Welcome To Canada, Where Broken Appliances Get Better Service Than Broken People

J. Edward Les, MD
6 min readOct 31, 2022

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Photo by Recha Oktaviani on Unsplash

It was inevitable, I suppose. After five years of labouring under the relentless onslaught of dirty dishes generated by a family of six (plus two dogs), our dishwasher finally snapped, “E25” flashing in angry red characters on the control panel. The wash cycle was complete, and the dishes were clean; but they were far from dry.

I consulted Dr. Google, naturally. I half-expected to find, as explanation for the E25 code, a dishwasher-generated rant; something along the lines of:

I’ve had enough of this crap and I ain’t gonna take it anymore.

Instead, there was this:

E25: Drain pump blocked, drain issue, filter clogged or pump impeller is jammed.

After a bit of additional “research” I was confident I could handle the repair job myself. I puttered around in the base of the machine, and voilà: error code gone.

“Fixed!” I announced grandly to my spouse, congratulating myself silently on all the money we had saved.

Forty-eight hours later, however, E25 was back.

I repeated the “repair”, and again the code disappeared — only to reappear three days later, blinking at me steadily… taunting me, really.

So began a pattern at my house, one that went on for far longer than I care to admit. The error code became a constant irritant, attended by a drumbeat of admonishments from my exasperated spouse to “call the repair guy, already” as I emerged time and again from the bowels of the dishwasher. A giant flashing red E25 invaded my dreams and hovered around the edges of every waking moment.

But I was too stubborn to give up. And, to be honest, too cheap. My Dutch roots run deep: other ethnic groups have variously taken credit, but copper wire was invented by two Dutchmen fighting over a penny.

Then one evening my hand was forced. A new error code, E23, joined its quarrelsome predecessor — and the dishwasher stopped working altogether.

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J. Edward Les, MD

Pediatric emergency physician. Former veterinarian. Father. Writer. Cancer survivor.