Monday, July 19, 2010

When Good Appliances Go Bad

by Kate

My air conditioner never goes out . . . until there’s a sustained outdoor temperature of 90+ degrees with no end in sight AND at least one other major repair crops up at the same time.

A few years back, four appliances conked out at once. I swear one of them caught a virus and spread it to the others. They all looked a bit pale, and the refrigerator was wheezing.

This time, in addition to the a/c unit malfunctioning, we also had a plumbing problem. Luckily, we use the same local company for plumbing, heating and air conditioner repair. Saved the guy a trip. Or so I thought. Yet 24 hours later, I noticed that the house felt a bit warm. And instead of the temperature dropping to 71 degrees that night, it never got below 75. Next day, the guy returned, added freon, and handed us another bill.

Twenty-four hours later, same problem. A different guy came out, said the first guy must not have added enough freon, put more gas in, and gave us a new bill. Now we’re up to $1000.

The magic 24-hr period hit and this time the indoor temperature didn’t even try to drop. It climbed – to 82. We slept in the basement. It was my husband’s birthday. He was not a happy birthday boy.

Since then, the a/c guys – working as a team now – have been out three or four times, (I’ve lost track) have examined every inch of the line that they can get to, have put meters on the outside condenser to measure the freon leak - and have ordered a new unit because they can’t find the leak in the old one.

I’m waiting to see if we get credit for the money we’ve already paid. I think it’s only fair that we do. After all, we paid them to fix it, and it just ain’t happenin’. In the meantime, I’m afraid to even think about what appliance is going to go next. I swear the microwave is starting to sniffle.

Do you have any words of consolation? Wisdom? Tell me it’s happened to you. Please!