Mechanical Victory

Our washing machine is a hand-me-up from a relative who was moving and didn’t need it anymore. It works well but there’s always been an issue with the safety switch. 

That’s the thing that’s activated by a peg in the lid, so when the lid is closed, agitation will start. If that switch isn’t activated, the machine won’t operate, to prevent children from opening the lid and popping their little hands and heads inside the moving machine. The switch has been more and more temperamental and Derek has rigged up different things over the last couple of years until finally, I had to stick a screwdriver in the hole to depress the trigger. That meant the lid was open a few inches while a load of wash was being done. It was weird but it worked. Until it didn’t.

On Saturday morning the washer filled up but refused to play ball. The switch was truly busted. We don’t really need this feature anyway. I’m quite confident that we know enough not to stick our hands in when things are moving. A couple of people on Facebook had mentioned that there was a way to bypass the switch, so I went to YouTube to find out.

There are several videos that pertain to this issue. The one I watched at random featured a slovenly looking dude, like a younger brother of Shrek, and a filthy washing machine but after some terrible acting he got to the point and showed how to find the switch’s wires, tie them off to bypass the switch and make the machine work. That was all well and good but I’m not comfortable with handling electric wiring on my own so I unplugged the machine and called my nephew Jordan who is an electrician.

I opened the hood and showed Jord what needed doing. He tied off the wires in a flash, bound them in electrical tape and made sure everything else was where it should be. We plugged the machine back in and…nothing. We watched the video again. Jordan had done everything right. I said, ‘Humour me. What if we put the hood cover back on and plug it in?” He agreed with me that it made no sense but it was worth a shot. Ta-da! We had agitation!

The whole fix took about ten minutes. Replacing the switch costs about $40 or so. Bringing in an expert to do the work adds up. Realizing you don’t need this feature, watching YouTube and using a couple of inches of electrical tape is a far better way to go, in my books. Plus, I learned a thing or two and so did Jordan. And I don’t have to wear pyjamas to work this week.

And it’s amazing what comes up when you do a search on YouTube. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if you put a giant rock inside your washer, some guys have done the research for you: DANCING WASHER.


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