That quick job that takes 6 hours

Washer Dryer

Surprisingly cunning

As is seeming to be the norm, days off are just as full as working days.  More so in some cases. So for me it’s the delight of being on holiday. So I managed a bit of a lie in. Which is always nice. And let my mind try and piece together a sequence of events that would satisfy my needs for domestic compliance & fun. Now I’ll be honest, as I lie there this morning staring at the ceiling and thinking of my day ahead, I had zero intention of taking my washer dryer to bits. Now I had planed on several laundry tasks. But it wasn’t to involve spanners.

Now my lovely Zanussi Jet-system 1600 washer dryer has a bit of a personality. In that if I want it to dry my cloths. Then simply putting my laundry into the machine and pressing the correct button would be just too easy. You see, inside there is a spinney thingy. And it likes to seize up. Now originally when this first happened, a nice professional man came out to my home. Pulled the machine out of it’s little home under the counter. Took the lid off. Tinkered with something and good things happened. A year later it did it again. Another man from the same company came out and did pretty much the same thing. But a couple of weeks later it went back to not drying my cloths. So I decided to save myself £80, and I pulled the machine out and took of the lid and freed off the stiff spinney thingy. And this worked. But time has passed and it’s got worse & worse. To the extent that every time I want to use the washing machine, I need to drag it out, take the lid off, free of the blower mechanism and put it back together and push it back under the counter. This has taken it’s toll on the kitchen floor. That on a very hot summer’s day led me to get a steam cleaner out to remove the glued on floor tiles that had been stuck over the original floor. So a really stupid plan of mine.

So with a mind to do a bit of laundry, I found myself pondering the possibility of a future where a considerable amount of physical exertion would not be required prior to loading my dirty cloths into the washer. So I found myself looking this machine of mine over. Trying to figure out how the hell to take it to bits. And this is where you can feel the different sides of your mind weighing up the possible future. Because lets face it. If this goes wrong. Well I’m sure it would make a good spectator sport. But for me it will be no fun as I flood my downstairs neighbor and try and figure a way to explain this to the insurance company.

So safety first kids. Turn it off at the mains and unplug it from the wall. And while your there, turn off the water supply too. then there was just the problem of how the hell do you get into the thing? For the first time in a long time, Google did not come to the rescue. Typically you can put anything in to Google and there will be a post, or a photo, or a video. I was hoping for some sort of diagram. Nope, no luck there. Strangely the image search got photos of TVs. Eventually there was a forum where the users spoke in part numbers. After several mugs of tea, I was under the impression the back came off some how. More team and I’d given it a go. Had to go and get my mechanical tool box out of the storage cupboard. Yes I have several tool boxes. A general on for the house. My electronics one that lives in the car, as it’s mainly for work. And a mechanical one that is a throw back to the early years of my life where I had a 1979 British Lay-land Mini. It was my first car. I was the 14th owner in (then) 16 years. And a full tool box and a Haynes Manual were essential. But as I have had cars that are capable of surviving a simple journey, I’ve not had much use for the spanners and socket sets. So that tool box lives out in the cupboard.

Now I had taken off all the bolts I could find that seemed to hold the back panel on. But for no amount of twiddling and eventual brute force, I could not get the back panel off. Determined not to be beaten I refueled with tea and headed back top the forum of washing machine part numbers. Eventually there was the “EUREKA” moment. A small comment about hidden bolts. Hidden bolts FFS! And yes, on closer inspection on both the left and right hand side of the back panel were two plastic covers that hid bolts the secured the panel to the frame. Well after that it was full steam ahead. And then I got to see what 8 years of hidden gunk looks like. What’s worse was it was all my own work. So stripping the assembly apart and cleaning out fist fulls of congealed fluff, hair and soap was not what I had planned that morning. But I did eventually find out what had been going on with the blower.

Once upon a time I put sugar soap in the machine so as to clean it out. What I didn’t know was when this stuff evaporates it leaves a crystalline structure on practically everything. This is a great surface for trapping debris, like fluff & hair. This eventually builds up and hinders the blowers ability to spin. So cleaning out all that crap as well has left things spinning freely. Then all I had to do was remember how it came apart and put it back together.

Well it’s that moment where you double check everything for the fifth time. After all we are dealing with water and electricity. Who are great friends and get along like a house on fire. So I took the opportunity to familiarize myself with the trip switches in the fuse box and dust off the fire extinguisher before I turned anything on. And nothing went “BANG!” and the floor stayed dry. So I ran it empty on a hot & quick wash, and nothing was a miss. I tested the dryer, and it made all the right noises, but quieter. So the job that was going to be a quick tinker took 6 hours, including cleaning up the mess.

All I’ve got to do now is hope that the evil bugger isn’t lulling me into a false sense of security and waiting for me to go off to bed before pissing it’s self all over the floor and then burning the house down.