When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Washing Machine Woes
Our washing machine died yesterday. It was in the middle of a load of laundry, and something went wrong with the sensors or the mechanism that shifts things from one cycle to another. The washer was trying to spin the clothes dry while it still had a tub full of rinse water, and that brought a sad and untimely end to the motor. The machine, a high efficiency top loader with no agitator, was only three and a half years old.
This is the second washing machine of ours that has bitten the dust in the seven and half years we've lived in this house. Our previous washer was a high efficiency front loader, and one day, we heard a frighteningly loud THUNK from the laundry room while the machine was spinning. The drum had somehow separated from its housing, and the repair bill was going to be more than the cost of buying a whole new washer. That machine was just under four years old when we bid it farewell.
Now I think I should say here that we are not especially careless or violent laundry doers in this house. We do wash a lot of clothes, to be fair, and sometimes the odd thing that shouldn't go through a washing machine ends up in there -- forgotten Kleenexes or quarters, for example, or, just last week, both boys left their USB sticks in their jeans' pockets and they got a good soaking (uh oh!) -- but we generally do not place our washing machines under undue stress. I am scratching my head today, trying to understand how we're already needing to buy yet another device for laundering clothes.
Matt and I spent a long time looking at washers yesterday and reading reviews, and we're not feeling especially hopeful about any of the options out there, as virtually all of the types of machines seem to have their own problems. It seems to us that the best washing machine we know of is the basic one we had when we were first married. It lasted us ten years and was still going strong when we sold it to the new owners of our last house at their request. (We should have kept that washer; I bet it's still working.) A salesperson yesterday told us the horror story of a couple whose newer front loader spontaneously released one of the cement bricks housed within it for stability; the brick smashed through the glass door of the washer while the drum was spinning, and it was travelling with such speed and force that it ripped a hole right through the laundry room wall! Who knew that washing clothes could be so dangerous?
After much thought and discussion, Matt and I have decided we're going to go back to basics: tomorrow a new "old school" washing machine with an agitator and no fancy electronic components will be delivered to our house. This seemed the most logical choice after our recent experiences, because a) in theory, the fewer bells and whistles the machine has, the less opportunity there is for something to go wrong, and b) I would really rather my obituary read something other than "Death By Laundry". I know that the older style of washer is not a particularly energy efficient option, but somehow putting a busted up hunk of steel out to the curb every three or four years doesn't seem all that environmentally friendly to me, either.
Will is highly disappointed in our choice, disgusted even. He scoffs that we are living in the 80s, and can't understand why we are buying a washing machine that operates using "gears and pulleys". I told him this morning that he hasn't seen anything yet. If we discover that they just don't make washers like they used to (wow, that line makes me sound really old), and this new machine doesn't last as long as it should, I'm going to invest in some wooden buckets and washboards next. The concept of family chores on weekends could take on a whole new meaning around here....
Labels: family life
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I've had a new washer for about a year. I absolutely hate it. Even though our old washer would have cost more to fix than replace, I really wish we'd done that. It was just so much better than the current one. The current one is a high efficiency (HE) washer with no agitator and it's already ripped up clothes, sounds like a spaceship when it's running, and lately is leaving clothes smelling funky. So now I have to add baking soda and 100% vinegar (vs vinegar and water, which is what I've always used as my fabric softener) with each load in addition to the HE laundry detergent. It also takes twice as long to wash each load as it did previously. The delivery guy told us not to expect it to last 10 years. I'm happy that you were able to buy a basic old school model. We were told they didn't have any to sell where we got our latest washer. Best of luck with your new 80s washer, Lisa! I'm envious!ReplyDelete
Ugh, I feel your frustration, Shirley! There's something definitely not right about a new washer taking twice as long to clean clothes as the old style one -- so much for energy efficiency!! Sorry to hear that you have washing machine woes of your own. :(Delete
I had this happen about a year ago. A very sad day. I hope the old school version fares better than the newer, fancy schmancy ones!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Cait -- I'm sorry that you've been through a similar situation. I am amazed at how many people have shared their own washer horror stories with me since I posted this! So far so good with the new "old" washer as far as laundry goes at our house. I guess time will tell how long this machine will last -- fingers crossed!Delete
8 years ago when we moved into our home (previous owners took their appliances with them) we bought a HE front loader. I like the HE and don't have the same problem that Shirley mentioned with it taking twice as long to clean. We do however have to deal with the dreaded mildew issue on the gasket. You constantly have to keep the door open and once the mildew is there you can't get rid of it. It is seriously gross. I also don't know if it is just not balanced on the floor or something but the thing is SO LOUD.ReplyDelete
It's crazy, really, how many people have problems with their washing machines -- it doesn't seem to matter which kind you buy! I hope you find a satisfactory way of dealing with the mildew issue (and maybe some ear plugs for the noise?!? :P )Delete