March 2009


Washing Washing Machine

Somehow during my move, the Washing Machine was broken.

In a way, it was my worst nightmare. I put a load of laundry in the machine, put soap in, and then left the room. When I returned, 45 minutes later, I discovered that the drain in the building’s laundry room was not at the lowest point—the clothes seemed clean, the water seemed dirty, and I did a whole lotta mopping to get the floor dry.

It was my worst nightmare because, as Head & Shoulders likes to point out, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and I think a floor covered in dirty soapy water is a pretty bad first impression.

WeimarColleague and I tackled the problem. I’d though enough to check the hoses coming out of the back of the machine and the metal around the hose carrying the dirty water was wet—so I thought I identified where the mess was coming from. One screwdriver later, one hose removed, and a hole was quickly and easily identified—right where the hose had leaned up against the metal part of the machine’s back.

Monday I hit Obi, got a new hose, and installed it with the assistance of another friend—it was really easy. But before we put the back on the back of the machine, I got some towels, stuck them in the machine, put soap in the soap drawer, and hit start.

Water started flowing into the machine, and, a few seconds later, out from under the bottom of the soap drawer, down the front of the machine, and onto the floor.

After watching this go on for a few seconds too long—it was fascinating to watch—we turned the machine off. We some how missed the obvious setting that would drain the machine of water—and got the water out the best we could with a measuring cup and mop.

Tuesday, with the assistance of WeimarColleague, I made an appointment with Hausgeräte-Service Weimar to come and visit—Fortunately he could come Wednesday morning between 8 and 9—or I had to wait until Friday.

Like any good German professional, he arrived during the promised time, at 8:15, and set about figuring out the problem. I’m not sure what he did to fix the actual problem, but at one point he handed me the plastic pipe that carries the water from the soap drawer to the drum—a pipe that carries only clean water and soap.

It was filthy, and with two bends in the pipe, a trick to clean. I had to take it up to my apartment and clean it—the first bend had a thick black coating of slime, and the second bend had a thick white coating of what I can only assume was chalk. Although it was disgusting, I found it amusing and fascinating that the water current would separate out the two distinct sets of deposits into the two bends of the pipe, rather than leaving them mixed.

By the time I returned downstairs, the machine was ready to be reassembled, something that took about 5 minutes, plus another couple minutes to make sure all the seals were tight and in place.

Total time spent was about half an hour. Total cost: 45€.

Later in the afternoon I looked in Saturn, a huge appliance store, where the least expensive machine I could find was 230€. 45€ was a worthwhile investment, and I’ve already washed one load.

Happiness is a functional washing machine.

3 comments to Washing Washing Machine

  • Your adventures in clothes washing remind me of the first time I tried to do a load of laundy at my house in Conservative Hell. When I moved into that place, nothing seemed to work.

    I hooked up the washer, started it running, threw the clothes in and when it got to the first drain cycle the drain line turned into a geyser. At the time the washer was in my kitchen and it covered the floor, stove, counters, etc. with dirty water. *yuck*

    In my case the machine was functioning correctly, the drain line on the house was blocked. $500 later, I could do laundry… That’s a LOT of quarters for the laundromat.

  • disenchanted

    We had troubles not too long ago. The Coach tried to fix the machine (Cost = $100), but then we had to bring someone in. Turns out that it was the little thingie at the top that notifies the machine that the lid is closed.

    Still, it was cheaper than getting a new one.

  • @CQ: It sounds disgusting… Fortunately not my problem

    @disenchanted: sometimes its best to pull in a professional off the bat. That said, i think the 10€ I spent on the new output hose was worth it. There was a visible hole in it!