Like most everything these days, home appliances come with printed circuit boards tucked away in various corners of their interiors. These control and logic boards rein over everything from the temperature, to water usage, cleanliness, etc, all to achieve an Energy Star rating. They do the same job with as few resources as possible. The only problem is that you have to throw them out after a couple of years.
It turns out that the heat and humidity of tropics is murder on the electronic guts of modern appliances, ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines. Sure, they’re more energy efficient, but then you have to get new ones every few years because the cost of repair is nearly the cost of the appliance as new. Sigh. How environmentally sound and efficient is that?
Anyway, so our dishwasher started acting up, first not draining properly. At first I thought it was clogged, but it turns out that the drain cycle was just not being triggered properly. The cycle would not complete due to some control system problem. I took it apart, checked what I could check, studied the electrical circuit diagram, went online and found the part. $150 but I couldn’t get it shipped to Puerto Rico without jumping through hoops. Sigh again.
After further reading however, the problem didn’t necessarily have to be isolated to the control board. It could be in the touch panel circuit. Both together would be over $300 and that wouldn’t guarantee it would solve the problem. As a do-it-yourselfer I can’t guarantee my work. If I have misdiagnosed the problem, I eat the cost and try again. To pay someone else with more knowledge to do it, I would have to chip in another $150-$200 for the work. Now we’re at nearly 80% of the cost of a new dishwasher.
So there I was, the thing wouldn’t drain, and now the touch panel was not working… lighting up in a strange configuration, only turning on and running if the delay wash button was pressed. Then one day it stopped working all together.
Time to get a new dishwasher. And off i went.
Perhaps it was the threat of being replaced. Maybe it had reflected on its life purpose, and got past its existential crisis, maybe it wanted us to reconnect with hand washing so as to appreciate it more. I don’t know, but that stupid dishwasher began to work again. One day, I closed the door and heard the pump motor wind up and suck the dirty water from its bowels. “Well, will you look at that. Do you hear that, hon? This damn thing is draining!” On a hunch, I loaded it up and pushed the delay washer button, and was greeted with a one hour count down. I danced a jig in the kitchen.The boulder had been removed from the tomb, but I did not know what it meant yet.
For a week, we used the delay button to do the loads and things came out sparkling clean. The water drained. It’s a work around, but we can live with it. Then Laura came to me, “I pushed the wash button, and it started up!”
“Really?!” It was too much to believe, unreal, a complete resurrection. I had to see it for myself.
Now the question is how long will we have it. For how long will it walk with us, washing our dishes, freeing us from the hell that is hand washing? I suppose we should rejoice for whatever it decides to give, for it could be recalled at any time. Let’s hope it goes longer than 40 days.