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A not-so-handy man

July 14, 2008 - Kevin Sweeney
I am, without doubt, one of the least handy individuals to ever undertake a home repair project. My dad had a funny saying he would quote at times: “Her eyes were bluer than a cross-eyed carpenter’s thumb.” He could have been referring to my thumb.

I can’t saw anything in a straight line. If I have a dripping water faucet, I can change the washer ten different times without eliminating the drip. I have a nice little white scar on the inside of my left elbow from the time I tried to solder a leaking pipe joint in a hard-to-reach spot under a cupboard, and dripped sizzling solder on myself.

So it is truly incredible that I managed to repair my washing machine recently. It had stopped spinning during the rinse and spin cycle. It just made a grinding noise. It looked like we were going to have to spend our Economic Stimulus Check on a new washer.

But before we did I looked online and found a washing machine repair advice site. It described my exact symptoms and told me I need a new motor coupling. I ordered one, and also ordered an agitator repair kit, because the machine hadn’t been churning as much as it used to. The cost was less than $40 for both. When they arrived, I followed the directions on opening the washer cabinet, exposing the motor underneath. I tried to pull the water pump off, as directed, but it seemed stuck. So I left it in place, got the motor removed, and replaced the coupling, a fairly easy task, even for me. I put it all back together, then fixed the agitator.

It all worked swell, but the water pump had started leaking from all the yanking I had done. I looked up the repair site, and saw it was really easy to replace the pump. So I ordered a pump. Another $24. It took some prying to get the old pump off, since the drive shaft had rusted up from a slow leak. I cleaned the rust off and filed down the drive shaft, oiled it, and slipped the new pump on. Now the machine works like new, we saved several hundred dollars that we would have spent on a new machine, and the clothes are looking as clean as ever.

Sometimes I amaze myself!


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