Sunday, August 7, 2011

Modern! New! Better than Ever!

I haven't been blogging for a time due to my work schedule. I had the time to blog, not the energy. Today I decided to write rather than take a shotgun to an appliance. Although, this might be temporary sanity and the shot gun is not too far from my hands so who knows what will happen in the next hour or so.

Why is it when ever you decide to "improve" something in your house, along with the improvements comes a bunch of new problems associated with that improvement you didn't know would happen? Is it just this household? I think not.

We've lived in this very modest house for 43 years. We moved here when we were newly married, no kids, and the youngest on the block. Now we're the oldest on the block, grandparents of three (so far) and our house has been modified over the years to be what we needed.

The cellar went from being a vast wasteland of storage and laundry, to a playroom with toys and kid junk all over. Then the cellar transformed into a bar and TV room. When our son became a teenager he took over the downstairs as a "cellar dweller". He put a mattress on the Brunswick 3 slate bed pool table, added a small refrigerator, stereo (this was before the advent of i-pods), radio,clock, and all the assorted "clickers" for all the electronic gadgets he had down there. He could reign his little kingdom from atop the pool table. The only thing lacking down there was a bathroom, that we were going to put in from the first month we moved into the house. We have great plans always, but instituting them takes years of planning, whining, and moaning before they're completed.

Time went on, the"cellar dweller" went to college, then out of the house, and the cellar came back to us....Life was good. The house sighed a breath of relief. The old folks were in control again.

Forward to 16 years later, the cellar has now morphed into a "man-cave". All the decorations in the bar reflect times of a bygone age. Photos of a young Navy kid visiting different ports of call line the walls around the bar. Poster and flags are hanging from the ceiling. It's a different and nostalgic area of the cellar. The large screen TV sits near the fireplace. In winter the "man" escapes into his cave and hibernates every night. He watches shows of men talking or animals boffing, while I enjoy my shows upstairs. It works for us. But there's a problem...No bathroom facility in the cellar. We had a plan for a bathroom, it was written up 38 years before, with the technology available at that time. However, it's now the 21 century and I'm pretty sure there have been some technological advances since then, at least there should be.

It's time to finally put the bathroom in. Yay! The contractor we love comes. He says, "no problem, a bunch of thousands of dollars can give you what you want." We say, "Yay! Do it!". He does, we have a hallway, an official laundry room, and A BATHROOM, with a sink, and all the little amenities that most bathrooms have to hold all the essential bathroom gear.

We are happy. The "man-cave" is a complete little hideaway. The man doesn't have to come upstairs or pee in a bottle because he can't make it upstairs fast enough. We are both happy.

Life is good...until...

When you enclose areas in a cellar things happen, especially if you live in an area that has lots of humidity. We notice a "funny smell" when we enter the cellar in the summer. I look in the laundry room and realize the top of my formerly pristine dryer is mottled with little pit marks that show signs of rusting. The storage area where the luggage is kept is "funky looking".

There's concern about this stuff but we're thinking it will be fine...You know, just ignore it, it'll go away...Honestly, talk about ostrich behaviour!

A couple of days ago I realize I'm smelling mold, mildew and everything seems damp. The smell is now permeating upstairs. I know it's now time to do something about this. I get on the computer and start asking questions to everyone I know. The end result, we need a dehumidifier.

It seems pretty obvious to most people that a dehumidifier is needed to eliminate dampness in areas that get damp, but not to us. We used to open the windows in the cellar to "dry" out the area and run fans. It worked because the space was wide open... Not anymore...We have little rooms down there now and it's humid like a son of a gun this summer. Hence, the dreaded mold spores have decided to infiltrate the house.

I research for the best dehumidifier I can find to eliminate this problem. We find the one we need and buy it. It's straight forward, no biggie, plug it in, hook up the hose to drain the water and there you go...done! Oh, if only life was that simple all the time...Why don't I learn?

The dehumidfier is installed in the most logical place. It's supposed to continuous drain into the little drain pump thingy. The next day I check, the bucket is full, the drain thingy is dry. Hmm...a problem has arisen...

After more research I find there is a flaw (why am I not surprised?)in the design of the continuous drain feature of this top of the line humidifier. In order to get it to work properly you have to tilt the front up so the thing can angle enough to make the little drain work. I do that and lo, and behold it starts to work, sort of.

I go out to the store, when I return I can hear a strange strangled sound coming from the cellar. There I find the dehumidifier laying on its back, definitely not in the position it was when I left. There is water all over the place. You know, the water that's supposed to be pulled from the air to flow into the little drain thingy.

I pick up the thing, place it back on the cement blocks it was on to keep the correct angle so it would do its designated job. I stand back and look at the thing in wonder. I wonder if it will stay put. I wonder if it will take out the air. I wonder if I'm going to shoot it with a shot gun.

The research I did on this thing before and after I bought it indicated this was a good buy. How can manufacturers continually sell products that don't work as the Chino-English directions say it should work? And then I wonder if we were better off before we "enhanced and improved" the cellar???