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Appliance conspiracy

I’ve been having real trouble with my kitchen appliances lately. In fact, it strongly feels like they’re conspiring together to cause maximum irritation!

My washing machine has decided to leak intermittently all over the kitchen floor. I’ve spent hours watching it, trying to catch it in action, but it always waits until my back is turned to produce a sad little puddle on the floor. As far as I can tell, it seems to be leaking not through the door seal, but via the detergent dispenser overflowing. It’s tricky to be certain, because it doesn’t do it all the time, but I think it’s on the “rinse” cycle rather than the “wash”. My previous washing machine had a removable detergent drawer that you could clean out under the tap, but this one doesn’t seem to disassemble. So I’ve resorted to scrubbing as much of it as I can reach with an old toothbrush. That does seem to have made a difference, but it’s still prudent to put old tea towels down on the floor in front of the washing machine before attempting a load of laundry!

The other appliance that’s currently causing me grief is the electric oven. It’s been playing up for several months – again an intermittent fault. Sometimes the fan won’t come on, and at other times it’s been behaving itself fine. I was getting very suspicious though about the thermostat, as things were taking far longer to cook than they should. I did a lamb and potato bake last week that should take 1.5 hours at 180 degrees, but was still undercooked after 2.5 hours when I was so hungry I could wait no longer to eat it! I bought a cheap oven thermometer off Amazon which I don’t expect to be highly accurate, but it did confirm my suspicion that the main oven simply isn’t getting anywhere near the claimed temperature. Again that’s intermittent – it was fine yesterday, but on Thursday it struggled to reach 100 degrees Celsius. Fortunately it’s a double oven, and the top oven still seems to work. So I’ve been having to use that for anything that requires accurate cooking, though it’s a bit on the small side.

I’ve had trouble with the oven before, and had to get it mended when the element gave out half way through cooking a soufflĂ©! The oven’s not much more than ten years old, and really should be more reliable than this.  I’ve now absolutely had enough of it. So I phoned up the local appliance showroom in Ledbury, and said I wanted a new oven delivered and installed this week with the old one taken away. I wanted a mid-range oven, nothing top-of-the-range or too fancy, and ideally not another Hotpoint as this current one has put me off them. I asked them to give me the prices and model numbers of a small number of mid-range ovens that they had in stock, then looked them up on-line. I could get them cheaper from John Lewis, but the convenience of having an all-in price for delivery, installation and disposal of the old oven is really attractive, and worth paying for in my opinion. Plus, the showroom is a local company that I’ve used before, and (despite my active Amazon account) I do try to Buy Local where I can.

I think the woman on the phone was a bit surprised at my approach to buying a major domestic appliance. But I see no need to physically go to the showroom to look at the ovens in person. It’s only an oven for goodness sake, and I don’t care what colour it is – my kitchen is hardly of show-house standard! You can get very good pictures of appliances on-line, plus see lots of (hopefully unbiased) reviews of them and check that the quoted price is reasonable. So I was quite happy to do the business over the phone, calling them back with a credit card once I’d checked out the options and compared reviews and prices.

I’m sincerely hoping that by the end of the week I’ll have a fully functioning oven, even if there are still soggy tea towels on the floor next to the washing machine…….

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Sally B | 27 October 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    We had a similar washing machine problem, that one day turned into a flood. After using all my analytic skills all morning, I discovered that the pipe under the detergent drawer was completely blocked with solid powder. When we cleared that it was OK!