Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Saga of the Washing Machine

Nothing goes smoothly. My life is a testament to this fact. On Monday I arranged with Dominic to take out the old washing machine and put in the new one. He arrived with his pick-up at eleven. I thought the job would take about an hour, but we had a difficult time that can best be discribed in terms of water shut-off valves and floods. After several trips up and down the narrow cellar steps we were standing in an inch of water surrounded by several soaked bath towels, but the washer was free from its pipes and hoses. We hoisted it onto a dolly Lisa had brought over, and wheeled it out the front door. It stands by the end of the driveway now, waiting for the waste disposal truck.

Next Dominic and I rode to the house on Deep Cove Road in the truck while Lisa followed in her car to lend a hand if needed. Luckily the new machine had been disconnected, its hoses hanging off the back. Dominic and I managed to get it onto the dolly, out the front door, down the steps, across the over-grown lawn, through a narrow gate, and up to the tail-gate of the truck. Lisa arrived to help tip it onto the truck bed and slide it to the rear. Back here at the house, we maneuvered it off the truck again, back onto the dolly, and into the house.

Using same the minimal tools (a rusty pair of pliers and a screwdriver) we had used to detach the old washer, we hooked up the new one. Without any sense of foreboding we turned it on, expecting water to come gushing into the tub. It did not. It trickled, barely more than a few drops at a time. Since we had turned off every water valve we could find, we checked and rechecked to make sure we had turned them all back on. We switched the hoses. We poked and prodded. We went up and down the stairs again, following the water lines, looking for missed shut-off valves. After most of the afternoon had passed, we had to admit defeat. Will came over a little later and checked that the water was indeed coming from the pipes into the hoses. There was nothing left to do. I went on-line trying to find out what could be wrong, but to no avail.

The next day, yesterday, I spent most of my time at the gallery decorating for Christmas. I had lunch with Diana, June, Joanne, and Judy. I spoke about my washer problem and Judy told me to check the filters. By the time I got home it was too dark to tackle that job, so I waited until today. I was supposed to go to Bangor, but when I got up I just couldn't face the idea so cancelled my Doctor's appointment and stayed home. Immediately after my cup of coffee, I tackled the washer again. I shut off the water behind the machine and disconnected the hoses. Water spewed out everywhere, just as it had the day before. I went down to the main shut-off and turned it off, but not before I had flooded the room again. Obviously I do not learn by my mistakes. Nevertheless, I was much rewarded when I peered into the holes where the hoses attach and saw the filters clogged with thick mud. I used a kitchen knife to scrape them out, hosed them down with Windex (I couldn't use water since I had turned it off), and re-attached the hoses. After another trip to turn the water back on I turned the dial and water poured into the tub. With the greatest delight I raced upstairs to get a pile of laundry and put the machine to work. As I write, it is on its fourth load.

So now I feel like I really live here. I don't have to go elsewhere to do my laundry. Posted by Picasa

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