Friday, November 28, 2008

Well That Right There's Your Problem

When we bought our house and renovated it we put in all new appliances minus the fridge. After we'd been here 6 months or less I had the dishwasher repair man out because all our dishes looked hazy. He explained that our water was extremely hard and our dishwasher wouldn't work right until we put in a water softener.

We put in a water softener to the tune of $500 to help our appliances but more because 2 of our boys have eczema and the water was irritating their skin. The softener worked great for about 3 years and then started having issues. We had a repair man out and he charged us $140 to tell me that it needed a part that would cost $150. I decided to put it off since it wasn't a necessity and it's been about a year since it was in working order.

Our dishwasher has been moaning at us during the wash cycles and after running it several times in two days over the holiday everything looked like it had been dipped in milk. Today I squatted down and looked into the basin to see what looked like food stuck around the big ol' circle thingy (that's Mom terms, not technical in any way).

Assuming taking it apart couldn't possibly hurt anything I got the tool box and started unscrewing screws. Luckily it all comes apart rather easily and this is what I found:

Apparently our water is harder than I thought. It took me about a hour, some Lime Away, and a steak knife to pry all the calcification off the big ol' round thingy and any part connected to it. Keep in mind that this build up had to have happened over the last year since we had a water softener in place the rest of the time we've lived here.

I have several concerns...

1) We HAVE to have a water softener or all our appliances including my new washer and dryer are going to have a very short life. Hence costing hundreds to replace.

2)My current water softener looks like a rust bucket due to being in a damp basement. Will repairing the $150 circuit board be all it needs or just the beginning. It only cost $500 to start with. It could get too pricey to fix fast.

3)The dry winter is hard on our skin and the boys should start showing signs soon and what about Anneliese. Will our brand new baby's skin be okay in our water? She's the first baby since the softener broke.

4)How much is this going to cost? The timing is lousy with the holidays and car tags due in Feb. Ugh.

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