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Please help! Washer leaked; flooded laundry room. Need new 1

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Please help! Washer leaked; flooded laundry room. Need new 1

Postby VEFF on Tue Aug 12, 2003 10:53 pm

Hi everyone,

I hope some fellow cdrlabs members can help me.

It has been quite a night:
Tonight my washer overflowed. Unfortunately, since the problem was with a leak within the washer itself, the water kept going and going.
Thankfully I was home, and so was my neighbor underneath me...
After 30 minutes or so we caught it; the laundry room was flooded.

I need a new washer VERY soon - if possible tomorrow - and
I am looking for your recommendations on places that sell washers and do the installation too (e.g. Sears, Home Depot?), that are reasonable, but also professional and reliable.


Thanks for any tips!
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Postby cfitz on Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:33 pm

There isn't anything to installing a washer if you already had one. Just turn off the valves that hook to the hoses on the old machine, remove the old machine, put the new in its place, hook the hoses back up making sure to match the hot and cold properly (the hoses are just garden hoses - anyone can screw them on) and hook the outlet tube to the laundry tub or drain or wherever it currently is hooked. It would be bad to forget to do that last part... flooding all over again. :o

Then turn on the valves again and check for any leaks. If you find any, which you shouldn't, check to make sure you put the rubber washers in the ends of the hoses and then just tighten up the connections.

The only other thing you might want to do is take a level to it and adjust the feet (they are on screws so they go up and down as you turn them with a wrench) to make sure it is level and sitting solidly on all four feet.

Then plug it in, give a quick hand test with hot and cold water cycles to make sure you didn't reverse the hoses, and you are off and washing! :)

That being said, I think anyplace that will deliver and take away the old one (for convenience sake) will do the job for you. And most all do, so it probably boils down to getting the model you want for the cheapest price.

I got a cheap Whirlpool a few years back and have had no problems with it. I think I got it at Best Buy.

One more thing, there are still coin-op laundries around, so you can take some time to find what you want. This isn't an emergency that requires you to get the first thing you find.

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Postby Ian on Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:35 pm

Most of the new ones are auto leveling. It took me about 2 minutes to hook up our new one.
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Postby cfitz on Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:37 pm

There you go, you won't even have to do the hardest part! :D

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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:44 pm

I've always bought Maytag, but not that often - get about 15 years out of them. They are probably more expensive than Sears brand. But then some people swear bye Sears brand, Kenmore (which is a rebadged [as we would say in describing a burner] Whirlpool, usually).

If you buy from Home Depot, the guy that comes to your house probably isn't a Home Depot employee. Probably a independent contractor/installer. Most likely paid on a per installation basis.

I understand that GE supports their washers with more frequent firmware updates. Each update adds support for new media in the spin cycle: huge urban style jeans, microfiber, yuppie LLBean crushed linen........ :lol:

Good luck
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Postby cfitz on Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:47 pm

CowboySlim wrote:I understand that GE supports their washers with more frequent firmware updates. Each update adds support for new media in the spin cycle: huge urban style jeans, microfiber, yuppie LLBean crushed linen........ :lol:

:lol: :lol:

But are you sure those aren't softwear updates?? :wink:

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Postby aviationwiz on Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:50 pm

I would suggest a smaller local store, you pay a lot less for the exact same thing.
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Postby VEFF on Wed Aug 13, 2003 12:50 am

Wow.
Thanks for all the quick replies guys.

I am exhausted; been soaking up water and wringing out towels etc.
The plumber was very kind and only charged $25 for the drive over and back. He is located 20 minutes away, so that makes it about 50 minutes of his time. He wants future business, and didn't want to charge me a lot, since it was out of his hands.

I will need it delivered since I live in a third (top) floor condo...
I know I can install it relatively easily, as far as the hoses go, and the auto leveling will make it very easy.
I mean I once installed a whole new sink, a faucet and the plastic hot and cold water 'pipes' myself with no help, just some quick verbal instructions from a colleague and common sense. It is still going strong some eight years later...

I assume if I am having it delivered, it might only be a small charge to get in installed while they are there.
I'll check BestBuy, Sears, Home Depot and any others I/you can think of
tomorrow.

The hardest part might be making sure I properly place the overflow tube that is on the floor (i.e. without cracking it, since it goes straight into the wall at a perpedicular angle, and looks like it can't be moved at all) through the/an opening in the new plastic (overflow) 'tub' (I need to buy one *) that collects water in case of an accidental overflow or leak.

