Washer Setup

February 8th, 2007 by Potato

After moving in, we noticed that the relatively new (<4 years old “Crosley”) washing machine was not doing a very good job of getting the water out of our clothes in the spin cycle. It got progressively worse so that after just a few weeks, there were still large puddles of water in the bottom of the tub. A closer investigation revealed that the motor had gotten so weak that it wasn’t actually moving the tub at all for the spin cycle: it was just making noise and pretending to work. We called our landlord, who called the repair people. They took a look, and found that the tub seal had broken and water had been seeping into the motor and the rest of the undercarriage: the motor bearing had rusted out and the resistance was just too much for it to overcome and drive the spin cycle. The estimated repair cost was over $400, and this is a washer that’s already had the tub seal repaired once before (the last tenant told us to keep an eye on it). At first, my landlord authorized the repairs, but I talked to her for a bit and suggested that just getting a new washer might be a better plan, and not too much more expensive. She agreed, and told me to basically pick one out and send her the bill. I went for a reasonable, middle-of-the-road Kenmore top-loader that’s also reasonably energy efficient (important since I pay the water and hydro!), it also happened to be on sale for $500 so it was pretty close to the repair cost for the old Crosley (a brand I’ve never heard of, but is supposedly manufactured by Maytag).

Sears delivered it within a few days, and the delivery went very quickly: the guys came in, took away the old washer, hauled the new one down the stairs, connected it and were gone in less than 10 minutes. However, our new washer was possessed. Not surprising, since the bill came to $666 after tax and delivery. During the spin cycle of the first load, it started violently shaking, attempting to walk its way across the room and possibly destroy itself in the process. The instructions said it was important to level it properly or “some vibrations” may be present. So, Wayfare and I spent nearly an hour carefully levelling the thing with no sucess (and many cuts on my hands in the process — they sure don’t sand/grind the sharp edges on the sheet metal around the bottom!).

Finally I gave up and said that there’s no way the washer can be that sensitive to being perfectly level, and called Sears to sort the mess out. They went through the troubleshooting guide with me: was the load uneven? (No, it was barely a load at all, just a few shirts and one pair of pants) Were all the shipping restraints removed? (I said yes, I specifically saw the guy pull the yellow zip tie out of the back that he said held the guts together). Was it level (oh, hell yes). Finally she said there might be something wrong with the washer and set up an appointment to send someone out to look at it next week. After I hung up I looked in the garbage to just double check that the guy got the ziptie out properly. The manual clearly showed a picture of a long tie with two cotter pins attached to it. In the trash was a short yellow tie, and no cotter pins. Cursing, I moved the washer out from the wall and looked in the hole in the back: sure enough, a ripped-off yellow zip tie was stuck in there. With a handy pair of pliers and many stabs at it, I finally managed to pull it out (with, what would you know, two cotter pins attached to it). It was at least twice as long as the piece in the garbage, and the washer worked fine after that. I was pretty pissed that the guys were in such a hurry to get in and get out that they didn’t check that the cotter pins actually came out with the zip tie when they yanked on it, or even that the zip tie was even approximately the right length (it looks like he tore off the third of it that was sticking out the back — there should have been a lot more zip tie, and I think he should have known that). Anyhow, that itself didn’t cause any permanent damage to the washer, though it is a bit of a piss-off since my landlord paid $85 for them to deliver and set up the washing machine. Unfortunately, I caused a bit of damage to the brand new washer when I tried to walk it back towards the wall: I pulled on the top instrument panel to get leverage, and rather badly bent the bit of sheet metal around the back of it. :(

Anyhow, I found out this morning that my grandmother passed away after having a bad stroke this weekend (she was in the hospital all week), so I’m leaving for PEI for the funeral. I’m holding up ok: everyone seemed to think this stroke was going to be the last, so we’ve had a bit of warning to prepare mentally.

One Response to “Washer Setup”

  1. Rez Says:

    My condolences, bud.