I returned to Portland, and was barely unpacked before projects on my to-do-while-we-are-home list continued. Our house is over 22 years old and a few things need to be replaced. Mostly replaced before they fail.
Water Heater. Dishwasher. Furnace. Holding out and crossing all fingers and toes that our furnace and fridge hang in there for a few more years.
When we built this house, two water heaters were installed. After living here for a while, we realized one 75 gallon heater was plenty (did our builder think we were going to have more kids?), so one of the tanks was disabled/drained years ago. The remaining water heater was starting to make clunking noises and rusty-leaky points were developing at the seams. This replacement could not wait no longer, and new units are now so energy efficient.
Out with old, in with the new:
Our long-time plumber removed both old tanks, cleaned up the area and installed one new Bradford White natural gas water heater. We let our plumber make the choice of brands, as we know/trust him and he certainly has more knowledge about water heaters than we do. Installation of a tank-less on-demand system was discussed, but it was determined we would need two systems and the cost was simply prohibitive and we’d have to live to the age of 120 to recoup the investment. Sorry, planet. Plus side: when the predicted 9.0 earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest, we will have 75 gallons of potable water in our garage.
The other item was to have a new dishwasher installed. Our Fisher-Paykel dishdrawer was only 12 years old and still worked, but was beginning to make noises and the facade was starting to yellow and there was a crack on the handle. I watched for sales and free installation incentives and pounced on a newer model of a Fisher-Paykel Dishdrawer just before we left for China. We were finally home long enough to have the new dishwasher installed this week.
Honestly, a new dishwasher could have waited for another year or so, but I was driven to make the purchase after we had a Fisher-Paykel Dishdrawer installed in our casita in Indio two years ago. They have made dramatic improvements over the older models we have in our house and motorhome). The racks are now height-adjustable, plate racks fold down to create a flat bottom to rest huge pots, and each drawer uses only two gallons of water during a wash.
Old and New
I went with brushed stainless this time (Lisa helped with this decision) as the fridge, cooktop and sink in my kitchen are all brushed stainless. Number two reason? This dishwasher has a handle that also serves as a towel bar. This is the first time in 22 years I have had a towel bar in my kitchen. Hallelujah!
DT says it is the most expensive towel bar ever.
How we usually use the unit: top drawer (left) for dishes;
lower drawer (right, with most racks removed) for pots and pans.
(Photos courtesy of Fisher-Paykel.)
The Fisher-Paykel (a New Zealand company) Dishdrawer (Model #DD24DDFTX7) consists of two separate drawer-style dishwashers. The drawers operate independently from each other and can operate at the same time, or just one at a time. One can be loaded with fine china and put through a delicate cycle, while the other can be loaded with the greasiest pots and set on a pot-scrubber cycle… or all the racks can be folded-up and dishes/plates can be washed in both units… or visa versa… any way you need to use the washer. There are nine different cycles to choose from and it can be programmed to start up to 12 hours later and can be locked if you happen to have little ones. (Lucy loved pushing the buttons – they beep and light-up. Just saying, the dishes in the lower unit may have been washed more than once last weekend before thisparty pooper Bubbe locked ’em.)
We have a two-drawer unit in our home, and it is conveniently the same size as most American dishwashers, so no carpentry is necessary during installation. One drawer units are also available (like the ones you see in motorhomes).
See that delicata squash in the produce basket next to the coffee maker (above)? I sliced the squash and roasted it at 400 degrees, coated with olive oil, butter, minced sage, salt, pepper and a little maple syrup. Here is the pan after roasting/exactly how it looked when I put in the dishwasher on a normal cycle – and the photo on the right is exactly how the pan looked as I removed it from the dishwasher:
Now maybe you understand why I am so crazy about this brand of dishwasher?
While hanging-out waiting for plumbers and appliance installers, I was able to organize my table linens and clean-out a few more drawers. Yeah! Just a few more tasks (happily none that require spending money) and we can head south.
Until my next update, I remain, your washed & dried correspondent.