Tuesday, February 22, 2011

washing Wednesday

Well it’s still Tuesday but don’t you wish you were a day early for washing?

Today my birthday presents came!

Such excitement - a new washer and dryer. As a bonus birthday treat I was allowed to install them. (saved about $90).

After connecting gas and water hoses, I was very ready to hit the start button.

Before I get ahead of myself, I should tell you what I’m dealing with. Pretty basic models from Whirlpool. The soon-to-be-scrap metal units were about 15 years old (not real sure since we never celebrated their birthdays). They were also Whirlpools.

My wife had heard horror (that’s too strong of an adjective, there was no blood or decapitated bodies in the stories) stories about the newer computerized units in which I believe you can play a DVD. No, she wanted simple turn the dial and push a button type (like me?). Also, she wanted top loading with agitator so that narrowed the selection. I like simple too but honestly the idea of maybe connecting the washing machine to the internet with Wi-Fi is sort of exciting.

Ok - back to “hit the start button”.

My first check I planned was to be water temperature selection, so I thought, I’ll just fill it with some water and check. Twisted the selector knob and push the button. Nothing. The old one would let you load while the water was filling. You could even watch the agitator churn the clothes. Hours of entertainment. The old one died a slow death because one day the agitator became very mellow and barely moved.

Hmm, I’m guessing new safety features on this one (damn government regulations) so I closed the lid. Click, Red Light. Oh, the lid is locked. Still no water.

DAMN NOW I need to open the instruction booklet and find the English section.

  • Section - How to wash clothes
  • Step 1 - sort and prepare clothes - OH c’mon, really, why not start with WEAR CLOTHES UNTIL DIRTY!
  • Step 2 - add detergent
  • Step 3 - add clothes - Now this is interesting, as mention above we would add detergent, clothes with the water filling in the past.

So at this point I decide I need a plan B. I’ll check the operation with some actual clothes. Add clothes, detergent, make selection, shut lid, and press start. Some noise but NO sound of water running. Double check hoses and shut off values. Everything looks good. Then I hear water filling - yes! It appears to have a long delay before the water starts.

But how will I know the water temperature matches the selection if it goes through the whole cycle? Look at manual - pick up manual - actually read some part of manual.

If you need to open the lid (they offer the explanation that you forgot an article of clothing - what if you are just plain curious does that count?) during an operation in which its locked you can push the start button and pause the operation. If you push and hold for 3 seconds you can abort the whole mission.

Houston we have a problem!

A few tries with the lid and pause button and I get the feel of it.  I own this machine now.

Finally I am master of the washing machine. I changed the temperature selection, paused operation, unlocked the lid and checked the water. I still could not check the water while it was flowing in, but it was still dripping.  I even flipped over to spin and had the water pumping out of there.

It does sound completely different than the old one too. Different mechanical sounds from the motor. Maybe its voice will change in a few years.

Then a strange sense of pride and responsibility came over me.

At that very moment, in my basement, I knew I was the only one of the household that knew the operational details of the washing machine. The gatekeeper of the washing machine. I would need to prepare a tutorial for others.

I hope that I can calmly explain the operation to my wife. Maybe I should consult our daughters the teachers for guidance.

Oh, I just realized I gave all my attention to the washer. The dryer is also a new Whirlpool but maybe back in its development an Apple engineer was involved because it just worked. No need to open the manual on that one.

another circus


Kristina P. said...

I had no idea men cared so much about washing machines!

lisleman said...

I don't know what to say. Sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do.
Also, I'll be spending lots of time in the basement so I need to get to know the other occupants. thanks Oh you're first again.

Cheeseboy said...

Brilliant! I hope everyone stays away from your precious machines. I know I wouldn't mess with them.

It really says "Separate clothes"?! What kind of morons do they think we are?

lisleman said...

Yes step 1 was very dumbed down. It goes on to explain that you should empty the pockets etc. Maybe I should write to Whirlpool and tell them it was not clear that paper should be removed from all pockets and now I have little shreds of paper all over the clothes. Warning labels are some of the dumbest labels out there.

oceangirl415 said...

Happy birthday Lisleman. A witty post. I chuckled throughout. Your wife is blessed to have an engineer in the house!

Jene said...

Ouch, you had to go there with the Apple comment ;)

I always have to wonder what someone did to require a superfluous step in the instruction manual. You know it's there for a reason. They should include footnotes with the funny details.

I was over the moon excited the day we bought our very own washer and dryer. That, in my opinion, is the BEST thing about homeownership thus far. We've had a great 5 years with our (front-loading) Whirlpools.

Thisstopwilloughby said...

Happy Birthday and congrats on your new washer and dryer!

I hate doing laundry, but I love my Frigidaire front loaders. When we installed them, we accidentally reversed the hot and cold lines. It was easy enough to switch them, so it was no big deal. Accidentally hooking the hot water to the toilet in the half bath was much more interesting. We didn't notice it at first, but then someone mentioned how warm the toilet seat was!

lisleman said...

thanks - I don't know anyone who had that type of toilet plumbing problem. You did have the benefit of a warm seat.

lisleman said...

funny footnotes - great idea.
Gee I guess our washers and dryers are cousins.

lisleman said...

thanks always good to hear of readers getting a laugh.

blueviolet said...

I'll tell ya...living life is a challenge these days with all these new gadgets. Simplicity is a thing of the past!

BearmanCartoons said...

Anything that requires reading an instruction manual...I have the experts handle.

Jillsy Girl said...

birthday? did somebody say birthday? did I miss something?

lisleman said...

You didn't miss anything but fortunately I did have another one. Now I bet you don't do Birthday posts. Of course, I might be missing out on the presents my blog friends would send me. thanks

Pearl said...

You're killing me over here. :-)

I related, as they say, to this post. As landlords (bet ya didn't know that, did ya?!) my husband and I have three sets of washers and dryers. We like what we know: top load, dials, everything you've described. We like the idea that, push come to shove (ie., the TV's on the fritz) that we could open the washer and watch the clothes being washed. We're a simple people...

But some day -- some day! -- I hope to see one of those stackable washer/dryer combos. We live on the second floor of a hundred-some-year-old duplex (fantastic woodwork...) and with the W/Ds in the basement, it can get old. If and when that day arrives, we will be forced to read the manuals.

Really enjoyed this post.


lisleman said...

Thanks. Coming from the funny lady of the north, your words are encouraging. Thanks for sharing some washing data with me. Take care of the serfs in your fiefdom.

Cyndy DysFUNctional Mom said...

I'm with your wife on getting the basic models and not those newfangled things.
We're simple folk.,

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