Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dryer Dilemma

Our untrusty rusty dryer and the mysterious
ductwork behind it.
Before we moved in, we knew the apartment had an old, shoddy, rusty dryer. But the previous tenants used it so we thought it would be ok. We were just excited to have our own W&D in our own apartment.

After unpacking, we decided to give laundry a whirl. The washer did exactly what it was supposed to do—clean our clothes—without feeding it a buck-fifty per load. The dryer, on the other hand, did not work. We ran the first load three times before we agreed that it was dry enough to hang somewhere else in the apartment to air dry.

Andi says this is not acceptable. So our new Priority #1 in our house renovation is a new dryer.

I did some exploratory work behind the dryer and found that we have a gas hook-up—which is good since Andi did a bit of research and found that most experts believe that gas dryers are cheaper to operate than electric dryers. If you can truly trust the recommendation of a California bureaucracy, the CA Energy Commission’s website pretty much spells out the differences between gas and electric, with additional tips on buying an efficient dryer:

It seems as though our utility room is a catch-all space for the mechanical systems of the east side of the building—ductwork, electrical conduit, copper water lines, gas lines—you name it, it’s all in there. You might notice from the pic to the upper left that the current layout does not allow a washer and dryer to fit in line with each other because of a duct vent that comes from who-knows-where in the garage. So we have this weird offset that completely ruins the efficiency of the utility room. Basically, we need a stackable laundry system.

Anyone need a decent washer?
Now we just have to pick one out. But first, we need to get rid of the two appliances that we’ve already got.

Since the washer works, we’re going to put it on Craigslist for a price that we’re hoping leads to a quick sale. We’ve never sold a washer on Craigslist so we’re only guessing at what that price will be.

The dryer, the bane of our clothes cleaning process, is a bit more difficult to get rid of. We want to be environmentally responsible and recycle our poor-substitute-for-a-clothes-line so I’ve combed the internet and think I may have found a recycling partner: Bay Area Recycle. For $25 they will haul out the dryer and take it to the Great Recycle Bin in the Sky (or more commonly known as Walnut Creek).

Why are we doing this? Why don’t we just let The Home Depot or Best Buy recycle our appliances when they deliver our new washer and dryer? The answer is simple—we might as well refinish the utility room floor while we are replacing our appliances. The current floor is a mess. It’s nasty linoleum that has a pretty large bit of water damage. But in order to refinish, we need the old appliances out before the new ones are delivered.

We’ve tentatively selected Marmoleum, linoleum made from renewable and natural ingredients, to replace the “unnatural” junk we currently have on the utility room floor. It comes in 13”x13” square tiles in over 120 different colors and is supposedly relatively easy to install. Andi’s mom and dad used it in the utility space of their new house and they absolutely love it. I’ve seen it—it does look nice.



  1. Yes, I do love our Marmoleum floor in the laundry room/pantry/back hallway of our house. The product comes in such great colors. We chose a grey/terracotta/tan mixture named "Donkey Island" --I never understood the name. We also have marmoleum in our upstairs bathroom in a more subdued green color. It is so easy to clean. The architects who designed our house used it in their own house in a bold orange color. I highly recommend it.

  2. We have marmoleum in the downstairs kitchen and the upstairs laundry room. The kitchen has tiles but we had a leak from the fridge and several tiles peeled up in the corners. We had the installer return and some are the tiles are back down but some of the corners still pop up a bit.
    However, we have the rolled out sheet kind in the upstairs laundry room which also gets water on it from time to time but that has been great and I would recommend it. Easy to clean and no issues upstairs. So the tiles are great if the area will be dry and the sheet is great if water leaks everywhere.

  3. Thanks for the tip, Victoria! I think we will look into marmoleum in a big sheet... you never know when water will rear its ugly head.