Who you gonna call?

Last year we bought a washer-dryer unit. One of those skinny, dryer-stacked-on-top, units to replace one we’d been using since Atlantis was a super power. Funds were short but laundry will not be ignored. A Craigslist search and several phone calls brought us the new (to us) unit in just a few hours.

It washed and dried just like it was supposed to but the wash cycle was NOISY. Soon the basket was out of center and the banging during the spin cycle threatened to bring down the building.  Thanks to the 6-month warranty, repairs were made and the noise returned to a more acceptable jack hammer level.

Two days ago the whole thing threw itself cockeyed again. Between not being able to find the receipt with the phone number, and being pretty sure the warranty had long ago expired, we were facing either a repair bill or a new machine.  Neither one of these options agree with my financial plans.

So now what? Thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet. I found a service manual on line and discovered that with the removal of just a few fasteners, we could have the whole guts of the machine out and available for inspection.  And that’s exactly what we did yesterday.

First thing in the morning. First thing after coffee, breakfast and the crossword puzzles, apart came the machine. My master mechanic husband determined which parts were defective. I found a local supplier with the parts in stock. Repair was within reach.

But first I had a networking event to attend. My plans were to attend the  Successful Thinkers event in Alameda, head up to  Montclair to deposit a check, than down the highway to pick up the parts.

I’d completed step one and step two and was on the freeway,  about 4 miles away from the parts distributor when my cellphone rang. It was Armand telling me not to buy the parts, “We don’t need them.”

I arrived home to find the machine guts upside down in the living room and a triumphantly smiling man putting the finishing touches on the shock mounts. They had shaken themselves apart and all that was required was to screw them back together again.

Reassembly of the machine commenced and after the inevitable putting it together, then taking it apart again to fix something that fell off, then putting it back together, then pulling the machine out to pick up the tool that fell behind it, then pushing it back in to place, we loaded it up with the towels used to sop up all the water spilled when we turned the tub upside down, and started it up.  Water flowed, the tub filled and . . . nothing happened.

It was about 5pm by then and I was done for the day. The towels were going to have to soak overnight. There was no way I was going to extract another screw or remove another panel that night.  It had to be one of the two electrical connections but they are carefully tucked away behind those screwed in panels so it had to wait.

Bright and early this morning (after coffee, breakfast and the crossword puzzles) we broke out the sockets, ratchets and screwdrivers. Had the panels off in record time (practice has its rewards). Checked the electrical connection at the motor and found it not quite in position. A quick unplug, replug then back on went the panels, back in when the screws. The towels started to agitate and there was celebration and congratulations all around

A little later Armand had to go check on the machine because he couldn’t hear it running. That’s because it runs so smoothly and so quietly that even with the laundry room door open it’s hard to detect any noise. It has never run this well.

There is a real likelihood that the original problem will recur (a design flaw) but we know how to fix it now, and how to do it much faster and easier.