I would like to think that I’m rather handy around the house; I like to fix things, improve things, and learn new skills to do so. One slight downfall is that I’m usually learning how to do something, while trying to fix it at the same time (installing new power outlets, having never done so before). I usually figure that I’m bright enough to figure things out as I go.
This is normally ok, as I’m often right and can figure out the basics and go from there very quickly. This is how I learned how to build computers, service furnaces, maintain a car, rewire circuit breaker boxes, reassemble a clothes dryer, crimp networking cable, and troubleshoot Microsoft Windows. It does, however, leave me with an end product that is a little less than polished: the laptop I’m using now has no fan so we have to use it in short bursts, I’ve electrocuted myself more times than I can count (or remember), and never use a grounding strap when building computers.
In my quest to fix all things mechanical around the home, I noticed that our washing machine was leaking, and decided that I would come to its rescue! I’ve taken apart major appliances before, but evidently they have decided to make more of them tamper proof (probably because of people like me). After calling up a buddy of mine who used to work in an appliance repair department, we finally figured out how to take the thing apart. From there it was a quick inspection to find where the leak was coming from; the discharge hose from the pump has been nicked and was leaking water every time the pump kicked on.
So, I put on my Red Green hat and went to work!
- Can I tape over the hole? Nope, water still gets through.
- Can I superglue the hole? Nope, doesn’t work.
- Can I superglue AND tape the hole? Double no!
- Can I cut off a section of hose leading up to the hole and reattach the remaining hose to the discharge? Well, yes. And it worked right up until a heavy load unbalanced the drum, snapped the hose off, and emptied the whole load of water onto the floor.
- Can I just run to Home Depot and get some more hose? Yup, only it’s the wrong diameter cause the guy didn’t know what he was talking about.
- Can I return it and get the right size? You bet, only the vinyl tubing I got was too stiff to bend around the drum and get back out of the washer.
- Can I return it and find something flexible? Yup. Except now the corrugations in the hose allow water to shoot out again.
At this point, I was fed up with trying to fix the thing. Having now flooded the washer room four times, I called it a night. The next morning I called an actual appliance repair center a few miles away and asked if they had the part from the manufacturer. They said no, but to bring in the old hose and my model number, and they’d find something close to it.
It took them a whole 5 minutes to find exactly what I needed, and it was half the price of anything I could have gotten at Home Depot. I went home, installed it, and it’s been working perfectly.
So, while I may still consider myself a handyman around the house, I think there’s something to be said for just giving up early and going by the book. I’ll probably stay drier that way, and I know the wife won’t get so frustrated!