I know it's off topic, but nobody seems to be talking about
woodworking much anyway.
About a year ago, SWMBO and I bought a new front-load washer-dryer
pair from Frigidaire, manufactured by Electrolux. We were highly
impressed. Quiet, and the washer spun the clothes so dry that the
dryer didn't run nearly as much. Congratulated ourselves on the
wisdom of our purchase.
About a month ago, SWMBO began to complain about mildew in the bellows
type door gasket. Tried cleaning it with bleach, but it wasn't long
until the problem was back. Did some research on the net. It seems
the problem is almost universal among front-load machines.
I called the manufacturer to find out what their fix is. They were
very polite and helpful. Offered to send me a new door bellows at no
charge. Is this something I can replace myself?? Oh yes, you don't
need anything but a screwdriver. Instructions are in the package.
But I don't want to replace a door bellows every year, how do I
prevent the problem? Keep the door open between washes. We were
already doing that religously. Then there's a product specially
developed to clean the soap residue that's causing the problem. Just
put some in once a month. I ordered about a 3-year supply. That was
Wednesday, two packages showed up at my door from Electrolux. I'm
pleased. So, I set about to install the door bellows. I should say
here that I'm fairly mechanically inclined. I change my own oil,
install brake pads, change a timing belt, adjust valves. I've even
rebuilt an engine or two. I didn't feel intimidated by the prospect
of changing a door gasket.
The page and half of instructions say it's not even necessary to take
the front off the machine. Just remove the circular springs that are
holding the bellows in place. Yank the old one out, stretch the new
one over the retaining lips. Replace the old springs with new ones
they helpfully provided and you're done.
If you take a car tire off the rim and replace it with a new one while
the rim is still installed in the wheel well, then you'll have a
pretty good idea of what this exercise is like. I decided pretty
quick the front panel had to come off.
OK, here's 4 screws holding it on at the bottom, so the screws at the
top must be under the plastic control panel. It should just pop off
with a little force right? Wrong. I managed to figure out it wasn't
coming before I broke anything. I should have known, if you want to
take the front off, start at the back! Two screws at the back secure
the top panel which slides under the lip of the plastic control panel
on the front. After the top is removed, then you can access the
screws that hold the control panel, which hides the screws that hold
the front in place. Whew.
OK, now all I've got to do is stretch the gasket over the retaining
lip on the washer drum. Not too bad, just tedious. Then there's an
endless coil spring that must be stretched around the entire
circumference of the washer drum to hold the gasket in place. I
expected trouble here, so I brought in my 15-year old boy to help. It
required all the strength both of us had to stretch this spring over
the lip. We had three scredrivers in concert prying the thing around
the circle. When you get one part on, the other part jumps out of the
groove. I had visions of the spring sending a screwdriver into
somebody's head. My arms are still trembling from the effort.
We finally got the whole thing back together and fired the machine
up. It seems to work and we don't see any leaks. And it only took 3
I'm not looking for answers, I just needed to vent.
"The best things in life . . . aren't things."