Monday, February 23, 2009

Cars aren't the only lemons

Our 3 year old fridge died yesterday. The freezer's actually been on the fritz for some time (I hesitate to give a time period for fear of exaggeration) - it will warm up and thaw everything, then freeze it all again, with no provocation. We can't keep much in there. Then the fridge started making a funny buzzing noise on Friday evening. We pulled it away from the wall and learned that it's switching itself on and off (on for a second, then off for a second, over and over). We realized it was only a matter of time before it quit completely. We started looking into the warranty information (the compressor's covered, but nothing else), assessing how much repair money we had in our budget ($0) and how much a used fridge off craigslist would cost ($200).

Since the house is on the market, it and everything in it (including appliances) is covered by a warranty. We called the realtor on Saturday for info on that and how to get the fridge fixed. The gal who answered the phone didn't understand the urgency of our request. She said the realtor herself would come out on Monday to explain everything. "Well," we thought, "it'll last one more day, right?"


We didn't realize it had died until Sunday morning while we were getting ready to go to church and we poured sour milk on our cereal. Yuck. The thing must have quit Saturday night for the milk to have spoiled. So, we hurriedly moved the most perishable items into the little dorm fridge in the garage where we normally keep a few sodas and some beer. When I say "little dorm fridge" I'm not exaggerating. It's exactly like the one in the picture, except now it has eggs, butter, cream cheese, 1/2&1/2 (for my coffee), homemade jam, etc. shoved in there. Absolutely crammed.

Once at church, in an effort to garner as much sympathy as possible, I told everyone who made eye contact with me that our fridge had died (now I AM exaggerating; I didn't do that. I did tell a couple people though.) One guy thinks it's the compressor, which is covered by the manufacturer's warranty, so maybe things aren't so bad. Until I remembered that regardless of WHO is going to pay for the repair, the real question is WHEN.

Then some friends at church graciously offered us their old fridge that's been sitting in their garage. We were hesitant at first. I mean, our fridge should be repairable, right? We talked about it after the service a bit and decided that we need a working fridge, and if ours gets repaired then we can enjoy the extra storage in the garage, and if ours doesn't get repaired, we won't have to try to find one on craigslist. So we took them up on their offer. They were thrilled just to find someone who could use it.

With a rented uhaul trailer towing behind us, we headed over to their house to pick up the fridge. On the way there I told DH that I was just imagining an avocado green top/bottom fridge from the '70's. "Wouldn't that look nice with our decor?" I asked him. (I grew up with an orange top/bottom fridge). We arrived at their house, they ushered us into the garage, and what do you think was against the wall right next to the door? An avocado green top/bottom fridge from the '70's. I almost died.

But then they drew our attention to the fridge they were actually giving us: a nice-looking almond-colored side-by-side with automatic ice maker. Nice! Well, it LOOKED nice. It did not smell nice. Although it looked like a refrigerator on the outside, it was actually a bacteria incubator masquerading as a refrigerator. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of the inside for you. You're probably not sorry though.

I'd like to make just two comments about the cleaning process:
1) I don't think you can scare me from any cleaning job. Between all the poop I play with and the fridge I just cleaned, nothing scares me. (I helped Mom clean up a maggot-infested possum carcass once. I think that just about covers everything nasty.)
2) I don't really want to be tested in that, however. As satisfying as it is to make CLEAN what was once DIRTY, I hope to NEVER, EVER have to clean out a fridge that's been sitting idle for months in someone's garage EVER AGAIN. EVER.

So it's now in our garage (yeah, it's never coming in the house...) Plugged in and COLD. The shelves and drawers are washed and dried and back inside. I've got a baking soda package in there to help deodorize, but it smells pretty good now that all the LIVING ORGANISMS are gone.

If you ever get a new fridge, and you're not just taking your old one to the dump, be sure to clean it out before you let it sit, empty and unplugged, in your garage. Whoever gets it after you will have no idea the favor you will be doing for them.

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Laurie said...

I'm so happy that you have a fridge to keep things in. Good idea to keep it out of the house...I've heard tell that once a fridge has mildew develop in it, you basically can NEVER totally get rid of it!

Hope you find something cheap to free to put inside the house! LOL!

Jennifer said...

Well, whether the broken one can be fixed or not, we'll leave it where it is so the kitchen looks complete for potential buyers. They won't know it doesn't work, right? Once the house sells, if the fridge doesn't work, we'll probably haul it to the dump.

I'm grateful to have a full-sized, working fridge, but it IS a hassle to go to the garage every time!

Oh, and the realtor who was supposed to come today and tell us (me) about the warranty? It's after 3pm and she hasn't shown. Hasn't called either. I'm glad I was home ANYWAY and didn't make special arrangements!

ehart said...

It sounds like the compressor to me. But, yeah, when is the question.

At least you had the dorm fridge and got something to put food in till whenever.