Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sorry Mr. Appliance! I got this one!

So for the longest time, when I've had a problem with any appliance that is hard to live without I have called Mr. Appliance.  Actually I called the guy that works for them long before he became franchised.  But the last couple of times my front load washer or dishwasher have given me any problems, I've decided to save some money and gain a little personal satisfaction and fix the problems myself.  AND I HAVE SUCCEEDED!

Today it became necessary to clean out the filter to the washer pump.  So somewhere in between feeding 2 infants, changing diapers on 4 different children, taking 2 year olds potty, and washing dishes I took on the nasty job.  I've done it before, so it went pretty fast.  If you find yourself with a front loading washer that will not drain (one sign of this problem is that the door remains locked after the cycle has run), this is more than likely the solution.  And if I can do it, you can do it!

  1. Unplug the washer!  If you electrocute yourself, you really haven't solved any problems, you've created new ones!
  2. Remove the bottom panel- this is usually 3 small  screws or bolts at the very bottom of the front of your washer.
  3. Locate the filter- this is more than likely going to be on the right hand side- it will be attached to hoses etc. and to the pump!   It's sort of going to look like a pvc version of the cap to your car's gas tank!
  4. Put a large shallow pan under the filter.  Because it needs to be low enough to get under the filter, but large enough to hold large volumes of stinky water and debris, I prefer to use a foil roasting pan because you can bend it to fit where you want it! 
  5. Slowly unscrew the filter by turning it counter clockwise.  These can be on pretty tight, so it might actually be helpful to use a monkey wrench fitted to the handle, although this may ding up the plastic a bit, You really can't clean out the filter if you cant get it off! Once you've loosened it a little, keep your hand on the handle and be ready to screw it back in if suddenly your pan is getting close to full.  
  6. Clean out the filter!  Today I found a bobby-pin, legos, mechanical pencil led, a barrette, a razor blade, a make-up brush, and several unrecognizable items of similar size.  And a lot of dirt and grime.  Pretty sad considering that I check every pocket every time I start a load AND that I just did this 6 months or so ago!  Much as some of those items sound girly, I can almost guarantee that my nine year old son is responsible for most of it. The boy has a fettish for filling his pockets with whatever!  I've threatened to sew them shut and might actually follow through now!
  7. Be sure to actually grab the  hoses leading into this filter and gently shake anything that might be in them down to the filter opening.  Also put your hand into whatever crevices you can reach into to feel for more debris. You may find this absolutely gross, but you can wash your hands or wear gloves or whatever and it can save you lots of money to do this!
  8.  Put everything back the way you found it!Make sure you tighten the filter cap all the way, even if you have to use the monkey wrench again!
  9. I recommend running your washer on "spin only" or the equivalent  BEFORE you put the bottom panel back on!  This way you know if you were successful or not or if there is still a problem.

Remember, if I can do it, you can do it!  I figure I've already saved my family hundreds of dollars by attempting repair jobs on my own!  If you are afraid to try it, Google around online until you are more comfortable with the idea!  There's really only one way to become an experienced washer repair man or woman, and that is by DOING IT!  Good luck!

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