Monday, December 27, 2010

Technical Writers Saved Our Laundry

Thank God for Technical Writers. The manuals for the new washing machine and dryer were so idiot proof Big V and I had no problem with the installations. Well, except for the part where we realized the two hoses for the hot and cold water were actually had the words hot and cold printed directly on the hoses after we had hooked them up (to the wrong pipes). We had to take the hoses off and switch them. Oh, and also the part when we got to the very, very end of the washer installation and we thought hmmm, maybe these rubber ring thingy-s are supposed to go on the inside of those hose connection thingy-s and we had to take the stupid hoses off again and put the rubber ring thingy's inside the connection ends. Something about stopping water leaks or something. But I'm sure this was all operator error and not the fault of the technical writer who wrote the manual.

We weren't discouraged because it only took us 14 hours to install the washer so we thought how hard could the dryer be? I mean, anyone can convert a gas dryer to an electric, right? Two days and a bunch of colorful language later we did, indeed, have a dryer that worked. The gas was capped off, the wires connected, the dryer plugged in without any electrocution - in a way it was kind of a let down, but we did it. We did it on our own. Without calling for help. And without needing to kill each other. Sure, there was a point when I considered it... right around the for the love of god just screw the stupid green wire to the stupid green post like it says in the stupid book part, but then I just took a deep breath and told myself calm down, don't do anything rash - you know there's no way you're going to be able to drag his dead, lifeless body up a flight of stairs and into the trunk of your car without help. And, let's be honest, I can't get the kids to pick up their shoes much less lift a finger to help dispose of a human body.

Thank God there were pictures in the manual. I showed Big V the sketches (after I color coded them with handy-dandy colored pencils), he believed me, tightened the wires and lived happily ever after.

Everything works great - except for the whole draining of the washing machine part, which is kind of an important part when you think of it. See, we've got one of those old basements with do-it-yourself plumbing fixtures. And since the people who owned the house before us were more focused on alluding the authorities and warring with the county SWAT Team, the do-it-yourself plumbing is really, really neglected. So much so that the washing machine empties into some sort of contraption which I can only assume is an antique laundry sink that doesn't actually drain. Instead the sink overflows forcing the water to find its way to the floor drain via slanted cement flooring. I'm thinking of just attaching a bunch of hoses together and snaking them through the basement and stuffing it directly into the floor drain. It seems to be the next logical step. I hope there's a manual for that.

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