We’ve had an older refrigerator that had incontinence problems for a while. We’d come into the kitchen and would find a trickle of water running across the kitchen floor to clean up. Finally we went out (to Sears) and bought a new refrigerator, a Whirlpool one with a built-in dispenser for water and ice on the freezer door. Like many refrigerators these days, they include a built-in water filter. Those improve the taste of the water remarkably so we had one on the old refrigerator, but it wasn’t built in and I had to roll the refrigerator out to change the filter.
So we decided it probably would be a nice idea to stock up on spare filters for when it finally goes out. There’s this indicator light when you open the door that glows green, yellow or red to tell you if the filter needs changing, which is handy. So I go down to get the manual out of the file cabinet to find out what it says about the filter – how I change it, what filters to use, etc.
I read the whole manual. It tells me how to hook up the water supply and where and mentions that there is a water filter but nowhere does it specifically say where the water filter is located. You’d think that would be useful. Nor does it mention how you change it. What does it have? There’s a page containing four seemingly identical governmental regulation oriented “information” on the filter – the kind of thing that looks like an ingredients label on a box of cereal. I’m sure there’s some useful information there but I can’t tell the difference among any of those four blocks of information. Then that page is followed by four more pages, again with detailed specifications on the filters, including filter model numbers and part numbers. Closer inspection tells me that the first two pages have the same model number for their filters but the next two pages have different model numbers but there’s only one letter different. SO WHICH ONE DO I NEED? Beats me. I can’t tell anything useful from the manual, period.
So I think, I’m an IT professional, I know what to do, I’ll search the Google! Well, lo and behold, Whirlpool has a site that will help me. Outstanding. All I need is the model number of the refrigerator. So I carry my iPhone up to the refrigerator, open the door and key the model number from the label into my phone and click find. Sorry, Whirlpool doesn’t recognize that as a valid model number. I enter the number and letter combo more carefully – same result. I’m starting to get ticked off by now. But, Whirlpool also has a Water Filter Finder. They’ll help me find what I need.
Right. The first little picture is easy – it’s a side-by-side refrigerator – click – we’re making progress now!!! What’s next? Oh. Where is my filter located? Well, I don’t know where the hell it is – the manual doesn’t say. But – my two options according to the little pictures are at the bottom in the grille or at the top on the inside of the refrigerator. So I open up the refrigerator and see nothing that looks even vaguely removable, so it’s got to be in the grill at the bottom. Click – next! Next set of pictures says How do I remove it? and it shows a button option and a turn option. The image for the button is two concentric circles, like a big radio button. There’s nothing that looks like that on my grille. The image for Turn is a circle with a horizontal line through the center overlaid by a turning arrow. What I see on the grille looks more like the turn thing , well except that there’s something adjoining it that makes it look more like the turn thingy is sort of egg-shaped. But the rounded part of what appears to be the turn thingy thing looks almost exactly like the image, so I’ve got to be gold here, finally!
Hooray!! I now see five different filter pictures along with their part numbers. Finally, something ties to the manual! Nirvana, surely. Nope. Not a damn one of the part numbers even comes within four million of being close to what was in the manual. Backtrack time. The only other option seems to be the push button and it doesn’t look like that, but I’m desperate so I click it. And right there we have entirely different-looking filters but it’s that part number I saw in the manual. And I can order a three-pack and save $10. What a deal! All I need now is to find out how to install the darn things. (Once I got to work and had a larger screen, I found out that the Whirlpool site actually does have instructions, but they’re only online and only accessible on a regular computer-based browser.)
So I decided to order a three-pack so I didn’t have to suffer through this again. Of course, there’s a form to fill out and required fields are marked with red * characters, which is common online. The first required field was “Recipient” so I’m thinking “What??” Recipient? What does that mean? Do they mean my name? No, they asked for that too. Right after they required me to enter my title. Sadly Emperor was not available as an option. I have no idea what Recipient stands for, but somewhere there’s a smart remark in their system.