saying, “I SURELY DO HOPE THAT YOU LIKE YOUR PRESENTS!”

Because MY WORD.

Suffice it to say that our oven and our dishwasher would appreciate your prayers.

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  1. I love appliance shopping. Even for a hot water heater…. ’cause if I was shopping for a hot water heater, it would be one of those awesome tankless heaters that provide nearly instant hot water. Nothing stinks more than having to stand at the sink (or in the shower) waiting for the water to warm up.

    Here’s hoping the cooktop is the last appliance that needs replacing for a good long while.

  2. What She Said.


    And yes, I will be praying for the remaining appliances.

  3. Trisha : ) says:

    Sounds like your home has been struck by what we call around here the “appliancitis” virus. : (

    • “Appliancitis” virus….I LOVE this! I’m going to use this term with my family. In regards to people being late for things….I call it “Late Deficiency Syndrome” you can use that one that I coined when we were constantly late to events.

  4. We experienced the joys of adulthood known as major plumbing/septic repairs earlier this year. At which time said Plumber friend (we became friends after all the time we were spending together, or maybe it was all the $$ we were paying him, not sure which) suggested a home warranty. I did some research. Or maybe just googled “home warranty” and found a company that covers many things in your home that are painful to pay for, including some appliances. Might be worth looking into as your luck seems to run like mine and any second now the chandelier is going to fall from the ceiling while the washing machine springs a leak as you’re trying to unlock the broken front door. Or something like that. Good luck!

  5. My stove sparked at me in March and I have been afraid to use it since. Yep March. I have not used my stove for SEVEN months. We were going to get a new one right away, but found out about a big sale a month away and decided to wait. Then my husband needed to expand his business (yay! great problem!) but that meant additional expenses and no room in the budget for a new stove. Finally, we were going to get one during the Columbus day sale, but the sales person told us they would be having a better sale this weekend, so we waited, again. But this weekend I am finally (probably) getting a new stove!! I have been using our limping along on its last legs, chooses its own temperature oven, crock pot and plug in wok for seven months. (I made chicken & dumplings in a wok tonight!) Suffice it to say, I am ready for a stove. I wish you better luck in your quest. :-)

  6. I do sympathize with your pain, I confess to laughing like a hyena as I read your post. Your writing is hilarious even when you’re describing unpleasant events! I’m glad misfortune doesn’t hurt your marvelous humor! Prayin for that oven. ;-)

  7. anotherlisa says:

    my husband would say that the poster child of joyless spending is trimming trees. living here in houston, with a recent memory of a hurricane, it is necessary, but you don’t even get to enjoy hot water!
    i have no kitchen right now – 3 and 1/2 walls and a floor, ceiling, but a step ladder and a shop vac are all that reside. remodeling is a blessing and a curse. but oh i love my toaster oven, perched on the dryer in the laundry room. 1st world problems we share with thankfulness for bounty.
    praying for your budget and appliances to be sweet to each other!

  8. Oh, I feel your pain, girl. We spent thousands of painful dollars on replacing our sewer line this year. Talk about flushing money down the drain. (AGGGH.)

  9. Beth Taylor says:

    I blogged for years and then shut it down to work seriously on my book. But in those years, I discovered your blog and I just want to say that I LOVE when I find a new post from you in my reader ….LOVE IT! You are funny and real and I just love you. There. I said it. Have a lovely day!

  10. Donna Dear says:

    I SO feel your pain!! Our 5 yr old microwave just out of warranty just up and said no more heating. We had to by a toilet and that is right up there with hot water heater plus we have another that needs replacing but just not in the budget. Our house trim needs painting as well. Homeownership is not always fun when everything decides to give up within weeks and months of each other

  11. Terrie Cash says:

    Why is it so many times as I read your blogs I began having flashbacks of my life? Instead of appliances, we had the summer of replacing toilet parts, shower parts, and faucet parts in our fancy delta kitchen faucet. We have 3 1/2 bathrooms and we worked on all of them. My husband went out of town for two weeks and everyone knows when the man leaves, things begin to fall apart. During those two weeks is when my son tells me there is water all over his bathroom floor. Mind you, it had been leaking for weeks, but he failed to tell me. You may be wondering why I had not been in there for sometime. He’s a 21 yr old not so neat of a guy and I am a neat freak.

    Make a very long story short, I spent the two weeks replacing every stinky part inside my son’s toilet. I had a difficult time tightening bolts to the back of the toilet. The day my husband comes home, he tightens the bolts and breaks the entire toilet. My feeling about buying toilets is like yours buying hot water heaters.

    May Alex have a better Christmas than looking at all the new appliances. I do feel your pain.

  12. I feel your pain!! We have also experienced appliance armageddon. We have replaced our dishwasher, oven, washing machine, toaster, blender and even down to the iron and curling iron. I feel like we are GE’s bail out plan!

  13. Dear Heavens, I am dying laughing. I just bought a house (as in…not a done deal just yet) and I’m already having nightmares about the replacement of major household appliances. Alas, the joys of home ownership! You’re a hoot, as usual! Glad your team isn’t being a big fat disappointment this season, unlike mine that makes me want to cry and hit things each and every Saturday!

  14. Jabber Jaws says:

    Joyless spending. TIRES. My least favorite by far.

