April 17, 2018

Wash Machine Mystery Solved

I was within a click away from ordering a new washer and dryer with a delivery date of April 26th. Something didn't feel right. The only reason I had not tested it one last time to see where the excess water might be coming from was because I didn't want to pull both units out of the tight 60" x 29" space and clean up the floor again if it leaked.

Did that really matter? I'd still have to pull each unit out if I bought new and had it installed. So I decided to do a small test on the washer with a half load of the fleece blanks, not the Mexican blankets, that the hounds like to sleep on when the temperatures are warmer.

I also decided to continue to blog about this wash machine leak mystery because the story wasn't complete and besides, if I can take photos and write every day for a week when I pulled ever last weed out of my gravel driveway a few years ago why not blog about wash machines since I know all of you are hanging by a thread with this drama that is unsolved.

It was the cobwebs and dust I found inside the washer when I looked up from the bottom of it on Sunday night. They kept bothering me. The cause couldn't be the wash machine because I found no water stains. Both both hot and cold water hoses were dry as a bone at each connection ... no leaks there. Under the washer all the hoses were clamped tight, no damage and no signs of leaks. The only other place where water was a factor was the drain hose or drain tube.

There were no holes or cracks in the drain hose because it was covered in dust and under the washer the clamp was tight, hose was like new. So now I am down to one area ... the drain tube.

I grabbed my bright LED small camping flashlight off the shelf and once the washer started it's rinse cycle I had that flashlight looking down into the drain tube behind the washer and dryer. My other hand was on the lid of the washer because if I saw water backing up to the top of that tube I knew if I lifted the lid the drain process would stop and I wouldn't have water all over the floor.

The draining was going perfectly but then I had my answer !!!!  The water started approaching the top of the drain pipe that is about 40" tall. I lifted the lid of the washer, and the water stopped coming to the top and slowly started draining. I did this same process all through the drain cycle and had the same results.

So it wasn't my washer after all ... I admit I never thought of and never have cleaned out the drain pipe since living here. I have lived here 20 years. I never heard it over flow, never saw signs of a water problem until this past weekend. But my plumbing snake told a different story as I put it down into the pipe as far as possible or until I ran out of snake. I reeled it back in to see a ton of lint and dog hair at the end of the snake.

I cleaned it off and went back for another trip down into the drain pipe. I pulled more lint and dog hair than I did the first time. I did this until I could collect no more. I put a funnel on top of the pipe and poured in some very hot water to clean out any lint or dog hair that was left along the sides of the pipe. Then to test the drain pipe to see if it was still plugged somewhere, I took my garden hose and sprayed water down into the drain pipe to see if it backed up.

It drained perfectly.

With sales taxes I would have paid, I saved between $850-$900 by checking one last time and finding out I did not need to replace the washer. Since a washer and dryer is not high on my priority list like a computer or tv would be, I will use this old washer and dryer until they drop before I buy another. When I looked underneath the washer Sunday night all the other parts looked in great shape.

So that was the excitement of the day. It always feels good when I save some money. What a shock it would have been to buy and install a new unit and have the same leak ... LOL

Now back to Mahjong and the Reds game tonight ... As you can see the hounds did not do much right after lunch. Heidi definitely wasn't interested in staying outside long in 35°. By the time we took our 2nd walk of the day around 2pm it was up to 45°. Sadie may get her 3rd walk of the day around 6pm when it should be close to 60°.

Things are back to normal now in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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