You break it, I fix it: Part II

So, a few months ago I wrote about the number of things that were broken in our place that I've been able to fix, thus improving our "QoL index." Allow me to toot my own horn and highlight a few of them (Because it's vaguely interesting. To me.):
  1. The Refrigerator.

    I've never had an ice maker before, nor a filtered, ice water dispenser. The fridge we inherited has both but neither were working. Maybe it was because the water feed to the fridge was broken and nobody bothered to look. Or maybe it was the Ziploc bag full of rotted fish guts that had been jammed into the ice maker that nobody bothered to clean out (!).

    Regardless, all it took was a little time (to pull apart the ice maker, clean out each part and order those that were unsalvageable at minimal cost) and a little plumbing power (to pull out the fridge and install a new, flexible feed tube).

    Voila! Fresh, cold water and near-limitless ice cube action!

  2. The Clothes Dryer.

    This one, I must admit, involved little on my part - just writing a check to the guy who came in and cleaned out the 8,000 pounds on lint that had clogged up the dryer's vent pipe.


  3. The Jacuzzi Tub.

    This one really irked me - our master bathroom has a jacuzzi tub that didn't seem to work. Now, I'm not much of a "jacuzzi guy" but, as has been previously stated, just becuase I probably won't use something doesn't mean it's OK that it doesn't work. Because you never know when the urge may grab you to take a jacuzzi bath (!).

    Again: easy solution. The trip switch plug that the jacuzzi's motor is plugged into was faulty (wouldn't reset). A quick trip to the hardware store, five minutes of darkness as I turned off the circuit breaker and voila! A noisy (and, as a result, less-than-relaxing) jacuzzi!

    BTW, I can't help but to think of Eddie Murphy in "Trading Places" whenever I think of jacuzzi tubs...

  4. Home Security System.

    This is my most recent triumph. We have one but it was deactivated and, even if we decide not to use it, I want to know that it works. First, it took a bunch of research to find documentation and programming instructions. Then I realized that one of our window sensors didn't work, so I had to track down that part. Then it took me ages to figure out why the thing insisted on beeping at random after being turned on - it was because it was looking for it's former connection to a monitoring service.

    Here's where it gets interesting: in order to re-program that connection you have to have the "programmer's code," which, of course, nobody knows, meaning that I have to sit down with a six-pack of beer and induce carpal tunnel syndrome by punching in 10,000 possible combinations 'til I get the right one.

    Well, wouldn't you know it - I picked a random starting point and managed to hit it in the first 400! So after a few hours of fiddling with programming (and freaking the dog out to no end with all of the beeping, burping and false alarms I incurred) I got the thing all set!
What's the point of all this? Not to toot my own horn but to re-iterate how odd it is that so many simply things were left to languish for so long by the former owners. I just don't get people sometimes...

You break it, I fix it

I'm sure this happens to everybody - you have an inspector visit your potential new home and they go over the place with a fine-tooth comb, giving you an overview of the good and the bad before you move ahead with your purchase plans.

And then you move in and find all of the stuff that the inspector missed.

Fortunately for us, all of the things that were missed were minor, but they add up to point towards a very particular trend.

  • easily 1/4 of the lightbulbs throughout the unit were out
  • the security cameras outside of our building were non-functional
  • the refrigerator's icemaker/water dispenser weren't working
  • the filter to the HVAC had obviously never been cleaned
  • the built-in coffee machine wasn't working
  • the clothes dryer wasn't drying clothes
  • the home's security system wasn't functioning
  • the hot water heater was turned up to scalding levels
  • the door to the deck wouldn't open
  • the jacuzzi bathtub wasn't functioning

The thing about all of these items is that they're all easily fixable. Taken together, we couldn't help but to wonder, "Why would the former owner let all of these things pile up like this?"

And then we recalled meeting him during that same inspection and it clicked: when asked about living here he responded, "Well, you know, the place was built in 2000 so everything's still new. We haven't had to worry about anything." Basically, this guy didn't understand the notion of maintenance! Yeah, the stuff might be new but that doesn't mean you don't clean out the HVAC filter!!!

I may not be the most "handy" guy in the world, but most of these things took nothing more than a little bit of time, patience and research to figure out. On the plus side, every time I fix one of these things it does wonders for my man-ego as I feel like Bob-freaking-Villa every time I get something fixed in our place!