Laundry Blues

So last week, our washing machine broke. The machine suddenly stopped draining and when we opened the door we had water pour out. Obviously the first thing we wanted to do was see if we could fix it ourselves.

We’ve had some success with DIY projects before, so we hoped we could tackle this one. We know almost nothing about washing machines. This could be a challenge!

The first thing we discovered is that there is an access panel in them between the main drum and the pump. This is where any foreign bodies collect, things that you typically don’t want entering the pump. We looked in ours and found about a dollar in change and a few rocks. Who knows how long they had been in there, apparently you are supposed to open the panel and clean it out every few months. So if nothing else we learned something!

We tried the machine after cleaning out the access panel we tried the machine again, still didn’t work.

At this point it seemed likely that the pump itself was broken. So we had to decide, do we repair itself or get someone in to repair it. So if we repaired our selves, could we do it?

The big pro to repairing it ourselves is the cost. The pump would maybe cost about $150, but that would be it. However the big issue would be actually finding the right pump, it needed to be the right one and they might not have it sitting in Home Depot or Lowe’s. Potentially we might have to order from the manufacturer which might take days or weeks.

Unfortunately with a family of four, we couldn’t really afford to wait for a week or more potentially to get the pump, plus we weren’t even 100% sure it was the pump broken. So reluctantly we decided we would need a professional.

Checking with the large national companies the next appointments weren’t for a week or more. That was clearly way too long. We checked in with a local company and they could come out next day.

The job itself took about 10 minutes, and yes it was the pump. Luckily they did have the pump, so on top of the $150 for the pump, then there was a call out fee and the labor itself. So the total was around $350.

This was clearly not something we had budgeted for this month. However it needed to be done, and I think we made the right choice in not doing it ourselves. You have to pick and choose your battles, and while we are comfortable with a lot of DIY jobs, messing around with electricity and dirty water didn’t seem worth the risk.

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What brand was your washing machine? We thought our garberator broke too this week and there was a small spoon stuck in the blades!