CMF Profiles

Clara and the attack of the Major Appliance

For thousands of years, military families have had to cope with many challenges while their soldiers were away.
Most of the time, these obstacles included strenuous labour to maintain a farm and feed a family, all the while worrying about whether a spouse would return safely.

My latest experience was by no means that enormous. But it does seem that every time James is away on courses, we suffer The Attack Of The Major Appliances. Last time, I coped with repairing our oven. This time, the task was just a bit more overwhelming: our top-loading washer sprang a significant leak. My seven-year-old came tramping up the basement stairs to tell me that the family room carpet was wet. And it was. Really wet.

Our (actually just “my” as my young son offered only moral support!) first task was to clean ALL that water up. This involved several sessions with a rented shop vac. Lots of squishy, smelly sweeps back and forth and back again!

Then onto the task at hand. YouTube became my constant companion that evening. Finally, I felt I’d educated myself on Whirlpool washers enough to fi gure out what the issue was with the washing machine. The video showed that front dripping probably means the pump is shot. I fi lled the machine with a little water and dismantled it. Lo and behold, water was, in fact, dripping from the pump.

Once I pulled the pump from the washer, I didn’t care if my hair was full of dust and all bunched up in a weird bun. I didn’t give a hoot if my clothes were gungy from the old washer and my feet were wet and mucky, I charged up my basement stairs, jumped into my car and went to search out a new pump. Success! Talk about military logistics!

After my visit to the parts store it was back to the laundry room, which is not usually my favourite room in the house. Somehow I balanced the washer on a slant, watched the YouTube video at least another 10 plus times, then installed the new pump. Victory! Well… almost. Once the washer was fixed, I put it through a test run just to make sure.

Yes, indeed I had fixed it. However, the project didn’t end there. While I was fixing the motor, I didn’t realize that the outlet hose was not put back in its proper place until the water began to drain.

Once again, I had a swimming pool in my laundry room, which I had just thoroughly mopped up the fl oor. Not to mention, during the process, the tube from the dryer had become displaced, which added an hour to the project, where I wrangled the tube into the outlet.

You may be wondering what my major motivator was? I had written on my Facebook page that I was determined to fix my washer, and I knew that if I didn’t do it I would have to admit failure to at least 100 people who were waiting for the results. I could hardly wait to brag that I was able to do it. I could hardly believe it myself. It was surreal!

This whole process felt like getting that an A on a university exam when you knew going into the exam you had a B, but needed that A to graduate.

Submitted by Clara Palmer

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