* I noticed that the old tub had a decent size 'hole' in it (looks liek a piece cracked off (from previous owner no doubt), which no doubt contributed to much of the flooding...

Thanks again!

Any brand recommendations? Maytag was mentioned, which I know is supposed to be reliable...
Mine was a nine (or so) year old GE. I'll see if I can find online reliability ratings. Maybe I can ask my mother who gets/got Consumer Reports online.
[/b]

This might seem like a silly question, but are the 'overflow(?)' tubs that go under the washer easy to find/buy?
I mean would Sears carry them, or should I just buy one at Home Depot (assuming they carry them) in advance...
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Postby UALOneKPlus on Wed Aug 13, 2003 4:26 am

Wow, sorry to hear again of your bad news.

Having the washing machine flood is one of my fears too as a home owner! Knock on wood it never happens!!

I use ConsumerReports.org, and here's what they've got for top rated washers:

Most of the washing machines we tested did a very good or excellent job. Washers differ most in energy and water efficiency, gentleness, and noise. For very good performance at a modest price, a top-loader should fill the bill. If you prefer to spend more for the best performance overall and the largest capacity, get a front-loader. Paying more within a category may get you fancier styling, more settings, and a porcelain top--none of which are essential in our opinion.

While the Kenmore (Sears) Elite Calypso 2206[2] and Whirlpool Calypso GVW9959K[Q] performed well, they are fairly new and use a different design from other top-loaders, so the brand repair history may not apply. Some brands in the Repair History (such as Roper) aren't in the Ratings because we don't have test data on a current model; some brands in the Ratings (such as Hotpoint) aren't in the Repair History because of insufficient survey data.

For excellent washing and otherwise solid performance: Strong, moderately priced contenders include the Kenmore (Sears) 2381[2], $460, and the Maytag Performa PAV2300A[WW], $430. Both are CR Best Buys. The Hotpoint VWSR4150B[WW] also scored well, except for energy use, and costs only $390. However, we have no reliability data.

For an outstanding and reasonably-priced front-loader: Consider the Kenmore (Sears) Elite HE3 4282[2], and the Whirlpool Duet GHW9100L[Q], both $1,100. The Kenmore (Sears) 4304[2], $800, is even cheaper, but doesn't quite match the top-rated models. The LG WM2032HW is a fine performer, but we have no reliability data.

If space is tight: The efficient and quiet Asko W6021, $1,000, provides excellent washing.



Best of luck!
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Postby CowboySlim on Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:50 am

Oh-oh, 3rd floor. I wouldn't buy from anybody that won't take the old one away.
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Postby VEFF on Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:00 am

CowboySlim wrote:Oh-oh, 3rd floor. I wouldn't buy from anybody that won't take the old one away.


Well, I bought my condo nine (or is it ten hmm) years ago, and the machine was almost new at the time.
My neighbors below me still have the original 1987 ones that came with their unit; guess I had bad luck!!!


I will check with Home Depot for drip pans.
If the drip pan hadn't been broken (large piece was cracked in a square shape hole), there might have been no flooding; then again it might have
made things worse, if it happened while I was out, and if it went undetected...
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Postby VEFF on Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:10 am

UALOneKPlus wrote:Wow, sorry to hear again of your bad news.

Having the washing machine flood is one of my fears too as a home owner! Knock on wood it never happens!!

I use ConsumerReports.org, and here's what they've got for top rated washers:

Most of the washing machines we tested did a very good or excellent job. Washers differ most in energy and water efficiency, gentleness, and noise. For very good performance at a modest price, a top-loader should fill the bill. If you prefer to spend more for the best performance overall and the largest capacity, get a front-loader. Paying more within a category may get you fancier styling, more settings, and a porcelain top--none of which are essential in our opinion.

While the Kenmore (Sears) Elite Calypso 2206[2] and Whirlpool Calypso GVW9959K[Q] performed well, they are fairly new and use a different design from other top-loaders, so the brand repair history may not apply. Some brands in the Repair History (such as Roper) aren't in the Ratings because we don't have test data on a current model; some brands in the Ratings (such as Hotpoint) aren't in the Repair History because of insufficient survey data.

For excellent washing and otherwise solid performance: Strong, moderately priced contenders include the Kenmore (Sears) 2381[2], $460, and the Maytag Performa PAV2300A[WW], $430. Both are CR Best Buys. The Hotpoint VWSR4150B[WW] also scored well, except for energy use, and costs only $390. However, we have no reliability data.

