Dr. M and I moved into our new apartment on Tuesday, and there have already been some hiccups. Setting aside the difficulty of getting our phones and Internet set up, today I discovered a problem with our dishwasher. I actually noticed that something might be up a few days ago, when I was emptying the dishwasher and saw that there was a large blob of unspent dishwasher soap on the bottom of the dishwasher. Needless to say, this soap hadn't done us any good in terms of making dishes clean.
I thought it may have been a flukey thing, perhaps a malfunction of the soap dispenser or the result of having used too much soap. Unfortunately, I ran another load this morning and found that the soap blob had grown. I also noticed that the dishes were bone dry. To be sure, the dishwasher has a drying function, but those don't usually work very well, and at the very least one might expect to find some residual water in things like the lips of tupperwares and other things that tend to hold onto their water during the drying cycle.
And so, I put on my scientist hat and decided to do a little experiment. I emptied out the dishwasher, put a chunk of brown sugar in the silverware tray, and then ran the dishwasher. Being as it is that sugar is supposed to dissolve in water, I knew that if I were to open the dishwasher after the cycle was complete and find that the sugar was gone, I could reasonably conclude that the dishwasher was actually using water (and that the drying cycle was simply outstanding).
I let the dishwasher run, did some laundry, unpacked some boxes, wrestled with the DSL connection, and then checked the results. I opened the dishwasher to find... a perfectly intact lump of brown sugar, exactly where I had left it. No change at all. This was a problem.
I called over to the management company to report my findings, and they said they'd send someone over. Two dudes showed up a few hours later (while the guy from AT&T was downstairs checking the phone lines), and quickly discovered that the valve under the sink that makes water go into the dishwasher was closed. They cheerfully opened the valve by turning a knob and then left.
I felt proud of my sugar experiment, but then realized that I wasn't clever enough to actually check the extremely simple plumbing under the sink to make sure that the knobs were in the correct positions. So I'm smart enough to verify that a problem exists, I'm just not smart enough to solve it. Guess it's a good thing I've returned to life as a lawyer rather than a law clerk.