Help! Our dryer broke! February 7, 2011Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: broken dryers, dryers, drying clothes, The Red Green Show, washer-dryers
Silence Dogood here. Last night, the moment I’d hoped would never arrive finally did: I was drying the laundry when I heard an ominous “BAP! BAP! BAP!!!” sound, as though someone were pounding on the glass of the deck door. Rushing into the kitchen, I saw our black German shepherd, Shiloh, lying peacefully at the foot of the bird cages, as opposed to barking her head off and rushing around and around at the door. Oh, no: The sound was coming from the dryer.
Fortunately, the laundry was dry, so I hastily turned off the dryer in case it wasn’t a loose or broken belt or something but the engine getting ready to blow. (Having just watched a couple of DVDs of “The Red Green Show” with our friend Ben, I could easily picture the scene.)
Now, if you’re a normal person, you’re probably thinking, “So, call a repairman!” or “Just buy a new one!” or “Hang the clothes on a line in the basement!” or “Just hang ’em up on a line outdoors!” But as far as I can tell, none of these solutions will work. Here’s why:
The apartment-sized dryer-over-washer was in place when we bought our cottage home, Hawk’s Haven, back in the day, and it looked ancient then. It has to be at least 20 years old, and could easily be 30. Or more. I have never to this day figured out how they got the washer-dryer into the tiny bathroom/laundry room off the kitchen to begin with; small as the unit is, it’s wider than the door, and there’s no way someone could have turned it past the sink once you’d gotten it in the door to begin with to position it where it is now. As far as I can tell, there’s also no way to get behind it to do any repairs, much less get it out of there, without chainsawing down the wall behind it.
Even if someone could manage to remove it, the cheapest replacement I could find online costs $949, plus, of course, tax and potential delivery, installation and removal charges. As we struggle to pay our monthly fuel oil and deregulated, skyrocketing electric bills in this bitterly cold winter, coming up with that sort of sum is out of the question.
As for line-drying, we have no basement, or any other place to run a line in the house. (I do have a wooden drying rack in the laundry room, but it’s hardly big enough for our friend Ben’s socks, much less a load of laundry.) And it’s so cold outside wet laundry would freeze on a line before I could get back in the house. Not to mention that we have a yard full of trees—and birds. I’ve never understood how people manage to hang clothes outside without having them splattered by bird droppings.
So here we are, dryerless and with no good alternatives in sight. At least the washer still works. My best plan so far is to do the wash here, then bag it up and carry it to the local laundromat, a mere 15 minutes from us, to dry it. (With just the two of us, we’re usually able to get away with one or, at most, two loads a week.) I’ve never washed clothes in a laundromat before, so I have no idea how much it would cost to use their dryer. But I have a feeling you’d have to do an awful lot of drying to rack up $1,000!
If anyone out there has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. And I have a question for anyone who does use or has used a laundromat: Is it safe to leave your clothes in the dryer while you go off and run errands, or must you sit with them while they dry? Many thanks for all advice!
‘Til next time,