For an outstanding and reasonably-priced front-loader: Consider the Kenmore (Sears) Elite HE3 4282[2], and the Whirlpool Duet GHW9100L[Q], both $1,100. The Kenmore (Sears) 4304[2], $800, is even cheaper, but doesn't quite match the top-rated models. The LG WM2032HW is a fine performer, but we have no reliability data.

If space is tight: The efficient and quiet Asko W6021, $1,000, provides excellent washing.



Best of luck!



Thanks; I'll print this out when I get a chance!
Speaking of being a homeowner:

- I had the water heater replaced about 18 months ago; it started to leak while I was on vacation. Luckily my brother was living in my place with me, and noticed it.

- Two years ago, I had the A/C lines blown out in my A/C+heating furnace and the drain pipe moved to a better angle to allow water to flow out, since it was leaking. The first company wanted to charge me $1100 (new cooling coil they said, due to rust, which turned out to only be surface rust) to fix it and charged me $137 just to look at it for a few minutes.
I called for a 2nd opinion; the 2nd company said the suggested repair probably wasn't necessary (without even coming). I asked how much it would cost IF it did need the part that the 1st company said I needed; he said $400 - $500. Less than half! I made an appointment. They came over.
It turned out to just need some blowing of the lines, and angling the drainage pipe downward (which we had asked the first company to check!!!). Caveat emptor! He charged me about $8 more to fix the thing than the first guy charged us just to look at it and make a blatantly false diagnosis.
I never got around to reporting the first place to the BBB (wanted to save others from being taken; my brother said he probably would have just paid the $1100), who also overcharged me by $50 for the short visit.

Other than those expenses, and getting a new part for the furnace after I blew the transformer (years ago) by accidentally connecting the brown clock wire when connecting a new digital programmable thermostat, the
condo has been trouble-free for the 9 - 10 years I have been there.
(built in 1987).



I have a lot of work to do today, so it may be a while, but thanks.
I will check their reviews out... Thanks again!
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Postby MonteLDS on Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:15 am

if u lived in the bay area i could get u one for free. those things shouldn't be hard to install :)

um sorry i have no real input
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Postby TheWizard on Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:01 am

I like Kenmore. Bob Vila likes Craftsman. It's all the same...Sears, baby!
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Postby VEFF on Thu Aug 14, 2003 9:15 am

MonteLDS wrote:if u lived in the bay area i could get u one for free. those things shouldn't be hard to install :)

um sorry i have no real input



Free? That would have been great! :)
Too bad I don't live in the bay area...

I just need to find out if BestBuy (or wherever I end up getting it)
offers removal of old unit as a separate service; they have free delivery, but I still need someone to remove the old one, and I don't want to pay for installation of the new one unless that is the only way they'll remove the old one.
I don't think they charge much ($50 or less), but installing it is very easy and will take me fifteen minutes or less once I have the washer sitting in its designated spot.
I have changed the hoses twice over the years (not because they leaked, but as mandated by the condo association), and it was very simple to say the least.
Last night I removed the old drain tub. I am glad that it had a washer and 'nut' (they had been covered by duct tape by previous owner, so until I removed them I was wondering what mechanism was used to keep the water from 'squeezin' through, between the tub and the pips that goes through the hole (in the tub) - I had been wondering how.
I am curious if it comes with a drain hose already attached - I still have the old one of course.
Last edited by VEFF on Thu Aug 14, 2003 9:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby VEFF on Thu Aug 14, 2003 9:19 am

TheWizard wrote:I like Kenmore. Bob Vila likes Craftsman. It's all the same...Sears, baby!


Thanks! Consumer Reports also liked a Kenmore (among others - such as a Maytag model).

I think BestBuy has the best prices, although I will hold off buying a machine till I get back from vacation. Their earliest delivery was on a day when I won't be around.
I did three loads of laundry at my girlfriend's place; spending the evening with her was much more fun than hanging out in a laundromat by myself, even if she is (a little) over an hour drive away.
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Postby cfitz on Thu Aug 14, 2003 10:15 am

VEFF wrote:I did three loads of laundry at my girlfriend's place; spending the evening with her was much more fun than hanging out in a laundromat by myself, even if she is (a little) over an hour drive away.

