How Many Times Can I Fix A Washing Machine?

4 May

I feel like this is a new game I’m playing. How many times can I replace an eighty-nine-cent part on the washer before we replace the 11-year-old machine?

The feed dogs on the agitator wear down really fast. Either they’re shoddy plastic parts, or I try to cram too much stuff into the washer. With 6 people to wash for, I’m betting on the latter, but not discounting the former. This is either the 4th or 5th time I’ve replaced these little parts.

I know it’s time to change the little guys out when the jeans load does that junior high slow dance move – you know…just moves back and forth a little bit and maybe in a circle a little. I pull off the top of the agitator, raid Hubs’s toolbox for the right size socket, take out the bolt/screw thing, dump the old dogs and put in the new. The whole process only takes 5 minutes, and the only reason it takes that long is because I usually have to break up a sibling fight in the middle of the job.

Most of me is smug and happy in the knowledge that it was a minor thing to fix our washer, and that I figured it out the first time and have fixed it every time, but a tiny part of me wants it to BREAK for real so that I can get a new machine. I don’t want a front-loader – I want one of those top-loaders without the middle agitator. They can hold the biggest loads. By an impressive .1 cubic foot. Or something like that. How much laundry does .1 cubic foot translate to, anyway?

After doing some impressive math with cube roots and such, I have determined that .1 cubic foot is roughly one pair of Kid #3’s jeans, size 6x. So, yeah…

Fixing the washing machine has given me such confidence that I have also fixed the automatic pencil sharpener when it started going wonky. Who knows what my next fix-it project will be? The VCR? (Yes, we still have one of those. I’m afraid to fix it, though, because replacing that dinosaur would be pricey since they don’t sell them at Wal-Mart anymore.)

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8 Responses to “How Many Times Can I Fix A Washing Machine?”

  1. Laura May 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I’m impressed with your fix-it skills! I’m not so adventurous. When something breaks, the boys say, “Daddy will fix it later, Mommy.” Wish I weren’t so helpless, but not quite enough to tackle many projects.

  2. Margaret Pacheco May 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Would you come fix my washer? For some reason it has a slow leak. 😦

  3. Michelle May 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    You fix your own washer? I am beyond impressed! Keep fixing it — you don’t want one of those top loaders without an agitator. They eat your clothes. And require six service calls while they’re still under warranty. And then make you restart each load three or four times for another two years before they finally die. Or maybe that’s just the one we bought.

    • That Nolen Chick May 7, 2012 at 9:14 am #

      Sounds like you don’t have a washer, but a rabid monster in your laundry room. Yikes! I’ll keep this in mind if/when my docile little machine ever goes to that big laundry room in the sky.

  4. Kathy V. May 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I can fix things too! Mostly with duct tape, glue, and prayers to the unholy entities that inhabit inanimate objects, though. I am wicked impressed at your actual ability to fix things.

    That said … if you ‘accidentally’ washed, say, a largish rock, you might be able to get that new washer. 😉

    • That Nolen Chick May 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Ha! I think the kids have tried that for me. Rocks, pockets of dirt, crayons (that made it into the dryer), mp3 players, food…

      Maybe I should “encourage” them to find bigger rocks, tho.

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