Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Pricey Lesson, but I'm Thankful


It's amazing how much of a difference one day can make with one's attitude. Last night I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. "If it's not one thing, it's another!" I cried. It all started with an ice cream dessert with my family. We were watching Smallville on DVR (a favorite around here) and decided ice cream sounded good. We had a bunch left over from the multiple birthdays we had going on in the last month, so all we had to do was make a trip to the kitchen. Sounds like a great way to cap off the night, right? Not in this case.

The ice cream was super soft, which was curious, since the freezer was set just above the recommended setting (the only way we can keep up with the ice consumption in our house). So I opened the fridge to see how it was faring. I had noticed that the milk wasn't as cold at dinner, but had figured maybe I'd had it out longer than I'd realized. Nope. Everything in the fridge was definitely not as cold as it should've been. Not even close.

So we pulled the fridge out, moved things around, looked for blockages, tampered with the dials, anything to try and fix this ourselves and avoid an expensive repair or worse--buying a new fridge! We couldn't figure it out. Maybe our four year old fridge really was the lemon we'd started considering it as. After all, the repairman had already been to our house three times for it in the first year and a half. Twice it was for the ice maker and once for when the digital display and the lights had all gone out on it.

For this last year, two out of three lights wouldn't work at all inside (and the third one was temperamental). Maybe this was it. It was fried and we would be stuck shelling out mega-bucks on an expensive service bill or an entirely new appliance! No! Not now! We don't even know what's happening with our loan modification! If our Making Home Affordable application isn't approved, we have at least a few thousand dollars we have to come up with to make up the difference between the lowered trial payments and what our regular mortgage payments are set at. And then there's the late fees! Ugh! Not to mention we would have to still be able to pay that normal amount starting on November 1, too. You can see how any new expenses would not be in our budget, right?

Well, we set the temperature dials at full blast and did the only thing we could do at that time of night: we said our prayers and went to bed.

Once I got the kids off to school today, I called the repairman and was lucky enough to get an appointment for late morning. Turns out, it was all our fault. How, you ask? Well, it was all caused by a canister of raisins and an inconspicuous air inlet. It seems the canister was just the perfect width and height to block the one and only air inlet that regulates the temperature for the fridge. Somehow it had gotten shoved right up against the inlet and caused problems with the sensor.

And the bulbs? Well, it seems whirlpool fridges are a bit picky when it comes to brands. Who'd have thought it? A snobby fridge. It didn't like the energy efficient bulbs we put in there. The repairman replaced them with regular bulbs and I can actually see the whole inside of my fridge! Not necessarily a good thing, though, since now I can more clearly see that it's time for a scrub-down. Haha!

Anyway, it came to just over a hundred dollars with tax. And with that, I also found out why the timer on my oven quit beeping. Seems someone held down the timer button for too long (five seconds) and it turns the beeper off. So, I got three issues fixed because of my canister of Great Value Raisins. Hah! ;)

I choose to look at this in a positive light. Nothing serious was wrong. My fridge, thank heavens, is not on it's way out. And for that matter, neither is my stove. I hadn't realized how stressed I was about both of those seemingly minor problems until they were fixed.

Oh, I just have to tell you that I really have a lot of confidence and respect for the folks at Doyles Appliance Service. Shad Anderson is very professional and isn't going to charge you for unnecessary repairs. He took his time looking for the problem and then made sure I understood what was going on (and he didn't make me feel stupid for what turned out to be customer error). The easiest and most profitable thing for him to do would have been to just order a new control board, thermostat or some other item--since at first, the problems we had seemed to indicate that was the issue.

So if any of you are in or near Davis County (they may even service the Salt Lake area), I would definitely recommend Doyles. I couldn't find a website for them, but their contact information is here: (801) 292-0676, 45 West 200 South, Bountiful, UT.

Many problems can be solved by simply checking the manual, too. If you've misplaced your product manual, check online. I know that Whirlpool has their manuals listed online for free and it's really easy to look them up with the model number. I've saved myself a few calls to the repairman doing this.

Am I happy that this lesson cost me money? No, but it could've been worse! And who knows? Maybe my lesson can help one of you out there with your appliances. God Bless!