Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Our refrigerator has been living on borrowed time for a long time. The vegetable bins freeze the vegetables and are unusable while the rest of the fridge just barely stays cold enough. The motor makes horrible noises like someone is trying to claw their way out and the seal on the door needs replacing. We knew we needed a new refrigerator but our kitchen design precludes having a french door refrigerator which is all that seems to be available in the smaller width that we need for our space. So, we just keep hoping the noise goes away and we keep the vegetables on the shelf, not in the bin, and since I go to the store every other day it really doesn't matter that we aren't using its full potential. The dishwasher, on the other hand, has needed only one small repair to the pump in all its many years and got the dishes clean and spotless and dry and although the earthquake a couple of years ago made the door a little hard to close I have a working technique for taking care of that. So the big surprise was when I opened the dishwasher to find that water was pouring in a full blast and was ready to spill out onto the floor. Apparently the valve had failed. Not the appliance we had expected to fail. So, since the dishwasher is about 15 years old it seemed cost effective to replace it instead of repair it this time, especially since a new one will be more efficient. And since the refrigerator will need to be replaced sooner rather than later it made sense to buy they both at the same time. This is where the crazy starts.... After days of searching websites, manufacturers sites, phone calls, home renovation forums, etc there is apparently only ONE refrigerator costing less than $8,000 in all of the world that will fit in our space and allow us to actually open the door to something approximating 90 degrees. The New Zealanders to the rescue with a Fisher and Paykel cabinet depth, 30 inch, bottom freezer, non-french door will work. I've carefully reviewed all the installation and engineering diagrams and think we have about 1/4 inch to spare. Our other option, which we were seriously considering, is ripping down the wall and remodeling the area which seems a bit excessive just to get an extra 6 inches for a refrigerator. Next up is picking a replacement dishwasher, which is where this odessey started. It seems that the stainless steel finish on the Fisher and Paykel is a slightly different color than the other brands and the only F and P dishwasher is one that is actually two drawers. I've never considered that so now I'm back to doing the research on dishwashers, which I had assumed would be pretty simple as my only requirement was I can get my plates into it and it is quiet. Now I'm thrust into a whole new appliance hell. And I know my husband will say "since we are replacing the fridge, and dishwasher why don't we replace the microwave too so they will all be stainless steel." Just you wait. Luckily my cooktop is black glass so it goes with everything and my double-oven is the only 24 inch double oven left in the world and it is also black glass so will not need to be replaced. I think when it comes to kitchen appliances I live in the wrong country. I LOVE looking at the appliance stores in Spain and seeing all the small, efficient appliances and I want to bring them all home.