Adventures in Home Ownership

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of tools is in need of something to take apart.

Last week, just before the big wind storm that battered Western Washington, our dishwasher decided that it was time for a little attention. Thankfully, I only had the help of one kid and one cat to work on it.

if you have a Kitchenaid Ultraquiet dishwasher (that only really matches the description when it’s off, but I digress) and the water isn’t draining from the bottom, there are a couple of things to check before you take all the bits under the sink apart like I did.


– The motor runs and it sounds like it’s trying to pump the water out
– And you don’t hear gurgling from the air gap

Then: You likely have a clog in the air gap, and probably not in the line. If your air gap is a little silver thingy sticking up from the back of the sink, it’s entirely probable that you can take apart the bits above the counter, clean it out, and get working again. (Without taking it out of the sink, disconnecting all the hoses, leaking all over the place, and then realizing that you need to take apart the bit you had access to all along). Once the impacted bits of gunk are removed, things will drain a lot better.

If you don’t have the little silver thingy, then it’s probably dumping into a disposal or something under the sink, and you’ll need to attack it there.

And then there’s the wood stove. We’d noticed a bit of a wood smokey smell for a little while, but then Saturday, just before visitors arrived, smoke started pouring out of the flue pipe into the living room. Yay. The electric heat here isn’t exactly up to keeping the house as nicely warm as the stove, and it’s really expensive too.

But that turns out to be a pretty easy fix as well, once you get up onto the roof and pull off the chimney cap. Thankfully, we have someone who can do that for us. There was a lot of built up gunk there which needed to be brushed off — once done, the stove draws strongly again, and no smoke in the living room.

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