Sunday, March 30, 2014

Curse You Isaac!!

Remember the movie Stranger Than Fiction?  I thought it was just an interesting idea for a story.  That is until yesterday when I realized that it was quite likely Asimov had been ghostwriting my life as contemporary short fiction from the Spirit World.  Here's how the story goes:

The Broken Clothes Dryer

Becky's dryer broke some time ago.  It didn't work and she didn't have the money to get a new one.  The dryer got scrapped.

No, that is NOT the end of the story.  I said short fiction not micro fiction.

The family hung their clean clothes on a line to dry on warm days.  Not every day is warm, especially in Indiana winters, so a respectable, if smelly, pile of laundry built up in the laundry room waiting for that warm sunny day--or perchance a new dryer.  It so happens that the new dryer came first. 

Yes, yes, you're right.  This story IS mistitled.   It should have been called The NEW Clothes Dryer.  Can I just get on with the story without further interruptions please?

We realized that I was moving in, and it turns out I own a clothes dryer!  But it is an electric dryer and Becky's old one was propane.  We decided to investigate the feasibility of installing it anyway.

I asked her if there was a 220 outlet in the room and she told me the only outlet was there right behind the washer, so I stepped up on the pile and nope, it was only a 110 outlet with a propane pipe sticking up behind it.  

Next we checked the breaker boxes.  Now I've seen a lot of breaker boxes, but never one like this.  The box stood alone in a musty cobweb covered basement just hanging there from the wires, not attached to anything.  There were no labels on it.  Nothing saying kitchen, laundry room, or furnace.  Nothing.  The wires themselves stuck out at all angles and were tangled together in some modern version of a Gordian Knot. It was hopeless. Seriously, I have never seen a breaker box like this one.  Trained monkeys, or heck untrained monkeys could have done a better job.  Additionally, there were no empty slots to add any breakers.  Rewiring was out on multiple counts.

So, look for a gas dryer it is.  Craigslist had gas dryers ranging from $25 to $1200.  Needless to say $1200 was out of range and the $25 one was 'for parts only'.  The catch is, all of the dryers were for natural gas and not propane.

Propane conversion kits vary in cost from $10-$60, depending upon the model you are converting.  They also require disassembling the whole dryer including taking the drum out before reassembling it with different orifices and vent plugs.  Doable, but fun?  Not really.

I spent several days looking for the right dryer at the right price, and we visited several good leads only to be disappointed each time.  Then finally, yesterday we found a nice looking Estate (Made by Whirlpool) in good condition.  The conversion kit for it was $16.49.  

Good enough.  Bought dryer.  Brought home.

In the meantime, Becky had cleared out the laundry room.  Melissa, Becky, and I spent an hour and a half disassembling, modifying, and reassembling the dryer.  The drum was finally back on right, the ignitor was in place without being broken, and even the door shut.  Time to hook it up and dry some clothes!  I turned around to do just that.

There on the clean floor, where once had been a two foot pile of clothes was a.....220 outlet.

I wanted to cry.

Anyone need a dryer?

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