We got a new fridge!

I know, my life is one thrill ride after another.

The fridge that came with the house was rather small. So small, in fact, that my monthly Costco trip had to be curtailed based on the volume of my freezer. Plus it kept freezing things. I mean, this thing might have been 16 years old but it was no sissy. I turned it all the way to ‘cool’ (which is the warmest setting in the fridge) and it still blasted anything on the top shelf with enough freon-laced air to turn it all to ice cubes. And let me tell you, lettuce and cream? Not the same once they’ve thawed out.

So last week I sent a text to my husband. “Grr. Tomato, cucumber, lettuce and two fruit cups frozen and destined for the garbage.”

His reply, “Ugh. We need to look at a new fridge.”

So I looked at a new fridge, and you know what? They are spendy. And I am not one to just spend money if I don’t have to. I got on Craigslist and found one for less than half the price of new. Less than half! We were going to SAVE MONEY.

Of course it wasn’t going to fit in the minivan, even if we did put the kids in the trunk, so the next day my dear husband went and rented a Uhaul with which to bring said fridge home. And an appliance dolly, and some furniture pads. And we had to pay gas and mileage. But even so, we were SAVING MONEY.

Once he got it home it was quickly apparent that the new fridge was not going to fit through the front door. We also realized that we don’t own a tape measure. I mean, we did own one but the kids used it for a jump rope or something and now we don’t have one anymore. I’m sure our neighbors enjoyed watching us measure the new fridge and our doorframe with a 12 inch ruler.

In the end we had to take the doors off. The fridge door, not the front door, although that might have been easier.

So! Doors off, now to get it up to the kitchen. We made it four feet into the entry and realized it wasn’t going to fit around the corner of the closet that I want to knock out. We measured. We pondered. We debated hauling it around the back and bringing it up the deck stairs. And then we said to heck with strained backs and scraped up walls and just muscled the thing. Up the stairs to the second floor where the kitchen is. Fun.

At this point I had to call the Uhaul people and ask for more time because two hours wasn’t nearly enough for moving an appliance.

Pulling out the old fridge was easier, although it did leak all over the place because it hadn’t occurred to us that if we were going to disconnect the water hose we should probably turn off the water. Mop up the water, pull out the old fridge, slide in the new one.. which didn’t fit. We had to remove the upper cabinet. Seriously, you’d think this house was built in 1966 rather than 1996. ..And put the doors back on. Funny thing is, once we put them back on they wouldn’t close. I’m pretty sure this is the point at which my husband started muttering something about the reasons we pay people to do things. Eventually we figured it out (hinges on backwards – whoops) and got it all set up. Now just to hook up the water line!

Wait. The old fridge had a weird, giant connector thingy and the new fridge has a normal plastic tube. And the house has copper plumbing. These things do not go together. Hmm..

The kids hauled the frozen food that was languishing on the counters down to the garage fridge and I ran out to McDonalds (because it was now almost 3:00 and we hadn’t had lunch) while Justyn went to Home Depot to get whatever you need to connect a fridge to copper plumbing.

We eat, we connect, we turn on the water and.. it leaks. Everywhere. So he unhooks it and tries again. No luck. I run to a different hardware store in town and explain to the guy there what we’re trying to do. He informs me that we’ve done it right, we just need to tighten it more. Problem is, I get home and attempt to do just that and find that my wimpy lady muscles are simply not up to the task. But you know what? It’s okay. Sure, we haven’t had running water for 12 hours but doesn’t most of the world’s population go without running water just fine? Besides, it’s totally worth it because Justyn will come home and fix it and we will have SAVED MONEY.

The next day my fearless husband braves yet another trip to the hardware store and comes home with the same advice and some new tools. At this point we’ve spent more on our three trips to the plumbing department than it would have cost to have someone come out and install the dang thing for us but that’s okay. Still cheaper than a new one and it’s almost fixed! Sadly, the new tools and parts give us the same result as the old ones. A leaky connection and a very frustrated husband. He breaks down and calls a handyman.

When the handyman gets here, he kindly informs us that the hardware store folks had got it wrong. We had installed the connector with an extra piece. A piece all three plumbing department employees had told us to use. It took him five minutes, which means he makes a killer hourly wage.

But it was DONE. Installed! Ready for use! Filtered water never tasted so good! And despite the rental truck, the new tools and paying the plumber, we had still SAVED MONEY! Kind of!

So the moral of the story is.. I don’t know. Listen to your husband? Don’t trust 17 year old Home Depot employees?

But I do love that fridge.

P.S. Want to know the kicker? The first time I turned off the water main I mistakenly turned off the GAS main, causing our hot water heater’s pilot light to go out. So we also went two days without hot water before we figured that out. I love home improvement.

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