  15. The ultimate in joyless spending for me was having to have our sewer line replaced. Made me love the giant, mature trees in our front yard a little less, to know that their roots had poked many a hole in our previous sewer line. $5,500 later, we had a sewer line without holes. But we also had a strip of yard torn up that we had to tend to. And of course, when it was time to sell the house, it’s not like that even added any value to it. Like a slap in the face – that’s what that was.

  16. Stephanie says:

    We had a year like that. Hopefully a 2-3 year rest period is coming for you guys! Hugs!

  17. Do you have a Sears outlet in Birmingham? If not, you might pay Sister a visit in Nashville this weekend and get yourself to the Sears Outlet – we bought our cooktop there for less than half of what we would have paid at Best Buy. It’s a scratch and dent store, but all of our appliances came from there, and there isn’t a scratch or dent on a single one- if a person purchases a stove top and finds that it doesn’t fit in the opening in their counter- well then- that baby goes to the scratch and dent store!

  18. I feel your pain! Dryer died in June, Air conditioner in July (hello 89 degrees in my house), August-stove died, September-car, October-dropped ceiling fell on my son while he was in bed for no reason. I am holding my breath that the refrigerator holds out. It is bad when you buy them all at the same. We have been married 15 yrs. My hubby had a stroke in June also. So I am trying really hard not to take it personally that they are all out to get me. :-) Fingers crossed that you are done with all of your appliance woes!

  19. Personally I think appliances hold meetings late at night when we’re all asleep and decide that they are all going to give up the ghost together! Hope this will be the last of the dying breed for ya!

  20. I live in a Very Old House, and therefore spend an inordinate amount of money on routine maintenance and home repair. For me, getting a shiny new stove is WAY more fun that replacing the sills, which you can’t even SEE for gosh sakes. Completely necessary to maintaining the integrity of our home, but seriously no fun at all.

    (You can cook bacon in the microwave in a pinch. Put it on a plate, cover it with a paper towel, and just a few minutes later crunchy goodness will be yours.)

  21. This February I noticed our water heater was leaking — from the top.

    The truly painful part? I noticed it as the salesman entered the crawlspace to give us a quote on a new HVAC system.

    Yes, that was an expensive week.

  22. This was gold. Just had same thing in our kitchen only it was the oven and then ALL THE LIGHTS. Thanks for the hearty laugh!

  23. Isn’t that the way it goes? We’ve been there, too. So disappointing; like buying underwear, for goodness sake. Fingers crossed for the rest of your machines!

  24. I fear that appliances everywhere are threatening some sort of takeover. My dishwasher has been leaking for weeks. Our temporary solution of shoving heavy towels in front of it to absorb an enormous amount of water during its use has come to an end today. The leak has spread underneath my entire counter/sink/island and was temporarily blamed on the two-year-old I keep in my home. It’s one thing to have your grandson and another kid blame the two-year-old with peeing on your floor even though his pants are dry. But twice in the same spot calls for investigation.

    My icemaker hates me and my washing machine screams louder every day.

    Suffice to say that prayers are your way, my friend. Because when the bacon cooking is cut short, it can get real ugly.

  25. Boo,

    Martha’s Mama here!!! Just to let you know how much we both enjoy your column. Thanks for befriending my biggest blessing!

  26. we had all our plumbing replaced this summer. the dishwasher worked occasionally mostly cooking the food on the plates instead of washing it off. then the water heater inside tank burst and water went everywhere. the washing machine has a strange metal sound and today the fan in the fridge is making an odd sound. You have my sincerest sympathies, please add us to your prayers as we are leaving all this for a week and I have horrors of burst pipes.

  27. I have not yet had the joy of experiencing my appliances breaking because I do not yet own a home, but the one thing I hate paying for is car repairs. A few months ago, something hit my windshield and put a HUGE round crack it in. It was seriously the size of my hand. So frustrating because I could have bought LOTS OF BACON for the price of a new windshield.

  28. When it rains it pours, huh???? :(

  29. Look, I know shopping for a new stove might not be fun for some, but I think it might be fun. Do you know they now have stoves with two ovens – two ovens! A dream come true for those who love to cook.

  30. Dave Ramsey says “No” on Home Warranties…just so you know.

  31. Oh, I so feel your pain…we had the oven experience about a year ago, then we have the lemon refrigerator who seems to have a thing for the Sears repairman, and finally the garbage disposal went out last week. I told my husband as we walked out of Lowe’s with the new disposal that there are SO many other things I’d rather spend our money on! I agree…just joyless…sniffle…

  32. I feel your pain. Woke up yesterday morning to a busted water heater, and three hours (and $1800) later I had a new one installed. I told the kids that for vacation we would just all go, um, take hot showers. :)

  33. “You’ll be happy to know that I was cooking bacon at the time. Somehow that just seems fitting.”

    Perfection. So hilarious I snorted my Diet Coke!!

  34. It’s like all appliances everywhere have a little pact: to end their hard-working lives collectively, usually at a time when cash is a little on the tight side (in my own experience.) I am sorry. We had a similar experience two years ago and it was just. no. fun.

  35. Bake your bacon. no need to be without good bacon.

  36. Where do I begin? September – lightning struck the house and ZAPPED the garage door, AC/Heating mother board and my DOUBLE oven. (non of which are covered by insurance) Since then my boys/guest bathroom pipes blew and the beautiful large OLD oak tree in my front yard has decided to spread its roots through my plumbing …

    some days .. apartment living sounds sooooo good! :)