The washing machine hit the spin cycle and made a weird, muted whirring noise. You grow accustomed to the sounds of your life and then the absence of those things, or their replacement by other noises, is startling.
Turns out the sound was one of failure. Broken, but trying, but accepting. At the end of the cycle I opened the washing machine and found the clothes clean, but still dripping. The missing sound was the one that represents the spin cycle. The new sound was one of “Meh.”
So I took the cover off the washing machine. I removed the drain valves and the motor. I found the coupler, which I replaced on this machine last year, was in working order. I also found some brown fluid under the frame.
We called appliance folks. This, they said, was a transmission issue. That’ll run you $500, parts and labor. And you need a special tool. And how old is your washer? You may as well buy a new one.
I have another washing machine. When we got married we just kept both sets of washers and dryers. So we plugged up my washer, which I bought second hand in 2000 for $1. I used it until 2010 or so and it has since sat patiently waiting. So we reinstalled it. Washed a load of clothes. There is a foot missing, so the balance is off and the spin cycle is violent. There was water, just a little, not a lot, coming from somewhere. I could not detect the where. But I also noticed that this one, too, was showing off some of the same brown transmission fluid. I’d thought connecting this one might give us a few months to save up some money, but figured we were now down to days.
The streak of broken things in this house — the air conditioning (twice), the refrigerator, the dishwasher (twice), the shower, three toilet repairs, the kitchen sink faucet, a broken and repaired washing machine and now two permanently retired — continues. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so expensive. That doesn’t include the new roof the previous owner put on as she put the house on the market (hail damage) or the many, many times Charter has been out to not fix the cable or a few smaller things. We’ve just started our third year in this house.
There are spirits, we joke. I think back on our first night in the house, standing on the top of a six-foot step ladder painting a high wall and shudder.
It is amazing we haven’t seriously hurt ourselves. Oh I grabbed a hot wire fixing the A/C. And Brian tried to help us figure out the first dishwasher problem and shocked himself. He also created a great electrical arc. We discovered, under there, a wire nut that had burned through itself. We’ve asked electricians about that, who don’t know how that could have happened.
Meanwhile, the local Sears is going out of business, so we bought a new washing machine.
It doesn’t have the center post in the drum. It doesn’t have a transmission. It is actually very quiet. It has a digital timer telling you when the load will be completed. If it breaks it displays error messages. You are supposed to be able to call the tech support, hold the phone near the sensor and they can determine the problem. Yeah, I don’t believe that either. It plays a little song when the load is finished.
Page two of the manual says “For your safety, the information in this manual must be followed to minimize the risk of fire or explosion, electric shock, or to prevent property damage, injury to persons, or death.”
It has a stainless steel drum. It runs on an inverter direct drive motor, suggesting if I can turn it inside out I can indirectly drive the space-time continuum. There is also a child lock, which I presume is not meant to keep kids inside, and also SMARTRINSE, which is designed to save water, but wasted capital letters.
And in 20 or so years we’ll have recovered the money we would spend at a laundromat.
That’s mostly what we’ve been dealing with the last few days. I was on fall break on Monday and Tuesday. I decided to take those few days off from the blog as well. These are the first two days without at least something being published since April of 2005.
I’m fine with this decision.