One of the many benefits of the internet is the availability of information on how to fix appliances. Over the years I’ve managed to save money by fixing a washing machine, a vacuum cleaner, a heater, and most recently, a dishwasher with the help of online information.
Some repairs are simple enough that I am able to figure them out myself, but I was out of my league with the dishwasher. The water was just dribbling around inside instead of firing around, and the dishes were staying dirty. After staring at the dishwasher’s innards for a while, I would certainly have given up without some online help. It didn’t help that this dishwasher didn’t come with a user’s manual. It only had an installation manual.
Past experience with calling repair people tells me that the minimum charge is about $100 plus the obligatory replaced part. Add in taxes and it’s hard to see how the total could be less than $200. Not only did I not want to spend $200, but I wasn’t sure whether I would be throwing good money after bad on a dishwasher that should be replaced.
After poking around online for a while, my wife found a web page whose instructions on cleaning out the food filter seemed to match our dishwasher. I wouldn’t have guessed how to remove the parts necessary to get at the filter without these instructions.
A half-hour later (with some moaning from me about a sore back from working awkwardly) we had a functioning dishwasher again thanks to some kind person who posted useful information.
I’m probably just being paranoid, but I wonder if the lack of a user’s manual for my dishwasher (a Kenmore made by Whirlpool sold by Sears) is an attempt to increase repair calls. It’s not that I lost the manual; from online searching, it doesn’t seem to exist. Fortunately for me, useful online information is cutting into the incomes of repair people.