Sunday, December 3, 2017

Jammed Washing Machine

After finishing the dryer ductwork and feeling pretty good about it, Kris calls me downstairs to look at something.  I stick my head in the washing machine to see that there is a piece of fabric sticking out of the seam between the washer drum, and the bottom agitating plate.  After looking closer, I noticed that it wasn’t just a piece of fabric, but it was the corner of the shower curtain liner with the magnet sticking out, which meant that the entire liner had somehow worked its way into the seam and under the plate.  And it was wound/jammed/bunched in there so tightly that I couldn’t remove it.

My first thought is that the plate must pop up a little when the drum is filled in order to agitate the water, so I started running an empty cycle so I could watch and see what was happening.  After the drum filled and the bottom plate started to move, it sounded as if the motor was going to burn out.  When it did move, it sounded like there was something grinding underneath the plate, although there were times when it did move the full turn at least.  I wish I could have reached in while it was moving to see if I could pull it (dang safety features!).  Kris brought me my laptop with a tutorial of how to take it apart.  It was a general tutorial, not quite specific to our washer, but it was enough that I could sort of figure it out.

I did manage to find a video on YouTube of how to take it apart, and this was specific to our model.  The problem was that when I got center cover popped off and the bolt removed, the bottom plate was supposed to just lift off.  Well it didn’t.  And I couldn’t see how else to get it up since there were no other screws or bolts to remove.  So with that in mind, I grabbed a piece of the fabric and pulled.  I got the drum moving around, then pulled sharply back in the opposite direction.  This began to get things moving.  So a couple of inches at a time I would pull as the drum spun, and after about 15 minutes, I finally managed to get the whole thing out.  Unfortunately, it had been shredded.  I actually seem to remember this happening once before with another shower curtain liner, but that was just a section of it, it wasn’t the entire curtain.  I really can’t fathom how the entire thing had been pulled under the plate. 

So I got everything put back together and it looks like everything is working fine.  I don’t think that we’ll be putting any thin, fabric shower curtain liners in there again, unless of course I have it stuffed into a large mesh bag.