Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Handy Woman

Last weekend after filling up the washing machine with laundry, chucking in the laundry balls, and turning on the machine, I was met with an obnoxious beeping noise and "E90" instead of the usual filling-with-water-and-washing-my-clothes that I expect from any good washing machine.

Home alone, I didn't have anyone nearby to say "fix it!" to.  So I had to figure it out for myself, which I was dreading - I don't have a knack for anything mechanical, and I had no idea where to even start.  So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, you can follow my lead.

 The tools of my trade.

1. Open the hall closet where (along with just about everything else) the appliance booklets are stored.  Have a quick glance but get tired of looking for them.  Shut the hall closet and open the internet.  Google your appliance name and download the book.

2. Eagerly read through the book, only to find that it doesn't identify the error you're experiencing.  Arg!

3. Google your appliance name and E90.  Read the comments about how sucky your brand of washing machine is; discover that the fix is pretty easy.  All it will take is finding the blue wires that go into the control panel, wiggling them around and spraying with WD40, and wiggling them around again.

4. Go look at washing machine.  See no blue wires, because obviously they are inside the machine; see no way to actually get into the machine.  Take out the deterget tray, find two screws.  Think they might be the answer.

5. Return to hall closet, look for screwdrivers.  Look, and look, and look.  Eventually get a chair to stand on and find them shoved into the back of the top shelf, thanks to your 6'6 husband who forgets that not everyone can see that shelf so easily.

6. Unscrew the only two screws you can see on the whole washing machine.  Try to pry off the front panel.  Fail.  Wonder how on earth everyone else on the internet just automatically knows how to take apart a washing machine.

7. Return to internet.  Post query - how the hell do I even get to the wires?!  Thankfully get almost immediate response, slap self on forehead for not thinking to look at the back of the washing machine (in my defense, it is really, super duper heavy and the back is hard to see).  Struggle with moving washing machine by yourself.  Eventually succeed, finding a massive pile of dirt underneath the washing machine, thanks to a few hundred industrious ants. 

8. Look at screws at the back of the washing machine, which your screw drivers are not capable of removing.  Return to hall cupboard, stand on chair, and search through the mess of tools; find a set of spanners.  Struggle with those, but eventually succeed in removing the top of the washing machine.

9. Return to the internet, double check what you need to do.  Locate blue bundle of wires going into the control panel.  Try to reach them through the tiny and sharp-edged opening you can see them through.  Try to poke them with a pen.  Realise that's a bad idea - even if you succeed in  getting them unhooked, how will you get them back on?

10. Return to the internet.  Follow up helpful response with another stupid question.  While waiting for a reply, vacuum ant-dirt and clean masses of spiderwebs from behind washing machine.  Get reply - just take off the control panel.  Wonder why helpful post-er can't sense your frustration and lack of knowledge about just how to remove control panel.  Refrain from posting another stupid question and instead go study the washing machine for clues.

11. Find two more screws, which are also not screwdriver-able.  Try spanners, which don't work because of the confined space.  Get leatherman, remove screws.  Struggle for 10 minutes with the control panel, but eventually succeed in removing it - though without any knowledge of how you've done it, and thus, an inability to replicate this feat in the future. 

12. Wiggle wires, spray WD40.  Fight with wires to click back into place again.  Eventually, finally, thankfully, succeed.  Turn on washing machine to find the E90 and the beeping is gone!

13. Struggle to re-attach control panel; eventually decide it's too much trouble and it's close enough.  Screw top back on.  Feel sweaty, but pretty chuffed with yourself for fixing the washing machine - and all the while wearing a dress, no less. Bask in the green light of success.

14. Realise this is not that big a deal, really, but write a blog post about it anyways!


Kelly said...

Psh, that IS a big deal! Adopting the guise of a handyperson and successfully fixin' something is totally worth a blog post. :)

And isn't the internet awesome?! I wouldn't have been able to troubleshoot my random apartment issues without the helpful advice of the masses. Heh.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Ha ha ha...yay for getting it to work! You did it! I'm so impressed, and I really enjoyed reading your post.

Vaala ◪ said...

Hahaha! This is a truly awesome post. Definitely a big deal :)

Hannah said...

Oh, you're wrong there, Theresa. This is an incredibly big deal, and you ought to be splendiferously proud of yourself! I can state with 150% certainty that I wouldn't have even tried. Even just reading your post made me feel anxious. So impressed, so impressed!

cristy said...

Well done. That's just awesome. I'm very impressed.

Amy said...

Freaking amazing!!!!!

Emma said...

Hahahaha...we would have just kicked it and bought a new one even though we can't afford it Lazy :)

Lori said...

I totally feel your sense of accomplishment! I have fixed so many things by googling them on the Internet and then charging full speed ahead! Congratulations and GREAT JOB!!!! What you did is totally a big deal!

Susan said...

That is awesome and totally worth a post. :) Very impressive. :)