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Son of Samurai's Blog

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Installations from Hell: What Would You Do?

Son of Samurai


Picture it.

You're walking into the service call of a long day, but you're feeling good. You've got your tools in hand, you've done all the prediagnosis; you're gonna kill it. The customer lets you in, and while chatting affably he begins leading you to the appliance.

You can't place why, but a dark cloud of foreboding passes over you. You push it aside, but the feeling only grows. He's leading you downstairs now, into the basement. It's dingy down here -- clutter everywhere.

No, you think to yourself. No, why is he reaching for that closet door? Your mouth goes dry. Your palms becomes sweaty, and your bowels are a-quiver as he speaks the words of dread: "You can just clear as much room as you need."

He opens the closet door, and then you see it.


All right, maybe I was being a tad overdramatic. But we appliance techs do run into some, shall we say, sub-optimal installations, don't we?

Here's another of my favorite closet installs, complete with those PITA sliding doors.


And of course, the classic: the elevated stacked laundry that could only have been installed using some bad voodoo.


Or what about the lady who saves space in the house by doing laundry in the crawl space?


Let's not forget those extra-special refrigerator installs, either. I guess the kitchen designer was bargaining on the refrigerator outlasting the customers.


What do you folks do when you encounter impossible installations like these? Add a big surcharge to the price of the job? Politely decline the job and walk out? Let me know in the comments.

Want to join the conversation in the Appliantology forums (that's where all these pics came from, by the way)? Become a premium member today and start sharing war stories with your fellow techs.

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Terry Carmen

Posted (edited)

I just tell them that I won't risk damaging anything or getting hurt, and if they can get it moved to somewhere accessible, i'll work on it. 

Then I leave.

Not exciting or interesting, but keeps my stress level down. 8-)

Edited by Terry Carmen
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Wow I got 2 out of the 3 photos lol 

I also see worse than that

Remember the old saying , don’t make your problems my problem 

a washing machine full of water with a blocked pump from rubber backed map stuck in the corner between a toilet and a wash tib , only way out is to lift it out , get it out and I’ll be back Friday 

poor design is a big challenge as per the fridge above, there is something very wrong with architects brains 

for example fridges built into cupboard 4 inches off the floor with power behind the fridge 🤦‍♂️ 

ive seen laundries in cupboards with the wash tub in the middle and a big machine needs to be lifted and dropped into place 

same kitchens with big cavities but small fridges as that’s all that will fit down the stairs 

new house , washing machine space is 40+inches wide , cust has 25 inch machine , why didn’t you buy a bigger one? Well the door is only 28 inches wide 

just been designing a house myself and kitchen person submits me first draft for kitchen and I ask

how wide is this fridge ?

oh normal fridge

ok so how wide is it ?

24 inches

wtf? I need 40 inches wide cavity

huh you need a fridge that big ? 🤔 

no I don’t but I might and it’s not going to fit into a 24 inch hole you idiot 🤦‍♂️ 

Anyway back to the topic , 

walk away , get it out and I’ll be back , it’s just not worth the risk of damage or Injury Imho which is quite high over your other normal day to day work 


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As I get older, more achy, and less patient I find myself turning down or walking away from most installations like this.

The key is prescreening your calls and asking the right questions about the appliances your looking at.

But, occasionally some slip through.

I turn down stackable laundry set ups 95% of the time. 

I'll occasionally tackle them if there is side and top access.

Also, side by side washer and dryers built in under a non removeable top or a stone top.

How about a washer that's literally pinned behind a toilet or sink?

Kitchen islands are always unnecessarily close to fridge installations.

I don't know what these architects and kitchen designers are thinking.

Sometimes your floor protector won't even fit in front they're so close.

Then God forbid you have to slide it sideways several feet to access the back.

How about dishwashers with 1 1/2 inches of flooring in front of the frame and leveling legs.

There's absolutely no forethought in many of these cases and I really find it hard to hide my disgust when I waste my time to go out and look at appliance like this. 

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