Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Solution

A few weeks ago, our washing machine ceased to drain and spin.  I'd been thinking it took too long to drain for some time now--possibly for its entire life (~18 months) but it's hard to say for sure since this is the sort of thing you don't write down until much later.  In retrospect, it was probably only a few months.  At any rate, I was really upset that our washer went kaput when it was so young--but past the end of the warranty.

Hubby, on the other hand, consulted our good friend Google and found some promising leads--promising in that it was user-maintenance, so we could attempt it without spending money on a service call.
It turned out that one of our son's Halloween socks (missing since, you guessed it, Halloween) had somehow gotten sucked into the drain pump.  Don't ask me how; I really can't fathom it.  I mean, the drain holes in that washer (and all washers, really) are TINY!  However, it happened, and has been acting as a filter to catch lots of gunk for the past five months.  I don't know whether it just got forced into a completely blocked position recently or if it just happened to catch enough dirt now to complete the clog, but this was the cause of the machine's failure to drain (and consequently, spin.)

I was glad we were able to do this work ourselves, although it was a PAIN!!!  It took 3 1/2 hours (not including the time to disconnect/reconnect the water supply hoses, move it in and out of position, etc.)  The most time consuming and obnoxious part was getting the black drain hose in and out of the machine.  The clamps holding it in place were darn-near impossible to work with.  Now don't get me wrong--I'm very glad they're tight and keep water from spilling all over our floor--but a really tight clamp holding a flexible rubber pipe to a small surface area is hard to manipulate.  Getting it off took several minutes, but getting it back on took close to a half hour--with sore arms and small nicks from the rough metal edges of the machine to show for it.  Hubby says this makes us officially parents--not only have we done home-repair work, but it's home repair work directly linked to our child.  Without him, we wouldn't have needed to do this.  (And he didn't even do anything!)

Despite the fact that I can't figure out how the sock got through those tiny holes, Hubby and I now faced a dilemma.  We're going to have tiny socks in our lives for a long time still to come.  So how do we keep ourselves from having to repeat this adventure?

Our solution:  the sock bag.
This bag is a reusable mesh produce bag sold at King Soopers.  We had five already, and decided that buying another 3-pack was in order.  Each child now gets a bag to hold their socks in the wash.  This way they can't get sucked into the ether, plus they won't get lost in larger pieces of clothing.

(Betcha didn't know the washing machine really CAN eat those socks that go missing!)


DMBonanno said...

And I thought socks got lost in the dryer! There's a story in here somewhere you know. :)

Oh and those sock bags saved me from horrible bending while I was preggers with #2. My belly got so big I couldn't reach in to the bottom of the washer, never mind stretching into the dryer.

Linda said...

Congratulations on the DIY job!
I felt so accomplished when I replaced the belt on my dryer a few years ago, instead of buying a new one. :)

CNHolmberg said...

Oh wow, that's crazy!

Katrina said...

Hi Thanks for stopping by...its good to find a fellow writer and mommy as well. I noticed you didn't follow so on top of stopping by I am now your newest follower & hope you return the favor! I look forward to reading many of your posts & if you have any advice for a new and upcoming free lancer pass them along!

Deana Birks said...

If I'm not mistaken, somewhere in the back of my head I remember a Mythbusters episode about this. The agitator is spinning and the water is getting sucked out of the clothes and it sucks small items like socks right in! A mesh bag is a very handy item.