Actual physical objects made of stuff


a dishwasher, todayWaiting for a new hinge for the dishwasher door to be delivered.

We got this thing in 2002. At the end of 2009 it started cutting out and we got a repairman in to fix it. He came twice, failed to diagnose the problem, changed the motherboard, quickly gave up. We decided to replace the dishwasher, but I thought I should have a look inside it first.

Turned out the bottom of the machine, under the tub, was full of water. It had sprung a leak, and simply cut out because the leak detector had tripped. I got in touch with a nice person at a parts company who forwarded me the schematic for the dishwasher, ordered a new tiny O-ring for 69p to fix the leak, and it worked again.

Obvious lesson: replacing something like an integrated dishwasher is a pain in the arse anyway, so you might as well look inside it first and see if there’s anything visibly wrong. There’s something amazingly satisfying about getting a “free” working dishwasher by fixing it yourself, especially if, like me, you’re not a very practical chap and wouldn’t normally expect to be able to. Admittedly you do have to spend a few evenings with a dishwasher in bits in the middle of your kitchen floor.

In 2012 the door lock broke. Inspired by my earlier success, I took apart the door, found the bit I needed, bought a new one, and got it working again. Now part of the hinge has sheared through, so that once you open the door fully you can’t close it again. I’m not very good with hinges—or anything where a lot of force is involved—and not sure I know how to replace this one, but the part’s on the way, so I’ll give it a go. This machine washes perfectly well, and I like the thought of being able to avoid scrapping it.

In other pointless domestic news, I’m about to run out of this year’s marmalade and we’re still almost two months from the oranges being back in season.