Now you're talking! Heck, why even get a new washer? This new way sounds like much more fun. :D

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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:16 pm

VEFF wrote:I have changed the hoses twice over the years (not because they leaked, but as mandated by the condo association)

my curiosity was piqued by this.
why did your condo association require you to change perfectly good hoses ?
what "right" do they have anyway to "require" such a thing of you ???
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Postby VEFF on Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:22 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
VEFF wrote:I have changed the hoses twice over the years (not because they leaked, but as mandated by the condo association)

my curiosity was piqued by this.
why did your condo association require you to change perfectly good hoses ?
what "right" do they have anyway to "require" such a thing of you ???


I am not sure of the legalities, not being a lawyer myself.

The association requires new hoses to be purchased (they are only $5 each, so it is $10 for the requred hot and cold water hoses) every X years.
I can't remember if X is 2,3 or 5 years.

I assume (not sure if they specified the reasoning behind their decision) is that they don't want people having old hoses burst and have potential water damage destroy other units or the structure of the building etc.
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:28 pm

OK, i can understand that.

why then don't they have a little condo police that comes into your apt. and makes sure you don't do other bad stuff?

i say, no permission to use candles.

or: require you to change all the electricity wiring of all your electircal appliances every X years!

and the list goes on LOL.

strange IMO.
basically, if you're a responsible person then you'll do what's needed. and even if you are some accidents happen - take your example.
and if you're a moron, nothing will help!
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Postby VEFF on Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:36 pm

I found a Kenmore washer on sale at sears.com

Pros:
Kenmore is highly rated.
They can come on a weekend; even on Sundays.
They charge $45 for delivery AND installation (if an existing unit is there - which is my situation).
I assume Best Buy's free delivery means they will leave it at the front door?
For only $10 more Sears removes the old machine. (I am not sure what BB charges for that, or if you can get haulaway service if you aren't getting installation service as well).

Potential Con:
Delivery by Best Buy is free, and installation is simple.
I say 'potential' con, because if haulaway service at BestBuy requires installation service, the con is nullified, since I am not going to lug the old unit down three flights of stairs...

The model is very cheap ($257.88 instead of usual $299.99, but I don't need a million fancy cycle options - I use only a few.

The CR top-rated one is an extra $120 (also on sale); not sure if it is worth it, since:
1) I may move in the next year or two anyway
2) The capacities are very similar 3 cu ft vs 3.2 cu ft.
3) As stated above, I don't need fancy cycle options.

I would gladly spend the extra $120 if there was a noticeable improvement. I am not sure if there is one.
Any comments?

I just noticed that the top rated model has three motor speeds vs. one motor speed for the one I am considering.
Does this matter?

They both have the sameHorsepower (1/2 HP).
I noticed Maytag and Kenmore tend to be 1/2 HP, whereas some of the less highly regarded models, but still big brand names come with 3/4 HP.
Does that matter?
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Postby cfitz on Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:56 pm

VEFF wrote:I would gladly spend the extra $120 if there was a noticeable improvement. I am not sure if there is one.
Any comments?

Okay, now remember that the following is coming from a single guy, so take these opinions with a grain of salt (but then again, you are single right now also :wink: ):

Not worth it. I highly doubt you, as a guy, will see any difference. I think all the extra gadgets and features and such are for the washing machine freaks, if you will. Thing of the top models as being like the Plextor Premium: it has nice extra features like GigaRec, C1/C2/CU measurements, etc (super delicate cycle, fuzzy-logic cycle adjustment, etc) that are appreciated by the CD burning enthusiasts (washing enthusiasts), but aren't needed to simply burn a CD (wash clothes). A cheaper but still good quality drive like a LiteOn (Kenmore) will fill the bill just as well for average users.

VEFF wrote:I just noticed that the top rated model has three motor speeds vs. one motor speed for the one I am considering.
Does this matter?

Again, for a guy it probably doesn't make any difference. Do you have any delicates, lingerie, etc that need a gentle cycle? Probably not... :wink:

If not, then the only reason I can think of why you might want to consider one with more speeds would be if you would convey the washer and dryer to the buyer when selling your condo, and you want to have them appeal to women who might consider purchasing your condo.

VEFF wrote:They both have the sameHorsepower (1/2 HP).
I noticed Maytag and Kenmore tend to be 1/2 HP, whereas some of the less highly regarded models, but still big brand names come with 3/4 HP.
Does that matter?

