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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

I totes repaired the washing machine. Again.

In the olden days, when I lived in the glorious North, where water is soft and shower gel actually foams, I thought limescale was a fiction, invented by the companies that made cleaning products so they could sell products for things that don't even exist. 

Like when they make disinfectant spray, for cleaning surfaces, then bathroom ones, then kitchen ones, then floor ones...and they're all just watered down bleach, innit. 

Only then I moved to Dorset, where the water is made of CONCENTRATED EVIL. 

Because I thought limescale was a myth I didn't initally get, you know, the voodoo tablets, the magical things that cost too much that you add to every wash to stop the limescale DESTROYING YOUR MACHINES. 

Our kettle is minging, always, despite treating it (that foaming stuff has a taste that lingers and makes your tea burn you in chemical ways, not just Nana-tea ways) but after a washing machine and two dishwashers giving up the ghost in the last five years I've got better at keeping on top of it. 

The washing machine now gets regular treatments, things in with the detergent, and vinegar rinses. Despite that it still gets bunged up from time to time, and I've learned how to take bits apart to clean the drain pipe out - salvaging all kinds of gross things treasure in the process. 

So when yesterday's load looked like this after the 'rinse' cycle...


I figured it was time to do some more fiddling in the rear (behave) and dug out my trusty screwdriver. 

I have to say, I do love chances to use my screwdriver. It makes me feel all capable and shiz. 

I understand that this might not be thrilling to many readers of this blog - but for those who want to save the expense of calling out a plumber when their detergent drawer starts spewing soapy water all over the house when it's a pretty simple job to do yourself, keep going) 

My machine is a Hotpoint something or other. That's as specific as you need, because this is basically the same in most washing machines. 

At the back near the bottom is a panel that you can take off - it's where the waste pipe comes out. When your machine is spewing water through places that shouldn't spew water it's because the places that water SHOULD go are blocked, generally. So take that off. Turn the machine off at the plug first, though - obviously. Just in cases. 

Behind that panel looks like this. 


You're only going to fiddle with the simplest bit. See where the grey drain pipe goes into that black rubbery bit? 


THAT black rubbery bit. That's what's blocked up with crap. Around the top of the black rubbery bit, holding it in place, is one of them there round metal things that tightens when you screw it into place. TECHNICAL TERMS. 

Loosen that a bit, then wiggle that big black rubbery thing until it comes off and pull it forward so you can see inside. 




Inside there is a little plastic basket with a little plastic ball on top. That might be crudded into place with limescale a bit, mine isn't too bad because I do this quite regularly and treat it with the voodoo. 

Scrape enough crud off that you can lift the ball out and give that a wash. 

Underneath the ball you will find the problem. In previous visits this has been an odd sock (that's where they go), some bubblewrap, a small pile of foam pieces from inside a pillow I shouldn't have washed, a pile of cash (whoop) and a small toy car. 

This time it was lego, a yogurt lid, some of those bloody foam bits from that bloody pillow I shouldn't have bloody washed, and some coins. 


Get all the crap out, wash the bits that are useful, put the coins in your piggy bank (you'll thank me for that bit one day too) and wash the basket. Give inside the black rubbery thing a good wipe out (slosh some descaler in there just for good measure) and then pop the bits back inside. 



Give it a good firm push to make sure it's all in place properly. Then wiggle that black rubbery thing back into place, push it up there firmly, then screw that metal thingamabob into place nice and tight (as tight as you can, trust me, if you cock it up it's a hell of a job cleaning up the flood from behind the cabinets) then pop on the back panel, shove it back into place and give it a good rinse through with a washing machine cleaner. 

Boom. Bing. Bosh. One fully functioning washing machine. 

Unless that wasn't your problem. In which case, call a plumber. 

Girl power. Or something. 

And if you missed the usual hilarious nonsense I've a great poo story for tomorrow. 


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