In checking on my laundry yesterday, I saw my clothes sitting in the laziest of manners in the tub of the wash machine soaking in dirty water. I had to stop and think, “when did I put these clothes in?” and “are they just in a soak cycle?”. After playing with the dials and knobs for a while in a knowing manner to see if I could initiate a drain and spin sequence, I came to the frightening conclusion that that dang machine was broke. Or just being lazy. Or just broke.
There’s nothing scarier in the world for a single mom than having an appliance stop working. First of all, most appliances in the home are used and used again on a daily basis and their loss cannot just be brushed off like a bad date with an “Oh well!” and a flip and of the hair and the hand. Replacing them is usually a rather large expense, usually of the unexpected variety.
In the past 6 months, I have been faced with a few failing appliances and before taking that machine out back to be kicked, shot and mourned, I decided to see if I could fix it myself. Yes, that’s right. In this day of YouTube and internet, it isn’t all that improbable that an easy fix could be a few key strokes away.
I highly recommend the website, RepairClinic.com Any amazing website that helps troubleshoot issues, has video on how to take apart your machine, test parts if possible and an online chat to ask questions. Once you identify the issue and if you need a part, then you can order it directly from them. Then you can watch a video on how to install the part and if it turns out that it wasn’t the problem after all, you can return for a full refund of your money. It is totally a win-win situation with low risk. After all, you were probably going to trash that disloyal piece of metal anyway and get yourself a shiny new bells-and-whistles something-or-other. So, what have you got to lose to try it yourself and maybe gain a new sense of achievement and empowerment. You know, it’s not like you have to tell anyone …. just say the “dang thing” exploded when the kids come home from school and find the machine dismantled in the kitchen.
Took my dryer apart…. and was surprised how simple it was
Several months ago my dryer was making a horrible screech, which started even more months prior as a cute little mouse-like squeak and then slowly escalated to a mind-scrambling, metal-on-metal, leave-the-house-when-drying-the-clothes noise. I was definitely not in a position to buy a new dryer and frankly, why would I want to? I’m definitely a “gadget girl”, but clothes dryers do not excite me. And having a new one is nothing I would brag about.
I did some basic internet queries and saw comments about the drive belt. I was positive that’s what it was, after all, don’t cars make that awful noise when their belts are going bad or slipping? So I went to the auto parts store and got me some belt lubricant and gave that a go. Moral: Not every chat room is going to give you good advice or a money back offer.
Not one to give up an opportunity to bust through another gender paradigm …… I found RepairClinic.com and once I located and typed in my dryer brand and model number (easy find inside the door), I was able to utilize videos that help me identify the noise and another video that help me to take the dryer apart to confirm the diagnosis. In my case, there were sliders that help the drum spin smoothly that had worn to nothing. I had four that needed to be replaced and the bracket that holds them. For about $35, I was able to repair my dryer and get it back into quiet working order within a few days (parts need to be shipped). All it took was some time, effort, a bit of knowledge and a screw driver to take the dryer apart and put it back together. The parts just snapped into place. Suddenly, I felt like I was standing on a mountain top, hands on hips, with a red cape flapping in the wind. I had done it! Que music from Rocky followed by a very funky Happy Dance. Un-hu, I am bad… I know it!
So, now I am looking into the tub of my machine wondering how long those clothes are going sit in that water before they start to decay, cuz I’m thinking I won’t be bailing out that water if I don’t have to. I started looking through their troubleshooting guide and read the following under Repair Help:
Washer Stop in mid-cycle
Yes, that’s exactly what happened, so I click on that it brings up the parts that could be responsible and, assuming that my timer must be the issue, I look under the Timer part it said:
If the washer stops mid cycle the timer might be defective. This part is often misdiagnosed, check other components before replacing this timer.
So I looked around for another option…..
Lid Switch Assembly
If the washer stops mid cycle the lid switch assembly might be defective. This is a very common problem. The lid switch assembly can fail either mechanically or electrically. Test any electrical switches with an Ohm meter for continuity. The switches should have continuity according to their design.
Ah, this must be it. By the way, I skipped the testing with the Ohm meter (although I do have one of the those as it would have required disassemble and draining of the washer) and went straight to the pinky-in-the-lid-switch-slot test and lo and behold, the washer started working. So, definitely the Lid Switch Assembly is failing and I promptly ordered it for $36 + shipping ($42). And since I can’t stand there with my pinky in the Lid Switch slot all day, I did my Lady McGuyver and came up with a temporary solution.
Temporary Solution with a half a clothes pin. It works!
My part should be here next week and my laundry room will be back in a socially and aesthetically acceptable condition.
I’ll let you know how the installation goes….. in the meantime, check out that website and remember that you have options when large metal mechanical things begin failing around you. If nothing else, you will be able to talk to the repair person with all the symptoms and proper jargon and maybe they will think twice about overcharging the knowledgeable and powerful mom with the red cape!
Keep Calm and Thrive On……..