Are You Crafty?

Are you crafty?  I am.

Let me explain.

Today, I did some handyman work for a Landlord on one of his properties.  His tenants were complaining of pink clothes.  I was there to inspect the washing machine, but the units were stacked so I had to take the dryer down to inspect the washer.  While removing the dryer I noticed that dryer hose was not connected, but more than that, it was no longer venting outside.  All of the dryer lint was coating the exterior of the machines and the surrounding walls. It was like a fuzzy wall.  After vacuuming up all of the errant lint, I began to investigate further. I realized I would have to run a new dryer vent tube to the exterior of the house.  I called the client to let them know what I had found and they were surprised as this was a new washer and dryer that they had paid to have installed properly.  More on this later…

Okay, back to the washing machine.  Usually when colors are running on a consistent basis it is due to the hoses being reversed; which means when the washer wants hot water it receives cold and when it calls upon the cold the answer is hot.  I was right, the hoses were reversed; I hooked them up to the correct valves.

Back to the dryer situation which required a trip to the local big box quasi-monopoly store. I procured a new dryer hose, some clamps, and an exterior vent. Upon my return I fished a wire from the exterior hole to the interior hole (an 8’ distance) to hook it up to the new vent tube. I pulled from the outside snaking the tube through the cluttered and cob webbed space. I could see it, just out of arms reach when it snagged on a nail.  I looked around the yard and found a rake with hole on the top to hang it up. I jammed a stick in the hole and went fishing inside the wall. After a few well chosen words of frustration, the tube was coaxed from the nail. I needed to get the tube out of the hole far enough in order to clamp it on the exterior vent.  Unfortunately, the exterior hole wasn’t perfectly round to accommodate the dryer hose.  Nothing, a with a few taps from the hammer and chisel to smooth out the rough spots on the interior of the hole in the brick, couldn’t fix. Finally I was able to secure the vent to the tube. I then caulked the exterior vent.

I went back inside to reconnect the dryer. I noticed when I pulled the dryer down, that it was missing its protective cover plate that shields you from touching the electrical hook-up connection points. This is bad. If you touch the connection points while the dryer is plugged in you can receive severe to fatal electrical shock, fire and/or burns. A dryer is usually hooked up to a 240 volt outlet. I looked around and could not find the cover that should have come with the dryer, so I took a piece of sheet metal, cut and bent it to create a protective cover and screwed it into hole provided for the original cover. This ought to protect anyone who has to remove that dryer in the future from a zap.

Once the dryer was in position I clamped on the vent tube and plugged it in. I turned the dryer on and check the exterior louvers for movement and…Success! Huzzah! I vacuumed up the remaining lint on the floor and moved on to the final handyman task.

The last item I addressed was replacing a ripped window screen. I removed the old screen and its spline. I laid a new fiberglass mesh screen over the frame and ran a new spline in the groove with my handy-dandy spline rolling tool. I stretched the mesh taut as I rolled the last bit into its groove and it was time to re-install the newly mended screen. My list completed and my tools packed up, I was on my way to the next job. I completed everything, including a trip to the store in 4 hours.

Let me take a moment to return to the installation of the new washer and dryer.  When you purchase a new appliance from a store and it includes installation, there are usually caveats.  The primary caveat is that there is an existing washer and dryer, so the existing (and working) hook ups can be used.  In this case, the existing hook-up for the dryer was non-functioning.  Unfortunately for the landlord, it is not the job of the installers to repair the problem or even notify the landlord that there was a problem.  The second problem, and the tenant’s primary complaint was that the washer was turning their clothes pink.  This could have easily been avoided, had the installer paid closer attention to which was the cold and hot water connection.  In the installers defense the space was small and tight and not very well lit, so I could have simply been an innocent mistake. The third issue was the missing protective plate, this really should not have occurred.  This plate is critical to the homeowner’s and in this case the tenant’s safety and should not have been left off by the installers.  The lesson to take away from this, is that “installation” of new appliances” does not include troubleshooting and repair of the existing hook-ups and nor does it guarantee that they will do it correctly.

So, are you crafty like I am?  Even if you are, do you have the time and tools?  If you don’t you may want to consider using our handyman services or signing up for one of our Home Maintenance Contracts.  If you do have the ability, time and tools, I say do it. It will be rewarding and make you feel crafty too.  If you cannot or balk at even the thought of completing home maintenance tasks, call me I am happy to be crafty on your behalf.