Sunday, July 05, 2015

Washing Machines, Cats and Fireworks

I have not fixed my washer.  I tried, but only by cleaning it.  I took it apart, from the bottom and the back, and cleaned everything.  I found two cat toys inside.  Removing them did not make it work.   LOL!  If I might have to have a repair man see my washer, it's going to be sparkling, including up inside its inner workings.  Like wearing clean underwear.

The washer runs but won't agitate or spin. I took apart the agitator and cleaned everything and the splines, both inner and outer, are in tact and good, so they grip to agitate, if they get the turning power from below.  Immediately you think drive belt, since this is a cheaper older washer and power transfer is by belt.  Many have a coupler to transfer power from the motor to the transmission, instead of a belt.  According to youtube, two switches can cause a washer not to spin, the timer switch and the lid switch.  Both mine work.  I tested them.

The washer drains just fine.  The drain pump is also run by the belt.  So you gotta think it might not be the darn belt.  I even removed and cleaned the water pump.  Why not, you know, when you have the thing tilted back and are in that cleaning mood.

However, the belt could be stretched out from wear or has become too loose, is my reasoning and it takes a lot more torque to spin the transmission than it does to spin the water pump drain.  The machine makes a terrible high pitched squeak when its trying to agitate or spin.  In my mind, that means a belt slipping or something going haywire in the transmission, bearings or clutch or whatever.  The easy cheap thing wrong would be the belt.  I thought "I will just go find a replacement belt."  Um, fail.  Not even Home Depot, which is where it was bought, carries even the most simple replacement parts, like a belt.

Today I'm going to tighten the belt more.  You do that by loosening the motor mount and rotating the motor.  I was trying to do that on Friday, end of day, all cut up from the very sharp metal edges of a washer, from reaching into it, to clean, from the open back panel, but I just bottomed out, exhausted from the trapping at the trailer park and trip with cats to Portland, then the clean up, and return of the cats that morning.  I was done in.  I slept til noon yesterday.

The lawn people who mow foreclosure house lawns were out Friday, in the 100 degree heat.  We chatted briefly.  They're a nice couple who work very very hard for very little money.  Their washer went out last week too.  Their machine had tensioners to keep the belt tight, and one had simply fallen off.  They found it should have tensioners in their owners' manual, so looked for it on the floor, found it and put it back on and that fixed their machine.

My machine has been a good machine and taken serious abuse washing cat bedding, sometimes heavy cat bedding and lots of large loads.  It's a Super Capacity Admiral and even though it was supposedly "low end", it has been a work horse and excellent.  It's done such fine work over the years without complaint I am defensive of it and I don't want to see it go.

I had to give in yesterday. I needed freedom from dirty clothes and the stench of the cat trap covers from last week.  I went to a laundry mat.   I have not been to one in 8 years and the prices are now sky high.  How do people afford to wash, I wonder, if they don't live in an apartment building with laundry facilities?   $3.50 per load and $.25 for four minutes in the dryer.  Two loads cost me over $9.  Well, didn't cost me exactly, not all of it.

To my embarrassment, I had not taken enough money.  I had taken $7 in quarters, completely sure that would be quite enough for two loads.  A guy who was there finishing up, saw my dilemma and came to my rescue, giving me quarters.  I tried to refuse, knowing anyone doing laundry at a laundry mat is poor.  But he would have none of it.  We had already engaged in conversation when I nearly dropped to see the price for one load.  I had a laundry mat hero yesterday.

 I didn't completely dry, just dried them enough so they weren't sopping to carry home in the car.  I don't have laundry baskets and could not even scare up a large plastic bag.  The sticker price of laundry mat use laid me low.  I realize I need to fix that washer, or find a way to get another.

For now I'll wash in my bathtub and wring dry with my hands.  I've become the third world.  (cue dramatic music)

Our city lets illegal fireworks go on and seemingly lots of people have the money to buy lots of illegal fireworks.  I guess they buy them in Washington state? That's what I think about, seeing them go off, the money going up in smoke.

I got hit from both sides.  The people behind the neighbors house shoot them off and they explode above my house.  Sometimes the force will shake the house.  The people behind the neighbor across the street shoot them off half the night and they are the ones that caused the debris rain over the cherry and my deceased neighbors house last week.  I took a video last night, from my yard, of the dueling fireworks from behind me and from across the street.

The cats were all scared to death except Miss D, who is deaf.  Didn't affect her one bit.

Sunbather Buffy

Sun bather Fantasia

Beautiful Bluebell 
Sam and You Know Who Behind Him
Even though I failed (thus far) at fixing the washer, I like to see how things work, so I got to see how the washer works, from its bottom side.  I will not pursue a career in washer repair, however.   My finger joints swell with over use now.

I do have it agitating now.  The motor is spinning it one direction, but not the other.  Oh well.  I hope a repair person can fix it.

That's it for today.  Today I have clean underwear!


  1. Well done. And clean underwear is always a plus.
    Love your blissed out sun-bathers.
    Crackers agitate our cats too. Jazz retires to beneath the bed and piddles up a storm.

    1. Clean underwear is a must, not a luxury. If only I could get the thing to spin now, it'd all be good. But with agitation, I can wash, just means the laundry will be sopping wet, not spun out partly dry. Got to take what I can get!

  2. Personally, I think fireworks should be illegal in inexperienced hands. They are just too dangerous. But I know that I'm in the minority. Sounds like you're making progress with the washer. I hope it's good as new soon.

    1. Anything that flies is supposed to be illegal in Oregon, but for some reason, our county and its cities, turn a blind eye. I do not know why.

  3. fireworks can be very pretty, but they also can be dangerous at times...
    Hope you get that machine going....washing! I'm doing mine at the moment..
    There is a washing machine in each caravan park we stay in, but I use my own...your cats look contented.

  4. Hurray for clean underwear! Lovely kitty photos, as always. Best wishes, my dear.