Cool it
Saturday June 23rd 2012, 10:56 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

The kitchen sink, which has been grumbling, backed up last night. The Drano helped some but it didn’t finish the job.

I took a break and bought a gallon of milk tonight. It was a gamble.

I came home and at last we finished that job. I hope.

Now, for 32 years I have marveled at the things my 6’8″ husband can reach; this time, he was marveling at me as I easily squeezed head and shoulders into the 13″ wide freezer side to screw the shelf runners back on after we had visually confirmed that its coils were finally totally de-iced. (Didn’t we thaw those last Saturday…?!)

A week. The freezer side has been pretty much okay, but.  And it’s 17 years old.

Over the last few days, I vacuumed the bottom, I put a tall metal bowl full of ice on the fridge side, we troubleshooted via the ‘net and talked repairmen and (oh please no) replacements. Richard has a nifty laser pointer thingy that reads out the temp of whatever it shines on, and at 58 degrees–62, yesterday–buying milk by the half gallon seemed a good idea.

One last try. Richard and Ryan pulled the behemoth out from the wall this morning and Richard squeezed somehow down on the floor in the small space behind it and unscrewed the back panel. I gave the insides the best I could with the vacuum, cleaning and resting and coming back again and again to have at it. It took us all morning.

It helped some–we got to 55.

Note that if you’re going to stick a vacuum nozzle in there, *turn the fridge off first.* See that motor? In its speed, I thought that was a solid piece there. Do you know how fast it can throw that light piece of plastic back out at you? Yeah, I asked for a flashlight after that. I have been assured it would moan and groan if I’d done any damage.

Hours later, Michelle saw the ice peeking out at the seams inside the freezer. Oh no…

To actually see the coils we had to unscrew the innards to be able to lift the metal back. And wow–all that *hairsucking haircutting hairdryering we did last week, where we thought surely we’d gotten everything thawed behind there because the metal was so warm? We had done that much hairdryering again tonight when we lifted it open and finally saw.

Iced nearly solid behind there. After half an hour of high heat blasted at it. Who knew.

THIS time we knew when those coils were done. I squeezed in and screwed the rails back together. Richard got the shelves back on them. I filled them back up from the cooler. It is done.

THIS time, if it doesn’t work…

Meantime, we put more Drano down the sink and till that works, no dishes can be done.

I really, really want to finish that single row of silk I started today before I go to bed.

*Ed to add, I didn’t blog about that? Make sure your hairdryer has a nearly-solid hairproof screen at the back. I later checked at Target: they had 16 on display. Thirteen were good; three of them had backs that were open enough to suck your hair right in if you held it pointing towards in front of you, and the only way to get that hair out–believe me, we tried–is to cut it. I’m going to have a bit of a frizzy Mohawk for a few months.

10 Comments so far
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Carb soda and vinegar, followed by several kettlefuls of boiling water is my first recourse for drains. However, if you’ve already used Drano, my remedy may not be strong enough.

A few days after I moved in here (by myself!) 14 months ago, my sink blocked although bathroom drains were fine on other side of apartment. I eventually went to hardware shop, told salesman what I’d already done and he sold me a bottle of grease eating bacteria. Pour that down sink and leave as long as possible, like a day or so without any water down it. It worked.

The tenants who were here before I bought this place ate lots of curries and similar. Stove has curry baked on inside burners etc and I think they used to put a lot of oily stuff down sink to get rid of it. Since the bacteria ate it all up, I’ve had no more problems.

Comment by Jan 06.23.12 @ 11:27 pm

Hoping today is a better day for you. That’s not my idea of fun at all!!

(And really?! I can’t believe they sell hair dryers that eat hair, even if only when pointed the “wrong” way…)

Comment by Channon 06.24.12 @ 4:56 am

I am truly sorry to hear all this. I hope today is better.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 06.24.12 @ 6:43 am

I’ve been wondering how much of a mohawk you’d have. While I know there are worse things, that can’t be pleasant.

Comment by RobinM 06.24.12 @ 8:33 am

wow — a bit too much household angst! hope the drain is soon draining and the fridge recovers!!

why is it these things seem to happen all at once?

Comment by Bev 06.24.12 @ 8:52 am

You use MILK to unclog the drain? Or is that to fix the fridge? And when do we get to see a photo of your mohawk? Egad, nothing but questions!

Boy, you and Richard really make a team!

Comment by Don Meyer 06.24.12 @ 10:31 am

Had the same problem with the Garbage disposal backing up into the dish washer , ucky mess.Hubby fixed the garbage disposal, but the dishwasher needs a new computer chip, if it isn’t one thing it’s another.

Comment by Kris 06.24.12 @ 12:12 pm

if you need milk that will stand being a bit warm for a day or two, buy UHT milk (like Parmalat). it tastes like it’s been boiled, but it’s fine. i kept a quart in my hotel room in England in January for a week and i suffered no ill effects. it helps that i actually *like* room-temperature milk.

Comment by Tola 06.24.12 @ 3:24 pm

The resurrection of a freezer is a tough job!
We have an appointment to sign a lease on our new apartment July 1st :-}
After reading your post I REALLY value their repairmen!

Comment by Diana Troldahl 06.24.12 @ 4:00 pm

Sending positive thoughts that the fridge is finally fixed. And the sink drains freely. Home ownership is grand fun. Hope you got lots of knitting time.

Comment by DebbieR 06.24.12 @ 7:24 pm

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