Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

New Whirlpool Washer on our Patio
04-02-2011

I’ve always thought of myself as a practical guy, a problem solver, (Oh, let’s tell the truth.) a genius.  Now I’m beginning to wonder why my brain sometimes works more slowly than my twelve-year old Gateway PC.

We bought a washing machine in April of 2011 and placed it on the patio in front of the “sink” with access to its faucet and drain.  It always seemed a little bit in the way when we washed dishes, faces, or brushed our teeth.  But this isn’t Beverly Hills even if we are the Clampetts.  We kept the machine covered with a piece of the blanket that Duke had chewed a hole in to protect the enamel from scratches or other damage.  We covered the whole with a large sheet of plastic to keep it dry from the rain that can blow in under the roof of the patio.  Our only problem during the past sixteen months was when rats ducked into the back of the washer for shelter or fear of Duke the Wonder Dog.  They had good reason to fear Duke, who has proven to be an excellent rat hunter if we just tipped the washer toward the front so he could get behind it while we banged on the metal walls.

Salvadoran sink.
A cistern flanked by two wash areas with drains.

The washing machine seemed to be in the right place.  The short hose that came with it was just the right length to reach the faucet.  The drain hose looped over the wash area and under the plastic dish drainer to reach the drain in the corner.  But it always seemed to be in the way.  We could only use one of the wash areas.  Margarita scrubs some clothes rather than using the machine.  None of my family is ever in a hurry to wash dishes let alone stack them to minimize the space used thereby cluttering up the available wash area.  What to do?

Then two weeks ago it hit me.  Between the two kids’ rooms in the back part of the house is a middle room with an entry door.  Upon entering this vestibule there is an unusable toilet on the left, a 5 1/2 foot cinder block wall in the center, and a shower on the right.  In the shower portion there is a faucet with a hose fitting and a drain in the floor.  It never rains inside this part of the house due to the sheet metal roof.  Why not put the washer in front of the shower?  There’s still plenty of space to get in.  I needed to use our garden hose to reach the faucet and attach a strong wire to the brick wall to elevate the drain hose so as to keep the water from continually flowing out of the washer, but it worked.  The washer is now out-of-the-way and better protected from the elements.  There is (generally) nothing there to attract rats.  And we now have more space around the “sink” as well as all the space of the two wash areas.  Duke prefers to sleep on his shirt on the higher platform unless the rain is coming in on him.  So everyone is happy.  But why didn’t I think of this sooner?

Here’s the washer in its new location.

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