By: Bears Butt

When money is at its tightest that is when something totally out of the ordinary is going to happen and it’s then you wonder why on earth you didn’t have a reserve of funds sitting in a savings account.

Last week, while working feverishly trying to beat the rain and get the hay put up and either sold and on trailers or stacked high in the barn, my daughter in law calls and says the clothes washer in the laundry room was flooding out all over the floor!

Oh my heck, I don’t need this right now!  I’m in the hay!  Why is this happening?  I drop everything and head over to see what was up.  She was trying to get the wash done in order for their family to go on a camping trip for the weekend and she was frantically getting things done.  She did not need a flood in the laundry room either.

I turned off the water at the water source taps and then began looking for where the water was coming from.  There was water on the floor, but not an over bearing amount.  She had turned off the washer when she noticed the water.  I thanked her for doing that.  The washer had just started its agitation mode when the water began coming out, that was her observation.  So, I turned on the agitation again and sure enough out comes water from the bottom of the washer.

I turned off the washer and began looking for a way to take off a panel in order to see what was going on inside around the tub.  I could not see any way possible to pull off a panel.  No screws or twist head locks, nothing.  It looked to be a one piece covering on the entire washer.

Without being able to get in to see what was going on, I told her I would have to  look into it after the hay was done and that the best we could do right now was to drain the water and have her use our washer to do her laundry and get ready to go camping.  She was alright with that and so we put the washer into spin mode and spun out the water.  No additional leakage was seen at that point.  And I headed for the hay fields.

Two days later, the hay is all put up and life is going to get back to normal for me.  She and family all headed for the camping area and had a great time.  Normality is once again about to come knocking.  But then I realize I have to try and fix a washer I know nothing about.  I can’t afford to have a repairman come what with $100 visit, $75 per hour labor, parts that cost me twice what they cost him…I might as well go buy another new washer, right?

So my mentality says, try to fix it yourself and then if you break it beyond repair, go buy another new one on credit.  After all, I don’t have enough money in my pocket for a 12 pack of beer, yet alone a new clothes washer.

I call up and talk to them about me coming over on Monday to take a look at the washer and hopefully fix it.  Sherry and I talk about “what ifs” on part costs etc. and decide our plan is to hopefully have enough money to pay for the part(s), if not, the banks will be closed for the state holiday tomorrow, I am to write a check, which won’t be cashed until Wednesday and by then we will have money in the account.  Things are looking up, sort of.

I take one last look at the computer for the parts diagram for our model of washer and one last look at how to get the front panel off the washer.  A simple flat blade screwdriver pushed in between the front panel and the top on a line straight with the edges of the lid and pop, bingo, the front panel comes right off.  I am feeling like a tried and true repairman at this point.

I can see the entire workings of the washer and so with my flashlight I study all the parts.  The agitator drum, motor, drive belt, electronic sensors, hoses, mounting brackets and other assorted do-hickies that make the thing work.

AH HA!  I see water in the bottom of the pan, under all the stuff that makes it work.  I grab a towel from her laundry basket and mop up the water.  All the water that I can reach that is and I make a mental note as to where the water is that I can’t reach.  That information could come in handy when I turn back on the water at the source and begin to fill the agitator basket.  I will be focused on looking at hose connections, the bottom of the basket and all around looking for leaks.  I really am feeling like the Maytag man right about this time.

Well, Bears Butt, let’s take a minute and go back home and take another look at the breakdown schematic and parts listings so we know what we are looking at and we will be able to call the part by its real name and not “this thingy here”.

Back home, the computer writeup I am using says to start with the very most simple things and work your way into the more serious stuff.  One item at a time.  There is a smallish hose that comes from somewhere near the top of the agitator tub and runs down and plugs into a little plastic box on the outside of the agitator tub.  It says that sometimes little stuff can plug up that hose and cause a sensor someplace to miss read the water depth and suddenly water will pour out onto the floor.  HMMMMM, could this be the problem?  I need to remember to take some fine wire with me to push up into this tube and clean it out.

Next is a “flood hose” and one way “flood valve” both mounted at the top of the agitator tub and of course away and behind everything so I can’t see anything but the “flood hose” coming down the outside of the agitator tub.  OOOO, there is a bad feeling coming over me about this “flood hose”.  After all, we did have a mini-flood the other day.  The “flood valve” could have malfunctioned sending a flood of water down the “flood hose” and sprayed all over the bottom of the washer causing the flood in the utility room.  How will I get to the “flood valve” to replace it?  Do I have to take the entire agitator tub out in order to get to it?  Is it an integral part of the agitator tub?  Knowing my luck it is and I will be forced to go buy another washer, because for me to get the agitator tub out I will destroy any likely hood of ever getting it put back together.

I look more closely at the diagrams and then decide it’s time I went back over and turned on the water and set the dial to begin filling.

I remembered the wire and when I got there I cleaned a smallish bit of “whatever” out of the little tube on the side of the tub.  Then reattached it to the little plastic box.

Another quick glance with the flashlight beamed on an intense focused beam under the workings and at what little water still rested in the base of the washer.  I reached up and set the setting on “small load”  and turned it on.  Water began immediately pouring into the agitator tub.  My focus was again underneath the workings looking for dripping water.  Nothing yet.  Maybe it needs more water depth and the pressure will send a stream squirting out from the culprit defective part.  Still nothing.  the tub is half full and then it starts to agitate.  Still no water dripping out.  I let it go awhile and continue to stand on my head until all the blood in my body is settled there, still no drips.  I decide I need to set it on “Large Load” are really pour the water into the tub for maximum pressure.  I spun out the water and reset to the large load.

It seemed like I was going to drain Willards’ holding tanks before it finally kicked into agitate mode and still I had not seen one drop of water come out of any of the hose fittings, tub seal, itty bitty hoses or anything.  Maytag man began to think deeply about things at this point.

The other day when it was leaking the tub was very full of clothes and the water was right up to the tip top of the agitator tub when I looked in from the top.  That’s it!  What’s it?

In her hurry to get the washing done in order to go camping she over filled the tub with too many clothing items and then when she put it on “large load” it over filled causing water to jettison out the one way “flood valve” and into the “flood hose” and cascade out onto the base of the washer until it became over full and had to spill out onto the floor of the laundry room!  Yep!  That’s what this Maytag man is saying.  And so, with it agitating I called her into the room and told her what I had done and that no leaks were present and that I surmised the overfilled tub and subsequent spillage onto the floor.  She said she probably did over fill it because there is no “do not fill above this line” on the inside of the agitator tub.  She will be more careful in the future.  I thanked her and she thanked me back.

Both of us had a feeling of  this whole ordeal being a “blessing” and it certainly is.  No out of pocket expenses and my not having a story to post on bearsbutt dot com just got done.

Maytag man Out!

Bears Butt

July 20, 2012

Written on July 23rd, 2012 , Uncategorized

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.