Thursday, February 22, 2007

"It's dead, Jim."

My washing machine timer, that is.

Tonight I decided to tackle the Machine that Refuses to Spin 66.666... percent of the time.

First problem, opening up the machine. Not so bad as all that. It helps that I remembered some of what transpired when I replaced the water intake valve last year. Actually managed to get the console open without dismantling anything completely unnecessary.

As Qat and the other felidae observed (sometimes from on top of the machine), I extracted the timer using a socket screwdriver from a set I was given last weekend. Nice hand tools are a joy to work with, and these are very nice indeed. Professional quality stuff.

I also took off one of the two remaining lid-closing screws. (I lost the front two the last time I worked on the machine, not realizing the #$%!! lid was screwed down from underneath. Let's just say I used excessive force, and leave it at that.)

And then upstairs I came, to do troubleshooting on the timer. A quick Internet search didn't turn up anything obvious on the outside, so I snapped the case open.

Then I saw the piece of plastic that had broken off the cycle-selecting knob. The piece that pushes contacts up and down to engage or disengage various things like the water intake, drain pump, agitator, spin. Picture a player piano or one of those bumps-and-levers music box thingies, and it'll give you a good idea of how washing machine timers work.

Bottom line is that I need a new timer. While I'm at it, might as well pick up a new set of lid screws and washers. The deceased unit is in a plastic bag, tied to the strap of my purse, to remind me to swing by an appliance parts store tomorrow after work.

I'm just hoping that my cat Walter (who loves chewing on plastic bags) will take the night off...

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