Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just call my machines "Hal"

posted Fri, 28 Apr 2006

Soaking my clothes in soapy water is not the way to get them clean, either. First, the washer decided not to spin. Usually, I can trick it into working. Not by the same means I get my car to heal itself – by turning up the radio – but by turning the control to “delicate” or “permanent press” and then back to “regular.”

Didn’t work this time. The washer would not spin, not matter how many times I turned the controls or how many times I opened and closed the top. I finally had to squeeze the water out by hand, then throw the machine dryables into the dryer, hang the air dryables on the rack. This would be the time that I decided to wash a bunch of sweaters and flannel. I decided to throw the sweaters in the dryer for a few minutes just to get some of the water out.

Does anyone know how to put the new belt on the dryer? It costs $100 to pay a serviceman to do it. I’m not interested in paying that much. I actually wouldn’t mind stringing a line across my back yard, but I also need to install the coupling motor on the washing machine, so I might as well get this all over with. Maybe I’ll learn how to do all this stuff and open up my own shop.

So then what happens? I check the dryer and the drum there hasn’t moved. When I turn the machine on, it makes noise, but the drum doesn’t turn.

Coincidence?

I think not.

Are you thinking the same thing I am?

Machine conspiracy? Are my machines talking to Holly B’s Asko?

I called SH and asked what was going on. He told me the belt might be broken on the dryer. I called Maytag, who wasn’t much use other than to tell me that I could buy the service guide and to give me the number of a parts dealer in town (at least he laughed at my jokes), but I did manage to pry the top off the machine and discover that yes, indeed, the belt was broken. I called the parts dealer, who also happened to be the guy who sold me the machine five years ago, and he is holding a new belt for me.

Then I started wondering about the washer. Was it not spinning because of a broken belt? If it didn’t spin, perhaps it also didn’t agitate. If it did neither, then there could be a common cause to the problem and not mere caprice on the part of the machine, which, incidentally, I bought for $90 from a little Cuban guy in Miami nine years ago. I have gotten my money’s worth from it, but I want more.

I ran a quick test. The machine did not agitate, either. Good grief. That meant that the clothes I had just removed from the dryer had done nothing but soak in soapy water for a half hour. Last time I checked, this was not the formula for clean clothes.

I called Sears and spoke to Keisha. Turns out this model of washer does not have a belt. It does, however, have a coupling motor or something like that that is in charge of agitating and spinning. Keisha will send it to me. She was going to send me the owner’s manual but guess what? This machine is so old they don’t even print the owner’s manual any more.

I still don’t have clean clothes.

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