I have just finished replacing the pump on my washing machine. As a
die-hard do it your selfer, this is not the first time I have locked horns
with the beast, it is the third. To bring you up on the story, I will first
describe round one and round two as this gives context to the story of round
About three years ago the machine stopped agitating. I could hear the motor
run, the pump was working but it would not spin, nor would the agitator
slosh the clothes around.
How tough could this be I ask myself? Well I figured that the worst part of
the job would be clearing the crap out from around the washing machine. My
soon to be ex wife created piles of stuff everywhere, and the laundry area
was no exception. (She suffered from Bipolar II.) When I finally got some
working room I attempted to disassemble the machine. I was having no luck
so I inverted the machine. There is a small amount of water that remains in
the machine that does not get pumped out. I bet you can guess how I found
this interesting fact out.
With the machine up side down, I saw the problem. There is a coupler that
connects the motor and the transmission. It is a disk of rubber with six
holes and the motor and the transmission have plastic disks with three
prongs each that fit in the holes. This was shot. I worked and worked to
get the pump and motor off the machine having to make several runs to buy
tools to access recalcitrant bolts. This was on a Saturday, and I had to
wait for Monday to get the part to fix the thing.
I also came to the conclusion that I had taken the wrong approach to
disassembling the machine but I did not know exactly how I had failed but I
figured that I should buy the repair manual for $15.95 or I would be forever
to reassemble the thing. I got the part on Monday, but I had to wait for
the book so I waited to read the book to complete the project.
While I was waiting for the book, laundry was piling up so a trip to the
Laundromat was required. I was on call the next week-end (I am a locksmith)
so I read the book and found out that it was very simple to disassemble the
machine, two screws, two clips and unplug one plug and you have access to
the works. Grumble grumble.
I returned to my task when I was off call, and when I righted the machine I
discovered that all of transmission gear oil had leaked out of the machine.
It was only about a pint of oil but it was a big mess, and I had to
completely disassemble the drum and agitator assembly to access the
The repair manual said nothing about what kind of oil to use, not how to go
about refilling the transmission. Its suggestion was that this was beyond
the scope of the do it your selfer. Arrrrrgggghh.
Undaunted, I disassembled the transmission and decided to use good old 90
weight gear oil for a car.
I had to guess the proper level, and was lucky that the gasket had survived
the disassembly in tact. Having cleaned up all of the oil and reassembled
everything the washer work flawlessly.
A year later the machine was always going out of balance so I consulted the
book and this time I knew how to take the thing apart. Several plastic
thingies were worn and ordered them and waited about 4 days for the parts to
arrive in the mail. Installing these buggers was a little more involved but
I finally got them in and the machine back together. In the process of
installing the little plastic thingies, I had neglected to reattach a hose
clamp that I slid out of the way and did not reattach the clamp prior to
reassembling the machine.
The hose stayed put while I ran a test load with the empty washer. I then
(needing underwear for the next day) loaded a full load of whites with soap
and bleach and started the cycle.
When the washer hit the spin cycle, and began to pump out all of the dirty
soapy bleachy water the hose popped of the pump and I had a flood. Clean up
mess, take the machine apart and reattach the hose.
About two months ago I noticed a leak, not a big leak, but a leak
nonetheless. I had assumed incorrectly that the cause was the drain vacuum
breaker. This has gotten clogged before and a cleaning has solved the
problem. It was not the vacuum breaker this time it was the pump leaking
Two months of mopping up after each load finally drove me to take apart the
machine again, and this is where I discovered the leaky pump.
Hey at least this was an easy fix, two screws, two clips and the case comes
off. Two clips and two hose clamps and the pump comes off. I had left the
case off the machine and today the new pump came in the mail. I had several
gallons of water in the tub, and for days it had been leaking into a drip
pan that I had put under the leaky pump and I had emptied the thing twice a
day and mopped up the water that I spilled when I emptied the tray but there
was still water in the tub. Damn the pump is the low point and there is no
provision to drain the water. I was faced with the choice of waiting a
couple of weeks for all the water to drip out or do something else. I had
to fight to remove the switch from the lid to so I could plug it in to pump
out the water so I could remove the pump. In the process of removing the
switch, a little clip flew off and I had to go hunting for it. I had picked
up a two-gallon bottle of pine sol and set it on top of the case while I was
hunting for the little clip.
I then attempted to remove the hoses from the pump and carefully catch the
remaining water in my drip pan. Too much water or two small of a pan but I
was again cleaning up water off the floor where I had to lay in order to
change the pump. The floor now dry, and the hoses off, I pop the two clips
off the pump and the pump is stuck. I finally get the pump off but the shaft
is badly rusted from the leaking pump. About 45 minutes of scraping,
chipping and grinding and the rust is gone. I apply some grease and the new
pump slips in place like it belonged there. I reattach the hose clamps this
time and decide it is time for a break.
Into the kitchen for a nice cold bottle of beer, and the case from the
washing machine is a little too far into the kitchen to allow the fridge
door to open. I scootch the case back into the laundry room and that bottle
of Pine-Sol goes crashing to the floor. I hear a glug, glug, glug and I am
back on damage control. I estimate about 2 quarts of the stinky slippery
stuff is on the floor and oozing.
Pine-Sol as you may know is water-soluble and designed to be diluted before
use. In other words it is a royal Canadian pain the ass to mop up. My
whole house smells like a turpentine distillery, the bathtub and bathroom
that I cleaned up is now filthy.
I hope this is the last round of washing machine repair for a while.