Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Death Of A Dehumidifier

Today our second dehumidifier, Little Terence Westinghouse, gave up the ghost on us. He'd been a dutiful device, chugging and whirring away for two years as he sucked all the excess moisture from the air in our apartment. But perhaps it was wrong to run him continuously for two years without a break, because at 8 this morning he shuddered and then spat out the bucket he usually collects water in.

I looked in the bucket and it was empty, so I put it back in. The dehumidifying light came back on, but no whirring commenced. I looked through the vents at the top of Little Terence. The fins of the enormous dewatering wheel, that usually spins dry air out of damp, were silent and still.

I could smell the horrible smell of something electrical burning.

Worried that Little Terence was about to overheat and then explode, I unplugged him from the wall and then left for work. Then, stricken either by guilt or worry, I went back into the apartment and spent ten minutes looking at the carcass of our little friend, wondering if I really could smell burning, and occasionally caressing him to see if he was getting hotter or colder.

As you can tell, I'm not very good at electrical stuff, apart from anthropomorphising it. When I was convinced it wasn't going to melt through to the flat below, I went out to the office, still worrying.

It's jolly inconvenient if he has expired, because a dehumidifier is a heavy piece of equipment, not the sort of thing you carry up 12 flights of stairs if you can possibly help it. Or carry down. So our chances of repairing him or replacing him are both quite slim.

Then again, he might get better. Terence, his diminutive predecessor, gave stalwart service for a year then suddenly stopped working, so I stuck him in the cupboard and bought L.T. Then a few months later, when my girlfriend told me to sling Terence out, I plugged him in to give him one last chance, and lo and behold, he was fine again. Like my regenerating camera lens, sometimes problems do get better if you just ignore them for long enough.

However, a few months after Terence's recovery, he ceased working again, and hasn't dehumidified since, despite me putting him back in the cupboard and waiting. So we can't hold out too much hope for Little Terence's long term prospects. I guess for now we're going to have to crack a few windows open, and let the fresh air in.

Sorry, this is Hong Kong.

I guess for now we're going to have to crack a few windows open, and let the air in.


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