Six years ago we moved to a new town in a new state, which necessarily meant a new house, too; at 20+ years old, "new" only meant new to us.  Most of the fixtures and appliances were well-seasoned, and because the carpet needed to be replaced, we made do with most of everything else.

But I hated our dishwasher.  Until faced with change, I didn't know how deep appliance affections could run; my beloved Bosch dishwasher remained in South Carolina and now I was stuck with a lowly Kenmore Ultra Wash. 

I didn't like the rack design.

The utensil basket was intrusive.

And having to go back to a heating element in the bottom of the machine?  It was primitive and unacceptable.

The problem was it worked.  There was no justification for the expense of a new appliance when kids were starting school and there were already so many extra expenses related to moving.

Every time I loaded it, I'd growl inwardly.  I would sneer at it and make ugly faces.  I'd cram it so full I was SURE it'd explode and I thrust knives in that utensil basket like I was whacking a pinata, sharp end down for good measure.

About four years ago, my mother-in-law's dishwasher went on the fritz right before Christmas, so all of us went in together to get her one.  I had a twinge of appliance envy but mostly wondered if I'd have to wait til our kids were married before mine was replaced.

Dishwashers aren't terribly expensive, but when you have three kids–three kids who refuse to stop growing from shoulders to feet and insist they have to have clothes to wear–it's hard to replace one that still works.

It's the one time I wish I didn't luck into the Energizer Bunny of Appliances….

Yesterday, as I have 2,000 times before, I loaded it to Capacity and Beyond.  I slipped in a cleaning tab, shut the door and pressed "start".  Nothing happened.  It was only then, confused, I noticed an illuminated button I've never seen before:  "Control Lock".  I pressed it.  Nothing happened.  I pressed ALL the buttons and still nothing!

After my initial thought, "I'VE GOTTA UNLOAD AND WASH ALL THESE DISHES?!?!" a smile upward-curled my lips. 

Could this be the end of a long six-year affair with the One I Loathed?  Never before have I been so excited about something breaking!

I ran outside to tell my husband the bad/FRICKIN' AWESOME news, who happened to be in the middle of saving us hundreds of dollars by replacing the brakes and rotors on our car.  The wheels of justification were whirring in my little mind:  the timing was perfect!  He had just saved us more than enough to cover the cost of a new dishwasher!!

The moon was finally in the seventh house and I'm sure Jupiter was aligned with Mars.

He suggested I flip the breaker.  Nothing again!  I was well on my way to Dishwashers R' Us, even tweeting my followers for their recommendations.

We couldn't find the manual; remember, we inherited our rickety washer from the previous owners.  As a last ditch effort, Tad suggested googling the problem to see if we could find a fix.

I typed in "kenmore dishwasher ultra wash control lock", clicked the first link to "", and wouldn't you know it–

The site told me exactly what to do:  "press one of the buttons for 10 seconds."  I'll be durned if it didn't work.

The internet is unbelievable; just a few years back, my problem would've required at a minimum, a phone call to Sears' help line, and at a maximum, a visit from a crack-wielding repairman.  

S i g h…

I suppose if I can't be with the one I love, I'll love the one I'm with; and wait patiently til appliance death do us part…:)

Pin It on Pinterest