When the dishwasher guy takes one look at your kitchen setup and mimes shooting himself in the head, it’s not a good start. Things did not progress from there. Unfortunately, that’s not the beginning of the story. This was Dishwasher 2. The first died on Feb 26. When we emailed landlord, he wrote, “Darn, that’s the second dishwasher that house has eaten.” A little bit later, he wrote, “Good news. Found a replacement dishwasher on CraigsList for $80.” Maybe we don’t have a dishwasher-hungry house, after all.

What do you mean, not be up to code?

Whaddya mean, not up to code?

The landlord asked us to pick up and install the dishwasher. Derek refused the first but gamely agreed to latter. Clean dishes and happiness until April 25 when the second dishwasher broke. Derek emailed landlord, pre-emptively suggesting he buy a new dishwasher. Landlord queried again, “Can you pick it up and install it?”

At this point, I screamed, “No! You are not allowed to do any of it. That is his job. He can do it himself, or pay to get it done.” Derek politely declined set up, and landlord replied, “No big deal, I can do it.” That’s before we went on vacation for two weeks, and returned home to old, broken dishwasher. Six weeks after dishwasher death 2, the installation guys were in our house, scowling at the dated kitchen.

The repair guy opened the cabinet below the sink and shook his head, asking where the connection was. Luckily, he wasn’t fat, because he had to slide into “Harry Potter’s closet.”

I have to shimmy in sideways

I have to shimmy in sideways

He squeezed in and back out, again shaking his head. “We can’t install your dishwasher.” Evidently our kludge of a kitchen isn’t up to code. (We’d guessed as much.) Then he asked, “Where’s your water heater? There may be a workaround.”

“In the basement.”

“Basement? Where are the stairs?”

“There are no stairs. There’s a ladder.” I pulled the trap door open, and he exclaimed, “That’s a dungeon.” But he gamely climbed down. His assistant should’ve said, “It puts the lotion on its skin…”

"Really, the ladder's totally safe"

“I promise it’s safe. Built by an engineer!”

From above, I directed them to the lights, and repair guy calls to his assistant on the ladder, “There are grow lights down here!”

“For tomatoes,” I clarify.

“Sure. Whatever. I don’t care.”

“No, really, for tomatoes.”

“I’ve seen it all. Went to a penthouse office suite, and the guy greeted me totally stoned.” Derek later told me I’d sent repair guy into basement for naught, because it’s the furnace in the basement, not the hot water heater (let’s hope we don’t still live here when the furnace needs replacing, because that’ll be a colossal pain in the ass). But after looking at the basement, repair guy said he can do some re-routing of pipes and plumber magic.

I called my landlord, who ultimately told me, “They’re crazy. It’s not that hard to install. I’ll just do it.” In other words, he declined their immediate service to avoid paying the $130. Yes, that’s $130 for an engineer/land baron – one who obviously doesn’t highly value his time, since just his drive to and from our house will take 1.5 hours.

And so, today…7 weeks without dishwasher, landlord came to do the install. I left with high hopes. I returned to see an old dishwasher in the driveway, and a new dishwasher…

in the middle of the kitchen! A note attached read, “installation was beyond my mechanical abilities. Called new installation company.” Allegedly, they’re coming in two days.

I seriously hope it costs more than $130.

Even more than that, I long for the day when I can get clean dishes with the press of a button.


  1. Did you ever get it installed? What a nightmare!

  2. Yes. The dudes who came twice did it the second time.

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