Oh yeah. The dryer. I went after work to buy the heating element. It's $59.65 plus tax, and it's not returnable. The guy behind the counter, who's obviously done this a time or two, looked at me over top of his glasses and said, "Have you done this before?"
I scoffed. I couldn't help it. "Do I look like I've done this before?" I wanted to ask. Or, "I just said 'This is my first attempt at appliance repair...', but sure, I could see how you'd think I'm a pro, what with my blank stare and detailed, expert description of how the hot doesn't work." I didn't really say any of that, of course; I said, "No, I've never done anything like this before" and he said "Are you sure it's the heating element?"
Motherfuck. No, okay! I'm NOT sure it's the heating element! But Jimi said it's the heating element and Jimi's usually right about everything, so I'm pretty sure he's right about this.
"Um. Not exactly? It spins but it doesn't get hot." Again with the expert descriptoring.
"Well, it could be one of the thermostats or the dumaflicky or the thingamawhatsit or the whobamersnagger or the heating element. We have all the parts, and they're all non-returnable." How these people talk to people like me every day without rolling their eyes over and over and over again is beyond me; but then, they exude the same warm fuzzy feeling with their tone of voice, so maybe I'm not missing much from the actual eye-rolling experience.
He flipped over the piece of notebook paper where I'd scribbled the numbers from the label I found on the front of the dryer - one of them was a model number and the other was a secret code to the location of the ark of the covenant, I'm pretty sure. Anyhow, he drew me a picture. It was beautiful, with flowers and shit; okay, I'm making that up - he drew the back of my dryer. And showed me with dark lines where the thermostats and dumaflickies and thingamawhatsits and whobamersnaggers live. Apparently there are lots of things that can break the hot on your dryer. And of course, we'd not yet bothered to pull off the back cover and actually inspect the inside guts of the dryer - Jimi said it was the heating element. I don't know from where he pulled this not-all-that-educated guess, but, as I've said before, he's generally right about most things, so I generally go with whatever he says.
So Mr. Appliance Parts is drawing me a picture of my dryer and telling me why it's probably not the heating element and convincing me that my genius boyfriend is an idiot when it comes to dryers, and I say, "So you're saying I need to call someone who knows what they're doing, right?" He pulled the new, sealed-in-box heating element from the now-unsealed box and showed me what to look for to determine if the heating element was indeed the culprit.
I left certain I'd be buying a new dryer at the Best Buy in the morning.
BUT! But, there is a but! Jimi got home from work, and I told this tale to Jimi, and so Jimi pulled out the dryer, removed the back cover, removed the housing from the heating element...
Lo and Behold, the coils were broken, just like little buddy at the parts shop had told me to expect - the heating element was the problem! YAY!
I'll stop at the shop on my way home from work in the morning, pick up the part, and we'll be back in laundry business before noon. Don't you just love a cheap happy ending?