DIY: Washing Machine Repair, Part 2

DIY project collage


In case you missed it, here is Part 1 of this adventure.

Around the New Year I switched from doing laundry at home to going to the local laundry mat.  It meant taking the clothes there and paying for it, but there was the benefit of having all the laundry done for the week in about a 2 hour time span.  However, this was getting old really fast.  I was looking forward to warmer weather and getting back to doing my laundry at home.

A few weeks ago, when the weather warmed back up above freezing for a few days, I went to do a load of laundry. What I found puzzled me – there was water inside the drum.  I drained the water and completed that first load.

It was nice to get clothes cleaned without having to load everything up in the car along with the kids.  What was not nice, but answered the question of water inside the drum, was the flow of water streaming down the back of the washer cabinet.  I finished that load of laundry, then went to do a bit of searching for the water leak.

I tightened the water hoses on the inlet valve.  No luck.

I looked closer as the water was slowly turned on.  That is when I saw the crack in the inlet valve, past where the water hose was connected.  {sigh}

water inlet valve washer


I did not want to have to pay $70 plus parts for a service call.  What to do?  The same thing I did when looking to fix the broken door handles on my car – look online for a parts manual to figure out the part and order it.  There were several screws around the back.  I assumed I would be able to remove the back panel and install the parts.

I was having trouble finding what I was looking for, resulting in frustration.  That is exactly what I was not looking to find.

Okay, Plan B – online customer service from the manufacturer.  The cause for the leak was likely not covered by the warranty, but maybe they could help.  Live Chat online customer service works a lot better for me than calling on the phone.  Usually the kids do not know when I am ‘talking’ with someone, so they tend to not interrupt.  Even if they do, the person on the other end does not know it.  It also seems to progress faster than if I were to call by phone.

While talking to CS, I inquired as about if the work was covered under the warranty.  To find out, I would have had to call a technician to come do the work.  I chose not to take the $70 gamble and proceeded on to fix it myself.  Not only did customer service give me a link for the manual, but also a source for parts.

After looking up the part number that was to be replaced, I came across several different videos showing how to actually replace the part.  It was much simpler than I thought, requiring only a screw driver and a wrench or pliers.

Jack came over to watch the video with me, pausing his playing with George because, “When Mom repairs the washer you will be at school and I will be here, so I will need to know how to help her.”  🙂

In the end I opted to order the part from a 3rd part source, thereby saving me $20.  Shipping was to take several days, but actually ended up being overnight.

True to his word, when it came time to work on the washer, Jack stopped his playing and came out to the garage to help.  Not only did he help, but he recited step by step what I needed to do to replace the part.

working on washer inlet valve collage

Once we got the part out, I let Jack play with the old part while I installed the new one.  And, yes, the washer was unplugged from the electrical outlet.  Before I gave him the old part, though, I took a closer look at the crack.  It was much more extensive than I thought AND it had cracked through the connection for the inlet hose.  I think the part ended up braking off during removal, but it must have been cracked enough beforehand to actually fall off without too much effort.

washer inlet valve crack collage

With the part replaced, I grabbed the laundry basket most needing to be washed and, with glee, set about doing my first load of laundry at home in a long time.  I had forgotten how much this little act really is a luxury and not a right.

While doing my second load I saw water running across the garage floor.  Really?! What now?  I went inside and had chocolate.  🙂

That night I thought about the water and what could be the source.  Once I realized there were soap suds in the water stream, I knew exactly where it came from – the drain hose.  Seems it was leaking on both ends.  🙂  After running a few quick Spin & Drain cycles, I realized it was leaking from the point where the hose attached to the washer.  Then I realized the problem was the lack of a clamp to hold the hose in place.  No wonder it was leaking.  I also figured that this was the source of water from before the other leak.  It happened every so often, but I could never find where it was coming from.  $1.50 and a clamp later, problem solved.

In the end, by doing this repair myself I saved:

  • $140 on a service call and a return visit to install the broken piece
  • $20 by buying the part from a 3rd party, rather than the manufacturer
  • $70 by avoiding a service call for the extra leak

I went into this knowing that I knew nothing about washing machine repair, nor exactly where to look to find the information. After asking a few questions and looking up information online, I was able to learn from other people’s knowledge.  Not only did I learn, but Jack now has a beginning understanding of how to fix something or find the information on how to fix it.  I count that as a win on several fronts.


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