Apr 2, 2012

Houston, we have a problem.

You might remember my recent letter to the former owners of my house, wherein I blasted them for making a bad decision about dryer placement.  I'm still mad, and here's why.

First of all, the former owners' poor choice of laundry location caused major ventilation issues, which ultimately broke the dryer.  The repair guy who came out today took apart the dryer and said, "Whoa.  You have ventilation issues.  There's lint all over in here." Then he determined that the heating element is busted.  Of course he came to our house after the end of the business day, so he'll have to call the parts place tomorrow to determine how long it will be (and how much it will cost) to fix the dryer.  Until then, we get to look at--and keep small children out of--this:

Second of all, a family of seven is hard-pressed to make it a week without a dryer.  Last week I dried a couple loads at a nearby friend's house, but those were just what was left of last Monday's laundry.  I usually wash about six loads (not counting sheets and towels) every fifth day.  So today was Day 8.  Gavin wet the bed last night, which tipped the scales from "wait a little longer" to "must wash today."  So I spent the day washing (but not drying) eight loads of laundry, which, in case you are wondering, look like this:

Garry took my eight loads, in varying states of wetness, to a laundromat after the kids were in bed.  This brings me to my third-of-all reason for being mad: laundromats are a huge hassle.  At least Garry handled that little adventure with a whistle and a fat roll of quarters.

Fourth of all, we don't want fixing the dryer to be a "rinse and repeat" effort.  After talking to electrical guys and dryer guys, it seems that this ventilation issue isn't going to go away. Our vent pipes have too many bends and too many linear feet, so the dryer has to work too hard to get the lint out of the house.  So here are the two expensive options we have (after the expensive dryer repair, which came right on the heels of an expensive water heater/furnace/AC install and all my expensive medical stuff, which clearly isn't over):

1.  Install a booster fan on/near the dryer that would help clear the pipes.  Pros: It would be the cheapest (though not cheap), simplest, least disruptive choice.  Cons: It might not work (but we wouldn't know for a few years, until the lint had time to build up/break the dryer again), and then that's just money down the drain.

2.  Move the washer and dryer upstairs to the bedroom we currently use as an office.  Pay for plumbing and electrical work in that room.  Move a desk into the laundry closet for computer/printer usage.  Pros: The dryer could vent through an outside wall, eliminating all ventilation problems.  I could have a laundry ROOM with a DOOR and a CLOSET. Cons: Having a desk in the laundry closet (though this might not be all bad).  And of course: $$$.  

3.  Run away.  Run far, far a place where laundry responsibilities and financial responsibilities do not exist.  (Note: this is the option I pick.)

Do any of my wise readers have a suggestion for my addled brain?  Garry and I have birthdays this month, and it seems that whenever April rolls around, something around the house breaks and we call the repair our collective birthday present.  We have a birthday dishwasher, and a birthday faucet, and a birthday bedspread, and a birthday move to Colorado, and birthday garage shelving, and birthday brakes, etc., etc., etc. Boring, boring, boring.

I guess I'm officially grown up.
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