Monday, August 13, 2012

All my clothes are dirty.

Apparently, I learned nothing from the DIY Caulk Disaster of 2010.

The washing machine in this rental house has been broken ever since we moved in.

At first, it wouldn't drain, so every time I'd go to empty a load of laundry, I'd stick my hand directly into a giant puddle of clothes water.  Ick.

Then, The Hubby and I thought it would be smart to stack the washer on top of the dryer, and just let gravity do its job.  A washer that's not completely drained of water is VERY VERY heavy, but we got it up there eventually.  We used it like that for a few days, until I realized that the washer was not holding water at all.  In fact, the water just kept flowing and flowing.  At one point, I went down to the basement to check on the laundry after about an hour, and it was still "filling" for the first wash cycle.  Because it wasn't holding water, the sensor never told it to stop filling.

Side note:  A water company man came out soon after and changed our meter, saying that there was something wrong with the reading because it was astronomical.  I'm hoping this was a coincidence.

Since we'd just moved and couldn't really afford a big repair bill, I made do.  How is that done, you ask?  Well, I stood in the basement with the washing machine, held the drain pipe up while it filled and during the whole wash cycle, manually moved the cycle to rinse, held the pipe up some more, then let it down at the end.  I would not recommend this to anyone, but it did help to tone my flabby arm muscles.

I quickly developed a strong hate/hate relationship with my washing machine and I tweeted as much.  Believe it or not, the washing machine replied:

I knew it.  I apologize for his dirty mouth, but what else would you expect from Satan?

As the weeks wore on, my laundry piled up and I knew that I had to do something more permanent about my appliance situation.

Google to the rescue!!

...but really, when does that ever work out?  Google helpfully suggested that there may be a sock or a ball of lint stuck in the drainage pipe, so we should check it out.  The screws on the back of the machine were stripped, but we removed every last one of them after an hour and an endless amount of frustration.  When we finally got the hoses off (SO HARD TO DO), we found nothing in them but some dirty old water and a little slime.  Gross.

Finally, I convinced The Hubby to read over the lease.  That's when he discovered that, YES, our landlord IS responsible for upkeep on all appliances.  I TOLD HIM THAT A MONTH AGO BUT HE DIDN'T BELIEVE ME.  He thought he remembered the landlord saying something about him leaving the washer/dryer, but we'd have to fix it if it was broken.  He was wrong.

I was furious.  This whole dang thing could have been avoided.  We called the landlord on a Friday night and he called the repairman, who couldn't make it here until today (Monday).  The Kid is currently wearing his last pair of clean shorts, which happen to be Super Mario Brothers swim trunks.

When the repairman finally got here, he was none too pleased with our handiwork.  Apparently, the reason those hoses were so hard to remove is that they aren't supposed to be removed.  Ever.  He also said that we weren't supposed to have taken off the back, since the whole thing could have been done through an easily removable front panel.  Oops.

In the end, the angry repairman concluded that we need a new pump.  Unfortunately, he had to special order it, so he'll be back in a few days with the (hopeful) solution to our problems.

Instead of dwelling on who's to blame (THE HUBBY) for The Kid wearing swim trunks for the past four days, let's see if we can all learn a lesson from this.  In case you didn't get the gist of my story, I created this handy dandy flowchart, fittingly titled "Should I Repair My Own Broken Appliance?":
Click on it.  It'll get bigger.
I only hope that, with this flowchart, I can keep some poor soul from making the same mistakes I made. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go finish hand washing a load of colors in the bathtub.
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