Again, as a single guy rather than a large family, you aren't doing too much laundry so I wouldn't worry about it.

There are some in-between models as well. I got my washer for about the price you are quoting, and although it isn't a top of the line model, it does have two speeds. Now, ask me how many times I've used the permanent press, delicates, or hand-washables cycles? That's right - zero times. :D I set it to normal when I first installed it, and haven't changed it since...

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Postby VEFF on Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:08 pm

cfitz,

I agree with every single (no pun intended; I actually noticed it in the middle of typing this message) one of your points.
You in essence confirmed my thoughts.

I am not concerned about the additional value to the condo for prosepective buyers, since it will be minimal at best, and an extra $100 (if I am lucky) added to the sale price won't make any noticeable difference percentagewise.


Thanks, from one (currently) single guy to another.



All,

Can anyone confirm either of these:
Someone mentioned that BestBuy apparently has free installation/delivery.
Another person said they were charged by BB for installation (granted it might have been a brand new installation - i.e. not replacing an existing washer).

I will call BB later, but if anyone knows now, I wouldn't mind hearing from you.
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Postby cfitz on Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:19 pm

You're welcome, VEFF.

dodecahedron wrote:why then don't they have a little condo police that comes into your apt. and makes sure you don't do other bad stuff?

<snip>

basically, if you're a responsible person then you'll do what's needed. and even if you are some accidents happen - take your example.
and if you're a moron, nothing will help!

Yeah, condo and homeowner associations do have some strange rules sometimes. But, for the most part they are designed with (hopefully) good intentions to make things better for people who are living in close proximity to each other. In such situations, the consequences of one's actions fall upon not only the actor but also those around him or her. Thus, the desire to try to protect others via rules.

Of course, you have a point that people who are responsible don't need the rules, and those are irresponsible enough won't abide by the rules anyway - that's what makes them irresponsible. (Unless, of course, there are condo-police who come around to enforce them as you suggest. :) )

The development I live in recently installed a new children's playground right behind my townhouse. I'm glad it is there and the kids are having fun on it. In fact, I signed the petition to have it installed even though I don't have any children of my own. Anyway, when it was first installed there was a newness curiosity factor, and some of teenagers from surrounding areas came around in the evenings after nightfall to "play" on it - making noise, wrapping the swings around the posts so the children couldn't use them and such. You know, typical teenager shenanigans. Annoying, but nothing truly destructive.

I figured the newness would quickly wear off and the teenagers would get bored with it and move on to something else soon enough, so I just went out in the mornings and unwrapped the swings to make them ready for the children again.

Sure enough, it only happened three times, and the teenagers haven't been back since. But some people apparently got upset and demanded something be done. So just this week a sign went up: "Homeowners and their guests only. Tot lot hours from dawn to dusk. No trespassing". :roll: Ugly, unnecessary, a waste of money and, as you noted, totally ineffectual. Exactly what teenager bent on making a little ruckus is going to stop, read the sign, and think to himself, "Drat! It's after dusk, I'm not a homeowner or guest, and I would be trespassing if wrapped the swings around the posts. Oh well, I guess I'll have to go find a playground without a sign like this." ??? :o :roll: Ridiculous.

By the way, as VEFF stated, the rule to change hoses is designed to prevent floods in the event that they burst. They are just made of rubber, which does weaken over time. Personally, I always turn off the valves on the wall to which the hoses connect whenever I am done washing for the surest prevention of unexpected floods. Even if the hoses don't burst, you could still have a leak from something going wrong in the washer itself (as VEFF unhappily discovered - although he had to have the valves open since he was actually doing laundry). Keeping the valves exercised also prevents them from gumming up and not shutting off completely when they need to.

cfitz
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Postby VEFF on Thu Aug 14, 2003 3:21 pm

cfitz,

Interesting about 'keeping the valves exercised'; that is a benefit i hadn't thought of.

I used to religiously shut off the faucets between loads.
Then my cleaning lady (and my brother) stopped turning them off, and I sort of got out of the habit myself. I will have to start again. Because even with new hoses, accidents can happen, or the connection to the washer could fail etc...

Regarding the signs your place's condo association put up at the playground. If anything that will incite them to do it, because it will
a) give teens or others who haven't been there ideas they hadn't thought of, especially if they've been drinking.
Imagine a guy reading the sign sarcastically saying to his buddies:
Oh, I'm scared; I would never touch those swings etc, and then proceed to screw around with the various playground components.
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