Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Things fall apart

It figures that just when I decide to finally get rid of stuff I don't need, the things that I do need start falling apart all around me. This always begs the question: repair or replace?

Being a naturally-acquisitive sort, my first impulse is to replace. But I'm trying to do better. Here is what has gone wrong in our house in the last six weeks:
  1. dishwasher. First the little thing that sprays the water and spins broke. We had a repairman come out and he fixed it. Then it started leaking. He came out and fixed it again. Then it started leaking again. A different guy came out and said we need a new dishwasher. But he also showed us how to put the gasket back in every time it falls out to try to keep using it until we absolutely can't make it work anymore. So that's what we're doing for now. We did at least get a partial refund of what we paid to have it repaired.
  2. living room window. One of my sons cracked his head against one of the window panes in our living room. He was fine, but the window shattered. We taped it with duct tape for about a month, but now that we are getting ready to leave town, we didn't want to leave an unsecure window. So I had it replaced today. Cost = $95.
  3. DVD player. Our DVD player holds 5 DVDs. The boys put 12 in and closed it. The really ridiculous thing is that we were both standing right there when it happened but didn't see it happening in time to stop it. So it's broken now. It's at the shop and we don't know a cost yet. We just bought this thing last fall after our other one broke (freecycled that one).
  4. Oven. The igniter blew. We just had it replaced about 18 months ago; the warranty is only 90 days unless you pay extra to have it covered for a year (which we didn't do and wouldn't have helped anyway). The repairman told us that once the igniter has been replaced once, the chances that it will need to replaced again are higher. Don't know if this is true or not, but it cost us $238 to get it fixed. Since we've now done that twice, I suppose we could've bought a whole new oven. Especially if there's a good possibility we're going to have to do this again in another year-and-a-half! But I couldn't stand the idea of throwing out a perfectly good stove/oven just because a small part was broken. Not to mention that though $238 is a tough pill to swallow, the amount for a whole new oven would've been even harder, even if it made more economic sense in the long run.
Do other people have major appliances blow and household repairs that need to happen all at once? I don't know how other people are able to keep their houses up because it is a real struggle for us. The amount of time and money it would cost to really keep our house in top shape just seems huge. My little decluttering project seems to pale in comparison, but I'm still plugging along....


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