Friday, May 13, 2016

In Praise Of My New/Old Washing Machine

When we moved into our new home four years ago, we bought all new appliances - including a new washer and dryer. To begin with I was quite pleased with the idea of my High Energy Efficient washer. Think of all the water we would save - not to mention detergent. Win!

The first time I arranged a load of clothes around the tiny little lump at the bottom of the tub and pushed the button to start I was startled at the noise it made. So much so that I called the manufacturer and had the nice man listen to the strange sounds over the phone. He assured me that, although it sounded like a little cement mixer, all was as it should be.

Fine. Except it didn't take long to realize our clothes weren't getting clean. To say the whites were dingy would be a gross understatement. I added bleach - which didn't seem to help a bit. In fact, it had the annoying little quirk of making bleach spots on the colored clothes in the subsequent wash. My daughter was not pleased when I ruined one of her shirts.

Secretly, in my heart-of-hearts, I couldn't wait for the thing to die so I could get a different washer. I may have even said it out loud a time or two.

It didn't disappoint. Less than three years later, it refused to spin. I tried all the little red and green buttons to no avail. Enter the repairman.

It didn't take him long to discover the problem. Something about the direct drive rusting up and causing the spin cycle to fail. Apparently it's very common. The replacement part would cost nearly as much as buying a new machine.

I told him how unhappy this washer made me and my hope for getting a washer like the one I had many years ago. One with a normal agitator. He shook his head sadly and informed us they no longer manufacture such washing machines - government regulations. Of course! He then shared an amazing secret with us.

He found a little place where they rescue those "old-fashioned" washers and restore them. He himself bought just such a machine. He gave us directions to this wonderful establishment, and supplied us with the magic word. "Coupler." The washing machine must have a coupler - a part easily replaced when necessary (unlike the direct drive). I'm sure there's more technical jargon involved - but knowing "coupler" will do. I nearly hugged him. What a great repairman!

We drove out to the country the next day and found the nondescript building down a little road. We walked in and there they were. New/old washing machines. With proper agitators! Angels singing!

We decided on this sweet little washer. It looked brand new, and they assured us it had been thoroughly restored. Besides - it comes with a six month guarantee. Plus - they deliver, install and take away the old machine.

In a few days, my new/old washer graced the laundry room. I couldn't wait to wash a load of white clothes. I threw them into the machine - no fancy arranging around the little lump - added detergent AND bleach and turned the sweet little dial.

Ah the lovely sound of the agitator getting everything nice and clean. The difference after just one wash was amazing. My whites are whiter! The colors brighter! I love this washing machine. I often pat it gently as I walk by. I want it to live forever.

If you are wishing for the good old days of agitator machines, just remember the word "coupler." You will be so happy friends. You're welcome!