Monday, August 18, 2008

When I was at home I was merry and frisky...

for those not in the know, that's the opening line to The Irish Washerwoman.

I just have to say... I F-ING ROCK!!!

Our Kenmore brand washing machine broke over the weekend, with a load of denim still in it, and believe me, the air was as blue as the fabric refusing to spin in that drum.

After much plugging, unplugging, pulling the timer thingy, pushing the timer thingy, and kicking the cabinet, I figured out that the lid latch was broken. It wasn't just broken, it had disintegrated, and if the lid doesn't latch, the washer won't drain or spin. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's the little plastic and metal thingy that the lid presses in to make the washer go. We have to have these apparently because people are too stupid to not know that they shouldn't put their hands (and other things) into a washer that's going through the spin cycle.

Ray and I thought about calling in a repairman from Sears, and then remembered the hell we went through trying to get our five year-old dryer repaired when it's door latch broke. Long story short, we ended up buying a new dryer because it was cheaper than paying some dude to fix the door. However, we are in no position to buy a new washing machine right now (much as I would like one!).

Half an hour and some serious Googling later ( do yourselves a favour, don't buy Kenmore appliances), I had myself convinced that I could fix this myself. All we needed to do was buy a new lid latch and plug it in. How hard could it be?

We called the local Sears appliance store and they said they had the part. Ray grabbed the girls and headed over, only to be told that they only had the part at the Savannah store, which closed at five p.m. As it was already four p.m., and they weren't open on Sunday, we decided we'd just have to make do until today.

Ray picked up the part and brought it home. It looked simple enough, even though it didn't come with instructions. All I had to due was unscrew the the bracket from the old latch, and put the new one in.

Not quite.

I also had to wrestle the front of the machine apart, which, funnily enough, has to be done from the back of the machine. The makers of said machine felt it necessary to point out my folly by placing this right behind the front panel.

Here are some more pictures for illustration.

Once I'd gotten the front panel wrestled apart, and the old lid latch unplugged, I noticed that the unit wasn't coming out, even though I'd unscrewed the bracket. The ground wire was bolted to the underside of the top of the machine, but I couldn't figure out how to unbolt the top of the machine, since it appeared to have been done from the underside, just like the ground wire. It took my husband (who is brilliant, but not great with tools) to figure out we had to remove the entire cabinet surrounding the wash drum.

I'd like to say that I managed to do all of this, and keep the washer in it's place in our laundry closet in our very narrow back hallway. I had to do it this way, since there wasn't room in the hallway for me and the washer at the same time.

After about an hour of wrangling, and tugging (and some cussing), I fixed our washing machine. I. Fixed. My. Washing. Machine.

This makes me almost as proud as when I made my first lattice top pie from scratch.

My washing machine is now humming merrily, spinning in contentment, as I type.

All of this has convinced me of two things:

1. I would have made a lousy pioneer.

2. I'm more mechanically inclined than maybe my Dad thought I was.

And that I f-ing rock!


Kaycie said...

My washing machine quit spinning yesterday. I don't think it's the latch, because I pushed that in and still -- nothing! I think it's a belt. And I'm totally calling someone to fix it. Because I am not as good as you, apparently!

Anonymous said...

I have know for years that you had the mind and talents of an engineer. And..... yes, you do ROCK!


WT said...

I agree that the majority of adults would probably know better than to put their hands in a spin cycle, but it's because of all you people with kids that we have to live with a switch on the lid!

Jen said...

kaycie Belts are different. Too many things can go wrong with belts. And you are most certainly as good as me, likely better because I've seen the pictures of those lovely tomatoes and flowers on your blog. My house doesn't look like that. :p

Dad I don't know. I guess I always thought you might have been a little disappointed that I wasn't as good at math. I've always been good at practical things, and I can understand physical concepts. But actually working the equations in higher maths tends to confound me.

WT My kid actually knows better. She admonished me for holding in the lid latch with the lid open to check how the washer was spinning. I don't think it's the kids. I think it's the adults who say "Hey, watch this y'all!"

my two cents said...

I am VERY impressed!! Congratulations - what a great feeling of accomplishment. I agree, it is becuase of pre-occupied, or drunk, or stupid adults that the washer stops spinning when the lid is lifted.

Your Brother said...

I'm impressed; and you know it takes quite a bit to impress me.
Hope you guys are doing well, as I'll be getting a hold of you this week sometime to give you the update of what's going on with your sibling.
.....miss me? ;)

Jo Beaufoix said...

Blimey Jen, you so rock. I wouldn't even have attempted it. :D

Anonymous said...

Yes, ma'am, you do rock. But what I want to know if if you slung your jeans a little lower so your butt crack showed while you fixed it...;-)