The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

December 31, 2007

Things You Never Notice Until They Fail Catastrophically

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 2:51 am

Currently, I live in a somewhat older apartment, at least compared to most of the ones found in Redmond. It’s not exactly the most luxurious place you’re going to find in this area, but it’s clean (at least it is whenever I get around to cleaning it up,) the neighborhood is decent, and it takes me less than ten minutes to get to or from work. To get to work from here, I literally just turn left out of the apartment complex, drive straight down the road for about 2 1/2 miles, turn left again, and I’m there. On the other hand, being a somewhat older apartment also means that you can’t always count on the appliances being the most up-to-date models.

In particular, the washer and dryer seem more than a little out of date. As you can see from the photo above, the model name on the washer and matching dryer is shown as “Design 2000,” which by itself generally indicates that you can automatically knock about 15-20 years or so off of that to get back to an era when such a designation would have still sounded impressive. Combine that with a “high-tech” computery-looking font and gratuitous faux wood trim, and you’ve got a machine that at the very least is probably old enough to vote, and wouldn’t have looked too out of place going all the way back to the Seventies (although the machine itself is beige, so maybe it doesn’t go that far back.) If my research is correct then the apartment I am in was built sometime in the mid to late Eighties, so the washer and dryer can’t be much older than that. The stove in the kitchen is of a similar design aesthetic, although the lack of faux wood trim keeps that one from looking too dated. Just be sure that when you bake something in the oven, you set the temperature on the knob on to 25 degrees less than the recipe calls for, or you’re going to find yourself eating an awful lot of charcoal. So with all these ancient appliances in the place, which do you think you would pick to be the one to fail and make a big mess of the place?

Why, the 2 1/2 year old hot water heater, of course. At 10pm on a Sunday night, no less. Earlier this evening as I entered my den/office (actually it’s the second bedroom, but since I’m the only one living here it’s my office,) I found a spot of the carpet to be abnormally soggy. Further investigation revealed the sogginess to not only extend throughout the carpet in that half of the room, but through the wall into the laundry room as well.

If you’re a homeowner, this is usually the time to start scrambling to find the manual for the hot water heater, realize that you probably tossed out the manual ages ago, scramble to find the manual on the Internet and read the troubleshooting section which doesn’t tell you anything but to turn off that big red knob on top, call a 24-hour plumber and give them a bunch of money. On the other hand, since I’m renting here, I was able to make an emergency call to the maintenance staff, who responded quickly, and somehow managed to get a carpet cleaner here at 11:30pm on a Sunday to extract the water and clean up the affected carpeting.

Even though I will probably have to deal with not having hot water for a couple of days until a replacement can be found (Edit:  Never mind, they managed to get a new hot water heater installed in the morning,) this could definitely have turned out much worse. At least it happened when I was home, and thanks to the quick response of the maintenance tech and the carpet cleaners, what could have turned into a disaster got reduced to a mere nuisance. For anyone who ever finds themselves looking for an apartment in the Seattle area, I would gladly recommend a community managed by BRE properties. They have provided excellent service in the time that I’ve lived here, and maintain the place very well.

It would have been kind of nice if I could have figured out a way to finagle a new washer and dryer out of the deal though…

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