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A washing machine story

On Thursday, my washer began to have an issue.

It filled with water, agitated the clothes, but then steadfastly refused to spin or drain. Rats.

I don’t like it when things are broken. I want them to be fixed.

Like, yesterday!

So instead of waiting for Mr. FG to get home, I did this to my washer.

A washing machine with the cover removed.

I’ve never taken a washer apart before, but with the help of Google and a drill, I got it done.

A washing machine in the midst of repair.

The broken part was the lid switch (I think it’s called an actuator), but the design of our washer is such that the back panel has to be loosened and pushed back, then the whole side/top contraption pulls forward and only then can you unscrew the top.

The lid of a washer, propped against a toolbox.

This seems like a less-than-brilliant design to me, but what do I know?

On the upside, taking it all apart allowed me to see the pet hair/laundry soap build-up in the machine (it belonged to previous owners of our townhouse, who, judging by the amount of pet hair in that house, owned a very hairy dog.).

A dirty washing machine tub.

I took the opportunity to clean it up a little.

The dirty edge of a washing machine shell.
Still old and a little rusty, but much less disgusting.

I found the replacement part online, but because of the weekend, my washing machine part didn’t arrive until yesterday (despite my obsessive stalking of the package via USPS tracking!).

When I came home from having dinner with my cousin, Mr. FG had already put the little switch in, and before we went to bed, we put the machine back together. Yay!

An old Kitchen Aid washing machine.

That little lid switch right there was the broken part, and I’m so thrilled to have it fixed.

A face in the side of a washer.

Especially because the 4-day-old water in the machine was starting to give off a rank odor.

I may or may not have done a little happy dance when we shut the lid and the washer began to run.

And I may or may not have put my third load of laundry in before 7:00 am.

My washing machine is no beauty, but I kind of like that it’s an older machine.

It was built before everything had electronic control panels, and so its innards are really simple. This means that fixing it is within the skill range of inexperienced people like Mr. FG and myself…$20 and an hour or so of actual labor, and my machine is back up and running.

Every time something like this breaks, I have a mini freak-out, and I seriously consider calling someone to come and fix it for me (I also sometimes entertain the idea of buying a new appliance.)

But when we tackle the problem ourselves, I’m often surprised at how easy the fix is, and I’m always so glad we didn’t cop out and call a repairman for a simple task.

So, the next time one of your appliances has an issue, consider fixing it yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is, and you’ll probably save yourself a whole pile of money.

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Thursday 3rd of April 2014

I love the victory of diy fixes. I don't do too many complicated repairs but I am slowly building my own experience. My father is the ultimate diy-er... my mother uses to get her hopes up whenever an appliance would break, thinking she could get a new one. But, my dad always fixes the problem.


Thursday 3rd of April 2014

That's inspirational, and interesting. Today is the first time I've seen the inside of a washing machine. :)

Having read your washing machine story, and some of the comments, I'd say ours has a problem with the part or process of activating a working switch. You have to kind of push down and back on the lid just a little to get it to start up sometimes. If it ever completely stops working, maybe we'll have the courage to consider replacing a part... Thanks.


Thursday 3rd of April 2014

The good news is that the switch was really quite an easy fix! Find a YouTube video for how to take apart your washer model, and from there it just involves some screws and plugging in some wire harnesses.


Friday 17th of February 2012

I fixed my washing machine last year as well... I used It is so great to be able to have it done before HUBBY gets home (he thought I called my brother....HA..I DID IT MYSELF!!!)

Robin Rankin

Tuesday 26th of July 2011

Thank you!! Our washer decided to break this week and since I had read this post I knew exactly what was wrong :) We saved a ton of money in fixing it ourselves!!!


Friday 15th of July 2011

I'm just soooo amazed you had the guts to start toying with it in the first place!! Anything remotely mechanical/electronic in our house and I just freeze up and start dialing up my male friends if my fiance is not at home!! Kudos to you...I would LOVE to learn a bit of home repair/maintenance skills and get one of those pretty pink tool kits for the girlies (J/K). And I would love to know a little bit about working on cars! I HATE not knowing how to do something for myself!

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