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Made by Monkeys

Fatigued Controllers Render Washer Useless

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Jennifer Campbell
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Gold
If it ain't broke, why replace it?
Jennifer Campbell   1/30/2012 9:30:23 AM
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Given the history of the Made by Monkeys column, Bill made a big mistake in replacing his old washer/dryer set. I've wanted to replace my old washer for a very long time, but, again, after reading these columns for several years, I just can't pull the trigger. Washers, as well as other appliances, have come a long way, but there is something to be said for the old, reliable machine that doesn't have any bells and whistles. I do admire Bill for his forward-thinking approach - too bad it backfired.

naperlou
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Blogger
Re: If it ain't broke, why replace it?
naperlou   1/30/2012 9:47:48 AM
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Jennifer, there are two answers to your comment.  First, it is a challenge.  I often find myself fixing something to get it working just for the challenge of it.  If that gets me a new capability, so much the better.  That seems like part of Bill's motivation.  Second, the new device offers new capabilities.  Actually, I should add a third.  The old device will break (most likely) and it won't be at a convenient time. 

Jennifer Campbell
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Gold
Re: If it ain't broke, why replace it?
Jennifer Campbell   1/30/2012 9:55:36 AM
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I can't say I disagree with you, naperlou, especially since we are on our third dyer in 3 years. I would love to have the capability/know how to fix these appliances myself when they break. (My husband tries, but usually nothing good will come of it.) Maybe next time I can call on you! =)

TJ McDermott
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Blogger
Re: If it ain't broke, why replace it?
TJ McDermott   1/30/2012 10:04:44 AM
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Maintenance departments at almost every industrial manufacturing facility frequently work under this guideline; as a result they must make repairs at the most inconvenient time, under pressure, to get the line running again.

They should be working under the guidelines of preventative and predictive maintenance; replacing before something fails.  They then get to make this repair/replacement at planned, scheduled down times, without being under the gun of time pressure.

20 years is a nice long run, but one has to be looking over one's shoulder for the transmission or the pump of a washer to die catastrophically exactly when the tub is full of water.  Either you won't be able to drain it at all, or it drains all over the floor.

Jon Titus
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Blogger
Building Code and Hidden Manual
Jon Titus   1/30/2012 12:34:35 PM
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Building codes now require a drain pan under washing machines so any leaks go directly to a drain line and not onto your floor.  It's worth the trouble to add such a pan in you can connect to a nearby drain. (You have a drain on the washer, so an added drain might be easier to add than you think.)

Recently a temperature sensor on our high-efficiency washer died, indicated by an error code, something like "E23," on the control-panel LEDs.  I had to find this error code and what it meant on the Internet.  When the repairman opened the washer cover, lo and behold, there was a maintenance manual taped inside.  It includes all of the error messages, diagnostic information, and other helpful information.  It might be worth 30 minutes to open your washer and see if it has such a manual.  Ours is now in the "Appliance Instructions" folder, not inside the washer. --Jon Titus

Bill DeVries
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Iron
Re: Building Code and Hidden Manual
Bill DeVries   1/30/2012 1:51:25 PM
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The house is 4 years old, so it has the drain pan, but wouldn't ya know it. I broke the drain pan moving washers in an out and had to replace that too.

Bill

Bill DeVries
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Iron
Re: If it ain't broke, why replace it?
Bill DeVries   1/30/2012 1:56:02 PM
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The old washer was about 20 years old, and is probably still working for someone else. Hope this new High Efficiency model saves me some money, but for as long as a cycle takes, it may save on water, but I'm wondering about electic.

Some people are born to tinker and fix things. When I was in grade school my dad was attempting to rebuild the carburetor on his 1970 Dodge Polara. He woke me up at about 10:00 at night and needed me to help him put it back together so he could get the car going and go to work the next day.

Bill

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: If it ain't broke, why replace it?
Rob Spiegel   1/30/2012 2:19:59 PM
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Oh, I've been there on the car repairs in the middle of the night, Bill. There with a light bulb running from an extension cord to the garage or house. It's the worst time to drop a critical oily part and have it not hit the ground. Then you're looking all over the engine for that little part that makes all the difference.

Curt Carpenter
User Rank
Gold
Re: If it ain't broke, why replace it?
Curt Carpenter   1/30/2012 4:08:52 PM
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My ancient Kenmore stopped doing stuff, so I decided I'd give fixing it a whirl.  A few hours later, the laundry room was wall-to-wall with parts, I'd skinned the knuckles on both hands and my favorite wrench was missing.  So I just put the whole lot in a trash bag and headed to a local appliance store to buy a new one. 

Damned shame, but it still makes me laugh.   Never did find the wrench.

Bob Salter
User Rank
Iron
Re: If it ain't broke, why replace it?
Bob Salter   1/30/2012 4:11:50 PM
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We have a 15 year old washer that would not pump out the water after rinsing, so we had a repairman come to fix it. After checking all the mechanical and electrical components (including the timer) he could not find anything amiss. So, he offered to let us try out a new motor for a few days, and if this solved the problem, we could then buy it. When he pulled the power wire connection off the old motor terminal, he found the problem: corrosion on the male and female contacts. He told me if I cleaned it well, the washer should work. I thanked him and asked him how much I owed him for the two hours he spent on this problem. The answer was $35, and I quickly wrote him a check. Man, I really like living in the south. I cleaned the contacts with Scotchbrite and a thin file, smeared on anticorosion grease made for aluminum wiring, and the washer has worked fine for the last five years.

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