Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Long Time No Post, Washing Machine Broken Atoms

I took quite a break on this blog. That's normal as it happened once before between 2000 and 2004. Why write if my heart's not into it and I hate to just throw up some drivel so that I can say that my blog is current? Nope. But maybe it's because I just drank short of 6 ounces shy of a pot of coffee or maybe my aura is glowing a blogger's rainbow, it's time for another post. Heaven forbid it's because I have something to say.

Today's diatribe deals with the washing machine's atoms or any appliance atoms that need to be fixed. Of all the appliance's we take for granted, the washing machine is really the only appliance we can't live without. It's the appliance that if it's on the fritz, our schedule will get discombobulated having to wash clothes elsewhere at a friend's house or worse, at the laundromat.

It started when I got word that the spinner wouldn't spin which also meant the drainer wouldn't drain. I can handle the spinner not spinning better than I can handle the drainer not draining as I have to cup-by-cup by hand drain the tub. A proper analysis of a broken machine always starts with the easiest fix possible as if you're talking with a relative trying to use a computer. "Is it plugged in?" It really could be that easy but usually isn't. I started with the knobs and tried see if the spin cycle was somehow confined to having the knob in just the right spot on the dial. Each time I did this more water would rush into the tub which meant more hand-to-hand-cup-to-cup draining. Argh! I looked and the lid-switch would depress but not normally. I should have investigated this further and saved my self a lot of time and hassle. At that point I gave up the diagnosis and retreated to form a plan.

Google has an answer for everything. Everything that is everything has been discussed and is now indexed through Google. Somebody out there has talked about a Series 80 model Kenmore washer that has failed to drain and spin. Sure enough, roughly 2,000 bites on this Kenmore chatter. I opened up the first three and they provided more useful information than the service manual. While it could have been any number of things wrong with the machine, I now had a list of steps to do to take the washer apart and do a proper diagnosis. Nah, too much work.

"So and so used a guy that charges $35.00 an hour and he's honest." Great. Looking at the Sears phone number for service and a $65.00 charge that could be credited towards a new washer if the repairs proved to be prohibitive. Meanwhile, loads went out of the house and hours later loads came back in the house folded in neat stacks as the broken appliance sat pulled from the wall inoperable with a half tub of water getting stinkier by the day.

Somehow I mustered up enough motivation on Saturday morning to take a stab at the dead appliance. Long-story-short of it was the back panel came off with difficulty and cussing the fact I could've reached the same hardware by tipping the thing backwards. The panel went back on with half the parts, difficulty and cussing. I tipped the washer and removed the pump which in turn dumped it's contents all over my fresh shirt. The pump was clean and working properly as were the lines. The agitator was fine. I reassembled everything and tilted the beast back down.

I took a break and went back to the computer. I pulled up the Sears Web site and noticed they had an appliance sale. Don't they always have an appliance sale? A meeting with the head of the Laundry Department suggested a front loader and red would be a good replacement. Argh! $650.00 to $1,000.00. That was enough of a motivator to get back at the beast. I started again with the lid switch. I took out the two screws and noticed the problem right away. Cracked plastic. Two dabs of super glue and it was fixed. I was both happy, overcome with joy and pissed at the same time. I did have to eat a mouthful of tub water but then again I didn't have to eat $1,000.00 for a replacement as well as remove the old one and store it until big trash day. I think the Laundry department was a little disappointed as well as a new red, front loader wouldn't be arriving for some time in the future, but joy that underneath and behind the washer was now clean (one of the foulest places on earth).

I wonder how many washers are tossed because of that switch. It probably has a higher failure rate than the other mechanical parts of the washer and many are tossed instead of applying two dabs of glue. How many people have the time to really get to know the washer and find the problem? How many get taken because they chose to call a repair person who said it was the motor and in reality, it was a switch that could be fixed with two dabs of glue.

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