This last spring my washing machine started making The Sound. It was something like a jet engine, or perhaps an avalanche of fresh smelling undies. At any rate, I started closing the laundry room door when the washer went on spin cycle to preserve my sanity.
Then a few weeks ago The Sound transformed from ambiguous avalanche jet to angry cement mixer. Full of clean undies. I knew what was wrong, which was part of the reason I put off fixing it. It was the main bearing.
For those not in-the-know about the finer points of laundry mechanics, which is to say, most normal adults, the tub of a washing machine rotates on a bearing. There’s a motor, and some switches, and some underpants gnomes, but most of the moving parts depend on that bearing to keep everything swishing along. And mine was near the end of it’s spinny little life.
Here’s where I put my own stamp on the situation. Most normal adults, the ones who aren’t in-the-know about laundry machines, would call a repair man. Not I, nay. I decided I should fix it. Alone. So I ordered the part. Let me say for the record, that even finding out what the part was took some persistence. But I did it, and I was proud. Like an idiot.
So I took the machine apart, following directions from a youtube video. Those directions looked oh-so-good. They were in fact completely misleading. I spent probably two hours doing work I didn’t need to do. But with perseverance and 17 different tools I got the tub apart.
Then came the hard part. The bearing itself was “pressure fit” into place. I threw quotes around that term because in normal English, we would say beat the part into place with absurd force. To get it out I used my own absurd force: a four pound sledge hammer. It was initially fun, but degraded to hard and dirty work after the 3,700th hammer stroke.
I remember hearing something about running de-scaling agent through your laundry machine periodically. This is why. It’s gross if you don’t. I didn’t. I know you don’t either. Because what normal person does that? BEHOLD THE FAILED BEARING IN ALL OF ITS FILTH-COVERED GLORY.
I hit that bearing with my big hammer till it popped out. Then I found the second bearing, and hit it until it smashed into a thousand greasy little pieces. I was about 5 hours in at this point. But I thought I’d turned the corner, so I kept going.
I hulk-smashed the new bearings into place with my hammer of destiny, but was getting tired. So I switched to some lighter work: hauling 50 pound bails of compressed soil around the yard to fill in chuck holes. Yes, hauling dirt was less taxing than swinging that damn hammer.
I eventually put everything back together, except for this ominous popping sound. Turns out, I broke a part while re-assembling the machine. A cheap plastic part. That costs $34. Plus shipping.
It’s on order. Till then I guess we’re not doing laundry.